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  1. M

    Thanks to y'all, my little Cholla remains a contented and healthy little Chelonian.

    Thanks to you all, my little Cholla remains a contented and healthy little Chelonian. Her sweet and personable little ways continue to give me and my family so much delight. I shudder to think how little I knew about how to provide her with the environment or even the food she needs, and how...
  2. M

    grass or hay/ light bedding for movable tortoise "playpen"

    Howdy, all! We intend to use a plastic wading pool as an occasional playpen for our 3 1/2-year-old Desert Tortoise. We want her to able to amble around safely while inside our house in chilly weather. Cholla already has an outdoor enclosure with the necessary furnishings, but she has long...
  3. M

    The peaceful joys of tortoise keeping

    A lovely afternoon, sunny but cool, today just lying around in the grass with my beautiful Chelonian baby, as she basked, and grazed, and tromped through her food dish or just relaxed in a modified "superman position" while gazing upon me with pleasant satisfaction. What a balm to relieve...
  4. M

    How cold is too cold for a DT

    How cold is too cold for a DT at night?
  5. M

    Heating Question

    If I use a mini radiant oil heater, do I need any other heating devices in my DT's outdoor house? It's been a couple months since I posted any threads, so I'll start with the basics. Background: My Cholla, a Desert Tortoise, is 3 1/2 years old now, about 5 1/2 inches long, and weighs about...
  6. M

    Ordering RHP for night box--what wattage?

    Howdy, everyone. SIL needs answers to 2 questions below. Sorry, I searched my threads but couldn't locate the answer. 1. Reptile Supply Company has RHP's in 28, 40, and 120 watts. Which to order? 2. How far above the Kane mat should the RHP be placed? Muchas gracias, todos.
  7. M

    Paint or wood sealant--health hazards?

    Greetings, all! My husband wants to know if we should paint the exterior of Cholla's night box, either that or seal it with Thompson's wood sealant in order to preserve the plywood exterior. Is either of those options advisable? In the meantime, Mm son-in-law is still wanting to put the...
  8. M

    Wood sealant or paint on the exterior plywood of night box? Health hazard?

    Greetings, all! My husband wants to know if we should paint the exterior of Cholla's night box, either that or seal it with Thompson's wood sealant in order to preserve the plywood exterior. Is either of those options advisable? In the meantime, Mm son-in-law is still wanting to put the...
  9. M

    How smooth is smooth?

    Hello, all! I'm sorry I don't know how to send a picture, but perhaps someone can tell me whether a 3 year old Desert Tortoise's carapace should be entirely smooth? I posted a thread about this yesterday or the day before, and no one has responded, so I thought I'd try again.:) I want to...
  10. M

    Anyone describe or post picture of the early signs of pyramiding in a juvenile DT?

    I would post my own photos of Cholla's carapace, but my husband and I are both technologically challenged and haven't figured out how to do that. Would appreciate instruction from any of you in this area. I don't see any signs of pyramiding that are obvious to me, but I'm a beginner and could...
  11. M

    Don't do what I did yesterday. I almost lost my Cholla.

    Yesterday afternoon I did something that Tom and other experienced tortoise keepers have repeatedly warned against : I took my 3 year old desert tortoise out of her enclosure and into yard. My intentions were good: to provide her with excercise and stimulation while he permanent large...
  12. M

    Difficulties getting night box built

    I'm going to begin by venting, then I'll pose my question. The background: People on the forum pointed out to me a few months ago that both the indoor and outdoor enclosures for my 3 year old desert tortoise were far too small for her. I was ashamed and distressed to hear it, and ever...
  13. M

    Son in law ordering stuff tomorrow; needs to know: Kane mat size and wattage? RHP wattage?

    For a 2X4 box? (He thinks this is big enough for Cholla at her small size; also thinking it would fit better in long narrow enclosure. Any comments? For a 4X4 box? Recommended brand or models for Kane mat and RHP? Thank you, compadres.
  14. M

    My 3 year old Desert tortoise hasn't pooped for four or five days.

    I've been posting so many threads lately, I'm a schoolteacher working from home due to Covid19, so I have a lot of time tto obsess over my Cholla. I hope I'm not becoming a nuisance on the forum. So . . . I'm concerned about the lack of poop. Her last one was quite large--since then...
  15. M

    Incandescent basking bulb. What else can I use?

    Tom suggested a 65 watt incandescent flood bulb, but since they're no longer available in California, what's the next best thing for now ? Also we need to know what wattage that "next-best-thing" should have. And to be sure we have the right base for whatever it is. Also, the RHP . . ...
  16. M

    Veterinarian :Recommendations for trustworthy doc in Ventura County, California?

    Hi, everyone. I'd like to establish a relationship with a doc that people on this forum trust. I have no reason to think there's anything wrong with my 3 yr. old DT, thank God, but I've read several posts generally critical of veterinary care for tortoises, and yesterday, I read of one...
  17. M

    impending tortoise house construction--need advice

    Hi, y'all, Son-in-law is about to build outdoor tortoise house for our Desert Tortoise. He needs three questions answered before he begins construction. I know that Tom and others have already answered these questions on their posts. But if my son-in-law could have the answers in a short...
  18. M

    Worried! Feral cats! Should we make a wire "lid" for expanded outdoor enclosure?

    The answer to this question may seem obvious, but I've received contrary opinions about various things, as well as corrections (all good and necessary). I feel properly humbled and frankly, I need the reassurance that I'm doing the right thing by Cholla now. I notice that most of the pix in...
  19. M

    How big a space indoors is needed when torotiose is hibernation

    This question will show my ignorance big time, but here goes. If my 5 inch long Cal. Desert tortoise is going to be hibernating, does she need an enclosure bigger than 50L 24W and 12H? I'd rather hibernate her in a heated tortoise house in a large enclosure outside, as the experts on this...
  20. M

    At What Age Does A CDT Cease To Be A Baby And Become A Juvenile?

    My little Cholla is about 5.5 inches from nose to tail, and 4.5 inches across the carapace. She's three years old and outgrown her indoor enclosure. (She's soon to outgrow her outdoor enclosure as well, so we're making plans to enlarge it this spring). Regarding the indoor enclosure, is she...
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