Expensive tortoise

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I was discussing tortoises at work with a colleague the other day, and she mentioned how expensive she thought it was to own a tortoise. She told me about a recent article she had read:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ortoise-cost-27-000-lifetime-corners-cut.html

Obviously I was sceptical (not counting initial purchase and set up costs, I reckon Shirley costs a maximum of a couple of quid a week), so I checked out where they got the information from. Link below:

http://www.totallymoney.com/cost-of-pets/

Any thoughts? Obviously a lot of the reason tortoises have come out on top is because they live for so long, but I would still have thought some of the others on the list would have been higher. Are Hermanns just cheaper than other torts?
 

dmmj

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it makes sense dogs and cats do not require lighting, enclosures or substrate things like that. But I wonder what insurance and flooring is?
 

SarahChelonoidis

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Over the lifetime of a tortoise, sure, it should cost more than most pets, because it lives longer than most pets by a lot. The calculator is assuming a tortoise that hibernates three months a year, so it's potentially an under estimate for some (and an over estimate for others who don't buy insurance and don't need to spend money on food, supplements, etc.). If you have to keep a tortoise indoors for much of the year, the lighting and heat equipment can be pretty pricy to power and replace. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

If you spend three pounds a week lets say (a couple of quid), that's almost 12,000 pounds over 75 years. You could probably imagine someone spending twice what you do too though, depending on their setup, if they buy insurance, if they use all of the bulbs the site assumes you have, etc.

I think most experienced keepers can save a lot of money places, but it's probably good for people to realize that a tortoise should be a lifetime financial commitment.
 
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wellington

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Tortoises are expensive. Specially the larger they are the more space they need, more food, and of course the life span. Even people that live in warm climates still have to provide for those cold days or nights they will get. If one lives in cold climates, well add a lot for electric to run those cold winter heaters. It also depends on the health of the animals you have. I have a dog that has cost me 30 thousand just in surgeries. Knock on wood, my tortoises haven't needed to see a vet. If they ever do, it's $95.00 just to have an appointment. Properly taken care of, a tortoise is not cheap and it's for a long time. Not sure as much as they say, but still not cheap.
 
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Perhaps an annual cost would be more appropriate for comparison than a total over their lifetime. Some people would probably get through five or six dogs in one tortoise's lifetime! After all, I imagine some of the cost will fall to somebody else anyway, as I probably don't have 75 years left myself...

Point taken about the electricity etc, I was just thinking of food as the ongoing cost.
 

WithLisa

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It all depends on the species and the climate.
I have to rebuild the enclosure and get a new coldframe/greenhouse every few years and that's it. About 50$ per year? So Hermanns are one of the cheapest pets you can get in my area.
Even with a life span of hundred years it's still cheaper than keeping a dog for 10 years.
 

juli11

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I was discussing tortoises at work with a colleague the other day, and she mentioned how expensive she thought it was to own a tortoise. She told me about a recent article she had read:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ortoise-cost-27-000-lifetime-corners-cut.html

Obviously I was sceptical (not counting initial purchase and set up costs, I reckon Shirley costs a maximum of a couple of quid a week), so I checked out where they got the information from. Link below:

http://www.totallymoney.com/cost-of-pets/

Any thoughts? Obviously a lot of the reason tortoises have come out on top is because they live for so long, but I would still have thought some of the others on the list would have been higher. Are Hermanns just cheaper than other torts?

My hobby is obviously too expensive :D
 

Tom

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There are too many variables to calculate something like this. I have 29 tortoises and I spend $0 on food annually. I grow or scrounge everything. I have no way to calculate what it costs to pump the water out of the ground to irrigate my "crops". I spend about $300 to build each tortoise box and another $100 to $200 for thermostats and heaters and other equipment, but that is a one time expense. My boxes are unplugged for about 4 months a year, and each one uses an average of about .10 cents of electricity each day for the rest of the year. Boxes last more than 10 years. I haven't had to rebuild one yet. Enclosure costs? Highly variable.
 

