3 Sulcatas in Virginia

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Walker, Donald and Thomas are all doing fine. Thomas hasn't had much outside time lately due to the cooler temps. Weighed him a couple days ago and he is getting close to pound and a half Picture 006.jpg And Donald is still living outside full time. He is doing great with the cooler temps, coming out to eat and drink and then returning back to his heated house to warm up. He is growing nicely. Here's some pics from today with the temps in the upper 50s Picture 001.jpg Picture 002.jpg Picture 003.jpg Weighed and measured him today and he is 12 inches an 10 pounds 5 oz. Picture 005.jpg Walker has the same routine he's had for years. Picture 017.jpg Picture 019.jpg
 

Warren

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
169
Location (City and/or State)
Balto. MD
Walker got a treat today., at least he thinks it's a treat. View attachment 310622 View attachment 310623 View attachment 310624 He ate the whole thing in a few minutes
Walker's size makes that head of lettuce look like a brussel sprout. My Sammy weighed 22 lbs 9 ozs yesterday, will be 3 yrs. old Dec 21. He is a hand full now but would never give him up for the anything, he still lives mostly indoors. I can't amagine having to take care for 3 Sucatas. Keep up the good work !!!
 

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Walker's size makes that head of lettuce look like a brussel sprout. My Sammy weighed 22 lbs 9 ozs yesterday, will be 3 yrs. old Dec 21. He is a hand full now but would never give him up for the anything, he still lives mostly indoors. I can't amagine having to take care for 3 Sucatas. Keep up the good work !!!
It's not that difficult once you get everything set up properly and consider all the mishaps that could happen year round weather wise, and have a plan to deal with them when letting them stay outside all year. The bigger they are the easier they are to care for outside because they hold body temps longer and gives them more time outside before returning to their heated house to warm up when the outside air and ground temps are cold. I had 5 adults (3 females and 2 males) here for a while. I raised 4 of them and one was an adoption after it's owner passed. The adopted one which had never been outside and was very deformed, but knew how and when to go in and out of it's house from day one depending on the weather. He even came out in snowy weather and returned to his heated house to warm up.
 

Warren

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
169
Location (City and/or State)
Balto. MD
It's not that difficult once you get everything set up properly and consider all the mishaps that could happen year round weather wise, and have a plan to deal with them when letting them stay outside all year. The bigger they are the easier they are to care for outside because they hold body temps longer and gives them more time outside before returning to their heated house to warm up when the outside air and ground temps are cold. I had 5 adults (3 females and 2 males) here for a while. I raised 4 of them and one was an adoption after it's owner passed. The adopted one which had never been outside and was very deformed, but knew how and when to go in and out of it's house from day one depending on the weather. He even came out in snowy weather and returned to his heated house to warm up.
My Sammy likes being in the house, he wonders around the lower level of my house. When it's nice out, I'll take him outside in the yard or for a walk in the neighborhood. He is never out of my site, In am so protective of him and care for him as if he was one of my own children. Everything I do is so he will be happy and healthy, this is my second Sucata. I mad a mistake with the first one about 15 yrs. ago and it passed away after a few weeks. 20201126_133358.jpg This is a picture of Sammy taking a walk a couple of days ago.
 

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
My Sammy likes being in the house, he wonders around the lower level of my house. When it's nice out, I'll take him outside in the yard or for a walk in the neighborhood. He is never out of my site, In am so protective of him and care for him as if he was one of my own children. Everything I do is so he will be happy and healthy, this is my second Sucata. I mad a mistake with the first one about 15 yrs. ago and it passed away after a few weeks. View attachment 311948 This is a picture of Sammy taking a walk a couple of days ago.
Very nice looking tortoise, and so clean. Is it a female ?
 

queen koopa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
478
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
Very nice looking tortoise, and so clean. Is it a female ?
I thought the same thing! So clean! Made me want to go soak Koopas big a**. I am in need of a new kiddie pool actually... She has full self soaking access all spring and summer in her enclosure. Do you soak Walker in the colder months?
 

Warren

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
169
Location (City and/or State)
Balto. MD
I thought the same thing! So clean! Made me want to go soak Koopas big a**. I am in need of a new kiddie pool actually... She has full self soaking access all spring and summer in her enclosure. Do you soak Walker in the colder months?
Thank You, many people have made comments on how clean he is, one person thought it was a Alpino Tortoise and I had a few thing it was remote control Tortoise. Sammy gets a soaking everyday for 30 mins. to an hour and he's in a routine where he allows me to clean him with a toothbrush (Not mine, His). I brush his whole body with the tooth brush as long as the waters warm, he don't care. Still able to put Sammy in the sink and tub, will figure out out to wash him when he get bigger. The way he's growing that won't be long.
 

