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For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata...

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Tom, Aug 7, 2013.

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  1. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Most breeders feed them something easy as babies. "Mixed greens" is probably store bought spring mix. Super easy and the babies like it, but its not a great food, and it makes it really hard for the new owner to get their babies eating the right foods.

    Tortoises are creatures of habit. They eat what they've eaten before. Most of them don't take to new foods very quickly unless they were started by someone who does what I do. I don't feed them the same food twice for at least their first couple of weeks. Every day they see some new and novel food.

    Its worth the time to get them eating better foods. Store bought greens don't meet their needs very well. Start by mincing up a tiny tiny amount of the new food and then mincing up the old favorite. Wet the greens and thoroughly mix them together. When I say a tiny amount, I mean like one percent. Over time, they will start incidentally eating the new stuff and get used to the taste, smell and texture. You can gradually up the ratio of new to old. Don't worry about it if they choose to eat light a few days. The more angry they get the less picky they will be. You aren't starving them. There is a whole plate of food right in front of them. They can eat whenever they want.
  2. Oldbro

    Oldbro Member

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    Thanks
    I was sprinkling a small amount of powdered Mazuri on the wet greens to up the nutrition intake. I’ll work on the percentages while my yard is still productive. Once we get a freeze
    there won’t be much to harvest.
  3. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    I’m struggling with getting my young Sulcatas to eat grass and tortoise food. They won’t even eat hibiscus leaves and flowers. If you have any other tips that can help I would appreciate it.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Mince up a tiny amount of the new stuff. Chop up the old stuff and wet it. Thoroughly mix in the new stuff with the old. Keep doing this and gradually add more of the new stuff. It will take weeks or months, but its worth it.
  5. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    Ok I will thanks. I also could use some help with good plants to put in outdoor enclosure I’m building that they can eat on their own and last question, I bought some dessert tortoise grass seed mix from tortoise supply but I’m not sure how to start it? Do I put on top of dirt and water or cover with a little dirt?
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Refer to the list on post number one of this thread for good plants to grow.

    To plant your seed mix:
    1. Prep the soil, as needed. I usually churn it up with a shovel and add fertilizer or amendments as needed.
    2. Wet the area heavily.
    3. Scatter some seed.
    4. Cover the seed with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of dirt or soil.
    5. Water heavily.
    6. Don't let that area dry out for a few days at least. I have to water every hour or two in summer to keep it from drying out. Then I water heavily at sunset and this usually lasts until morning.
    7. Cover the area with netting or chicken wire or something to keep the local birds from eating all your seed before it sprouts.
    8. After it sprouts be prepared to go to war with gophers, squirrels, voles, rabbits, grasshoppers, moths/caterpillars, pincher bugs, ants, and any number of other pests who all want to eat your newly sprouting tortoise food.
  7. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    Wow lol I’m growing in a container so hopefully that helps with pest and once I’m done with their enclosure I’m going to do half of it with the grass also. Thanks I’m on it now
  8. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    Hi everyone I have a question about baby Sulcata shells and how hard should they’d be? Mine hatched July 27th but I feel like their shell aren’t that hard. Could it be what I’m feeding them? I got them on August 27th. I do daily soaks, I bought them the calcium with d3 supplement and I do that 3 times a week, they eat store bought lettuce right now and I’m slowly adding grass, tortoise food, and hibiscus to the mix because they won’t eat it alone. I’m building an outdoor home for them and I’m growing a mix seed grass for them also. Please let me know what I can’t do to help with this. Thanks
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The shell is supposed to be flexible on babies. It should feel like a plastic butter tub lid and have some "give" to it when you press on it. It should not feel spongy.

    Where did you get your baby and how was it started? Indoors or outdoors all day? Daily soaks, or once a week?
  10. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    Aquarium indoors from what I saw and they said soak at least 3 times a week but my research said daily so that’s what I do. They told me to feed them spring mix without spinach and tortoise food. That’s all i really know about their care before me
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    That doesn't sound great, but let's hope for the best. Have you seen these already?
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
  12. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    What I’m doing doesn’t sound great or how they had them? I just want to know if what I’m doing is a good start? When you say hope for the best do you mean they might not be ok lol sorry I’m a little paranoid . Just want healthy babies and to raise them right I’m open to all advice and thank you for taking the time to explain
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The way they were started doesn't sound great. What you are doing sounds great.

    Babies kept outside and started too dry with infrequent soaks sometimes don't make it. No sense worrying. What's done is done. At three soaks a week, your chances are pretty good that they are fine. I prefer daily. Weekly soaks would not bode well.
    Meika likes this.
  14. Kipley

    Kipley Member

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    I was offered a year old Sulcata last week. He was purchased at an expo last October, and has was raised in an enclosed habitat, but it is only 36" x 18". His shell looks good, he seems healthy (we see the vet on Friday, dropping off a fecal today), he is a bit small at 90 grams.
    I need to upgrade and enlarge his enclosure. As a yearling does he need to stay in a closed environment or can he graduate to an open top environment?
  15. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    How trustworthy is tortoise table?
  16. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    1F152DE3-46BE-4D58-9F59-C36740A83875.jpeg So I just built this outdoor enclosure for my baby Sulcatas Tank and Franklin. I want to take away some mulch and add more dirt but does anyone have any suggestions for me to make it better? One photo is of there’s outdoor home and the other is indoor home. THe blocked off square of dirt is grass in growing for them.

    Attached Files:

    Kipley and lorena.r like this.
  17. Meika

    Meika New Member

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    I think this is Better, what do you think? 1C4D8C46-EA9F-4866-A7C9-3DFDF5726E41.jpeg 4DA3E254-6D5C-466B-BC26-76A47E3BD6A7.jpeg
    caffeineNdiesel and Kipley like this.
  18. Rebeez

    Rebeez New Member

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    Tom, thank you so much for your advice about sulcatas and what they need to eat! I am a newbie to this site, and to my new tortoise, so I found your info extremely helpful. Since searching this forum, I've also decided that I should post a pic to be sure that what I have is really a sulcata and not a desert turtle. There is a big difference in the two, so later I'll post a pic and see if anyone can definitely identify my rescued tortoise. Thanks again!
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