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Adequate growth?

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Bass.Isles, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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    Hey everyone, I brought Isla home a little over 5 months ago. When I got her, the previous owner said she was approximately 20 months old. She had some pyramiding, which I've been trying to correct (I'm aware that you can't reverse it, but you can cultivate favorable conditions, that as they grow, may smooth it out some). When I first got her, I gave her a cuttle bone and for the first month, she devoured them. Now she only munches on them very seldomly (I make sure she has access to one). I have her in an 8x3 semi-closed chamber on my back porch where the humidity stays between 65-95% consistently (I live in sticky, swampy Florida lol, so I don't have to pump in humidity). One end of her enclosure stays between 83°-88°, the other between 90°-95°, and she has a basking spot that stays between 100°-105°. She usually always prefers to sleep and relax in the 90°-95° area. But sometimes I'll find her basking or in the cool area. I feed her out of a big salad bag that I make up every week that usually contains a mix of: bluegrass, wheatgrass, fescue, pea sprouts, a little red & white clover, chickweed, wandering jew, and a few cut up hibiscus flowers. Sometimes I'll toss in some hibiscus leaves, grape leaves, mulberry leaves and a pinch of rose petals. But the bag is predominately grasses. The rest I only add small amounts of. I usually feed her a handful 2x daily. Is that amount too much, not enough? I soak her in warm water 3-4 days a week, for about 20 minutes. The following are her stats, that I've recorded since the first day I got her. Does it look alright? Is she gaining too much weight, not enough? Is she at the length and width she should be at? Thanks everyone!


    4.08.17
    weight: (273 grams)
    plastron length: 4.50 inches
    plastron width: 3.50 inches

    4.17.17
    weight: (287 grams)

    4.25.17
    weight: (294 grams)

    5.12.17
    weight: (298 grams)
    plastron length: 4.50 inches
    plastron width: 4 inches

    5.19.17
    weight: (303 grams)

    5.28.17
    weight: (306 grams)

    6.08.17
    weight: (349 grams)
    plastron length: 4.75 inches
    plastron width: 4.25 inches

    6.18.17
    weight: (352 grams)

    7.01.17
    weight: (373 grams)
    plastron length: 5 inches
    plastron width: 4.25 inches

    7.12.17
    weight: (386 grams)

    7.20.17
    weight: (420 grams)

    7.30.17
    weight: (408 grams) -12

    8.09.17
    weight: (431 grams)
    plastron length: 5.25 inches
    plastron width: 4.50 inches

    8.19.17
    weight: (425 grams) -6

    9.05.17
    weight: (457 grams)

    9.09.17
    weight: (459 grams)
    plastron length: 5.50
    plastron width: 4.75
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    They all grow at different rates and for a variety of reasons. 460 grams is a bit on the small side for a 25 month old, but it sounds like your routine and diet are good, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    They should be allowed to eat as much as they want all day. If the pile is all getting eaten, then make a bigger pile. Tortoises are grazers. There needs to be food available all day.

    I would add some Mazuri to the food a couple of times a week. Its good stuff, and it will ensure that your tortoise is getting all the needed vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
  3. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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    Okay, good. Is her length/width on the small side too? I'm thinking it is. As for the Mazuri, I bought a 5 lb bucket of the stuff, right befire I got her - and she hates it! Will not touch it lol. I have tried breaking it into smaller pieces, crushing it, leaving it whole, soaking it until it's mush and adding it in... nothing. She refuses to consume it. Any ideas? I know the food isn't bad, like stale or spoiled in any way, because i gave my grandmother half the bucket and her 15 year old Sulcata (Frita), loves it.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Most tortoises love Mazuri on day one and go crazy for it every day after day one, but I've had a few that were not all that into it too.

    First be sure you got the "regular" or "original" Mazuri and not the new "LS" type. I've yet to see a tortoise that liked the LS on day one all by itself. You can get them to eat it with some effort, but I haven't seen any that take to it immediately like they do with the original version.

    To get her to eat Mazuri, chop up a pile of her favorite greens. You can even use some romaine if need be and your tortoise likes it. Soak one single pellet of the Mazuri and mix it all in with the chopped greens. Do this daily for a few days until the tortoise eats it all up. Don't worry if the tortoise decides to skip a day or two here and there, or eats kind of light. A hungry tortoise will not be a picky tortoise after a few days.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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    Ummm, it just says "Mazuri tortoise diet". Is this the regular/original?

    Attached Files:

  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    That looks like the original version. I guess you have one of those weird tortoises that doesn't think its tortoise crack!

    If your tortoise doesn't like the Mazuri, try adding clover, alfalfa, green beans or peas to the diet two or three times a week. Step up your soaking routine with the added protein to make sure the tortoise stays well hydrated.
  7. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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    Yeah, she's an odd one at times lol. Any certain specific kind of pea? Like, English pea or sweet peas? I can get some organically grown green beans, locally. She hates alfalfa lol.
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Most tortoises don't like foods that they aren't familiar with. I'm referring to the alfalfa. I grow my own and I cut up some of the tender new growth and mix it in with other favorites to get them started on it. Sometimes it takes a little while for them to become familiar with it and learn to like it. If I'm persistent, they come around and learn to eat everything. This ensures they are getting a wide variety of good foods and that I can feed them whatever is convenient for me at the time.

    Any of the peas should be fine. I just use "regular" peas. Basically any legume will add some needed protein to the diet and get some growth happening. You don't need a lot. Just mix in some two or three times a week.
  9. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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    Awesome. I tried the green beans today. Took her about an hour but she finally came around and ate 2 (3 inch beans). She's a picky little thing. And yeah, I was trying to give her the dried alfalfa. That was a definite no go lol. Where do you get the best seeds to grow your own?
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I use this one. It is fantastic.
    https://www.groworganic.com/non-dormant-alfalfa-rhizocoated-lb.html

    And this is the best grass mix I've ever found. Outperforms everything else I've tried.
    https://www.groworganic.com/premium-horse-pasture-mix-irrigation.html
  11. Bass.Isles

    Bass.Isles Member

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