Desert Tortoise Care Sheet

Yvonne G

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Mojave is Gopherus agassizii and sonoran is Gopherus morafki. Yes, they can interbreed.
 

Tom

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Almost everything in this care sheet is the old wrong disproven info... Including the links. The diet info is decent, but all the housing info is the usual CTTC wrong info.
 

RobinRae

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Hi Yvonne! Do you have a newer care sheet? I just wanted to help the local desert tortoise population by adopting from the San Diego tortoise and turtle society. When I picked up my desert tortoise at the woman's home who fosters all of them they were all outside and they live outside in individual habitats with a simple home in the corner of each yard space. The homes had insulation covering them but no lights or heaters. If I knew I had to construct electrical boxes I don't think I would have ever adopted.
 

Krista S

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Hi Yvonne! Do you have a newer care sheet? I just wanted to help the local desert tortoise population by adopting from the San Diego tortoise and turtle society. When I picked up my desert tortoise at the woman's home who fosters all of them they were all outside and they live outside in individual habitats with a simple home in the corner of each yard space. The homes had insulation covering them but no lights or heaters. If I knew I had to construct electrical boxes I don't think I would have ever adopted.
The care sheet that @Tom linked for you on the other thread is the most current and accurate care sheet for desert tortoises.

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
 

Tom

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Hi Yvonne! Do you have a newer care sheet? I just wanted to help the local desert tortoise population by adopting from the San Diego tortoise and turtle society. When I picked up my desert tortoise at the woman's home who fosters all of them they were all outside and they live outside in individual habitats with a simple home in the corner of each yard space. The homes had insulation covering them but no lights or heaters. If I knew I had to construct electrical boxes I don't think I would have ever adopted.
For people who are farther inland, in hotter drier areas, it can be done satisfactorily without heat, but even for them, its better with heat.

If you contact the people you got the tortoise from, or most people who have and keep adults, they will tell you it will be fine with no heat. In all likelihood, the tortoise will end up with an RI and eventually die that close to the coast. I used to work in Hermosa beach at a pet store, and we rescued several sick DTs every year. The cure was to move them inland to Whittier at a friends house.
 

RobinRae

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Hi Yvonne! Do you have a newer care sheet? I just wanted to help the local desert tortoise population by adopting from the San Diego tortoise and turtle society. When I picked up my desert tortoise at the woman's home who fosters all of them they were all outside and they live outside in individual habitats with a simple home in the corner of each yard space. The homes had insulation covering them but no lights or heaters. If I knew I had to construct electrical boxes I don't think I would have ever adopted
For people who are farther inland, in hotter drier areas, it can be done satisfactorily without heat, but even for them, its better with heat.

If you contact the people you got the tortoise from, or most people who have and keep adults, they will tell you it will be fine with no heat. In all likelihood, the tortoise will end up with an RI and eventually die that close to the coast. I used to work in Hermosa beach at a pet store, and we rescued several sick DTs every year. The cure was to move them inland to Whittier at a friends house.
 

Tom

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You mean I should just give him away after 2 weeks instead of getting a heating lamp?
Not at all. I mean you will need to construct the correct housing to give your new tortoise what it needs to survive and thrive.. We will help you. I want to see you succeed and have many happy years with your new torotise. :)

I've seen so many of them suffer and die over the last few decades because of poor care advice given to people. I try to help as much as possible.
 

RobinRae

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Not at all. I mean you will need to construct the correct housing to give your new tortoise what it needs to survive and thrive.. We will help you. I want to see you succeed and have many happy years with your new torotise. :)

I've seen so many of them suffer and die over the last few decades because of poor care advice given to people. I try to help as much as possible.
 

RobinRae

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Ok I'm going to get some insulation for the inside of his house today and make sure that no air is getting into his home from underneath or the sides I'm pretty sure it already is all correctly done but I will make sure today.
 

Tom

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Ok I'm going to get some insulation for the inside of his house today and make sure that no air is getting into his home from underneath or the sides I'm pretty sure it already is all correctly done but I will make sure today.
Ideally, you can set a radiant heat panel on a thermostat to keep the ambient in the 60s at night. Then, a heat lamp on a timer will allow the tortoise to warm up, digest its food, and function on those cold overcast spring and fall days we always get this time of year. In summer, and whenever else the weather is warm and sunny, you don't need the heat lamp or the night heat. I watch the weather and turn the heat lamp off when it will be warm and sunny. In winter, they can hibernate.
 

RobinRae

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Ideally, you can set a radiant heat panel on a thermostat to keep the ambient in the 60s at night. Then, a heat lamp on a timer will allow the tortoise to warm up, digest its food, and function on those cold overcast spring and fall days we always get this time of year. In summer, and whenever else the weather is warm and sunny, you don't need the heat lamp or the night heat. I watch the weather and turn the heat lamp off when it will be warm and sunny. In winter, they can hibernate.
 

RobinRae

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Well I don't know how to do any of that and I wished you lived nearby so you could set it up for me!
 

Tom

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Well I don't know how to do any of that and I wished you lived nearby so you could set it up for me!
Yeah... I'm up in Santa Clarita and I don't get down that way often. Maybe one of our SD members will see this and offer to help. Its all pretty easy.
 
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