Convince me not to get an Aldabra

Status
Not open for further replies.

ben awes

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
436
Laura said:
I personally would not want to house a large animal in a cold snowy climate all winter. I don't think its fair to them to live in a shed or basement all winter. It CAN be done.. but I just don't think its ideal..
But if you can build a big enough one and afford to heat it and take precautions for power outage etc...then give it a try.

Thanks Laura, that's the key question, what is best for the animal? What is big enough is what I am trying to gather info about. I don't want to build anything too small, because as you say - it's not fair to the tort. Basement living is not what I would do for an Aldabra. I do think it is OK for smaller species - though still not ideal.

Ben
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,800
Ben .. sorry if I came off that way , by no means was it to be taken like that . Laura mentioned another great point ....and one I dealt with ... I lost 60 eggs due to an power outage 3 years ago ..from that point on .. a brand new $2k generator sits in waiting .....and oh yea .. another problem ..ya can't just let it sit that long or gas goes bad , seals ect ..... I hope your dreams come true ... and it seems you want the best ... you have come to right place for " hands on " info ... not just "book" knowledge ....Once again my bad if I came off like an A** was just trying to ad some of my own advice with large torts and have others ad to it. And I will stress Yvonne is one of the best keepers out there.... so you have a great resource there!
Have a great day ! .... and good luck
JD~
 

Millerlite

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
2,667
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Calif.
Leopards are awesome tortoises as well. Generator is a great idea! Never know when you need it. I had a small one for my fish tanks just in case.

As far as an Aldabra it would def. be a challenge to keep him up north. It will cost dollars to keep him warm in the winter and fed. The thing is do you have the funds for one? I would plan a heated shed first
 

ben awes

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
436
N2TORTS said:
Ben .. sorry if I came off that way , by no means was it to be taken like that . Laura mentioned another great point ....and one I dealt with ... I lost 60 eggs due to an power outage 3 years ago ..from that point on .. a brand new $2k generator sits in waiting .....and oh yea .. another problem ..ya can't just let it sit that long or gas goes bad , seals ect ..... I hope your dreams come true ... and it seems you want the best ... you have come to right place for " hands on " info ... not just "book" knowledge ....Once again my bad if I came off like an A** was just trying to ad some of my own advice with large torts and have others ad to it. And I will stress Yvonne is one of the best keepers out there.... so you have a great resource there!
Have a great day ! .... and good luck
JD~

Thanks JD for the response. I appreciate it. An Aldabra is a dream for me, and I realize that this dream would take a lot of work and $$ here in MN. I'm sure it can be done, and done well, but not sure "I" can do it - hence the reason I came here. This seems to be the best place to have this conversation. Sorry about your lost eggs - that can happen anywhere, anytime - and indoors. My wine cooler I use to cool down my eggs to break the diapause phase reset to its lowest temp when my power went out - like 42 degrees or something. I did not realize for several days - lost those 13 eggs! The beauty of housing my leopards indoors in the winter is that they share the same air with us so when the power or heat goes out, we know!

I still want to know the smallest yard folks have for their Aldabras - IF people are willing to share that. Folks are much more willing to share when they have cadillac facilities I imagine.

Ben
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,611
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
My Aldabran pen is irregular-shaped, so it's hard for me to guess its size. The longest wall is 104', the widest is 40'. But it's not square or even pie-shaped. So it's not 40x104. But it is plenty big enough for the two of them right now. I don't know if they'll require more space as they get bigger, but for now, they can't keep up with the growth of the grass and I have to mow it three or four times a summer.


A very important consideration with keeping a non-hibernating (and very large) tortoise during the winter is the power bill. I have 4 heated sheds and other heated winter houses and it is very expensive keeping them all warm during the winter.
 

FLINTUS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Messages
1,402
Location (City and/or State)
Watery Wiltshire in the UK
1/2 an acre would cover most of your feeding, as they would naturally graze on it providing there is variety. Throw in a few bits of fruit now and again and that is diet covered. It is also not that much land of paddock. They can also be quite communal, so you could probably get away with 2 in there. For a single one, I would say 1/4 acre min, BUT you would have to spend loads on grass and food and the pen would get eaten down to the ground.
 

ben awes

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
436
WillTortoise said:
Solution...Move South to the Gulf States.

I've considered that!


FLINTUS said:
1/2 an acre would cover most of your feeding, as they would naturally graze on it providing there is variety. Throw in a few bits of fruit now and again and that is diet covered. It is also not that much land of paddock. They can also be quite communal, so you could probably get away with 2 in there. For a single one, I would say 1/4 acre min, BUT you would have to spend loads on grass and food and the pen would get eaten down to the ground.

Thanks FLINTUS - OK, so the thinking varies between 1/2 acre, 1/4 acre, and an actual pen of 1/10th acre. The point is big is better - and even at minimum, it still needs to be big.

Ben
 

tortadise

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
9,541
Location (City and/or State)
Tropical South Texas
I will advise against it. Most keepers Dont go over a very common concern with the giant species. They can get overweight easily and if they do not have enough room as well as time of year to walk and graze they will not walk properly. They develop hip issues. Muscular atrophy that takes many many years off the animal. Most people Dont see it on adoption ads or craigslist. But there is a major issue with giant species and these issues. Even ones kept in Florida.

