New, advice appreciated!

TurtisTime

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May 31, 2018
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texas
Hi everyone! I'm a new sulcata mom! Here hoping for some much needed advice. This is Michelle, I'm pretty sure she is female anyway. She is almost 6" across her belly (is that how you guys measure?) and I have no idea how old she is. My boss' kids found her walking up their drive way one day. She lived with us at our tattoo shop (in the back) for about a year. I've been researching and trying to educate myself. In that time I realized that the conditions for her at the shop were not great. She was perfectly smooth when she first arrived but has begun to develope pyramiding :( Finally I have brought her to live at home with me. I feel like I could really use some help to make sure that I am doing this right. Thanks for reading and any advice you can give me. Please, feel free to let a rip on anything I'm doing wrong!

Already I have learned a very hard lesson. Well, when I brought her home I thought she'd be elated to be outside. And she was, at first. But I live in Texas and it is already very hot. Monday morning I put her outside, she sunned herself, and then proceeded to bolt around my yard eating tons of grass and weeds. She was running like a maniac. I've seen her move really quickly but I had no idea just how fast she can go! I left her outside in this cage for 5 hours while I went to work. Brought her in to sleep. She spent most of her time outside on tuesday and wednesday too. She ate a little on Tuesday. But it was only romaine (all I could get her to take). She hasn't eaten sense, it has been 3 days sense she ate at all. She just wants to sleep and drink water. Obviously I should have acclimated her to the outdoors slower? I feel horrible! Will she be alright? Or is this normal acclimating behavior? She went out for about 20 mins of sun this morning but otherwise I've had her inside the tank which is 80 degrees right now. Is there anything else I should do to help her recuperate? She's usually very full of energy. I feel terrible and hope I can just learn from this and help her feel better.

Here are pics of her outdoor enclosure. Not sure why some of the pics are sideways. She sleeps in the house in a 95gal bow front tank at night where the temp is maintained at 70-80 degrees and humidity around 40-50%. I'd like to let her stay outside most of the time eventually, right? How much is ok for now?
 

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wellington

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Welcome. Is she 6 inches side to side or front to back? She looks bigger then 6 inches front too back.
She needs a very large space planted with grass and safe edible weeds and flowers to graze on. The pillow needs to go and romaine is mostly water so a much needed better diet with lots of variety. If she is 10 inches of larger front to back bottom shell she should be living outside 24/7 with a night box that you lock her into at night too sleep. Check out all the stickie threads in the sulcata section.
 

daniellenc

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https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Welcome and definitely start here!! She looks pretty big and given shade and water access should be ok 5 hours at a time no problem. Could she have eaten a plant or weed that’s not tort safe? Do you use pesticides in your yard? Are you soaking her daily?

Your indoor temps are too cool and humidity too low. Cold temps will make them sluggish.
 

TurtisTime

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Yes soaking daily. Sometimes more than once when she looks dry. We don't use pesticides and the only things i saw her eat (tried to keep a good eye on her while she was in the yard) was little baby pecan tree sprouts, dry leaves, cosmos plant, and garden salvia. I know she should be mostly fed grass. I am concerned about how sleepy she is and why she wont eat.
 

TurtisTime

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Location (City and/or State)
texas
Welcome. Is she 6 inches side to side or front to back? She looks bigger then 6 inches front too back.
She needs a very large space planted with grass and safe edible weeds and flowers to graze on. The pillow needs to go and romaine is mostly water so a much needed better diet with lots of variety. If she is 10 inches of larger front to back bottom shell she should be living outside 24/7 with a night box that you lock her into at night too sleep. Check out all the stickie threads in the sulcata section.

the pillow?
 

TurtisTime

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Location (City and/or State)
texas
Welcome. Is she 6 inches side to side or front to back? She looks bigger then 6 inches front too back.
She needs a very large space planted with grass and safe edible weeds and flowers to graze on. The pillow needs to go and romaine is mostly water so a much needed better diet with lots of variety. If she is 10 inches of larger front to back bottom shell she should be living outside 24/7 with a night box that you lock her into at night too sleep. Check out all the stickie threads in the sulcata section.
6' side to side sorry
 

TurtisTime

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So, what do you guys think? Did I cause her heat exhaustion? She's used to being inside for the past year. Or does it sound like she ate something bad? Or is she trying to acclimate to a new environment??

PS. She has been drinking normal and made a solid poo today
 

TurtisTime

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Starting under her head measure her shells length lengthwise.
Ok I'll do that when I wake her up tomorrow. Idon't want to disturb her right now. I don't think she is 10 inches though. More like 8" would be my guess. Thanks so much for all the help so far. She usually loves to eat, I hope I can figure out what went wrong :(
 

TurtisTime

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She still has yet to eat. I'm keeping her inside at 85 degrees except for short trips outdoors for sunshine and grazing opportunities. If anyone has ideas what may be going on here I'm all ears. Or well- eyes.
 

daniellenc

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Not eating at first is normal. I’d contact the seller and see what she was fed prior starting with that.
 

Yvonne G

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on her tummy?
Place your tape ruler at the wall then place the tortoise on or next to the tape ruler with her head pushed into the wall.

measuring-tortoise-size-fig1.png
 

Yvonne G

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So, what do you guys think? Did I cause her heat exhaustion? She's used to being inside for the past year. Or does it sound like she ate something bad? Or is she trying to acclimate to a new environment??

PS. She has been drinking normal and made a solid poo today

If she's used to eating grocery store food then she gorged on grass and weeds, she MAY have a bit of an upset stomach. Soak her daily for at least a half hour.
 

TurtisTime

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Thank you! I've actually been feeding her grass for the past year. She wasn't living with me, but she is now. She lived at the place where I work. Let's just say in a 55 gal w a light and lamp. I would take her outside 10-25 mins at a time 2-3 times 5xper week. I brought plants from my garden like sunflower. I've also been gathering grass and dandelions from the field I live Nextel to. I've been trying to feed her all these things, especially the ones I know she likes. She won't take it.
Question: sometimes when she was outside she lay stretched out, with her head limp to the sides. Sometimes it seemed like she was enjoying her nap. But now I'm like @&#^\j* is that normal? What do I do now? Her tank is 85 degrees. Is that too much right now? I'm soaking her twice a day. Too much? There definitely wasn't enough humidity in her previous enclosure either.
 

TurtisTime

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Also, this morning I made her a soup bath. With squash, turnip greens, and spinach. She made a ueric acid poop (some used to feed her fruit.) and 6 stools. Took her out for 30 mins of sun at 9am. She slept the rest of the day and did not eat.
 
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