Sudan Sulcatas (This never gets old...)

mastershake

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man they look GREAT!! i wish we could do a few now but you know the situation. i WILL be getting 2 or three next clutch for sure
 
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sspapkins

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My very first clutch of true 100% pure Sudan sulcatas is now hatching. I don't care how many times I see this, it just never gets old. I dig up the eggs carefully place them in my prepared shoe boxes, watch the temperature in the incubator and tend to them for months, and then...
View attachment 302098

When that first pip comes, I swear I'm more excited than I was when I was a little boy on Christmas morning. After all those years of raising the parents from hatchlings, soaking, feeding, watering, cleaning, building night boxes, tending to their enclosures, locking them up every night and letting them out every morning, and then months of watching the eggs and wondering what your gonna get... When they finally hatch it is just the most amazing thing ever. Little mini versions of their parents. Walking around and ready to join the world. I recall the fun and pure joy I had raising the parents of these babies and knowing that their new owners will experience that same joy and happiness and it brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. These babies will be ready for their new homes in about a month.

For any one who doesn't know what the difference between a Sudan sulcata and a "regular" sulcata is: Sudan males get literally twice the size of regular males, and have a much higher dome. Females of both are similar in size, but Sudan females also tend to have the higher domes. Care, diet, housing and every thing else is the same. Send me a PM if you are interested.
Congratulations
 
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My very first clutch of true 100% pure Sudan sulcatas is now hatching. I don't care how many times I see this, it just never gets old. I dig up the eggs carefully place them in my prepared shoe boxes, watch the temperature in the incubator and tend to them for months, and then...
View attachment 302098

When that first pip comes, I swear I'm more excited than I was when I was a little boy on Christmas morning. After all those years of raising the parents from hatchlings, soaking, feeding, watering, cleaning, building night boxes, tending to their enclosures, locking them up every night and letting them out every morning, and then months of watching the eggs and wondering what your gonna get... When they finally hatch it is just the most amazing thing ever. Little mini versions of their parents. Walking around and ready to join the world. I recall the fun and pure joy I had raising the parents of these babies and knowing that their new owners will experience that same joy and happiness and it brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. These babies will be ready for their new homes in about a month.

For any one who doesn't know what the difference between a Sudan sulcata and a "regular" sulcata is: Sudan males get literally twice the size of regular males, and have a much higher dome. Females of both are similar in size, but Sudan females also tend to have the higher domes. Care, diet, housing and every thing else is the same. Send me a PM if you are interested.
Hi. Where are you in southern Calif. I would love to see them. I'm in Huntington Beach
 
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I frequently complain that "most people don't start babies correctly". I figure this is a good opportunity to expand on that and explain more.

Here are the first babies to hatch enjoying their first soak:
View attachment 302197

Here is the routine: I get the shoe box with the hatching babies out of the incubator and bring it to the sink. I get the water warm and turn it down to a trickle. I pick up each baby that has exited its egg and examine it's yolk sac. If the yolk sac is reasonably small, which it usually is if they were out of their egg, then I rinse them in the warm trickling tap water to get the schmutz and vermiculite off of them, and then I put them into a pre-filled warm soaking tub. I then put the lid back on the shoebox and put the rest of the eggs back into the incubator. Next I turn on the bird brooder, set the temp, and prepare their brooder boxes. Normally I limit it to 6 babies to a box, but I make an exception to 8 on day one. Tomorrow these guys will be divided up in to smaller groups of no more than six. If you don't have a bird brooder, this step can be done in the incubator, but I like the bird brooder because it gets them started on a day/night cycle with the lights, while the incubator is just always dark inside.

I used to use paper towels on the bottom of the brooder boxes, and if I don't have anything else, I still will on day one or two only. I prefer to use grape leaves, broadleaf plantain leaves, or large mulberry leaves. I alternate through these three. I also add in different grasses, weeds, leaves, baby opuntia pads, flowers, and grocery store greens for them to nibble on. In these first few days, I try to introduce them to new foods every day for at least two weeks before repeating anything. This makes for babies that will literally eat anything you put in front of them, which is why I'm always bitching at people to NOT let their tortoises have access to anything toxic with the incorrect assumption that the tortoises know better and won't eat the wrong stuff. My babies will, but I do this so they will eat a huge variety of the right stuff for their new owners.

