Outdoor Indian Star Group

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
After making an enclosure construction thread, I thought I would start an all-encompassing thread for my star group with photos of the enclosure, the torts, and any breeding/incubation success I have.

My group consists of 2.2 Indian stars, from multiple sources. I might expand the pen for another female in the future, but right now I want to figure out how to have breeding success.

Be forewarned, I work in the medical field and like acronyms :)

Female 1: BF (Big female)

Purchased from Chris Leone, as a proven, pure Indian star. Around 7.5" plastron and 1,500-1,600g. By far the least shy of the group. She follows me around the perimeter of the pen, hoping a delicious hibiscus flower (or 5 haha) will magically fall from the sky. Although proven, I have been unsuccessful introducing her to LG thus far.

w%tRVtEMSWeOTLq4VeBLvA.jpg HR5oKZlYTry+wF62nL8RQQ.jpg siiRqljiTXyOPFciUqQccQ.jpg

Female 2: LF (Little female)

Part of a "farm raised" pair I bought from Redfoot Ranch before I understood that meant WC :(. 5.5" plastron and her weight can be anywhere from 600-750g. I used to freak out over the weight changes but after her fecal testing came back normal, and her appetite voracious, I've accepted it. She is somewhat shy, loves to soak, and will eat a cactus pad until she literally falls asleep on it.

88sY0DSLSziWc9Uqvw0fIQ.jpg t3dWJUalQaukYIOeEAd6hg.jpg RRFpOEf1Q7+eMBrDgY%CbQ.jpg wj3P4DBVRkuhfhVghVKZ1A.jpg

Male 1: LG (Little guy)

A farm raised male bought from Redfoot Ranch. 4.75" plastron and 425g. He is extremely secretive, and seems to have a sixth sense for knowing when I am around, as he freezes when I observe him. LG happily refuses to eat anything not growing naturally in his pen besides hibiscus flowers and raw cactus. I have had to resort to carving out a small pocket between the skin of a cactus pad to hide some herptivite lol. He is sort of a pain in the butt, but I love his thick yellow lines and his head and scales are a vibrant yellow. Hopefully he mellows out with time, I introduced him to BF for the first time last week, but he showed only marginal interest.

TC7P6wGURFGGq4K8nyY3tA.jpg mbhpTMpaSsOD8R2IluK2+w.jpg ooDWTmCjTc+J7Px8l56dww.jpg dNkjRC%dQv+XzEMaSaNmaA.jpg

Male 2: OG (Old guy, old geezer lol)

A recent addition to the group. After reading about the success star keepers have had with multiple males I decided to purchase an older, proven male. Jimmy Chu was selling off his remaining Indian stars and I ended up with his remaining pure Indian star male. 14 years old, CB, 5.5" plastron and 735g. He loves to chow down on chicory and hunting for snails.

saLQCCc5RxOTjeGhbhBy9A.jpg qs1MDnaxS8KhqPQZvclt5A.jpg cndM+9gXTUaTGcUwintS3Q.jpg
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Wow, love your Indian Stars!! Can you keep them outside all year?

Thanks, and yes they stay out all year. I have been having to figure out on the fly how to heat their night boxes as this is my first winter in Florida.

Their night boxes originally had basic heating pads on the floor, but after the night temps starting hitting 45 degrees, the temps inside the boxes could not seem to stay above 70. To be honest I was totally unprepared for how low the night temps got in Gainesville.

IMG_0162.JPG

The tortoises also seemed to be staying in the houses longer, and eating less so I ended up switching to a 40watt zoo med nano CHE setup. The temps inside the boxes are better now, hitting 75 degrees, but after reading up on night temps and URI's in stars I'm going to experiment with a 75w brooder style CHE in the next few days. It is not as long, meaning not as close to their shells as a standard CHE, but **should** heat the houses to 85 degrees which is the temp I am shooting for. I'm going to take some photos of how I did the wiring/housing for the CHE's and post an explanation in a couple of days.

Link to the CHE's I'm going to try.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pathonor...e-Snake-Birds-Frog-Lizard-75W-color/731398380

Current setup

HedmYX55THmRNXoOCVZ3Kw.jpg
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
help me with gender plz

No need to help you. Gstars and Mark already told you they are female, and gave a ton of fantastic information you should take as gospel. Listening to their advice would be a smart choice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dan

kobe

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
55
Location (City and/or State)
india
yeah
u r mistaken bro i texted in dis group before they replied me
Gstars and marks helped me a lot
thnk you
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
After getting the go ahead from my significant other, I am starting work on expanding the enclosure another 8x6. After the expansion is complete I may join the female pens together, making one large 24x6 pen.


GPQ%u94ISp2zH1pfviC8Ug.jpg

3Q6Tr6S5RDK+KvKqT%ZvKg.jpg


As BF and LF live in separate pens that are a jungle of dark leafy greens, I want to mix it up a bit. Six months ago I bought some cactus pads from the local hispanic grocer, and they have been growing in pots ever since. I threw in some clover seeds for fun and they actually have been growing nicely with the cacti. My plan for the expansion is to elevate the ground with topsoil, transplant the cactus, throw in more clover and St. Augustine grass seeds, and make a small gravel path so I don't smash everything when going in there. Hopefully the different terrain/fauna will help give the females more nesting site choices, while enriching their outdoor life in general.

