A baby terrapin or a hatchling is a small, cute one, which is as small as a 50 pence coin and they require a lot of special care.
In fact, a lot of time, patience, attention and love can give them a healthy and long life.
You may buy baby terrapins. But in case you want to have hatchlings from the eggs laid by your own terrapins, never disturb them during hatching.
Keep the hatchlings in the nest till the yolk sac attached with the navel dries and detaches off.
Before obtaining a baby terrapin, proper homework is very much necessary; else their life can become miserable. Record shows a very high rate of fatality among the baby terrapins just because of poor husbandry and lack of knowledge of the owner. Neglected baby terrapins easily fall sick and may die soon.
With careful and proper handling, a male terrapin can grow up to 18 cm (7 inches) and the female one up to 30 cm (12 inches). The tank (terrapinarium) should be well equipped with systems to maintain the water temperature, water filter, basking area, light etc.
For a juvenile terrapin, keep the depth of water in the tank around the width of its shell and for a hatchling it should not be more than 5 cms. Don’t keep any structure within the terrapinarium where they can get trapped and suffocated.
Find out more about baby terrapin care
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At the young and growing stage, terrapins need 24°C to 26°C temperature of water during the daytime and around 5°C less than that at night. Regular cleaning of water is necessary to avoid microbial infections. Consult a veterinary doctor whenever needed.
After hatching, the baby terrapins do not eat for about seven days as the nutrition comes from the yolk sac attached with them. But after that, feed them daily with cooked or raw, minced (to avoid choking) meat, fish, tadpoles etc. along with a drop of cod-liver oil.
They are carnivores and need nutritional, balanced and varied diet that can supply necessary vitamins and minerals for their growth. But overdose of vitamins can be harmful. Good commercial foods can also be given to them.
Interestingly, baby terrapins never eat in the cold or dark water. Never keep the baby terrapins with the adults. Also watch out if you have other pets.
Give them decent care because it is a pleasure to observe a baby terrapin growing into a healthy adult day by day. If you want to know more about gaving baby terrapins the correct care they need please see my full terrapin guide review.