Sri Lankan Stars last summer and this summer

gummybearpoop

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These pics are comparing growth of some of my stars from last year to this year. They spend the majority of their time outside in Phoenix unless temps drop below 70. When temps go above 110, I move them to a pen that is partially shaded.
 

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Markw84

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These pics are comparing growth of some of my stars from last year to this year. They spend the majority of their time outside in Phoenix unless temps drop below 70. When temps go above 110, I move them to a pen that is partially shaded.
Beautiful and great growth. Very smooth for Indian Stars. Do you still have the Burmese?
 

turtlesteve

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Can you give some detail regarding your enclosure and diet? These show absolutely perfect growth, and this could be one more piece in the puzzle of why and how pyramiding occurs (or doesn’t).

Were they started indoors, and if so, for how long?
 

gummybearpoop

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Beautiful and great growth. Very smooth for Indian Stars. Do you still have the Burmese?
Thank you Mark! Sri Lankan stars seem highly prone to pyramiding even in the wild.
No more Burmese stars. They are split up between two friends in Arizona. With time restraints and space issues, I decide to keep Sri Lankan stars because have more pattern variability, grow slower, and are less rambunctious compared to Burmese stars. Once we get a home with more property, then I may get some more a Burmese stars.
 

gummybearpoop

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It's interesting that they spend most of the time outside in Phoenix, which is a dry climate. Nice smooth growth.
Humidity here has been about 10-15%, but I’m sure the places they hide are much more humid.
Temps have been about 110-118f degrees during the day and lows have been 85-90f degrees for a bit. They haven’t been very active except early mornings
 

gummybearpoop

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Can you give some detail regarding your enclosure and diet? These show absolutely perfect growth, and this could be one more piece in the puzzle of why and how pyramiding occurs (or doesn’t).

Were they started indoors, and if so, for how long?


They were started indoors because it was cold temps when I got them. I’ve kept baby radiata and baby Burmese stars outside during the summer. If they are babies, I put them in a small pen with a screen top and in an area where they get some shade throughout the day. Also, I am also a firm believer of soaking babies every day through their first year but I’ve also skipped days. After that first year, I soak maybe 3-4 times a week.

My pens are heavily planted and have lots of hiding places, and sometimes I give up trying to find “missing” tortoises for mazuri day. Their diet is the same as most Star/radiated/leopard tortoise keepers, nothing special. Their pens are loaded with dandelion, clover, alfalfa, vetch, various grasses, various weeds, and a bunch of other random goodies. When I see people’s pens, I feel like they are “too manicured” or too barren. Some people “want to be able to see their tortoises all the time”, but what we want isn’t always what’s best for the animals.

On days that the heat exceeds 110, I try to hose down their pens once or twice a day.

I’ve noticed that the stars I purchased as 6 month olds or yearlings already had some pyramiding and they seem to continue to slightly pyramid. Those breeders kept them indoors, but I think they kept them too warm and dry. Still not as bad as a lot of Sri Lankan stars out there, but you can tell the difference between the stars I raised from babies from those I purchased “head-started.”

That being said, some of the babies I have raised are slightly pyramided, which could be related to genetics and/or activity. In example, some of the slightly pyramided animals tend to hide in the more open or tend to be more active. While some of the smoothest stars I have, tend to hide in dense clumps of grass. So, that’s where I think site selection/activity/behavior may play a role. And maybe their parents were the same and their parents, so maybe some genetic traits were passed along. In the wild, there are plenty of pyramided Sri Lankan stars thriving next to smooth ones. Maybe if I kept my stars in a completely controlled environment all the time, then I would have a higher percentage of smooth animals, but I’m happy with how the animals are turning out. And I also don’t like to keep my tortoises in “wet” environment with minimal ventilation. Also, I find that it’s a lot more work and effort to keep animals indoors.

In my limited experience (both stars, radiateds) I think the first 6-12 months is very critical in smooth growth. I raised radiateds for 2-3 years and had to sell them a decade ago, but one of my friends bought some from me and they have grown into adults with very nice shell growth. Here are some pics of those animals I raised the first few years and how they turned out. Not bad for hot, dry & unforgiving Phoenix, eh?
 

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zovick

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They were started indoors because it was cold temps when I got them. I’ve kept baby radiata and baby Burmese stars outside during the summer. If they are babies, I put them in a small pen with a screen top and in an area where they get some shade throughout the day. Also, I am also a firm believer of soaking babies every day through their first year but I’ve also skipped days. After that first year, I soak maybe 3-4 times a week.