TgEJgf2lT32vLyjOYgf8UA.jpg

wrby8m4zS6KeUR55gR6pMg.jpg
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Good looking group there! I will enjoy tracking your progress I have a group of small ones coming up and cant wait tell I get to this point!

Thanks, how many do you have in your group?

Someday I plan on getting a group of hatchling Sri Lankan’s from Larry Gaugler and raising them up in a closed chamber setup like Toms AP cages. For some reason most Sri Lankan’s I have seen are highly pyramided....I wonder if the closed chamber would fix that common problem.
 

NorCal tortoise guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
1,090
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
Thanks, how many do you have in your group?

Someday I plan on getting a group of hatchling Sri Lankan’s from Larry Gaugler and raising them up in a closed chamber setup like Toms AP cages. For some reason most Sri Lankan’s I have seen are highly pyramided....I wonder if the closed chamber would fix that common problem.
There are 4 in my group this far with plans to add two more this year. They range in size from about 40g to 120g

I am raising them in a closed chamber I made and so far I have smooth growth. I have noticed that about Sri lankan
Stars as well would be interesting to find out if they can be raised smooth.
 

Wolfen

Member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
83
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
There are 4 in my group this far with plans to add two more this year. They range in size from about 40g to 120g

I am raising them in a closed chamber I made and so far I have smooth growth. I have noticed that about Sri lankan
Stars as well would be interesting to find out if they can be raised smooth.
How big is this closed chamber? Is it wooden or glass?
 

NorCal tortoise guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
1,090
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
How big is this closed chamber? Is it wooden or glass?
It is 48in by 30in by 18in tall . It is made of wood. Three of them are in there for now but the fourth has not joined them yet because I've only had it a few months. I am working on a new tortoise room and then they will be getting a bigger cage.
 

gaveau yohann

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
42
Location (City and/or State)
Guadeloupe
Reading you thread again, I just realized that OG was 14 years old for a 5.5" plastron. I have two stars that are almost 3,6" and only two years old. Is anyone know if that so common for male to be that small at 14?
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Reading you thread again, I just realized that OG was 14 years old for a 5.5" plastron. I have two stars that are almost 3,6" and only two years old. Is anyone know if that so common for male to be that small at 14?

Good question. G. elegans are really very variable in terms in sizing. Some regions have larger tortoises than other regions, and different sizes are thrown around a lot of care-sheets and in research papers on the internet. There have been several threads on here regarding the size variability of elegans. Chris Leone sold a 2.1 group on here that had a female over 10" and I think the male was over 8"!

Jerry Fife mentions the following:

Females grow larger than males. Females typically attain a length of about 7 or 8 inches, and males typically only reach 5 or 6 inches in length.

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/Turtles-Tortoises/Indian-Star-Tortoise/

Tortoise Town states

"As hatchlings, they have a shell just a few cm (just over an inch) long. As adults, females can be 25 cm (10 inches) long, while males are usually under 20 cm (8 inches) long. Most of the growth happens in the first 10 years."

https://www.tortoisetown.com/indian-star-tortoise-care-sheet/

Indian Star researcher Raju Vyas has a published article online which has 2 males "from the surroundings of Vadodara and Panchmahal
district of Gujarat State, India". The males sizes, which were measured by the carapace, not the plastron were "22.5 and 27.5 cm".

https://www.researchgate.net/public...f_the_Indian_Star_Tortoise_Geochelone_elegans

Lastly, a caresheet by Andy Lewis of the the Norfolk Tortoise Club sums it up very well.

"The following authors quote these sizes: Tikader/Sharma: Females up to 250mm and males 160mm.Highfield: Females up to 290mm and males 230mm. Das: Vague, reports largest female 380mm weighing 7kg Fife: Females up to 250mm and males 150mm. Lanka: Females: 300mm and males 200mm. Typically, adult females average around 2 kg and males from 400g up to 1.1kg depending greatly on where they come from."

http://www.tortoiseclub.org/CareSheets/Species_Specific/Care_of_Indian_Star_Tortoises_Detailed.pdf

In my males particular case, his previous owner lives in New York I believe, and he was kept outside in a large group roughly 6 months out of the year. The rest of the year the group was kept indoors, which probably had an effect on his growth rate. His shell is smooth, he weighs close to 900g, and the owners husbandry methods were solid, so I lean towards a combination of genetics and living outdoors only half the year ;)
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Time for an several updates!

I have been unhappy with my outdoor housing for quite a while and decided to finally do something about it. Originally I made a basic wood house with a CHE for heating for each of my 4 tortoises. While it worked, there was a steep learning curve, and the result was BF got a burn on top of her shell. I feel horrible about it, and decided to construct proper, safe, outdoor housing for my group. I went with Toms insulated night box and oil radiator setup, which to be honest I wasn't really sure I could pull off.

