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New caregiver to Desert Tortoise need advice.

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by BILL IV, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. Anilasor

    Anilasor New Member

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    Great idea! And you're right! We learn something new every day but forget half the next! Lol!
  2. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I don’t like store bought stuff
    Much ! Cause if you look at people food you’ll see they add a lot of stuff to it to cut cost like salt (they add it of salt to soup and sugar so it don’t taste as salty!cuddle bone can choke a tort and cuddle fish are from salt water . But in the wild your tort finds lizard , bird eggshells for Calcium. Someone posted that it takes longer for a tort to take in egg shell calcium . But that was whole eggshells . Not eggshell powder . But I mix eggshell powder with carbonate calcium. But I have 51 torts so I buy 5 pounds of carbonate calcium. Carbonate calcium is taken in to the torts system faster .
  3. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Interesting thanks! That's what I was wondering usually the store bought stuff does seem to have a lot of different ingredients made up of a lot of fillers. I think I will try this maybe mix the powder with the pellet mush and gut load the snap peas with it and see how that goes. This might be a difficult question to answer considering you have a legion of terrestrial tanks! I have the one 20 year old guy. What do you think would be a good amount to include? Some every meal, every other meal, once a week? I don't think the previous owners ever gave any such stuff so I'm sure he is deficient in that area. Once again thanks for the knowledge and advice!
  4. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I f your talking calcium? The TFO says a very little bit once or twice a week .If your talking about Mazuri o the bag it says Mazuri or other pellet food should not be more then 20 percent of your torts diet.
  5. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Cool thanks! That helps! great information.
  6. DesertGirl12

    DesertGirl12 New Member

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    You mentioned you have a mulberry tree. The mulberry leaves are great for your tort. Mine prefers the newer growth leaves better. That’s something else you have already for him!
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  7. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Yeah I have offered it to him and he will eat it and then not eat it depends on his mood I guess.
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  8. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Okay so Morty update and behavior question. So since Friday he will come out for breakfast after quite a bit of coaxing. Then when I get him to come over to his food paver he takes a couple of munches and then turns and starts to walk away. When I hold a green bean in front of him he'll eat it and as I get him to come back to the pile of fresh food he'll maybe take a bite and then just turn around and head back in his burrow. But if I sit there and feed him one snap pea, green bean at a time he'll keep eating more. If he was hungry wouldn't he eat it up like I've seen him do before? Or do they just not want to eat sometimes? Could he still be adjusting to his new digs? I'm just confused since I don't know what his normal is I'm at a loss. Any suggestions or ideas are welcome! Thanks!!!
  9. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes to all of the reasons you listed....i would pick early am for food offerings and then try afternoon in a shady spot and then late day...i would try a time for each day to see if time of day is a key factor for the tort.....it is super hot the last week and even the torts here are not on routine for their normal munching....
  10. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Thanks for replying! Yes I feed him in the morning around 7:30 before I go to work and around 7pm when I get home from work. He seemed okay with that schedule it kind of mimicked his previous schedule. Unfortunately he use to have people and dogs around him during the day and now only sees me in the morning and evening except on the weekends when I try and go out there more often. Also when he comes out in the evening I usually stay out there within until he heads back to his burrow. I was thinking it could be heat related also. Like you said I'm in Lancaster area and it's been triple digits! Heck on Sunday when I went out there at 9 am it was already 92! I gave him a good soak on Friday and he drank and peed so I'm assuming he's hydrated. I spray his area to dampen the ground make it a little cooler. I put the food in shaded spots. I'm just hope I'm doing things right! Do your torts not eat as much when it's super hot? Do they prefer cooler temps?
  11. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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    Mazuri doesn't say that. They say that if you add fruit and vegetables to the diet, they should not be in concentrations of more than 5% and 20% of the diet. At least that's what my Mazuri tortoise food bag states. Nothing about limiting the actual Mazuri pellets.

    My understanding is that Mazuri is the only commercial tortoise food that provides the complete nutrition that a tortoise needs. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that, I've only had tortoises for about a year so I'm far from an expert.

    My desert tortoises love the Mazuri pellets, they act like it's candy. I soak the pellets in water so it's easier for them to eat (they are only a year old).
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  12. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    I still need to try that stuff. See if he likes it.
  13. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Hello ALL!

    An update and questions. Morty is doing good eating, pooping, running around and seems in generally good spirits. Now the weather is changing and his previous caretaker told me this morning I should bring him in for his winter sleep. I'm wondering should I stop feeding him. now and wait for a week for him to clear his guts or bring him in now? Also he doesn't seem to be slowing down or not eating like everyone says they should when they are ready. I'm wondering if I bring him in will he just go to sleep or will he be like hey what's going on and spend all his time trying to get out? Since this is my first time with him during this period of time I want to make sure I'm getting things right. This week's weather is nighttime lows of down to 40's to high of 85 daytime. I still need to make his sleep chamber. I'm thinking the box in a box with news paper is the route I will take. Also could you use the pink insulation foam boards instead of newsprint for insulation? Thanks for all the help and advice it's been very helpful!
  14. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Its much too warm during the day to bring him in just yet, and our night are too cold to leave them out if they don't have a burrow.

    In the wild, they spend most of their time deep underground to avoid the temperature extremes at the surface. In summer, the ground is 80 degrees. In winter, its a steady 49-50. Above ground temperature extremes are not good for them. Hibernation is a whole process. Its not as easy as just bringing them inside one day. Its too hot outside most days in winter, and too cold at night. Like wise, any normal house is much too warm for them to hibernate in, and day to night, or day to day temperature fluctuations are also bad.

    Scroll down to post number 19 of this thread for a more detailed explanation of the hibernation process. Leaving them outside, or putting them in a box in a closet is often fatal. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/looking-for-an-rt-hibernation-mentor.128790/
  15. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Thanks for responding! I have read the linked post and still have some questions. The weather report says it's going to get down to 42 in Lancaster, CA tonight. I will bring him in tonight just to be safe. He does have a burrow I made him with concrete blocks and board that is about maybe a foot underground and dirt mounded on top is this not very protective against the elements? Your post talks of old refrigerators and such while Yvonne just throws a pile of leaves on their burrow outside. The lady I got him from use to just put him in a plastic tub with like rabbit pellets in a spare room. So I don't think he has ever been properly hibernated. I don't think I can afford a mini fridge right now or make a heated night box proper right now. Are those my only options? Would a double box set on top of a pink foam board or two in the garage work? Should I stop feeding him now for two weeks or do you think he's got a little bit before that? I know you said it's a feeling but that's what is making it so hard because the old owner's feeling is bring him now. And I haven't had that much time with him yet to know his normal or anything else. Sorry for the long reply I'm just kinda confused here as what is the best way for the little guy. Thanks for the help and any other info you need from me or clarification let me know. Thanks Tom!
  16. Analogue

    Analogue New Member

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    tortoises do perform coprophagy it is NORMAL. Fibrous tortoise "pellet" appears perfectly healthy! The enclosure/shelter is GORGEOUS. Good job on that shelter.
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  17. BILL IV

    BILL IV New Member

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    Thanks! I can't wait for all the plants to grow in. Hopefully he doesn't eat them up before they get established.
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