Feeding and Nutrition :: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:22 am   Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

Hello, I'm new here, but oh so glad that I've found you all!

I need some advise quick :(

I have two baby painted turtles (about 1-1.5 inches or so). One (Rose) refuses to eat pellets (zoomed aquatic turtle food hatchling formula). She bite it... munches a bit, then spits it out. The other (Jack) completely ignores the pellets! I offered them shrimp shrimp (raw) twice, they go after it like they've been through a famine. Jack eats tropical fish flakes though (just a little) so at least I know he's not starving, but Rose does not. None are interested in greens. Both take nibbles of cuttle bone every so often, but doesn't intake much to be significant.
I didn't want Rose to live off shrimp for the rest of her life, so I haven't offered her shrimp for 4-5 days. Hence, being the stubborn thing she is, he hasn't eaten in 4-5 days. I'm worried that Rose's starving :( and I'm being a bad turtle mother.

I've read maybe a dozen posts on here regarding feeding/etc. Someone said the tough love method is only for adult turtles, so does that mean I can just keep feeding my baby shrimps, but when does that stop? How long can babies last without food?

What should I do? Can I feed her something else? My poor babies. Please help! I'm about to give in Dx or should I give in?

I really appreciate the help!
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:25 pm   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

My hatchlings do the same with the pellets, they nibble then spit them out. I believe they just suck the blood worms out of it and leave the rest. Kind of like a kid eating the chicken but leaving the green beans lol. Eventually they will go back and eat the rest. I'm new also, but from what I have read about shrimp, that is like candy to them. of course they LOVE it, and will refuse to eat other foods once they have a taste for it. All they want is the candy. you can try some of the other's advice about dipping the pellets in tuna water to get that stink on it.

My little ones also avoid the greens as well but I have only been trying for a few days and it's my understanding you have to keep offering. I do have several Anacharis plants in the tank and they seem to eat those pretty well. Have you tried the baby crickets, or the rosy minnows? I would try different types of pellets, crickets, minnows, plants, etc. but I would not give them shrimp anymore. I'm pretty sure the natural instinct to survive will kick in and Rose will eat soon enough.

Again, I'm fairly new also so any more experienced members can correct me if I'm wrong.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:23 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

Welcome to the site. How long have you had your turtles? Would they take a pellet/shrimp mix?
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:01 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

Thank you so much Rafa for the reply! i actually read your post regarding your babies too! :D

I actually gave in today. It's been a week and she hasn't taken a bite of anything. I was worried :( I gave her a tiny frozen krill. she demolished it.

regarding live food, they do eat it! Sometimes i feed them a baby cricket or two and mosquito fish (kinda like guppies), which they eat, but have difficulty catching :P

Thanks Steve for the warm welcome :)- And I've had them for about two weeks. The first week all weren't eating much, which i assumed to be because they were in a new environment. But they did start eating last week. I haven't tried a pellet/shrimp mix, but i strongly believe Rose's just gonna pick out the shrimp bits and ignore the rest.

on another note, rose is also shedding (skin wise) i'm attributing that to growth rather than high protein diet... since I haven't had them for too long.


So i'm assuming I should go back to out-stubborning her, and just offer other foods as well.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:05 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

I would make sure that they are eating, regardless of what it is, for a few days and then only offer pellets. Maybe bag the pellets with the shrimp for a little bit or even dip it into water from canned tuna.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:36 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

that sounds like a good plan. I tried moistening the pellets with shrimp juice today actually :) Didn't work too well. but I'll try it for longer and see what happens. Thanks a ton for the advice !
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:12 pm   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

I been feeding my guys Veggie Rounds for the big guys with a pinch of bloodworms and 2 Kelp pellets with about a pinch of bloodworms a day. Plus I just put in a cuddlebone last night.. shoulda read the article about taking the backing off it first. :|
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:15 pm   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

UPDATE!

Rose and Jack are eating!
I soaked the pellets overnight in shrimp goo in the fridge and they disintegrated, which gave me the idea to bake it! I also added a bit of crushed cuttle bone for calcium. Now i have shrimp infused pellets that keep :) and float! Jack LOVES it! Rose is just realizing that they're mighty tasty ;) This way they get their proper vitamin and minerals from the pellets.

Pellets on the left, and my homemade ones on the right :)
They're red because i used the shrimp's head, which has that red goo in it :)
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:28 pm   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

Love the idea Raining... I have to try this!
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:26 pm   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

thanks!! :D
Maybe include some veggie too!! Or just grind up the veggie rounds you mentioned and include that too!
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:07 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

I'm having trouble with my two babies as well. Bull eats anything but Hermie is very picky. The only thing she will eat is a dried shrimp or one mini baby pellet and then nothing else for days. I have live plants and red leaf lettuce in tank all the time but haven't seen any bites yet.


Raining; can you explain exactly what you did -I don't even cook for myself lol! Where did u get shrimp goo, I've been using the freeze dried shrimp and did u just marinate them and the bake for how long? I'll give it a try! I heard u can also soak in tuna fish water.

Any other ideas? Thanks so much!
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:22 am   Re: Picky Baby Painted, won't eat pellet, only shrimp

That's an awesome idea rainingsugar ! :D

My turtles used to not eat zoomed pellets as well! I used to make chicken / beef / fish soup at home and would take some (no salt added, cooled down) to soak the pellets and offered them to the turtles, then they would happily eat them! I did try tuna water before that, but it tasted pretty salty to me so I thought of other alternatives. Soon afterwards, I found Reptomin pellets which my turtles immediately fell in love with... no need for soaking anymore!
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