I ended up making 2 different night boxes, one for the females, and another with separate entrances/removable divider for the males. The houses both have 1.5" insulation, freezer flap doorways, and AC foam insulation to seal the top when closed. I also decided to extend the roof roughly 3 inches out from the actual box on the sides/front. The goal was to keep the rain away from the doorway and I think it works perfectly. I also set the boxes to have a very slight forward lean to further help with rain runoff.

Overall, it took about 2.5 weeks, and cost around $700. I only mention the cost so people considering insulated housing realize the large cost/time involved. It's been 2 months now since I installed everything and I couldn't be happier with the decision. The tortoises go in and out all day, and the radiator hardly ever clicks on; the wonders of insulation!

Special thanks to @Tom and especially @G-stars for help during the construction. They are both great examples of why TFO is such a fantastic resource for chelonian husbandry.
 

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Pictures of the build
 

Attachments

  • vvp5i83KSpKeXmCr7uoCew.jpg
    vvp5i83KSpKeXmCr7uoCew.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 42
  • Rd+UxVCdSbu%kvuGTF0z1w.jpg
    Rd+UxVCdSbu%kvuGTF0z1w.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 39
  • 54819056748__77D9CC41-11C2-4158-ADDA-8EDC9E6AB2DC.jpeg
    54819056748__77D9CC41-11C2-4158-ADDA-8EDC9E6AB2DC.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 38
  • IMG_0867.JPG
    IMG_0867.JPG
    1.7 MB · Views: 39
  • mH%B8UQfSE+wfc6eV71vJQ.jpg
    mH%B8UQfSE+wfc6eV71vJQ.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 38
  • wm4WNpyLRGS45ubI7jkDCA.jpg
    wm4WNpyLRGS45ubI7jkDCA.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 41
  • 98pbGDdSTIWmFunD5524TA.jpg
    98pbGDdSTIWmFunD5524TA.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 37
  • nG9zs4P0S2W1h6gco1Te%A.jpg
    nG9zs4P0S2W1h6gco1Te%A.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 38
  • vcttFOBZQtCBbCc97l19VA.jpg
    vcttFOBZQtCBbCc97l19VA.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 37
  • x+A86AR2Th6ifJEp1JRCIw.jpg
    x+A86AR2Th6ifJEp1JRCIw.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 38
  • 1MZChqnBTGaIQxdJXDkjgg.jpg
    1MZChqnBTGaIQxdJXDkjgg.jpg
    2.8 MB · Views: 38
  • wKWp1AlVRwS9V+VIgJBkNA.jpg
    wKWp1AlVRwS9V+VIgJBkNA.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 39
  • xxPhLxlNRHaSzp7jFiIbAQ.jpg
    xxPhLxlNRHaSzp7jFiIbAQ.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 44
  • fullsizeoutput_1cf.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_1cf.jpeg
    3 MB · Views: 41
  • i%fT9V0AS5KVlzd7KaZH9g.jpg
    i%fT9V0AS5KVlzd7KaZH9g.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 40

PA2019

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
346
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
I thought I would mention how I feed the group.

In the pen there is all sorts of edible plants such as plantain, grass, chicory, stinging nettle, grape vines, red italian dandelion, and cactus growing, which they constantly forage on. I also supplement their diet 3 times a week to give the plants in the pen a break from being constantly nibbled on, and help vary their diet.

My girlfriend calls the following the 'Mazuri slurry mix'. I end up soaking some Mazuri original and dried orchard grass in a 1:2 ratio overnight (the grass is extremely stiff at first) and then add 1/3 cup dry herbal mix with a pinch of Moringa powder, herptivite, and Repcal calcium. The herbal mix is from Tyler Stewart with several additions I purchased separately online. This mix then gets mashed up with whatever leaves/flowers I have growing in the pen that day, with a diced cactus pad to help everything stick. The group goes bonkers for the stuff, and I get satisfaction knowing they are eating over 20 different plants in one sitting.
 

Attachments

  • Qqhdz8IsT3yDedqybdiuwQ.jpg
    Qqhdz8IsT3yDedqybdiuwQ.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 31
  • HgMshGA0SAO5XgwQnkjeyg.jpg
    HgMshGA0SAO5XgwQnkjeyg.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 34
  • KXcrunRITmawxyzfMhtTfg.jpg
    KXcrunRITmawxyzfMhtTfg.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 32
  • LmuIw0cmSdOLe6G%KDAnNA.jpg
    LmuIw0cmSdOLe6G%KDAnNA.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 31
  • pc+kLECjQd6HN4xP+ZbpMQ.jpg
    pc+kLECjQd6HN4xP+ZbpMQ.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 32
  • 9Rzpx%EtTtuTCjZK4qUEEQ.jpg
    9Rzpx%EtTtuTCjZK4qUEEQ.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 31
  • +iJmnugfRPyN1tdgYrOpww.jpg
    +iJmnugfRPyN1tdgYrOpww.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 30
  • fullsizeoutput_1d0.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_1d0.jpeg
    3 MB · Views: 32
  • B%l9acIRS0OKXyatPl%Ohg.jpg
    B%l9acIRS0OKXyatPl%Ohg.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 34
  • fullsizeoutput_1cc.jpeg
    fullsizeoutput_1cc.jpeg
    3.4 MB · Views: 34
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top