My Sulcatas born and raised in Ivory Coast

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Nov 10, 2019
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22
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Abidjan
Hi everybody,
a while ago I introduced myself in the appropriate section.
Due to a lack of time I didn't have the time to make a real thread about my 3 tortoises.
Here they are, they are approx 5 month old, hatched naturally, outside without any man interaction during the rainy season.
I named them Mango, Bongo & Congo.

The smallest one was really dark when I got it, that's why he was named Congo, but he is getting lighter
The biggest one is Mango, he was bigger than the other since the beginning
And there is Bongo, who is slightly smaller than Mango.

I don't have a scale to weigh them yet, but I will in a couple days. They had 2 big growth spurts for now, I'm waiting for the next one :)

The have been outside since the beginning, I don't have a picture of the finished enclosure "in situ" but I have one when it was near completion. The dimension are 2 meters x 2 meters, 25 cm in height, with a hide that is 2 m long and 40 cm deep.

They are in there natural habitat, so need to get uv bulbs or any heat source, as the temperature and humidity is spot on here.
It's so much fun to observe their behavior, one fun fact is whenever it's pouring rain, (so half the time...) no matter the hour, even at night, they rush out their hide and stand high on their legs and spread their necks first so they get soaking wet and then search for food everywhere, even if they ate like pigs 2 hours ago.

I also simulate rainy season every 2 day with the garden hose

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Last edited:

ZenHerper

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They're really beautiful!

And you've illustrated so well what many modern herp lovers are sure of: no matter the climate adults find themselves in, their young require and seek out hydration.

Welcome!
 
Joined
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Abidjan
Growth monitoring has only been by measurement of the plastron.
So in almost five month:
Mango went from 2.16 to 2.97
Bongo went from 1.96 to 2.75
Congo went from 1.88 to 2.55

Their diet consist of plenty of Opuntia cactus, different kind of African weeds, African dandelion, hibiscus leaves and flowers, lambs lettuce and grass and sometimes Pok choi and endives and moringa.

I try progressively to select and feed them food that they only eat in their natural habitat, but documentation and knowledge of the gardener is not optimal.

I don't soak them daily, the rain take care of it, and they have a big shallow water area where they soak "by themselves", and on top of that I simulate monsoon when the weather has been dry for a couple of days.

The big rainy season is starting to take place, so I won't need to do that anymore until the next dry season
 

Tom

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What are the temperatures there? Daytime high and overnight low?
 
Joined
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Abidjan
Here is two charts :)

To better understand
 

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Joined
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Abidjan
You are near the coast then? Are these temps a bit cooler than farther inland?

Yes I am near the coast,
I was a bit wrong, it ranges from 70 to 85, (95 being rare) and usually couple hours before heavy monsoon rainfall.

Farther inland "extreme north" is actually slightly hotter but mostly drier and colder at night, below 20 is not rare.
Farther inland " Center" is more basically the same but constant in high humidity ( above 80 mostly) lots of forest etc...
 

Tom

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Yes I am near the coast,
I was a bit wrong, it ranges from 70 to 85, (95 being rare) and usually couple hours before heavy monsoon rainfall.

Farther inland "extreme north" is actually slightly hotter but mostly drier and colder at night, below 20 is not rare.
Farther inland " Center" is more basically the same but constant in high humidity ( above 80 mostly) lots of forest etc...
Thank you for this info.
 
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Abidjan
Little update,
They seem to start to grow fairly well
I've bought a kitchen scale, and been weighing them for 3 weeks,
They seem to pack on 10g a week.

The monsoon season is a month away, so now the temperature are quite hot, so they are really active from 5 am to around 10 Pm
then they hide in the burrows they dig all around their enclosure, and go out again an hour or so before dawn.
They are eating hibiscus flowers and leaves mixed with opuntia, and natural grass.

My guessing is that they will eat even more during the rainy season.
 
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Abidjan
Little update, i see a lot of people monitoring the growth of their sulcatas, so to add my data i'll show their growth here
They have had a slow start but now they start packing on grams.
The monsoon season is here, heavy rains at least 6 to 8 hours a day and 98% humidity, it seems to really make their appetite even bigger.
So here is the first weighing "as a reference point"
I'll update every month.

Just a reminder of their diet:
Hibiscus and hardy hibiscus leaves and flowers (red ans white), opuntia pads, grass, various garden weeds, moringa leaves, banana leaves ocasionnaly and sweet potato leaves. They much on cuttlefish bones.

Just a reminder of their enclosure:

2mx2m outside enclosure with several hiding spots
substrate is a mix of soil and sand
the top is protected by wire mesh.

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Sarah2020

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Lovely to see and read about them keep us updated in future month on growth. At least you know the size they will be in years to come. Keep that shell moist you want to avoid pyramiding and drying out.
 
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Nov 10, 2019
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Abidjan
Thanks, regularly soaked by me and daily soaked by heavy flash rain at least once a day :) for more than half of the year.
Dry season is getting started, i'll soak more often because rain will stop for at least 4 month...
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
Abidjan
Thank you Aloysius, but i have way less merit than the people raising them in the northern hemisphere ! After all they are raised in their home land.
All they eat in their natural habitat are readily available in my garden.
I don't have to buy expensive UVB or heating lamps etc... as well as soaking as humidity levels are constantly above 85 to 95.
 

maggie3fan

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Awesome to see. I'm trying hard to keep Sulcata in the Pacific NorthWest USA. You might just hang out for a while here and tell us more about keeping tortoises in their homeland
 
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