For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata...

bluewolf

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
Melbourne Florida
When you measure a tortoises length do u go by the their shell?


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]


The vet used a caliper. She measured it from right behind the neck to where the shell starts down, then measure the down part and add. She also did the width. I really love the rf shell it is pretty . Btw I cannot measure as well as write. Mine was 3.5 when I got him 2 mo ago. Now he is 4 or a tad more and 125 -135 g. My friend and I have been keeping track of weight like once a month
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,409
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
A friend sent me a pic of the tort she rescued. I was confused because she kept ‘sonara’ tortoise. But I do have a pretty nice pick if anyone wants to see it
If you are looking for a tortoise ID, please start a new thread and post your picture there.
 

Thatrandomsum1

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
I got a seed pack of cloves and sprinkle it around his enclosure every once in a while to keep up with eating habits along with pellets and mazuri. He seems to enjoy eating the natural grasses and cloves and it looks more realistic in my opinion
 
M

mew

Guest
Thanks for your post! I want to ask about the behavior of sulcata turtles!
 

Becky Parker

New Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Bullhead City, AZ
Over and over I type up and answer diet questions and try to get people feeding the right stuff, but I find that the "norm" is grocery store food. Grocery store food is expensive, a hassle to obtain, and very low on the list of what is best for sulcatas.

These tortoises are GRASS eaters. From the moment they hatch, until the day they die, grass should be a large part of their diet. Spring mix, romaine, kale and other greens are okay as a small part of a varied diet, but should not be the bulk of the diet. If someone must feed grocery store foods, the pile should be sprinkled with grass clippings or "Salad Style". For those who like the convenience of pre-packaged, easy to handle stuff, "Salad Style" is basically finely blended up grass hay that can be sprinkled over any other food to add bulk and fiber. I got my "Salad Style" from Tyler at tortoisesupply.com.

For those that have a lawn, or access to one: Get a tub, get some scissors, get down on your knees, and go to work! It is so EASY to cut a few handfuls of fresh, green, tender, young grass, and dramatically improve your baby sulcatas diet. Any kind of grass will work. Finely chop it for little tortoises and sprinkle it all over the other food, or feed it by itself in a pile. Do be careful about lawn chemicals and pesticides. If you have a gardener, or its not your lawn, use extreme caution. Live in a condo or apartment complex? Don't do it. Not worth the risk, no matter what they tell you. Just grow your own grass in pots on your patio or window sills. Friends, family and neighbors might be able to help you out here.

For those who still just love the grocery store: Most stores are now selling little plastic pots of live, freshly sprouted, organic wheat grass. You can find it at many pet stores too. This is a great way to add grass to the diet of a young sulcata. Get your scissors, hold the pot over the food pile and chop away. Water it and keep the pot in a window sill, and in a few days, you'll have more. You might need several pots as your baby grows, or you can buy seed from one of our site sponsors (Thank you Carolina Pet Supply) and sprout even bigger trays of it yourself.

Some of you may find that your "grass eating" tortoise wants nothing to do with eating grass. This should surprise no one, since most breeders and most keepers never even attempt to feed actual grass to their grass eating tortoise babies. So sad! I can tell you from first hand experience with literally HUNDREDS of babies, they WILL eat it. It may take a month or more to slowly introduce it, but PLEASE, slowly introduce it.

Other items that are good for babies and young sulcatas:
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food


When sulcatas get a little older and bigger, usually around 10-12" for me, they will start munching on plain, dry grass hay, all on their own. I like orchard grass hay the best for this, but I also used bermuda grass hay for years too. When they hit this stage, life gets MUCH easier. Just make sure you have drinking water readily available when they start eating hay, and consider soaking regularly if you are not 100% sure your tortoise is drinking enough, or if you live in a really dry area, like me.

I live in a desert and yet there is still green stuff all around me. I beg you to take a walk and learn about all the green stuff around you, INSTEAD of driving to the store again. Instead of a trip to the grocery store, take a trip to a local nursery for some weed IDs, and tips on growing your own stuff. What could be better than stepping out into your backyard and collecting all the free, healthy tortoise food you can carry? Think of the gas savings! Anyone who is a tortoise keeper, ought to be somewhat of a gardener too.

