A few questions in mind

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
Hey all. So I have as few questions about sulcata husbandry.
First is about soaking. Rover is 4 months until 2 years old. Is it necessary to keep on with the daily soaks? Also, during soaking, do I have to scrub its limbs and shell?
Second is about something I read online. They say letting any tortoises in general walk on hard floor (i.e. wooden, brick, marble, etc.) would affect the shape of the torts disc bone, making it concave? I would like some veterans verify this claim.
Thanks in advance for your input.
 

Maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
6,920
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
Hey all. So I have as few questions about sulcata husbandry.
First is about soaking. Rover is 4 months until 2 years old. Is it necessary to keep on with the daily soaks? Also, during soaking, do I have to scrub its limbs and shell?
Second is about something I read online. They say letting any tortoises in general walk on hard floor (i.e. wooden, brick, marble, etc.) would affect the shape of the torts disc bone, making it concave? I would like some veterans verify this claim.
Thanks in advance for your input.
Yes...soaking is necessary...not for a 'bath' but so the tort can drink and soak for good hydration...A male's plastron is 'concave' so he can fit the female's carapace during mating...it is dangerous and not healthy for any tortoise to walk about on the floor...hth
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
Yes...soaking is necessary...not for a 'bath' but so the tort can drink and soak for good hydration...A male's plastron is 'concave' so he can fit the female's carapace during mating...it is dangerous and not healthy for any tortoise to walk about on the floor...hth
I know torts need soaking, but I'm asking if I still need to do it daily to my almost 2 year old sulcata. Also, I didnt mean the plastron, but rather on the back of the shell, close to the tail keel. They say if torts are allowed to walk on hard floor, even the substrate layer being to thin, would result in the area being concave.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,844
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
If you mean the area on the carapace over the hips, quite a few of our captive raised sulcatas have this. I think @Tom had an explanation for it once, or maybe it was @Markw84 . Maybe one of them can respond to that portion of your concern.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
I forgot, but I have another question. So when Rover is walking around and I softly sweep my fingers on its shell (close to the hip), it starts walking all weird, like walking sideways or simply not straight foward. Idk if that's normal for torts. Or is it just like tickling the tort?
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
If you mean the area on the carapace over the hips, quite a few of our captive raised sulcatas have this. I think @Tom had an explanation for it once, or maybe it was @Markw84 . Maybe one of them can respond to that portion of your concern.
I'm not sure if the area you're talking about refers to the one I'm talking about. So heres a picture to clarify.
 

Attachments

  • 20200413_114259.jpg
    20200413_114259.jpg
    4.2 MB · Views: 18

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,353
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hey all. So I have as few questions about sulcata husbandry.
First is about soaking. Rover is 4 months until 2 years old. Is it necessary to keep on with the daily soaks? Also, during soaking, do I have to scrub its limbs and shell?
Second is about something I read online. They say letting any tortoises in general walk on hard floor (i.e. wooden, brick, marble, etc.) would affect the shape of the torts disc bone, making it concave? I would like some veterans verify this claim.
Thanks in advance for your input.
I soak daily until they reach 100 grams. Since they all grow at different rates, the age doesn't mean anything. After 100 grams, I start skipping a day now and then. By the time they are 1000 grams, I'm only soaking them 2-3 times a week.

Soaking more often is better and does no harm. When I have a lot of time, like right now, I soak them every day, even though they don't really "need" it.

There is no need to scrub them unless they have fecal matter on them.

Some sulcatas show more of an indentation in that area than others. They do it on any surface.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
I soak daily until they reach 100 grams. Since they all grow at different rates, the age doesn't mean anything. After 100 grams, I start skipping a day now and then. By the time they are 1000 grams, I'm only soaking them 2-3 times a week.

Soaking more often is better and does no harm. When I have a lot of time, like right now, I soak them every day, even though they don't really "need" it.

There is no need to scrub them unless they have fecal matter on them.

