Brand new to the forum and tortoises

Alixdor

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
5
Hello,

I am new to this forum and the husbandry of tortoises in general. I do have a decent amount of exotic animal experience, and I realize there will be some similarities as the husbandry of other reptiles, such as UVB, full spectrum UV rays for vitamin D synthesis, Calcium and maintenance of appropriate Ca:ph ratio via diet, moisture for growth (moist hide), basking, etc. etc. etc. Of course each factor is dependent on individual species and it's native climate.

I am very interested in adding some torts (2 max) to my collection, and am just taking my time now doing research, gathering supplies as I go and being patient. I do not have any at the moment and I don't mind waiting months or even a year to get everything ready and know I am buying the right species for me.

I should give you all a brief view of myself/my goals with pets. I rescue several animals and give them permanent homes, with mammals this can be difficult as their lack of bonding or terrible treatment can make them a lot of work to tame and bond with. I put a great amount of energy daily into each of my mammals/marsupials, especially the rescues as they do need a bit more help. Reptiles are a bit easy as they often do not bond the way mammals do and typically if they have not been cared for appropriately the owner didn't hold them much anyways so there aren't nearly as many behaviours to correct and socializing a reptile that is finally getting everything it needs and is healthy is incredibly rewarding as they do seem to show more appreciation for proper care and kindness towards the rescuer… This has been my experience anyways, and I would love to rescue some torts are there are far too many being bred and homeless. These animals live an incredibly long time and it's unfair to continue to buy babies when there are adults in need and will be in need for possibly another 50 years (more or less depending on species). I am it the process of building a private zoo with my rescues and getting licensed to use animals for educational purposes. I have a small birthday party business and would love to start offering educational programs for children's birthdays using my pets. Eventually I would like to have enough money to open a proper zoo facility but that is a very long term goal…. after I get my DVM lol.

Long story short, I live in Ontario Canada and know already that many oppose the idea of Canadians owning larger species of tortoises. I can't really help but be in love with Sulcatas and Leopards. I know, I feel guilty. But I am open minded to other species as well. I intend to build a biodome structure in which I will create several different enclosures for different tropical animals, including tortoises. I will have (for the warmer season) each enclosure with a private exit and blocked off land for grazing or various activities depending on the animal. This is a bit more of a long term goal.

I also intend to extend my home, so to speak, by building a greenhouse type structure under my 15 foot high deck (open basement) fully insulated and indoor access to my home. My deck space runs 50x10 and I would like to extend the room out by another 5 feet as well (so 50x15) to provide more sun as this part will be entirely glasses in. Anyways, I would like to use a portion of this space in the mean time, until the biodome is ready, to house the torts. Now it all depends on what age I get the torts at and their size as well as the species…. I would be kind of cool to get hatchlings and watch them grow in my home for a few years but it would break my heart not to rescue.

I live on 4 acres in a forest on a lake, and have grass land as well. The winters are cold, obviously, though the snow and wind and cold isn't as bad at my home as we are well surrounded with trees which provide protection. We have 4 seasons and the temps would be appropriate for the torts to go outdoors april, may, june, july, august, sept. and part of october. If looking up where I live to get a better idea of the year round climate would help then research the Lanark Highlands of Ontario.


So what do you all think so far? What species do you think would be best for me? I do love big, but I won't throw a fit over it lol. Do you think as a first timer I should do a rescue? or have a hatchling, get more experience then rescue? Rescues are a bit more complicated.

Nice to meet you all :)
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
10,893
Hello and welcome to the TFO from AZ, USA . Torts rule ! We have a member that has torts in Alaska he maybe can help . Sorry don't remember his name . But he had a great set up .
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Welcome to the forum. You can absolutely keep Leopards or Sulcatas. I keep Leopards in Spokane WA with similar weather. It is expensive and challenging, but can be done.
Hatchling are much more difficult than rescues. They have a much smaller tolerance to mistakes by beginners. Sounds like you have great plans.
 

