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General Care of Chicken Turtles

Turtle Types


Chicken turtles are loved by those who keep them. Their alert yet inquisitive nature, beautiful reticulated shells, and vertically striped rumps are some of their endearing qualities.
Turtle Distribution


Chicken turtles are found from Virginia south to Florida and west to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Turtle Sizes


Adult female chicken turtles can attain 9-10 inches (25 cm). Mature males are slightly smaller.
Turtle Environment and Enclusure


Chicken turtles are found in still waterways in nature. Ponds, lakes, and swamps. Their enclosure should be very similar to that described for Sliders but we place a rock or piece of driftwood at the outlet for the filter to keep the water from being dropped too aggressively back into the enclosure. We also add some oak leaves and a few extra live plants to give these secretive babies some extra hiding spots. Adding an extra basking spot or two is also recommended.
Recommended Reading


Ernst, C. H., J. E. Lovich, and R. W. Barbour. 1994. Turtles of the United States and Canada, Smithsonian Institution Press.

Gurley, R. 2003. Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles. Living Art publishing. Ada, Oklahoma.

Gurley, R. 2005. Turtles in Captivity. ECO Herpetological Publishing and Distribution. Lansing, Michigan.

Pritchard, P. 1979. Encyclopedia of Turtles. TFH, Inc. Neptune, New Jersey.

Vosjoli, P. de 1992. The General Care and Maintenance of Red-eared Sliders and Other Popular Freshwater Turtles. Advanced Vivarium Systems, California.