So random question..

Emily Deshar

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I absolutely love Aldabra tortoises!
I was wondering if my dream of owning one will ever come true? I live in Nebraska with a fairly good size yard. I would build/buy a big green house to house it in for the winter and whenever it feels like going in. I would put humidifier and heat inside.
 

dmmj

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can you afford the $1,800 plus intial investment for the tortoise alone? not to mention housing enclose your materials depending on whether your fence needs to be tortoise proof food vet care.
 

dmmj

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Let us ask @ALDABRAMAN. what he thinks of that type of tortoise in your area
 

surfergirl

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I would move to Florida or much further south (near a coastal area with lots of water ways)lots of humidity! It would be a much easier to care for them and even though you can provide some accommodations in Nebraska it is still not any where close to an ideal environment for them. I have a large sully in Atlanta Ga and I wish I lived further south because he would get to roam a much larger area all year and have many more months with summer temps.

I am not trying to snuff out anyone's dreams of Aldabra and Galapagos, but if doing what is best for them is top priority then the answer is pretty obvious to me.
I know people make it possible to keep the 2 biggest tort species up north but in my opinion it is never close enough to the ideal environment for them . I think if you are interested in a WIn/Win relationship you come to realize that you are fighting a losing battle to give them all the right needs .
 

wellington

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I see it this way. If you can afford to house it and have the room you can have what you want. Most tortoises, all that aren't native to the country/state one lives in, is being kept in artificial conditions to a point. You will need a large insulated shed for your cold winter months, and the means to heat it. This is needed with any of the larger species. Then figure in the cost of feeding when it can't graze outside. If you can afford it then your dream is reachable. We have at least one member living in a northern state with an Aldabra.
 
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Emily Deshar

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I see it this way. If you can afford to house it and have the room you can have what you want. Most tortoises, all that aren't native to the country/state one lives in, is being kept in artificial conditions to a point. You will need a large insulated shed for your cold winter months, and the means to heat it. This is needed with any of the larger species. Then figure in the cost of feeding when it can't graze outside. If you can afford it then your dream is reachable. We have at least one member living in a northern state with an Aldabra.
Yes I do have enough money for all of that. Thank you. This makes me hopeful
 

Emily Deshar

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can you afford the $1,800 plus intial investment for the tortoise alone? not to mention housing enclose your materials depending on whether your fence needs to be tortoise proof food vet care.
Yes I can afford it otherwise I wouldn't be asking. I've done plenty of research on them.
 

ben awes

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I have a 4 1/2 year old and 2 that are under one year. It is very difficult to keep them in the north no doubt, and more expensive I imagine as well. Its not just an investment of more money, its an investment of more time. It takes more time, every day to keep a large tort up north. I think this is where animals are most at risk. Folks are often willing to spend the money, but year after year of all the additional time it requires wares them down. It's just human nature. Aldabras are not "more" challenging in terms of their needs to care for than other many other torts. They need food, lighting, heat, water, all of which are not much different than my 30lb leopards - pretty simple really........it's their size off course. Everything is compounded by their size. Everything take more money....AND TIME. Feeding takes more money and more time. Their enclosure for sure takes much more money, but also more time for maintenance, cleaning, upgrades. Lighting costs much more and more time. If they could get most of the 'light" naturally and outdoors, then they would not need much expensive lighting indoors. I have Acadia UVB bulbs for lighting - very expensive but nothing on the market comes close (the fixtures to house them are crazy expensive! Humidity is a much bigger deal with for an Aldabra than a Leopard just because of the size of the area you have to humidify. Bathing takes more time, you can't just sponge bath these guts! They need to soak. How do you do that indoors? The area alone, and the plumbing. Moving them takes more time. When you live up north they have to be moved and it's no small challenge. My largest is 50lbs, and moving him indoors and out is already a challenge. Lifting a 50lb tort is surprisingly awkward. Its not a suitcase with a handle. He does not have a handle and his plastron is fairly smooth and so it's not easy to grip him, and he is VERY strong already and does not like to get carried around. I don't want to get hurt doing it but more importantly, I don't want him to get hurt. It's not an option to drop him if he is slippery! I've dropped close to $5k on materials for a new large tortoise proof fence in the past year (doing all the labor myself), and I am in the planning stages for a major overhaul of their indoor enclosure which will cost me more than I want!

The proof for me was that I had raised and bred Leopards for 12 years and never lost my passion. To this day, every morning I am excited to see them and get going all the morning stuff. I love it, every part of it, every task. Can't wait to engage them everyday. And I kinda dig all the "structure" needed to keep these guys. Its a challenge i enjoy. A giant tortoise changes your life, way more than any dog or other exotic, and you have to willing to go there. The jury is still out for me. I've got the passion and so far the funds to do it, but I still don't know that I can handle all their needs when the are 300lbs.

At the same time keeping them is tremendously rewarding and satisfying, and while I was strongly and appropriately discouraged on these very pages by members wiser than me, I don't regret it for a minute. It's just as easy to provide poor care in a warm climate than in a cold one. Maybe the impact is quicker up here, but bad care is bad care. Just have your eyes wide open and be willing to keep adapting and changing to the needs of the animals. (and find a good vet who is willing to travel ;).

Good luck!
 

