Hello from me and my baby Sulcata

meg_a_tarian

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Hi there,

My name is Megan and I'm in San Diego, CA and I'm happy to have found this forum and to be a member now.
I've had my little Sulcata, Tortimus Prime for about 3 months (got him as a hatchling at 28 grams). I'm a little worried about his rate of growth and found this site while doing Google searches about growth, diet and such. I seem to have sussed out a good reptile vet here and do plan to take him next week. He eats well and is very active (Always curious, exploring and excavating EVERYTHING) so I'm hoping that means he is healthy overall. He mainly eats grasses (I bought an "African Grazer" seed mix and grow it for him) I also occasionally feed him Zoo Med grassland tortoise pellets plus dandelion and hibiscus because it grows in my yard. He also gets Herptivite and Rep-cal a couple of times a week. I've attached some pictures, hopefully they come through ok.

20171123_175138.jpg 20171123_173733.jpg
 

Tom

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Hello and welcome. Most of the info you read for this species is wrong. We've been doing it wrong for 30 years based on incorrect assumption about how they live in the wild.

Here is the correct info:
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/

Sounds like he might need a little more protein in the diet. Add in some occasional clover, alfalfa, green beans, peas or regular Mazuri.

Also you should be soaking daily.

What is in the double hood?

I think once you read the threads, you'll realize that you won't be able to maintain the correct heat and humidity with your open topped enclosure. Don't want to overwhelm you with everything at once, but time is critical with little babies. They can't tolerate incorrect conditions for very long.
 

meg_a_tarian

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Hello and welcome. Most of the info you read for this species is wrong. We've been doing it wrong for 30 years based on incorrect assumption about how they live in the wild.

Here is the correct info:
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/

Sounds like he might need a little more protein in the diet. Add in some occasional clover, alfalfa, green beans, peas or regular Mazuri.

Also you should be soaking daily.

What is in the double hood?

I think once you read the threads, you'll realize that you won't be able to maintain the correct heat and humidity with your open topped enclosure. Don't want to overwhelm you with everything at once, but time is critical with little babies. They can't tolerate incorrect conditions for very long.


Thanks for the reply! I haven't found anything saying he should be getting any sort of protein! Quite the opposite. I'll get on that right away.

In the double fixture is an incandescent heat lamp and a CHE. He has a UVB tube in the fixture behind that.

He does get soaked daily. His enclosure is actually only pulled out and open for this picture. I grow orchids and make my own indoor "greenhouses". I modified one of them so his enclosure can slide into the bottom of it. It keeps his humidity and temps pretty consistent. I'm still taking temps and refining as the weather here changes though. A lot of his humidity does come from evaporation trays outside of his enclosure so his substrate may not be as moist as you suggest so I will remedy that as well.

Thanks again for the reply. I will finish reading those threads you posted
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Megan and welcome! There's animal protein and then there's vegetable protein. Tom is saying your new baby could use a bit more vegetable protein in his diet. Animal protein is a no no.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the reply! I haven't found anything saying he should be getting any sort of protein! Quite the opposite. I'll get on that right away.

In the double fixture is an incandescent heat lamp and a CHE. He has a UVB tube in the fixture behind that.

He does get soaked daily. His enclosure is actually only pulled out and open for this picture. I grow orchids and make my own indoor "greenhouses". I modified one of them so his enclosure can slide into the bottom of it. It keeps his humidity and temps pretty consistent. I'm still taking temps and refining as the weather here changes though. A lot of his humidity does come from evaporation trays outside of his enclosure so his substrate may not be as moist as you suggest so I will remedy that as well.

Thanks again for the reply. I will finish reading those threads you posted

Sounds like you've got a good system going there.

Years ago it was incorrectly assumed that any sort of protein was the cause of pyramiding. We now know that to be false, but the "protein boogeyman" continues to haunt books, vets, breeders and other "experts".

What is your baby's current weight after 3 months with you?

Be careful with the vet. There is no class on tortoise husbandry in vet school and most of them don't have a clue, so they go in the back and read from vet handbooks or vet websites that still offer the old, out-dated, incorrect info. Over the years we've had a couple of great vets here that were also long term tortoise keepers, but those are few and far between. If the vet wants to do a "vitamin injection", politely decline and quietly realize that this is a sign of a vet that doesn't know what he/she is doing and is reading out of that previously mentioned old text. Frankly, there is very little a vet, or anybody, can tell about a baby from looking at the outside, there is very little they can do about anything for a hatchling, most of what they offer as treatment for a problem either won't help or makes things worse, and they usually want to treat symptoms while failing to address the actual problem. In short, I don't see the point in going to a vet for a hatchling, and I'm not sure its worth the stress. Just my thoughts on the matter after working closely with many vet for many years.
 

meg_a_tarian

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Update on Tortimus Prime:

Today, Tortimus is a much different little guy, tipping the scales at 130 grams now. Still extremely small for his age but growing everyday (usually up 5-10 grams per week now). Attached lots of pictures including very first picture! All of they others are from today


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Tom

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Update on Tortimus Prime:

Today, Tortimus is a much different little guy, tipping the scales at 130 grams now. Still extremely small for his age but growing everyday (usually up 5-10 grams per week now).

This is great news! At 130 grams and growing, whatever you are doing is working well for the little guy.
 

meg_a_tarian

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2019 Update on Tortimus Prime.

The news is that she (we believe it's a girl) is doing awesome. I'm trying to post some great growth pictures. We'll see if I get them to come through correctly. (We ONLY put her in that bowl for the picture, we'd never cramp her up like that otherwise)



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EllieMay

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Shes looking great! What’s her weight now? I have one about a year older than yours and two a year younger.. luv these babies!
 

AZtortMom

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She looks great [emoji106]
 

meg_a_tarian

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2020 update on my girl

Still thriving, with a smooth shell and a gorgeous golden, toasty color.

Here she is (literally) weighing in at 5.4 pounds. She doesn't like the scale so a good picture was hard!
 

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Jacob Duckett

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I just got a baby sulcata as well. Welcome to the fourm! I am working on my enclosure now. Yours looks great!
 
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