Alixdor

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
5
@wildak ? maybe

what kind of tortoises do you have? Do you have any recommendations in terms of rescues or hatchlings for first timers? I'm getting excited, they are quite fascinating….. btw koodos to you for having the patience to actually read my entire post, I can be a bit of a rambler.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Alixdor

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
5
Welcome. Just a quick reply.
Do not get two of any tortoise. It will cause you and the torts TROUBLE.
They are solitary animals.
are you referring to 2 different species of just saying they cannot be housed together in general? I didn't intend on housing them together, but is there not (and this may be a dumb question) a large enough enclosure in which you could house more then one?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,998
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I don't think tortoises are very easy to come by in Canada. I just did a Google search for turtle & tortoise rescue, Canada, and not too many results. Also, they can't be shipped into Canada (the law of the country). Of course, you can always advertise requesting unwanted tortoises, etc. on craigslist and in the paper.
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
I keep Leopards and Russians. I recommend adults or at least juveniles to start with. I lost a couple of hatchling while learning, and it is devastating even though it probably wasn't my fault. If they are started dry they are damaged in the first weeks. If you go with hatchlings but from a breeder that starts them right.
 

Alixdor

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
5
I keep Leopards and Russians. I recommend adults or at least juveniles to start with. I lost a couple of hatchling while learning, and it is devastating even though it probably wasn't my fault. If they are started dry they are damaged in the first weeks. If you go with hatchlings but from a breeder that starts them right.
I was just told that leopards will not grow to full size if kept indoors for as long as they need to in our climate, is this true?

I don't think tortoises are very easy to come by in Canada. I just did a Google search for turtle & tortoise rescue, Canada, and not too many results. Also, they can't be shipped into Canada (the law of the country). Of course, you can always advertise requesting unwanted tortoises, etc. on craigslist and in the paper.

The fact that you looked that up :) you are such a sweetheart thank you
 

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
48,166
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
Hello and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum.
if you get your set up right, then any species is possible to keep, even in your, rather too chilly for me, climate.
Russians are a good tortoise for slightly lower temps, but they are a smaller species.
Have a look at the care sheets here under the Species Specific section and it will give you the requirements for each type of tortoise you may be interested in.
Good luck.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,226
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
The general rule is that you never keep different species together and if you want more than one tortoise, get at least three of the same species.
You simply need the room to do so.
I have four Redfoot living in harmony.(kind of);)
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
I was just told that leopards will not grow to full size if kept indoors for as long as they need to in our climate, is this true?



The fact that you looked that up :) you are such a sweetheart thank you
I have never heard such a thing.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,411
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Tom is this poppy ****? Ok poppy rooster then.

I don't have any experience raising leopards in cold climates, so I can only relate what I've seen. There does seem to be a lot of sulcatas and leopards from those kind of climates that are really small for their age, BUT, not all of them. And are they small due to diet, temps, lack of exercise in small winter housing, lack of UV, etc? I don't have these answers.

I can say that the latitude where a tortoise lives should have nothing to do with how big it is genetically programmed to get. The conditions in which a tortoise is raised can certainly have a profound effect though, and there might be some element that I cannot define that causes these Northern housed tortoise to grow much slower or become stunted.
 

Alixdor

New Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
5
thank you ALL!!! I am excited to start this journey. I will start with a smaller more forgiving species I think, it's one thing to learn a new skill and make mistakes but when the skill is the husbandry of animals there is a level of ethics and responsibility you must take separating yourself from what you want and what is best for others. Essentially this is the true skill of herpping or caring for any animal, the skill and practice of selflessness. I am happy to have so many wonderful experts guiding me through this journey. Thank you all <3
 

DesertGirl12

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
Yucca Valley, CA
Welcome to the forum!
I am somewhat of a newbie but I do think the choice of starting with a hatchling or young adult is definitely a personal choice but one not to be made lightly as I discovered. As someone mentioned, the hatchlings are much more care. Originally, I had intended to start with older rescues but these two hatchlings came up needing a home and there I was. Kudos to you doing your research up front and polling the forum. I was overwhelmed at how little I really knew about what to do for my torts when the time came. It was a nervous six months till I felt comfortable with what I was doing (mostly by continually following the forum). I do have two that are approaching a year this summer and they don't cause any problems with each other yet. Well, except for competition at the food bowl but no one dominates really. I understand I may have to one day expand their inside table and outside pen (which I made very large to start with) if I see aggressive behavior or until I can determine their sex. I agree that our responsibility to these guys is very important and starting simpler may be wise. But it is all definitely rewarding when you see them grow, respond and stay healthy.

Best of luck on your endeavor. I envy the land you have available to house and graze your torts. :)
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top