Emily Deshar

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I have a 4 1/2 year old and 2 that are under one year. It is very difficult to keep them in the north no doubt, and more expensive I imagine as well. Its not just an investment of more money, its an investment of more time. It takes more time, every day to keep a large tort up north. I think this is where animals are most at risk. Folks are often willing to spend the money, but year after year of all the additional time it requires wares them down. It's just human nature. Aldabras are not "more" challenging in terms of their needs to care for than other many other torts. They need food, lighting, heat, water, all of which are not much different than my 30lb leopards - pretty simple really........it's their size off course. Everything is compounded by their size. Everything take more money....AND TIME. Feeding takes more money and more time. Their enclosure for sure takes much more money, but also more time for maintenance, cleaning, upgrades. Lighting costs much more and more time. If they could get most of the 'light" naturally and outdoors, then they would not need much expensive lighting indoors. I have Acadia UVB bulbs for lighting - very expensive but nothing on the market comes close (the fixtures to house them are crazy expensive! Humidity is a much bigger deal with for an Aldabra than a Leopard just because of the size of the area you have to humidify. Bathing takes more time, you can't just sponge bath these guts! They need to soak. How do you do that indoors? The area alone, and the plumbing. Moving them takes more time. When you live up north they have to be moved and it's no small challenge. My largest is 50lbs, and moving him indoors and out is already a challenge. Lifting a 50lb tort is surprisingly awkward. Its not a suitcase with a handle. He does not have a handle and his plastron is fairly smooth and so it's not easy to grip him, and he is VERY strong already and does not like to get carried around. I don't want to get hurt doing it but more importantly, I don't want him to get hurt. It's not an option to drop him if he is slippery! I've dropped close to $5k on materials for a new large tortoise proof fence in the past year (doing all the labor myself), and I am in the planning stages for a major overhaul of their indoor enclosure which will cost me more than I want!

The proof for me was that I had raised and bred Leopards for 12 years and never lost my passion. To this day, every morning I am excited to see them and get going all the morning stuff. I love it, every part of it, every task. Can't wait to engage them everyday. And I kinda dig all the "structure" needed to keep these guys. Its a challenge i enjoy. A giant tortoise changes your life, way more than any dog or other exotic, and you have to willing to go there. The jury is still out for me. I've got the passion and so far the funds to do it, but I still don't know that I can handle all their needs when the are 300lbs.

At the same time keeping them is tremendously rewarding and satisfying, and while I was strongly and appropriately discouraged on these very pages by members wiser than me, I don't regret it for a minute. It's just as easy to provide poor care in a warm climate than in a cold one. Maybe the impact is quicker up here, but bad care is bad care. Just have your eyes wide open and be willing to keep adapting and changing to the needs of the animals. (and find a good vet who is willing to travel ;).

Good luck!
Soon I will be only working 3 days out of the week so I am not too worried about time.
Do you live up north too?
What we would be doing is adding like a sun room to our backyard so it would be one big room. Im not too worried about price of lights and everything because that's what they need. Then I will have a plastic pool for them to soak in. I am planning on only getting one if I ever get one. I have a really big humidifier that is perfect for keeping humidity up in large rooms.
I understand all the money and time that will be put into it, but I now from other people have realized that even if I have a big enough room for it, I wouldn't be able to give it as much exercise as it needs during the winter months. I have read though that they can be out in cool weather for a short time as well. They know when they would need to go back into their warm area. So for now it will just be a dream. I was just curious if anyone else has housed them in the northern states.
 

ben awes

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Hi Emily, I certainly wasn't intending to discourage you or suggest that you weren't thinking this through. Simply trying to provide the perspective from someone who is attempting to raise these animals in the north.

Your planned set up seems pretty reasonable. I would say as a rule of thumb it's been beneficial to me to make daily care as easy as possible. Easy to feed, easy to clean, easy to vacuum, easy to soak, etc.

I think the large tub is a good idea and should serve you well for a few years. As you know with torts, even from an early age, they muck up the water pretty good. For me I can't imagine not having the tub hooked up directly to a drain. Most of the effort and expense is up front, but it makes daily care much easier.

I am up north - Minnesota!
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I absolutely love Aldabra tortoises!
I was wondering if my dream of owning one will ever come true? I live in Nebraska with a fairly good size yard. I would build/buy a big green house to house it in for the winter and whenever it feels like going in. I would put humidifier and heat inside.

It could be an expensive way to go, all that building and controlled climate expense, but it is possible. They are cool tortoises. Have you met any??
 

Emily Deshar

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It could be an expensive way to go, all that building and controlled climate expense, but it is possible. They are cool tortoises. Have you met any??
Yes they had one at reptile gardens. It loved all the rubs and would even walk closer to you for more, it almost pushed me over by like trying to climb on my lap! Haha that was was like 100+ years old!
 

Emily Deshar

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Hi Emily, I certainly wasn't intending to discourage you or suggest that you weren't thinking this through. Simply trying to provide the perspective from someone who is attempting to raise these animals in the north.

Your planned set up seems pretty reasonable. I would say as a rule of thumb it's been beneficial to me to make daily care as easy as possible. Easy to feed, easy to clean, easy to vacuum, easy to soak, etc.

I think the large tub is a good idea and should serve you well for a few years. As you know with torts, even from an early age, they muck up the water pretty good. For me I can't imagine not having the tub hooked up directly to a drain. Most of the effort and expense is up front, but it makes daily care much easier.

I am up north - Minnesota!
Oh no sorry if I came up rude or something, didn't mean to. Ya that is true with the tub.. it would be nice with a drain haha didn't think about that..
wow! Minnesota! That's where are my relatives are from so I know how cold it can get lol.
 

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