Animal Stories - Sulcata Tortoise
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Animal-World Information about:
Not only is the African Spurred Tortoise the largest tortoise on the African mainland, it is the third largest tortoise on the planet!
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we live in Arizona which is a great climate for Sulcatas. Currently we house two very large Sulcatas outside in a specially built enclosure. We used railroad ties stacked 4 high and they make a very sturdy and inexpensive wall. We paid about $8.00 each for the railroad ties and we found that they really didn't need to be secured in any way. The size and weight alone make them stack nicely. Our torts are about 50 lbs each so we really needed the enclosure to be strong. We use a double dog house with heat lamps for night time. Its easy to clean out and we replace the dirt inside when it gets soiled or wet. We made an eating platform out of 6-12" flat concrete pavers. It keeps the food off the dirt and we are able to hose it off when it gets dirty. I bought the biggest clay drainage dish I could find at a plant nursery. It's about 24" across. It makes a great water dish. It's shallow but heavy and they love to sit in it. I dug a shallow hole about 3 feet across that on occasion I fill with water and they love to wallow in it and flip mud on their backs. hope this is helpful information!
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Can you send me a picture please? ChristieCrase@aol.com Thanks
Rosalia Solis -
would you please send me a picture?
I just gained a Sulcata and he is about 12 lbs. I would also love to see some pics or ask mkore questions. I live in Mesa and we are trying to figure out how to build him (Mikey) something for the upcoming winter months. firstname.lastname@example.org Nicolle
I have a 150 lb male and he free roams on an acre of walled property with all of the proper food and shelter. I am looking for someone to take him. I would like what I paid for him only as I rescued him from a breeder who was ill and could no longer. Please contact me if you are interested or know of anyone who might be. He is in perfect health and very friendly.
For current, proper, up to date information on all your tortoise husbandry needs, for all specie of turtles and tortoises, I highly recommend the group the tortoiseforum.com this is an international forum of experts and hobbiests getting together to all openly share their experiences with this wonderful animal. You will find very helpful regular folks wanting simply to help you help your tortoise to have a long healthy, happy life. Join the conversation, share your exsperiances, and see that you are not alone. My user name is Cowboy_Ken. Stop in and say hi.
Clarice Brough -
This is great resource and that's another great resource too. Never hurts to have lots of help:)
A great deal has been learned in the few years about raising and keeping Sulcata ( I have one, as well as other species). Most specifically, that babies are born and thrive in the rainy season in Africa. Though it seems it would be appropriate to keep them in a dry environment this has been shown to lead to health problems in young ones. They need moisture / humidity for proper shell development. The most obvious sign of too dry an environment is a pyramiding shell. This is raised shutes on the caprice ( top shell). The info in the above article is outdated. A humid environment IS NOT a problem - but a benefit for these tortoises. Closed chambers with 80% humidity is ideal. The desiccating effects of torts raised under heat lamps in open tables it damaging. Mike
Hi my name is Christiana I found a baby tortoise in the backyard of my job it's probably no bigger than 3inches. I've kept it for 2 days now but I'm scared that I may kill it not having the proper care. I want to keep it so bad. I have it in one of those big plastic rectangle bowl tops with a medium rock and a few patches of lettuce on the side. I let it swim and soak in my bathtub (of course deeply sanitizing afterwards) but I really want to keep it please help.
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Clarice Brough -
Wow that's exciting Christiana, what a wonderful pet. Besides all the care information on this page up above, you can also check out the article on
Selecting & Caring for Your Turtle or Tortoise
. Wishing you both the best!
Hi I'm from Bakersfield California I have a 2in sulcata.had em for about a lil over Two weeks now my step sister found em and my brother bought em from her and he gave. the little onr to me I've done research pretty much everyday I've had turtles. in the past but this my first tortoise. I have a big back yard and I have a garden. with alotta things. the little one can eat. and I have an out door set up for em and I let em roam the front and back yard supervised of course but I wanna grow some good staple worthy. grasses...any suggestions.ps I've got calcium powder.and I do soak em I need a name but don't know if the little one is a boy or. girl
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Clarice Brough -
Sex is not easy to determine visually in a young tortoise, its usually at about usually 3-4 years of age and 10' to 14' in size before you can reliably sex them. Males develop convex or out-spreading anal scutes, while females are just the opposite with concave or in-spreading anal scutes. mMles also haveindented plastrons while there is no indentation on females.
On diet, African Spurred Tortoises are from a dry arid region and feed on grasses and other plants. In captivity they require a very high-fiber, grass-based diet as the bulk of their food. Too much protein in the diet will cause abnormal growth rates, which can lead to other problems. Coastal hay is really good and helps with digestion, but be cautious with alfalfa hay products as they are too rich in protein for the bulk of their diet. They can also be feed weeds, a variety of grasses, and clover, as well as other greens and vegetables. For grasses, it really depends on where you live and what will grow in your area.
