How big should a three year old Suclata Tortoise be?

angelique9929

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I have a three year old Sulcata tortoise (may be a bit older but we've had her for three years) that I got when I was nine. I definitely was not the best tortoise owner only being nine years old. I may not be much older but I've definitely matured since then and realized my flaws in caretaking.

When I got her she fit in the palm of my hand. Now however, she's grown well over the size of both my hands put together. It seems though, that she's been that size forever. When I think about it, I don't feel like she's grown much in the last 2 years. Her first year she quickly grew, but now if feels as though she's been the same size forever. I want to make sure that she's growing as much as she should, which brings on my question. How big should a three year old sulcata be? For more context I'll add a bit on her enclosure.

Her enclosure is a large plastic storage container that's about 49 inches (length) by 16 inches (width) with a height of 11 inches. I don't know if this enclosure is large enough to allow her to grow more. However, she spends most of her time on the floor of my room (with me supervising) and outside. She'll wake up and bask under her heat lamp for a while, then I'll take her outside to eat and exercise. After a 1-2 hours I bring her in and put her into her enclosure where she'll go and sleep/relax. After another hour or so she'll start scratching and attempting to escape, so I'll let her out onto the floor of my room or take her outside again.

Another quick note about her enclosure, she has this sort of dirt substrate that we recently got for her. It used to be sand, but after noticing some redness on her shell and taking her to the vet I learned that the sand was very bad for her.
 

Tom

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They should be 20-30 pounds by three years old.

That enclosure is less than a quarter of the size this tortoise needs. You need something bigger ASAP.

Loose on the floor is a recipe for disaster. I would not do that anymore. Same with loose in the back yard. Make a safe enclosure to contain the tortoise. Make sure there is lots of heavy shade in summer.

This will help you:
 

angelique9929

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Thank you for your advice. I'm worried for her, she might be 10 pounds at most. We dont have many options for bigger housing at the moment. What will happen if she continues to live in her enclosure now? Will it worsen her overall health?
 

wellington

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Thank you for your advice. I'm worried for her, she might be 10 pounds at most. We dont have many options for bigger housing at the moment. What will happen if she continues to live in her enclosure now? Will it worsen her overall health?
If you can't get her a bigger enclosure asap then rehome her. She has to have room to roam to build muscle strength or she soon will not be able to walk. The enclosure she is in now is for a hatchling not a 3 year old. She is small because she had and still has poor care.
Imagine you living in a small closet with barely enough room to turn around.
Things have to change now for her or do the right thing and rehome her.
 

angelique9929

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How big should her enclosure be? I'm trying to find a way to get her a large enough enclosure. Would an outdoor one be good? I'm just worried it wouldn't be very safe. Would it be possible to leave her out during the day and bring her in at night?
 
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