Buying at a show

jwr0201

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
53
Location (City and/or State)
Sarasota, FL
Never been to a Repticon show before and am planning to visit the one coming here to Sarasota later this month. May not be ready to acquire my new friend yet, but will do a lot of looking and learning.

At these shows, are there primarily vendors / suppliers, or are there breeders present as well? Not to appear snarky, but do the vendors bring animals that they are looking to get rid of? Do they have their 'cream of the crop'? All of the above?

Reason I ask is that in my bird breeding younger years, I bought a rare color form Lovebird from a relatively reputable supplier and it turned out to be terribly ill. Took weeks of care and meds to bring her back to good health. She was a doll – very good breeder and friendly, too. Unfortunately, I relocated and the birds couldn’t go with me into a condo. The wifey doesn’t want birds, so I’m gonna get a tortoise! :tort: Boy, will she be thrilled! :oops:
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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54,477
Location (City and/or State)
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This is a gamble. Personally, if I don't already know the seller and know their practices in regards to starting, housing and raising babies, I won't buy from them. Unlike other animals, what makes or breaks a tortoise is what happens in the first few days and weeks after hatching. It doesn't matter what they look like in front of you at the show, and it doesn't matter how perfectly you care for them after purchase. If they were started too dry, or housed outside all day, you won't be able to save them, and it will take weeks for them to go downhill and die. You will then be blamed for the death, even though it was totally out of your control. Read this for more explanation: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

Then read this to see how it should be done:

These two threads should help you understand what questions to ask. Know that the vast majority of torotise breeders are still following the old wrong info and not starting babies correctly, or even adequately to sustain life.

Questions for any breeder:
1. How often do you soak the babies? Should be daily for ALL species. Don't buy it if its less. Dehydration is the number one killer of babies.
2. Where is the baby housed? Should be mostly indoors, not outside all day. Should be in a closed humid chamber, not an open topped tub or tortoise table.
3. What substrate is the baby on? No soil, no sand, no rabbit pellets, no newspaper. It needs to be something damp that they can dig in to. Coco coir, orchid bark, or cypress mulch.
4. What do you feed the baby? Should be lots of weeds, leaves, flowers, grass for some species. There should be a huge variety of "natural' foods. Some soaked pellets and some grocery store greens are fine, but it should be mostly "natural stuff" and lots of variety. "Fixing" a picky eater caused by a lazy or inept breeder is no fun.


You are about to walk in to a whirlwind of mis-information. They will tell you all about how long they've been doing it and how those internet people don't know what they are talking about. Here's the thing. I know "their" methods because I did it that way for two decades. I was taught all that wrong info. I practiced it and taught it to others. Should you encounter one of those type of people, ask them how many times they've tried the closed humid chamber methods. Then be prepared to be insulted or dismissed.

Buying from the right source is everything. Buying from the wrong source, which is most of them, will bring you heartache and misery. You've been warned. Buyer beware.
 

jwr0201

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
53
Location (City and/or State)
Sarasota, FL
This is a gamble. Personally, if I don't already know the seller and know their practices in regards to starting, housing and raising babies, I won't buy from them. Unlike other animals, what makes or breaks a tortoise is what happens in the first few days and weeks after hatching. It doesn't matter what they look like in front of you at the show, and it doesn't matter how perfectly you care for them after purchase. If they were started too dry, or housed outside all day, you won't be able to save them, and it will take weeks for them to go downhill and die. You will then be blamed for the death, even though it was totally out of your control. Read this for more explanation: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

Then read this to see how it should be done:

These two threads should help you understand what questions to ask. Know that the vast majority of torotise breeders are still following the old wrong info and not starting babies correctly, or even adequately to sustain life.

Questions for any breeder:
1. How often do you soak the babies? Should be daily for ALL species. Don't buy it if its less. Dehydration is the number one killer of babies.
2. Where is the baby housed? Should be mostly indoors, not outside all day. Should be in a closed humid chamber, not an open topped tub or tortoise table.
3. What substrate is the baby on? No soil, no sand, no rabbit pellets, no newspaper. It needs to be something damp that they can dig in to. Coco coir, orchid bark, or cypress mulch.
4. What do you feed the baby? Should be lots of weeds, leaves, flowers, grass for some species. There should be a huge variety of "natural' foods. Some soaked pellets and some grocery store greens are fine, but it should be mostly "natural stuff" and lots of variety. "Fixing" a picky eater caused by a lazy or inept breeder is no fun.


You are about to walk in to a whirlwind of mis-information. They will tell you all about how long they've been doing it and how those internet people don't know what they are talking about. Here's the thing. I know "their" methods because I did it that way for two decades. I was taught all that wrong info. I practiced it and taught it to others. Should you encounter one of those type of people, ask them how many times they've tried the closed humid chamber methods. Then be prepared to be insulted or dismissed.

Buying from the right source is everything. Buying from the wrong source, which is most of them, will bring you heartache and misery. You've been warned. Buyer beware.
This is GREAT info. Thank you for the advice!
 
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