dmmj

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There are too many variables to calculate something like this. I have 29 tortoises and I spend $0 on food annually. I grow or scrounge everything. I have no way to calculate what it costs to pump the water out of the ground to irrigate my "crops". I spend about $300 to build each tortoise box and another $100 to $200 for thermostats and heaters and other equipment, but that is a one time expense. My boxes are unplugged for about 4 months a year, and each one uses an average of about .10 cents of electricity each day for the rest of the year. Boxes last more than 10 years. I haven't had to rebuild one yet. Enclosure costs? Highly variable.
don't you have Solar? So electricity cost would be 0?
 

juli11

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There are too many variables to calculate something like this. I have 29 tortoises and I spend $0 on food annually. I grow or scrounge everything. I have no way to calculate what it costs to pump the water out of the ground to irrigate my "crops". I spend about $300 to build each tortoise box and another $100 to $200 for thermostats and heaters and other equipment, but that is a one time expense. My boxes are unplugged for about 4 months a year, and each one uses an average of about .10 cents of electricity each day for the rest of the year. Boxes last more than 10 years. I haven't had to rebuild one yet. Enclosure costs? Highly variable.

That's my problem! I have to buy the most of the food especially for the aquatics. In spring I can pick up the most food for the tortoises from the outside but from summer to winter I have to buy everything. Electric is also really expensive. Most of the animals have to stay inside because of the whether/place so I have many lamps etc which are on all day. Also I keep most of the turtles alone what is also expensive them keeping them together.
 

Big Charlie

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I don't spend a cent on food. The only ongoing expense I have is the electricity to heat his night box part of the year. I've never taken Charlie to the vet, compared to numerous times for my other pets. If I go on vacation, as long as Charlie has access to water, he's fine on his own, while I have to put other animals in a kennel. The biggest expenses we've had are repairing the damage he caused!
 

CathyNed

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Similarly i dont have to pay for food. Enclosure building/purchasing, lighting and heating expenses. I think most people who decide to get a tortoise without doing research do not realise the cost of the set up.
 

tglazie

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To me, this is impossible to calculate. Sure, Tom, guys like us don't pay for food, given that we devote so much of our space to growing it. But do we need to calculate the taxes we pay on the land on which we grow the food? Here in Texas, property taxes are no joke. But that's the thing. Whether I kept tortoises on my property or not, I would still be paying the outrageous property taxes. Also, what about all that time I spend on the tortoises? I spend nearly all my spare hours conceiving of ways to improve my tortoise pens, crafting the various materials, etc. I always have a project going, even when I'm planning my "final run," even when I'm telling myself that once I have this new night box, this new set of screen topped baby pens, this new terrace for whatever new seedlings I want to raise, that things will then be perfect. What are my man hours worth? What is it worth, the thought that I will probably never be finished until I'm a dead person, and even then, the work won't be finished; it will simply proceed to the next generation of Glaziers. Ultimately, I don't think we should be looking at tortoise keeping as an expense. Yes, it's expensive. It is either expensive via currency, or it is expensive in labor, and all of these expenses are relative. But from my perspective, these crazy animals are worth every gallon of blood and sweat, every nickle, dime, and penny. And no fancy adding machine would convince me otherwise. I could lose everything to tragic misfortune, and I would still be clawing my way back to getting another piece of property on which to raise tortoises.

T.G.
 
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come on . its a hobby. you cannot expect a hobby that does not consume any $$
at least its cheaper than collecting: antiques/ yacht/ Ferrari...etc, or building enclosures for : monster fish/ big cats/secret mistress
You are absolutely right, it is a hobby. Much cheaper than skydiving. Clearly the cost is worth it to us all, or we would just get rid of our torts.
 

ethan508

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There is no quicker way to ruin a good time than getting the full itemized bill. Granted, I'm not sure I could find a hobby that doesn't cost 5 digits if pursued. Even activities that seem cheap (hiking, running, gardening), end up with lots of expenses when done frequently and over decades. Equipment just wears out and transportation or facilities need to be paid for. It is why hobbies have a hard time becoming viable businesses.
 
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