I keep the little one in side at night and I have a heating. pad under the temparary 20 gallon tank I have for now but I need to know the correct wattage I need to have for the uvb bulbs.but like I've stated most of the day the baby is out in the yard .
I just received my tortoise as a anniversary gift and I love it .... She will be a year old in oct ... I just fed her some catcus and she lived it. ... Trying to build her home but what to you place in the bottom of her tortoise table
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Clarice Brough -
It's suggested that a mix of 1/2 play sand and 1/2 topsoil is probably best. Shredded paper is okay, and some use it because it's inexpensive and easy to replace, but straw or hemp are not recommended.
Hello everyone! I purchased my sulcata 2 years ago from a local petshop. Once I saw it I fell in love with it. The petshop owner did not know much about it, only that it would grow really large. He told me one name, but as I found out later he was wrong. My undergrad major was in biology and I studied herpetology. I classified the tortoise as a Sulcata tortoise. I did research and learned all I could about it. At first I did not know her sex, and I decided to name her flip, due to her flipping over all the time. I live in South Texas where we have very short winters or none at all. I have a very large yard where she enjoys digging, sun bathing, and grazing. She is very accustom to me and comes and knocks on the door for food or just curiosity. She's not that large yet, but I can't wait for her to get bigger.
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colten comer -
She will get VERY large.
I got one when I was 11 I am now 18.
I named mine MR. T.
He is now 250-300 pounds and 16-20 inches across the bottom of his shell from left to right.
If you want to learn more email me.
I'm from South Texas too, the RGV to be exact...I'm thinking about buying one, would you recommend it?
Saly I'm from the RGV, too and the sulcata s are absolutely a joy, I have had them for about 3 years. They are a lot of work, but I love them. Jenny
I think every pet owner that owns an African spurred tortoise is a success. I have two African spurred tortoises and they are the best thing that ever hapend to me. I am very excited to create a new chapter in my life with my tortoises
Can a Sulcata tortoise live outdoor in my garden? I live in California, Los Angeles and the weather is 70 to 90 day time, 40 to 60 night time.
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yes but you have to keep a very close eye on them and if they are not fully grown birds will try to eat them and also sulcata tortoises hate and do not go well with dogs
I have had our sulcata tortoise for 9 years and she grew up with and gets along with my 9 yr old teacup poodle, 7 year old pug and 2 year old boxer. In fact she sleeps in their dog house with them. To say they don't get along dogs is nit correct.
Jeremy W. Sr
I live in Somersworth New Hampshire and I have two spurred tortoises, a male that I take care of and a female that's just a baby. The males name is Sully and he is 6 years old going on 7. I babysit him in the summertime from my friend because I have a fenced in yard. The other 1 I have I'm not sure on the age, I got it as a rescue that I've taken care of and brought it back to health. Someone just left her at an apartment and she was in there for almost two months before someone even noticed that she was there. I named her Glaedr after the gold dragon in the book Eragon. They are two of the few reptiles that my girlfriend and I have. I love taking Sully to the park and watching the kids enjoying seeing him and wanting to learn about them.
Hi I live in phoenix az. I got two African spurrs, I have had them since they were quarter size about 5 or 6 years now. One is bigger than the other and I do see them either mating or practicing. They have a big hole that they both live in. I feed them trimmings from my grocery store I work at and water them every day. I really never knew much about them but they always seemed happy. Lately the smaller turttle has not been coming out every day and I have noticed she dug a little tunnel on the other side of their hole away from the male. She would normally be directly behind him. Is it possible for her to be laying eggs or is she too young? When they were babies I always had a heat lamp but once they dug their hole they didn't come to their little house anymore so I have not had a heat lamp for about 4 years. They seem very healthy no signs of any sickness and shells are perfect. Just worried about her not coming out, she is too deep for me to try and pull her out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I just bought a 90 lb Sulcata Tortoise. I have had her for 4 days and we are getting to know each other. She has an injury to the left side of her shell due to a heat lamp melting plastic on her. Apparently this happened many years ago. Is there anything I can use to treat this area to keep it healthy? I am noticing that red ants are attracted to it and I am concerned. Other than that, she seems happy and good appetite. Concerned Lisa
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Jeremy Roche -
Is the shell actually cracked? I have seen sealants for shells if it is. Give your local vet a call.
Renee Olive-Foster -
Hi wow sounds like a great new pet!! I heard Vets do seal the area with some type of surgical Glue, best to get it done asap to keep it from getting infected.. bless her heart! Best of luck..
Sandra Hildreth -
I also have a baby sucata. My dog found her when she was only 2 months old and the size of a 50 cent piece. She had a small cracked in her shell. I healed it with newsprint with pain men's and vita shell with calcium. It healed up great.