I beg of you... PLEASE stop the grocery store MADNESS!!! :D

We're approaching the fall months here, as we all know, and I have been thinking about this topic. I live in Iowa, we have very cold winters where almost everything stops growing. I don't want to have to rely on store bought foods for half the year. I've been thinking about making almost like a salad dressing puree from the different things I have growing now and weeds that are around. What are your thoughts on this? I'd do a few different purees, like a flower based one, weed based and so forth. My Idea with this is I can freeze it and still be able to provide the variety that my torts need all year round, just in a different fashion. I have even thought of making the puree and freezing it in ice cube trays to provide something like a homemade mazuri. Is this as good of an idea as I think it is?


I know what I'm asking isn't really sulcata specific, but after reading the thread I thought it would fit in :)

 

EllyMae

Active Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
106
Location (City and/or State)
Shellman, GA
What about Timothy hay? I have heard it recommended and also heard it is horrible for tortoises.
which is it?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,409
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
What about Timothy hay? I have heard it recommended and also heard it is horrible for tortoises.
which is it?
I don't like Timothy hay because it is too stemmy. I don't know why anyone would say its horrible for tortoises. Its not bad or harmful in any way and if your tortoise likes it and wants to eat it, then go for it. I prefer orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay, and there is no reason you can't use all three!

Thinking more about it, many people, for whatever reason, like to put a handful of grass hay into the damp indoor enclosures of non grass eating species. I see this all the time with Russians and hermanni. I can't understand why anyone would do this because those species aren't grass eaters, won't eat dry hay, and the hay is a mold risk. In that case, then I think it is "horrible", but that would extend to any kind of hay used in that way, not just Timothy.
 

Meika

New Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Does anyone else babies do this? They just started doing this and the crazy part is the one that’s not the dominant one is on top smh. Idk if he feels like he’s not making enough room for him or if he is trying to dominate him now. I have set up a second home to separate them but I was trying to let the grass grow a little first in there. What should I do to stop this? 28C1806C-483D-44DE-A77E-E562F20F4B60.jpeg
 

TechnoCheese

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
4,164
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Does anyone else babies do this? They just started doing this and the crazy part is the one that’s not the dominant one is on top smh. Idk if he feels like he’s not making enough room for him or if he is trying to dominate him now. I have set up a second home to separate them but I was trying to let the grass grow a little first in there. What should I do to stop this? View attachment 291770
The easiest way to stop it is to just go ahead and separate them. Any grass will be trampled regardless, so I would move one ASAP
 

Srmcclure

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,684
Location (City and/or State)
Oklahoma city
I don't like Timothy hay because it is too stemmy. I don't know why anyone would say its horrible for tortoises. Its not bad or harmful in any way and if your tortoise likes it and wants to eat it, then go for it. I prefer orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay, and there is no reason you can't use all three!

Thinking more about it, many people, for whatever reason, like to put a handful of grass hay into the damp indoor enclosures of non grass eating species. I see this all the time with Russians and hermanni. I can't understand why anyone would do this because those species aren't grass eaters, won't eat dry hay, and the hay is a mold risk. In that case, then I think it is "horrible", but that would extend to any kind of hay used in that way, not just Timothy.
My SA Leo loves his wheatgrass and cat grass and hes only 7 months. I guess I'm lucky?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,409
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
My SA Leo loves his wheatgrass and cat grass and hes only 7 months. I guess I'm lucky?
Normal for the SA type. They eat grass like sulcatas. I feed mine identically to my sulctas. They always have grass hay available, and I give them other stuff like opuntia, mulberry or grape leaves, weeds, fresh grass, etc... sporadically.
 

KG605

New Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
New York City
Over and over I type up and answer diet questions and try to get people feeding the right stuff, but I find that the "norm" is grocery store food. Grocery store food is expensive, a hassle to obtain, and very low on the list of what is best for sulcatas.

