"Cupcake"

Alaskamike

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BB971F4C-CE1B-4179-9D34-0CA83C55FDDF.jpeg Imeasured CupCake today - 14” plastron. She weighs about 22 lbs. born Jan 2014. So that makes her about 3 yrs 10 mos.

Been very pleased with her growth & progress. She is comforatable with me. Doesn’t shy away anymore. Will come towards me if I show a treat. She has an affinity for hibiscus flowers , bell peppers, squash , watermelon & stawberries. Though I only give her the fruit stuff once a month. The rest of the times it’s weeds & grass with hibiscus & cactus pads. Sometimes I give her grape leaves.

Finishing up a new heated / insulated hide for her. She slows in winter no matter what , but I keep her hide at 80f.

pic I took today
 

Alaskamike

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61763376-FEF3-4753-BA0F-550373D45A7F.jpeg 27CAE70D-1872-4013-871E-60323FDED32E.jpeg 41B9CC02-3996-4FCC-8EA5-29E19F10580E.jpeg I’ve been getting a new heated hide done for CupCake. Hope this on lasts a few years. Decided to use a piglet mat this time. And make it cozy.

It’s fully insulated. Used a clear car mat for door ( got at Wallyworld ). The heat mat never gets over 100f & has a temp controller. I turn it on at night now when it drops below 75f.

We don’t need quite as much here in South Florida as you Northerners. This works well for her.
 

Oxalis

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We don’t need quite as much here in South Florida as you Northerners. This works well for her.
Indeed! I'm a bit jealous! ;) And my Russian tort isn't having any of this "winter" nonsense. It's all about the nap time now. Anyway, the hide looks great and I'm sure Cupcake will just love it!
 

Alaskamike

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Cupcakes likes her new hide. It stays 85-95f at night. Only got down to 60f so far this winter - so we'll see what it does in the 40s & 50s. I can add a ceramic heat bulb if needed or just bring her in at night.

24+ lbs today. Noticeable weights gains the last couple months. She likes her grazing area. She does have some days when she just seems to want to rest & not eat. I don't worry as long as she's still active & eating most of the time.

Several folks have asked me for charts of weight gains on her. Truth is I kept spotty records of that. But looking back I can say she has gained between 4% and %11 / month. With this biggest % gains in her first 2 yrs.

She seems to average 6-7% / month now. Although this last month she gained 10%.

Keeping her at 85f at night has increased her appetite I think. I was letting her get down to 70f at night before the new hide.

Cupcake will be 4 yrs in Jan. Party !!!
 

Fredkas

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I think some of us have a little common thing now. Aldabras like 85F and above night temp.
 

Alaskamike

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WOW. Was 35f when I got up this morning. CupCake’s hide was at 78f so no worries. I did put a blanket tucked over the vinyl door last night , since I knew it was getting cold ( for us in South Florida ).

She probably won’t even come out today. Doesn’t like the cold days at all.
 

Alaskamike

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Was carrying Cupcake out to her new grazing area this morning. Thinking that once she hits 50lbs+ this moving around will have to slow. Course she's only 1/2 way there now but time moves quickly.

She seems to really like grazing. Of course will eat if I put cut food in front of her , but more often now I put treats like a bell pepper far away from her in the grass. Eventually she finds it :).

I suspect , like all other animals, the search for food provides exersize. Making it too easy for them might deprive the tort of excessive benefit. Especially the larger species who need quite the legs to carry rapid weight increases.

Nature's challenges and difficulties are not all negative. The struggles for survival also demand strength & adaptation. Well, enough philosophical musing. I'll post a picture later. She is strong & enjoying the holidays. Hope all of you are too.
 

Oxalis

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Was carrying Cupcake out to her new grazing area this morning. Thinking that once she hits 50lbs+ this moving around will have to slow. Course she's only 1/2 way there now but time moves quickly.

She seems to really like grazing. Of course will eat if I put cut food in front of her , but more often now I put treats like a bell pepper far away from her in the grass. Eventually she finds it :).

I suspect , like all other animals, the search for food provides exersize. Making it too easy for them might deprive the tort of excessive benefit. Especially the larger species who need quite the legs to carry rapid weight increases.

Nature's challenges and difficulties are not all negative. The struggles for survival also demand strength & adaptation. Well, enough philosophical musing. I'll post a picture later. She is strong & enjoying the holidays. Hope all of you are too.
Happy holidays, Mike! :) My tort is hibernating through the festive season and I miss him. Give Cupcake an Xmas hug for me! ;)
 

Maro2Bear

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View attachment 223967 View attachment 223968 View attachment 223969 I’ve been getting a new heated hide done for CupCake. Hope this on lasts a few years. Decided to use a piglet mat this time. And make it cozy.

It’s fully insulated. Used a clear car mat for door ( got at Wallyworld ). The heat mat never gets over 100f & has a temp controller. I turn it on at night now when it drops below 75f.

We don’t need quite as much here in South Florida as you Northerners. This works well for her.
Looking good Mike, what kind of insulation is on the walls? It looks soft, arent you afraid of shell or claws or beak tearing the fabric?
 

Alaskamike

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I was concerned a bit at first but she’s left it alone. That is a packing blanket and it covers over 3” of fiberglass insulation. I actually stapled it up there just temporarily till I can , staple in a vapor barrier, cut plywood and cover with that.
Just ran out of wood.


That was several weeks ago & I haven’t got to the wood walls yet. The blanket is just fine. She hasn’t bothered it (yet ). But soon I will replace it with wood.
 

ERoss

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View attachment 223967 View attachment 223968 View attachment 223969 I’ve been getting a new heated hide done for CupCake. Hope this on lasts a few years. Decided to use a piglet mat this time. And make it cozy.

It’s fully insulated. Used a clear car mat for door ( got at Wallyworld ). The heat mat never gets over 100f & has a temp controller. I turn it on at night now when it drops below 75f.

We don’t need quite as much here in South Florida as you Northerners. This works well for her.
Nice job! That looks great and I love the piglet heater. I will definitely keep that in mind for the future!
 

Maro2Bear

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I was concerned a bit at first but she’s left it alone. That is a packing blanket and it covers over 3” of fiberglass insulation. I actually stapled it up there just temporarily till I can , staple in a vapor barrier, cut plywood and cover with that.
Just ran out of wood.


That was several weeks ago & I haven’t got to the wood walls yet. The blanket is just fine. She hasn’t bothered it (yet ). But soon I will replace it with wood.

Agh, makes sense. Looking good!
 

Maro2Bear

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Ohh, with this cold snap, any thoughts of installing a radiant heat panel? They are really easy to install on the lid/ceiling, and would probably provide that extra 10-15 degree “ boost”.
 

Alaskamike

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Ohh, with this cold snap, any thoughts of installing a radiant heat panel? They are really easy to install on the lid/ceiling, and would probably provide that extra 10-15 degree “ boost”.
I’ve thought of it. But as long as I can keep it above 70f I’m not really worried. We have this only up & down a few months. Then back to high heat and humidity :)
 
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