My pens are heavily planted and have lots of hiding places, and sometimes I give up trying to find “missing” tortoises for mazuri day. Their diet is the same as most Star/radiated/leopard tortoise keepers, nothing special. Their pens are loaded with dandelion, clover, alfalfa, vetch, various grasses, various weeds, and a bunch of other random goodies. When I see people’s pens, I feel like they are “too manicured” or too barren. Some people “want to be able to see their tortoises all the time”, but what we want isn’t always what’s best for the animals.

On days that the heat exceeds 110, I try to hose down their pens once or twice a day.

I’ve noticed that the stars I purchased as 6 month olds or yearlings already had some pyramiding and they seem to continue to slightly pyramid. Those breeders kept them indoors, but I think they kept them too warm and dry. Still not as bad as a lot of Sri Lankan stars out there, but you can tell the difference between the stars I raised from babies from those I purchased “head-started.”

That being said, some of the babies I have raised are slightly pyramided, which could be related to genetics and/or activity. In example, some of the slightly pyramided animals tend to hide in the more open or tend to be more active. While some of the smoothest stars I have, tend to hide in dense clumps of grass. So, that’s where I think site selection/activity/behavior may play a role. And maybe their parents were the same and their parents, so maybe some genetic traits were passed along. In the wild, there are plenty of pyramided Sri Lankan stars thriving next to smooth ones. Maybe if I kept my stars in a completely controlled environment all the time, then I would have a higher percentage of smooth animals, but I’m happy with how the animals are turning out. And I also don’t like to keep my tortoises in “wet” environment with minimal ventilation. Also, I find that it’s a lot more work and effort to keep animals indoors.

In my limited experience (both stars, radiateds) I think the first 6-12 months is very critical in smooth growth. I raised radiateds for 2-3 years and had to sell them a decade ago, but one of my friends bought some from me and they have grown into adults with very nice shell growth. Here are some pics of those animals I raised the first few years and how they turned out. Not bad for hot, dry & unforgiving Phoenix, eh?
Another nice group of animals!
 

turtlesteve

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Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
548
They were started indoors because it was cold temps when I got them. I’ve kept baby radiata and baby Burmese stars outside during the summer. If they are babies, I put them in a small pen with a screen top and in an area where they get some shade throughout the day. Also, I am also a firm believer of soaking babies every day through their first year but I’ve also skipped days. After that first year, I soak maybe 3-4 times a week.

My pens are heavily planted and have lots of hiding places, and sometimes I give up trying to find “missing” tortoises for mazuri day. Their diet is the same as most Star/radiated/leopard tortoise keepers, nothing special. Their pens are loaded with dandelion, clover, alfalfa, vetch, various grasses, various weeds, and a bunch of other random goodies. When I see people’s pens, I feel like they are “too manicured” or too barren. Some people “want to be able to see their tortoises all the time”, but what we want isn’t always what’s best for the animals.

On days that the heat exceeds 110, I try to hose down their pens once or twice a day.

I’ve noticed that the stars I purchased as 6 month olds or yearlings already had some pyramiding and they seem to continue to slightly pyramid. Those breeders kept them indoors, but I think they kept them too warm and dry. Still not as bad as a lot of Sri Lankan stars out there, but you can tell the difference between the stars I raised from babies from those I purchased “head-started.”

That being said, some of the babies I have raised are slightly pyramided, which could be related to genetics and/or activity. In example, some of the slightly pyramided animals tend to hide in the more open or tend to be more active. While some of the smoothest stars I have, tend to hide in dense clumps of grass. So, that’s where I think site selection/activity/behavior may play a role. And maybe their parents were the same and their parents, so maybe some genetic traits were passed along. In the wild, there are plenty of pyramided Sri Lankan stars thriving next to smooth ones. Maybe if I kept my stars in a completely controlled environment all the time, then I would have a higher percentage of smooth animals, but I’m happy with how the animals are turning out. And I also don’t like to keep my tortoises in “wet” environment with minimal ventilation. Also, I find that it’s a lot more work and effort to keep animals indoors.