Both the Galapagos and Aldabra are seed propagation animals. They walk and walk and walk all day long eating grass until the heat of the day comes, then they rest. Then they walk and walk and walk and eat grass until sunset. Diet is best to be grasses. Minnesota goes dormant for grasses 7-8 months out of the year it is doable indeed. I know some keepers up in the north that have biggens. But they are in massive barns with expensive lights and warmth to keep grass growing for them.
 

ALDABRAMAN

KEEPER AT HEART
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 5, 2010
Messages
28,465
Location (City and/or State)
SW Forida
tortadise said:
Most keepers Dont go over a very common concern with the giant species. They can get overweight easily and if they do not have enough room as well as time of year to walk and graze they will not walk properly. // They walk and walk and walk all day long eating grass until the heat of the day comes, then they rest. Then they walk and walk and walk and eat grass until sunset. Diet is best to be grasses.

* This is so true, they need plenty of space for ample exercise and browsing!
 

Holycow

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
173
Location (City and/or State)
Homestead ,FL
Seems to me what you really need is a winter home in Florida, keep your place up north- hold the fort there with your torts in June July Aug, (you'll still need to bring them in at night) invest in a programmable irrigation system for your northern property to make sure they stay hydrated enough when they are there. Spend the rest of the year with them on an acre or two in FL.
Personally, I live just about as far south as you can go in Florida (without living on an island) and I still get nervous for a month or two in the wintertime. I try to automate everything heating/water- but then I even stress about the backups. I still wuss out a few nights a year and bring ALL my tortoises (except the Russian) in the house during cold snaps. With a lot of time and $$$ I'm sure you could raise an Aldabra where you live, but to me the question would be would it (or they) really be able to thrive- not just live, in the conditions you provide? That's your call.
I can tell you if I decided to move north out of FL (not gonna happen) I'd sell my animals to another long term Florida home. Because I personally would not have the resources to keep them properly.
My two cents.
-Jeff
 

EricIvins

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
1,183
It seems to me that you've already talked yourself out of it, and just want some validation from the interwebs. There are very few people here that have large Tortoise experience, so keep that in mind. The fact of the matter is it can be done. It can even be done on the cheap if you think things through and are dedicated to seeing it through. Too many people fall in love with the idea of keeping these animals, but when it comes down to it, they never follow through. You need to decide where you stand on the issue.

With that said, there is nothing wrong with buying hatchlings, raising them for a few years, and selling them off. Aldabras appreciate instead of depreciate, and it could prove to be lucrative doing so. The market is always there for animals in the 2-6 year range.
 

Levi the Leopard

IXOYE
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,949
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Oregon
EricIvins said:
With that said, there is nothing wrong with buying hatchlings, raising them for a few years, and selling them off. Aldabras appreciate instead of depreciate, and it could prove to be lucrative doing so. The market is always there for animals in the 2-6 year range.

I like this idea for someone in a colder climate. Maybe the OP should consider something like this.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,217
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I would not keep a tropical animal of that size with those needs in a climate like that. If you are a millionaire and can build a warehouse sized indoor tropical paradise, then I say go for it. Short of that, I wouldn't do it. I have actually contemplated doing something like that. If I sold everything here and moved to some other state, I could build an enormous insulated "barn" and afford to heat it. Enclosure size and walking room is one of the most often over looked aspects of tortoise care in my opinion. I intend to get Galops someday soon, so I study up on the giants. Foot, leg, toenail and walking problems are common in captive raised Galops and Aldabras. There are lots of theories about why this is. Yvonne and I have talked about it before.

Anyhow, I too am raising some Gpp and would love to see a thread with pics on yours. The southerners are much more apt to eat grass and hay than the "regular" leopards, so I'm not surprised by yours.
 

ben awes

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
436
Tom said:
I would not keep a tropical animal of that size with those needs in a climate like that. If you are a millionaire and can build a warehouse sized indoor tropical paradise, then I say go for it. Short of that, I wouldn't do it. I have actually contemplated doing something like that. If I sold everything here and moved to some other state, I could build an enormous insulated "barn" and afford to heat it. Enclosure size and walking room is one of the most often over looked aspects of tortoise care in my opinion. I intend to get Galops someday soon, so I study up on the giants. Foot, leg, toenail and walking problems are common in captive raised Galops and Aldabras. There are lots of theories about why this is. Yvonne and I have talked about it before.

Anyhow, I too am raising some Gpp and would love to see a thread with pics on yours. The southerners are much more apt to eat grass and hay than the "regular" leopards, so I'm not surprised by yours.

Hey Tom, and all,

I actually am not too concerned about keeping them up here in MN - we are not back in the stone age, we do know how to keep things warm way up here ;). My trouble is space. I think I just do not have the space yet, and I would not want to keep the animal in a space too small. I appreciate the feedback and will continue to dream and plan for the future!

Tom, I will engage more about my Gpp's soon - right now I have to take off. Talk soon,
Ben
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top