These tortoises are GRASS eaters. From the moment they hatch, until the day they die, grass should be a large part of their diet. Spring mix, romaine, kale and other greens are okay as a small part of a varied diet, but should not be the bulk of the diet. If someone must feed grocery store foods, the pile should be sprinkled with grass clippings or "Salad Style". For those who like the convenience of pre-packaged, easy to handle stuff, "Salad Style" is basically finely blended up grass hay that can be sprinkled over any other food to add bulk and fiber. I got my "Salad Style" from Tyler at tortoisesupply.com.

For those that have a lawn, or access to one: Get a tub, get some scissors, get down on your knees, and go to work! It is so EASY to cut a few handfuls of fresh, green, tender, young grass, and dramatically improve your baby sulcatas diet. Any kind of grass will work. Finely chop it for little tortoises and sprinkle it all over the other food, or feed it by itself in a pile. Do be careful about lawn chemicals and pesticides. If you have a gardener, or its not your lawn, use extreme caution. Live in a condo or apartment complex? Don't do it. Not worth the risk, no matter what they tell you. Just grow your own grass in pots on your patio or window sills. Friends, family and neighbors might be able to help you out here.

For those who still just love the grocery store: Most stores are now selling little plastic pots of live, freshly sprouted, organic wheat grass. You can find it at many pet stores too. This is a great way to add grass to the diet of a young sulcata. Get your scissors, hold the pot over the food pile and chop away. Water it and keep the pot in a window sill, and in a few days, you'll have more. You might need several pots as your baby grows, or you can buy seed from one of our site sponsors (Thank you Carolina Pet Supply) and sprout even bigger trays of it yourself.

Some of you may find that your "grass eating" tortoise wants nothing to do with eating grass. This should surprise no one, since most breeders and most keepers never even attempt to feed actual grass to their grass eating tortoise babies. So sad! I can tell you from first hand experience with literally HUNDREDS of babies, they WILL eat it. It may take a month or more to slowly introduce it, but PLEASE, slowly introduce it.

Other items that are good for babies and young sulcatas:
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food


When sulcatas get a little older and bigger, usually around 10-12" for me, they will start munching on plain, dry grass hay, all on their own. I like orchard grass hay the best for this, but I also used bermuda grass hay for years too. When they hit this stage, life gets MUCH easier. Just make sure you have drinking water readily available when they start eating hay, and consider soaking regularly if you are not 100% sure your tortoise is drinking enough, or if you live in a really dry area, like me.

I live in a desert and yet there is still green stuff all around me. I beg you to take a walk and learn about all the green stuff around you, INSTEAD of driving to the store again. Instead of a trip to the grocery store, take a trip to a local nursery for some weed IDs, and tips on growing your own stuff. What could be better than stepping out into your backyard and collecting all the free, healthy tortoise food you can carry? Think of the gas savings! Anyone who is a tortoise keeper, ought to be somewhat of a gardener too.

I beg of you... PLEASE stop the grocery store MADNESS!!! :D
Thank you for the information. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I know this is an old thread but my 2yr old boy Charlie is getting picky these days. We live in an apartment and he is currently on Zoo Med Grassland Tortoise Food. He gets red peppers as a treat as well as arugala. I have access to fresh untouched grass at my parent house but only ever 3 weeks or so. He has roamed there before and did not eat the grass and weeds at all. But I'll try sneaking some in there. I'm going to try and grow some grass on my windowsill.
Thanks
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,409
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you for the information. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I know this is an old thread but my 2yr old boy Charlie is getting picky these days. We live in an apartment and he is currently on Zoo Med Grassland Tortoise Food. He gets red peppers as a treat as well as arugala. I have access to fresh untouched grass at my parent house but only ever 3 weeks or so. He has roamed there before and did not eat the grass and weeds at all. But I'll try sneaking some in there. I'm going to try and grow some grass on my windowsill.
Thanks
Hello and welcome. I recently remade the care sheet. Check this out for more info on feeding:
 
TortoiseSupply.com

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