When to start feeding turtle this year?

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Hi; I'm in eastern NC. My big FL cooter (Lambchop) popped up from the pond a month ago (during a brief local warm-up), then vanished again once temps dropped to normal. Fine.

We'll have more warm spells prior to the start of real spring (late Apr-early May), and I'm sure he'll emerge to bask pondside before then, so .... should I start putting out some food (pellets, and his favorite, persimmons) during one of those brief periods of warmth? I don't wanna have him fill up and then deep-six for a long period with his belly full. Doesn't sound healthy to me.

Any ideas/anecdotes/suggestions would be appreciated!

Mitch
 
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Hi Mitch! I share your caution about feeding your turtle until spring. Does your pond have any vegetation such as eel grass or a heavy coating of algae on some rocks? If so, Lambchop will forage on that until spring. If your pond is bare, then you could float some romaine lettuce especially if you see the turtle basking. The last thing you want is for Lambchop to leave your pond in search of food.
 
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Hi Mitch! I share your caution about feeding your turtle until spring. Does your pond have any vegetation such as eel grass or a heavy coating of algae on some rocks? If so, Lambchop will forage on that until spring. If your pond is bare, then you could float some romaine lettuce especially if you see the turtle basking. The last thing you want is for Lambchop to leave your pond in search of food.
Thx, Stephen; lettuce sounds like a good idea. The pond (~12'X8') has lots of elodea submerged now. Algae on the sides (a polystyrene[?] liner]. Yeah -- foraging could be an issue. I live in town, and there're plenty of squirrels, lousy 'coons, herons, a hawk, snakes, occasional dog/cat, so .... they might want some turtle chow......
 

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