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You want to do the responsible thing and purchase your Box Turtle from a reputable breeder, but this may not always be so easy.  For one thing, your first contact with the breeder may be at a distance, or online, and there is no way that you can verify or even see the turtle beforehand, or before the purchase.  How do you even know you’re getting a healthy Box Turtle that has been legally bred in captivity, and not caught from the wild?

Tips on Choosing a Reputable Box Turtle Breeder

Here are a few red flags that should alert you to be careful in dealing with someone selling Box Turtles – or to avoid them altogether:

  • If their selling price is too cheap.  It takes a long term investment of money, time and commitment to breed Box Turtles in captivity, so you can expect the breeder to price their turtles at a slightly reasonable price.  If you come across someone selling Box Turtles for a very cheap price, however, or who are selling Box Turtles in bulk, then you should probably look elsewhere.  Even the most professional breeders will have difficulty raising more than a few hatchlings at a time, and certainly not for selling in bulk at the cheapest price they can get!
  • Look at the turtle’s size.  It is illegal to sell turtles that are under 4 inches carapace length in the United States.  Professional and reputable breeders know this as a matter of course. If they still offer hatchlings for sale despite this law, they may not know as much as they claim to know about the creatures they are selling.

It is best to network a bit before picking out a breeder of your choice.  Ask around, especially among people who keep Box Turtles of their own, and find out where they purchased their turtles.  People will not hesitate to recommend a good breeder, and neither will they hesitate to give a frank opinion of breeders whose reputations are a bit shady.  If you can find more than a few individuals who are fully satisfied with Box Turtles bought from a specific breeder, you should probably explore the leads they throw your way.

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