Some sulcatas show more of an indentation in that area than others. They do it on any surface.
I saw some pictures online showing that area being really concave, and after some researching, I found out that that is due to them walking on hard smooth surfaces too much. I dont know if that is true so I'm asking here for more accurate info. Also, when Rover is walking around and I softly sweep my finger on the back of the shell, close to the hip, it starts walking strangely, i.e. not straight foward, and it also wiggles a little bit. Idk if that's normal. Is it just like tickling it? It'd be cool if you could answer this question too. Much appreciated.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,353
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I saw some pictures online showing that area being really concave, and after some researching, I found out that that is due to them walking on hard smooth surfaces too much. I dont know if that is true so I'm asking here for more accurate info. Also, when Rover is walking around and I softly sweep my finger on the back of the shell, close to the hip, it starts walking strangely, i.e. not straight foward, and it also wiggles a little bit. Idk if that's normal. Is it just like tickling it? It'd be cool if you could answer this question too. Much appreciated.
As I said: Some sulcatas show more of an indentation in that area than others. They do it on any surface.

The wiggles are the tortoises way of telling you that it doesn't want to mate or be dominated. Its trying to shake you off.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
As I said: Some sulcatas show more of an indentation in that area than others. They do it on any surface.

The wiggles are the tortoises way of telling you that it doesn't want to mate or be dominated. Its trying to shake you off.
If the wiggles are as the case you mentioned, does that mean my sulcata is a female?
 

Maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
6,920
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
No. It means: That the tortoise doesn't want to mate or be dominated. Its trying to shake you off.

Most tortoises and turtles are sensitive some what on their carapace...if you watch a tort in nature they will get under a bush and wildly shake themselves back and forth at times falling off their legs...it's a way of scratching that carapace...I do it to all my trestles and tortoises...I call it the "Hootchie Cootchie' dance...I do have a real aggressive male Sulcata and his defensive moves are a sideways kind of jump and scrabble at me...he has also attacked my leg and bruised me fairly good...but I believe they enjoy the scratching and dance to it...lol
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,353
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Most tortoises and turtles are sensitive some what on their carapace...if you watch a tort in nature they will get under a bush and wildly shake themselves back and forth at times falling off their legs...it's a way of scratching that carapace...I do it to all my trestles and tortoises...I call it the "Hootchie Cootchie' dance...I do have a real aggressive male Sulcata and his defensive moves are a sideways kind of jump and scrabble at me...he has also attacked my leg and bruised me fairly good...but I believe they enjoy the scratching and dance to it...lol
We've always had a difference of opinion on this matter.
 

Maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
6,920
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
We've always had a difference of opinion on this matter.
But that's life isn't it...I also think there are various ways of keeping tortoises that make them different animals....Yvonne and you think your tortoises are wild animals and you treat them as such...my tortoises are pets and are treated that way...I nap with them and play with them daily...and in making more personal contact with them makes them more social...my thinking...
You and I have a lot of differences in opinions...that doesn't make either one of us right or wrong...just different... ?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,353
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
But that's life isn't it...I also think there are various ways of keeping tortoises that make them different animals....Yvonne and you think your tortoises are wild animals and you treat them as such...my tortoises are pets and are treated that way...I nap with them and play with them daily...and in making more personal contact with them makes them more social...my thinking...
You and I have a lot of differences in opinions...that doesn't make either one of us right or wrong...just different... ?
Agreed.

Also, I don't disagree with your way of handling and raising babies AT ALL. I think they will desensitize and become super duper tame, confident, well-adjusted pets doing it your way. I think for the average pet owner, your way is BETTER! Speaking for myself only, my way of leaving them be and just going about my business with them generates results that work for me. Frankly, there isn't enough time in the day for me to do it your way with 30 adults and dozens of babies every day. In contrast to my tortoises, I only have two snakes. I use your method with my snakes. I handle them and carry them around the ranch almost daily. I give them a break on the days they eat, and when they are about to molt.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
503
Location (City and/or State)
Hong Kong
But that's life isn't it...I also think there are various ways of keeping tortoises that make them different animals....Yvonne and you think your tortoises are wild animals and you treat them as such...my tortoises are pets and are treated that way...I nap with them and play with them daily...and in making more personal contact with them makes them more social...my thinking...
You and I have a lot of differences in opinions...that doesn't make either one of us right or wrong...just different... ?
Now you have me curious, how do you socialize with your torts? I really wish Rover can get more used to me, such as not retracting its head when I try to pet it.
 

Kipley

Active Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
118
Location (City and/or State)
Seattle, WA
My adult male Redfoot gets about 15 to 30 minutes out of his indoor enclosure a few times a week just to roam about my kitchen. He will get in the toe kick area under the cabinets and rub his back on the overhang, doing the tortoise dance.

I can only conclude that he likes the feeling, and that is why he puts himself in that position - to scratch his back.
 

New Posts

Top