I also leave some of their egg shells in with them for a few days. They don't seem to do anything with them, but I want them to have the option.
View attachment 302201

My bird brooder box has a fan that runs 24/7. I place the tub of water directly under the fan to keep humidity up and reduce the wind on my shoe boxes. As long as I have room, I keep the rain water spray bottle in there to keep the water in it warm. I can fit up to nine shoe boxes in the brooder at once.
View attachment 302202

Every day, I remove the old leaves and food, and soak them for 15-20 minutes in their brooder boxes. While they soak, I go outside and get fresh leaves and food for their new boxes. When they've soaked enough, I spray them off with my rain water and put them into their freshly made up clean boxes with a wet shell. Then they go back into the bird brooder for another day. This goes on for anywhere from 7 -10 days. Why 7-10 days? I'm glad you asked. This is about how long it takes for them to absorb their yolk sac and have the umbilical scar close up and heal. I do not think babies should be in an enclosure and on substrate until the yolk sac is absorbed and the umbilical scar completely closed up. I see many breeders making this mistake.

Here is what these babies looked like today. I'll do a daily progression on them to show how quickly it absorbs and heals up if people would just keep them in a brooder box instead of in a dry enclosure on substrate.
View attachment 302210 View attachment 302211 View attachment 302212

Comments and questions are welcome. :)
These are the cutest little creatures! They are perfect
 

Texastravis

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Tom, any updated photos of the parents this year? I struggle to see the difference between other sulcatas. I hope yours get big!
 

Tom

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Tom, any updated photos of the parents this year? I struggle to see the difference between other sulcatas. I hope yours get big!
I haven't taken any pics lately.

Sudans have higher domes and get much larger. Regular sulcatas, mostly from Mali, have a more sloped back. Sudan males top out at 250+ pounds. I've seen one that was estimated at 380-400 pounds. Regular males top out around 130 pounds. Females of both types seldom exceed 80-90 pounds, but an occasional large female does happen.

For many years the guys breeding Sudans just put them on the market as "sulcatas", not thinking anyone would care that these were from a different locale. This being the case, mutts abound. I bought my Sudans directly from the breeder, so there is no doubt.
 

AgataP

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This little guy has an unusual anomaly. He's got rough serrations on the sides of his shell. I feel it every time I pick him up in and out of the soak water. Hard to see in the pics, but very noticeable when you touch him. I wonder how these serrations will develop or fade as this one grows.
View attachment 302770 View attachment 302771 View attachment 302773

Tom these are so beautiful. Congratulations on another successful batch of beauties. They are so adorable.
I am truly happy that I am lucky enough to be able to get all the advice from you to provide my tortoise with the best care!

I just want to hold them all and take pictures between leaves and flowers. ❤️❤️
 

Tom

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Tom these are so beautiful. Congratulations on another successful batch of beauties. They are so adorable.
I am truly happy that I am lucky enough to be able to get all the advice from you to provide my tortoise with the best care!

I just want to hold them all and take pictures between leaves and flowers. ❤️❤️
I have another batch hatching right now. :)
 

AgataP

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I have another batch hatching right now. :)
Record a time lapse video 😍😍
Oh Tom I feel like there is a road trip your way at some point when I am in California. You always welcome here as well door is always open.
 

Texastravis

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I haven't taken any pics lately.

Sudans have higher domes and get much larger. Regular sulcatas, mostly from Mali, have a more sloped back. Sudan males top out at 250+ pounds. I've seen one that was estimated at 380-400 pounds. Regular males top out around 130 pounds. Females of both types seldom exceed 80-90 pounds, but an occasional large female does happen.

For many years the guys breeding Sudans just put them on the market as "sulcatas", not thinking anyone would care that these were from a different locale. This being the case, mutts abound. I bought my Sudans directly from the breeder, so there is no doubt.

I had a guy I was messaging tell me he used to have a 33" female sulcata 200+ pounds. I call bullony. My large male is the largest sulcata I have seen in person actually and was 36-37" before his gular broke. I estimate over 220 pounds but he does not have the geometry/shape of a Sudanese tortoise. I cannot keep smaller females with him at all for fear of murder. I actually ordered some materials to weigh him so I will know exactly soon. My largest female is also the largest female I have seen in person and she is very close to 26". I weighed her a year or 2 ago and she was 115. Fluctuates with water weight.
 

Tom

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I had a guy I was messaging tell me he used to have a 33" female sulcata 200+ pounds. I call bullony. My large male is the largest sulcata I have seen in person actually and was 36-37" before his gular broke. I estimate over 220 pounds but he does not have the geometry/shape of a Sudanese tortoise. I cannot keep smaller females with him at all for fear of murder. I actually ordered some materials to weigh him so I will know exactly soon. My largest female is also the largest female I have seen in person and she is very close to 26". I weighed her a year or 2 ago and she was 115. Fluctuates with water weight.
I know of one 150 pound female. Its pretty unusual, but it happens.

At 220, or any where near that, your male must have some Sudanese genetics somewhere.
 

Texastravis

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I know of one 150 pound female. Its pretty unusual, but it happens.

At 220, or any where near that, your male must have some Sudanese genetics somewhere.
This is him, I will post again once I know his exact weight.
 

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