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
I thought the same thing! So clean! Made me want to go soak Koopas big a**. I am in need of a new kiddie pool actually... She has full self soaking access all spring and summer in her enclosure. Do you soak Walker in the colder months?
No I don't, In fact Walker has never been soaked. When I got him in 1996 no one knew soaking was beneficial for young tortoises.
 

Hippytort

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
63
Location (City and/or State)
Southern CA
Walker, Donald and Thomas are all doing fine. Thomas hasn't had much outside time lately due to the cooler temps. Weighed him a couple days ago and he is getting close to pound and a half View attachment 311797 And Donald is still living outside full time. He is doing great with the cooler temps, coming out to eat and drink and then returning back to his heated house to warm up. He is growing nicely. Here's some pics from today with the temps in the upper 50s View attachment 311800 View attachment 311798 View attachment 311799 Weighed and measured him today and he is 12 inches an 10 pounds 5 oz. View attachment 311803 Walker has the same routine he's had for years. View attachment 311801 View attachment 311802
Beautiful tort's Len! You said Walker has the same routine he's had for years. Well I have a big guy as well, (150 lb +) He has the same routine too! Comes out of his house every morning about eight AM and try to destroy everything in the yard, Once he's satisfied that he's broken all the potted plants and lawn chairs he eats, rest for several hours, go home , Next day repeat!
Thank God for him we love him too much!
 
Last edited:

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Beautiful tort's Len! You said Walker has the same routine he's had for years. Well I have a big guy as well, (150 lb +) He has the same routine too! Comes out of his house every morning about eight AM and try to destroy everything in the yard, Once he's satisfied that he's broken all the potted plants and lawn chairs he eats, rest for several hours, go home , Next day repeat!
Thank God for him we love him too much!
I've been lucky in that aspect, Walker never has been real destructive. He don't like change though. He's not a digger either, The females I had were.
 

Hippytort

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
63
Location (City and/or State)
Southern CA
I've been lucky in that aspect, Walker never has been real destructive. He don't like change though. He's not a digger either, The females I had were.
Yes you are lucky. I'm lucky as well that mine is not a digger either. He just likes to push things. If he can move it he does! Your tort's are outstanding!
 

TimR

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Virginia
I have 3 sulcatas that live in the Northern Neck of Virginia just across the Potomac River from Southern Maryland. The oldest is Walker, 24 years old that I raised from a hatchling. He is from a breeder in Texas. He lives outside all year and has free range daily. At his last weigh in a few months ago he weighed 147 pounds.
Hi Len,
I am across the river in Northern Virginia. I have 3 tortoises, Burmese Brown Mountain Tortoise, Yellowfoot Tortoise and a Redfoot Tortoise. They live outside all summer and into the Fall as long as possible. They do have a heated Night Box. The Yellowfoot and Redfoot will always return to the Night Box, but some cooler nights I need to track down the Burmese and put him/her? in the box overnight.

All 3 are indoors right now, but I would love to be able to house them outdoors longer or even all year if possible. How are you able to keep your Sulcatas outside all year in our area?

Thanks,
Tim
 

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
I have kept all 3 types of tortoises you mention and the only ones I was able to keep outside all year was the mountain tortoises of both types. The only reason it worked out was because we had a very mild winter, (similar to last years winter we had here) Red footed and yellow footed tortoises can't handle the cold ground temps even if they have a heated hide to retreat to. How and why sulcatas do so well in cold environments I have no idea but I have living proof in my back yard that if they have everything they need they can stay outside all year.
 

Turtulas-Len

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
4,125
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
A few days ago I noticed cactus fruit laying on the ground from a plant that has never produced many blooms in past years, but this yesr it had many blooms and the ripe fruit are very large. it's an opuntia that Walker doesn't care for but will eat the pads in a pinch. I offered some of the fruit and he pigged out on them. Picture 007.jpg
 

TimR

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Virginia
I have kept all 3 types of tortoises you mention and the only ones I was able to keep outside all year was the mountain tortoises of both types. The only reason it worked out was because we had a very mild winter, (similar to last years winter we had here) Red footed and yellow footed tortoises can't handle the cold ground temps even if they have a heated hide to retreat to. How and why sulcatas do so well in cold environments I have no idea but I have living proof in my back yard that if they have everything they need they can stay outside all year.
Thanks for the information. Maybe when the Burmese is larger I can try to keep outdoors longer.

Thanks,
Tim
 

Warren

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
169
Location (City and/or State)
Balto. MD
My Sammy is eating alot, and getting big. Weighting 23 pounds 8 oz the other day. Hoping he hits 25 pounds by his 3rd birthday, Dec 21 20201206_155118.jpg
 
Top