In my limited experience (both stars, radiateds) I think the first 6-12 months is very critical in smooth growth. I raised radiateds for 2-3 years and had to sell them a decade ago, but one of my friends bought some from me and they have grown into adults with very nice shell growth. Here are some pics of those animals I raised the first few years and how they turned out. Not bad for hot, dry & unforgiving Phoenix, eh?

Grown to perfection if you ask me. I completely agree that the first year is critical, but I am still struggling to find a clear pattern that explains results like this. From what I’ve seen, a great majority of people who start them outdoors get pyramiding (unless it’s raising Testudo, which seem to resist it).

I am using humid closed chambers and artificial UV, for now, but plan to run all kinds of growth experiments when I get the chance.
 

G-stars

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They were started indoors because it was cold temps when I got them. I’ve kept baby radiata and baby Burmese stars outside during the summer. If they are babies, I put them in a small pen with a screen top and in an area where they get some shade throughout the day. Also, I am also a firm believer of soaking babies every day through their first year but I’ve also skipped days. After that first year, I soak maybe 3-4 times a week.

My pens are heavily planted and have lots of hiding places, and sometimes I give up trying to find “missing” tortoises for mazuri day. Their diet is the same as most Star/radiated/leopard tortoise keepers, nothing special. Their pens are loaded with dandelion, clover, alfalfa, vetch, various grasses, various weeds, and a bunch of other random goodies. When I see people’s pens, I feel like they are “too manicured” or too barren. Some people “want to be able to see their tortoises all the time”, but what we want isn’t always what’s best for the animals.

On days that the heat exceeds 110, I try to hose down their pens once or twice a day.

I’ve noticed that the stars I purchased as 6 month olds or yearlings already had some pyramiding and they seem to continue to slightly pyramid. Those breeders kept them indoors, but I think they kept them too warm and dry. Still not as bad as a lot of Sri Lankan stars out there, but you can tell the difference between the stars I raised from babies from those I purchased “head-started.”

That being said, some of the babies I have raised are slightly pyramided, which could be related to genetics and/or activity. In example, some of the slightly pyramided animals tend to hide in the more open or tend to be more active. While some of the smoothest stars I have, tend to hide in dense clumps of grass. So, that’s where I think site selection/activity/behavior may play a role. And maybe their parents were the same and their parents, so maybe some genetic traits were passed along. In the wild, there are plenty of pyramided Sri Lankan stars thriving next to smooth ones. Maybe if I kept my stars in a completely controlled environment all the time, then I would have a higher percentage of smooth animals, but I’m happy with how the animals are turning out. And I also don’t like to keep my tortoises in “wet” environment with minimal ventilation. Also, I find that it’s a lot more work and effort to keep animals indoors.

In my limited experience (both stars, radiateds) I think the first 6-12 months is very critical in smooth growth. I raised radiateds for 2-3 years and had to sell them a decade ago, but one of my friends bought some from me and they have grown into adults with very nice shell growth. Here are some pics of those animals I raised the first few years and how they turned out. Not bad for hot, dry & unforgiving Phoenix, eh?

Come on Norman, show them pics of the outdoor enclosures. They are heavily planted and I’d bet the humidity at tortoise level is hovering at least in the 50-60% even on a hot and dry day. Might be a good experiment to get some readings of the most humid spots in there.
 

gummybearpoop

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Grown to perfection if you ask me. I completely agree that the first year is critical, but I am still struggling to find a clear pattern that explains results like this. From what I’ve seen, a great majority of people who start them outdoors get pyramiding (unless it’s raising Testudo, which seem to resist it).

I am using humid closed chambers and artificial UV, for now, but plan to run all kinds of growth experiments when I get the chance.

Thank you!
I am not a fan of artificial UV. I give my tortoises the real stuff just about daily.
My pens have lots of “humid hides” and vegetation which provide ample humidity.
 

gummybearpoop

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Come on Norman, show them pics of the outdoor enclosures. They are heavily planted and I’d bet the humidity at tortoise level is hovering at least in the 50-60% even on a hot and dry day. Might be a good experiment to get some readings of the most humid spots in there.
Haha! True Gus! I know the temps are in the 80s-low 90s under most of the vegetation depending on its sun exposure. And I am sure the humidity ranges from 50-90% depending on when I last watered the plants. I just soaked the pens today so maybe tomorrow I will set a humidity reader under some plants and watch it for a few days and give a report.
 

gummybearpoop

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Here are some of my pens in different stages
 

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