Michigan ISO

Alexolivia

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Hello! I’m from Michigan and am looking for a place to adopt a sulcata or buy a hatchling!
 

Tom

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Hello! I’m from Michigan and am looking for a place to adopt a sulcata or buy a hatchling!
I'll have some hatchlings in another month or so, but have your really thought this through? How will you house an active tropical giant reptile that needs huge space and warm temps year round?
 

Alexolivia

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Michigan
I'll have some hatchlings in another month or so, but have your really thought this through? How will you house an active tropical giant reptile that needs huge space and warm temps year round?

yes! We already have the lights and set up. My boyfriend and had a hatchling already and it unfortunately died in the middle of the night after tipping on her back. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to give a little baby the perfect home!
 

KarenSoCal

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It's good that you already have a setup for a baby.

But in a few years that baby will weigh around 100 lbs or more. S(he) will be strong enough to move heavy furniture, will eat huge amounts of greens, will knock fences over, and break sprinkler systems and eat or trample any plant smaller than an oak. It will have a very stubborn mind of its own, and will willfully deny any thought you may have in regards to being the one in charge.

It will also need to be kept above 80°F every day and night of the year. Are you ready to possibly give up an entire room or basement of your house for all winter? Or build a super insulated and expensively heated shed in a garage with enough space for it to exercise in order to digest it's food?

Living in MI makes sully keeping a full time job just to keep it warm enough. If the power goes out for a few days in winter, it's life or death for that tortoise. Read a couple of the threads on here from folks that live in TX.

I know I sound really pessimistic. But over the few years I've been on the forum, I've seen multiple posts where a sully grew too big for the keepers to care for it, so that tortoise loses the only home and people it has ever known, as well as the heartache that the owners suffer. Adult tortoises do not adapt quickly to small changes, let alone major ones like that.

I would love to see you give a baby a home, and you will have years of enjoyment. Just please remember that the tortoise is going to outlive you. This is truly a lifelong undertaking. I want keepers to go into this with wide open eyes, so they'll never say "I didn't realize..." or "I had no idea...".

If you haven't read this thread, please do. You may get a good laugh from it and that would be great. But there's a lot of wisdom in it too.

 

Mizcreant

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It can be quite expensive for us northerners to get things set up just right for these guys. I've sunk about $4K into my outdoor enclosure so far and have a generator backup for emergencies (additional $500). Then I had to set up an "impenetrable" fence around his area to ensure he wouldn't escape (additional $700). Then I bought web cams to spy on him throughout the day; programming them with "zones" just in case he did escape (additional $600). Then I added a standby heater in addition to the oil-filled heater he already had (additional $40). I've spent nearly $600 for 2 vet visits over the past 3 years. I plan to expand his house this Spring with an indoor heated soaking tub (estimating $800-900) and also expanding the fencing (additional $300 +/-). It adds up quick ESPECIALLY if you live in a colder climate. I know a lot of folks who plan to keep their sulcatas indoors and allow to free-range. All I can say is "good luck with that". lol
 

Alexolivia

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Michigan
We are more than ready to prepare as they grow. We have two extra bedrooms in our house, a full basement and a big yard. Is there any other tortoises you guys would recommend that may be easier being in Michigan?
 

Chubbs the tegu

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We are more than ready to prepare as they grow. We have two extra bedrooms in our house, a full basement and a big yard. Is there any other tortoises you guys would recommend that may be easier being in Michigan?
Burmese stars are awesome! Bit more pricey.. but beautiful and great personalities ( without the destructive behavior)
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Is the care much different than sulcatas? Also do you know where in Michigan they have them?
Pretty much the same care only diff is stars have a lil less grass in their diets. I had mine shipped( inever had a prob having one shipped) there are several breeders on here that have beautiful babies..cant go wrong w any of them
 

KarenSoCal

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We are more than ready to prepare as they grow. We have two extra bedrooms in our house, a full basement and a big yard. Is there any other tortoises you guys would recommend that may be easier being in Michigan?

Check out leopards. Depending on the sub species, they can get some size to them. But nothing like sulcatas. You still need to keep them warm, but they are not so destructive, and you can pick them up.

@Tom breeds them. He can tell you more about them and what they're like.
 

Melymann

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Feb 13, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
I’m in Michigan Too!! I have a one year old Eastern Hermanns that I ordered as a hatchling from Tortstork. Great experience. I think you will be very thankful if you go with a smaller tortoise. I just finished modifying my enclosure because it has been difficult to maintain the humidity when temps fell below zero and the furnace ran non stop.
 

Belair63

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Feb 18, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Hamilton Ontario
It can be quite expensive for us northerners to get things set up just right for these guys. I've sunk about $4K into my outdoor enclosure so far and have a generator backup for emergencies (additional $500). Then I had to set up an "impenetrable" fence around his area to ensure he wouldn't escape (additional $700). Then I bought web cams to spy on him throughout the day; programming them with "zones" just in case he did escape (additional $600). Then I added a standby heater in addition to the oil-filled heater he already had (additional $40). I've spent nearly $600 for 2 vet visits over the past 3 years. I plan to expand his house this Spring with an indoor heated soaking tub (estimating $800-900) and also expanding the fencing (additional $300 +/-). It adds up quick ESPECIALLY if you live in a colder climate. I know a lot of folks who plan to keep their sulcatas indoors and allow to free-range. All I can say is "good luck with that". lol
Very true
 

wellington

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If you are near Cadillac Michigan, do a search for a tortoise rescue there. A person that used to be a member of the forum runs one. She may have a variety of tortoises including sulcata that need a home.
If you have the money, it's not as hard as those that don't live in the north think, just more costly.
When young you will need the same kind of enclosure everyone else needs no matter where they live.
Depending on species, you will either need a large heated shed for the cold months or an average size room. Winter is where the added expense comes in the most. Although most everyone has to provide heated shelter, just not for as long or usually not for as cold of temps.
There is no aquarium that is suitable for a tortoise past hatchling to approx.age of around 3 years or so.
 
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