Our new Aldabra - and we're thrilled!

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ben awes

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Hey all, I am very excited to share that our new aldabra tortoise arrived this week and we are thrilled with this little guy. Against the advise of several of you, and in reverse of my earlier thinking, I went ahead and took the plunge into this world of the fabulous aldabra. I live in Minnesota and that will be the biggest challenge to deal with. As I see it I've got a couple years to develop the best set up inside and out and am in the planning stage. I did not want to wait any longer as I am 49 years old and want to be around this guy as long as possible.

I have no doubt that many of you will curse my name for bringing one of these guys up here to the cold, but that will not deter me from doing the best I can to care for him! I hope you will still be willing to share your knowledge with me. I have been raising P.Pardalis Leopards for 10 years and I hope some of that experience will translate. This is the best place on the planet for communicating with experienced tort folks, for tort info & support.

My little guy's name is Brian! (after my unlce Bri who died 20 years ago, who was an actor, who once played a character named Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, which I named my first turtle when I was 7 years old, and who loved elephants - hence, I now have the elephant of tortoises, therefore - Brian!). I have several pics attached.

I will keep good records of him/her (I have recorded every meal for my leopards since the day I got them, including weekly weight and length) and will share that here, along with how I develop his enclosures.

Currently I have him in an indoor enclosure of about 16 square feet with a plywood floor. It has two levels with a change in height of about 3". The lower level is covered in a layer of cyprus mulch that I keep moist. He has a humid hide, and I have a MVB light, a UVB flourescent, and a CHE. His primary diet is chopped and soaked orchard grass with a few mazuri. I supplement with fresh kale, carrots, apples, cactus, banana, mustard greens, bell peppers, etc.... I rotate powdered vitamin, calcium with D3, calcium without D3.

I plan to eventually house my aldabra with my leopards until he outgrows them. Yes, I have read all the advise about not doing that, and have hear from several offline that they still do it, have done it for years, and have had no problems. At this point I plan to do it and will share my experience.

Currently this little guys is 5.5" and 22 ounces.

Thanks everyone,
Ben
 

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wellington

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Congrats. He is very nice looking. I don't think anyone will give you a hard time. In my opinion, you have one life to live and as long as you can afford to give it a proper warm home for the cold months, I say go for it. Besides, if it was such a bad thing, then more people would put the tort before the all mighty dollar and not sell to the cold states:D.
I would reconsider housing them together, just think of the great loss if something went bad:(. Sure hope is doesn't of course, but it would be pretty devastating.
Good luck, love the name and it's story, look forward to updates.
 

Jabuticaba

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What a good looking guy! If you can afford it, then why not?! Out of curiosity, though, how long before they reach full size and are they roamers, like RTs? And are they herbivorous or omnivorous? Lastly, can I come visit, one day? [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]


May[CHERRY BLOSSOM], Hermann's [TURTLE][TURTLE], & Aussies (@YWG)


Ps: I love his name and the story behind it. [THUMBS UP SIGN]


May[CHERRY BLOSSOM], Hermann's [TURTLE][TURTLE], & Aussies (@YWG)
 

tortadise

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Awesome. Welcome to the club. They are great tortoises. You also have some years of time to develop a large place for him. They grow very fast but, its not like they will be 100 pounds overnight. Enjoy them. They are awesome.
 

Yvonne G

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Mine are over 200lbs at 13 years of age.
 

ben awes

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Yvonne G said:
Mine are over 200lbs at 13 years of age.

There seems to be a fair amount a variation in growth rates. There are two for sale on Kingsnake right now that are apparently 6 years old, one is 20lbs, one 40 lbs. They are very nice looking animals actually, but that seems to be very slow growth, can't quite believe it. My male Leopard it 7 years old and he is 23 pounds.

I am planning on the case that they will be to big to lift by hand in not too many years, so I've go to move fairly quickly in preparation.
 

mikeh

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Congratulations Ben. Brian looks incredible! I am sure he will do very well in your care.
I just built a 6x3 chamber for little leopard I got from you. As he will be spending next 7 months indoors like yours, I outfitted it with 48" T5 HO double fixture with Arcadia 3D+ 12% UVB. The lume output is outstanding as well. It would light up evenly an enclosure twice the size. It nicely replicates a bright sunny summer days that he spent outside, which was the goal to keep him psychologically well and active as he was outdoors.
Very curious on Brians progress in your care. I may follow your path down the road. Keep us updated.
Mike

sent from mobile device using TFO app
 

Sulcata_Sandy

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I plan to get an Aldabra in the next 1-3 years, and I am very interested in following this thread about your life with a juvenile. I don't have the money now for one, and my energy is currently into my current rescues, but next year will be better for me all around....gives me ample time to prepare.


Sandy
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skottip

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I have a 7 or 8 year old that is over 25 inches and probably 150 lbs and some 4-5 year olds 16 to 18 inches probably in the 60 to 70 lb range.
They grow fast! Don't slack! lol
Oh yea, do yourself a favor and get them on hay as soon as possible! Mine love alfalfa..
I live in S Fl so I would thing they would grow faster in different areas of the US. Mine are constantly growing, year round...
 

ben awes

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skottip said:
I have a 7 or 8 year old that is over 25 inches and probably 150 lbs and some 4-5 year olds 16 to 18 inches probably in the 60 to 70 lb range.
They grow fast! Don't slack! lol
Oh yea, do yourself a favor and get them on hay as soon as possible! Mine love alfalfa..
I live in S Fl so I would thing they would grow faster in different areas of the US. Mine are constantly growing, year round...

Thanks for the info and feedback. Yes, mine is already on hay - everyday. He still prefers other things, but that's going to be his main diet. Do you soak yours or dry at this point?

Thanks,
Ben
 

Sulcata_Sandy

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Alfalfa? Fantastic! I live in horse country and that is a local crop here. Cheap and abundant!!


Sandy
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skottip

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They eat it dry. I just put a bale in my shed and they help themselves. lol
I am hoping that helps when I have to coax them inside when we get the next cold front. Yes, it gets cold in Fl. sometimes and for some reason I don't think it's going to be easy to just pick them up and carry them into the shed.
:)
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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Beautiful baby Ben. Congratulations on your decision.
As we get older, at least for me, "life's uncertain, eat dessert first" is the way to go! Baby Brian is darling. Sending kisses to Baby Brian's cheekees. That face! : )
 

AnnV

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I love the Aldabras! I think they have stolen my heart and are becoming a favorite! Love those pudgy legs!

Congrats! Where there is a will, there is a way!

Ann from CT
 

sibi

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Ben, I'm glad you went after your heart. These are spectacular animals. Brian is gonna be a big one! If you don't move to a warmer climate, then you'll just have to build him a house to live in lol :p Actually, that's not such a bad idea. You'll only need one big room with insulation and electricity. Btw, how old is he?
 

N2TORTS

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Very Nice Ben ..... Great looking little beast! :D
 
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