First attempt at breeding

KOBEATL

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Purchased a female sulcata (Kiki) about 17 y o) on Tuesday and observed it mating with my 17 year old male (Kobe) on Thursday. This was Kobe’s first attempt at mating. Boy was I surprised how soon they got acquainted and made out. What chance do you think it was a successful breeding? And if successful, what’s next for me. All comments and suggestions appreciated. Kiki and Kobe
 

Tom

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Purchased a female sulcata (Kiki) about 17 y o) on Tuesday and observed it mating with my 17 year old male (Kobe) on Thursday. This was Kobe’s first attempt at mating. Boy was I surprised how soon they got acquainted and made out. What chance do you think it was a successful breeding? And if successful, what’s next for me. All comments and suggestions appreciated. Kiki and Kobe
Do not let them live together as a pair full time. That will be very bad for her health. Separate enclosures, and put them together for breeding once a month or so.

You should have quarantined and run at least two fecals before introducing them. Too late now.

Here is what you need to know about breeding and the eggs:
 

KOBEATL

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
11
Purchased a female sulcata (Kiki) about 17 y o) on Tuesday and observed it mating with my 17 year old male (Kobe) on Thursday. This was Kobe’s first attempt at mating. Boy was I surprised how soon they got acquainted and made out. What chance do you think it was a successful breeding? And if successful, what’s next for me. All comments and suggestions appreciated. Kiki and Kobe
Do not let them live together as a pair full time. That will be very bad for her health. Separate enclosures, and put them together for breeding once a month or so.

You should have quarantined and run at least two fecals before introducing them. Too late now.

Here is what you need to know about breeding and the eggs:
I guess I need to get busy. Thank you so very much.
Do not let them live together as a pair full time. That will be very bad for her health. Separate enclosures, and put them together for breeding once a month or so.

You should have quarantined and run at least two fecals before introducing them. Too late now.

Here is what you need to know about breeding and the eggs:
Do not let them live together as a pair full time. That will be very bad for her health. Separate enclosures, and put them together for breeding once a month or so.

You should have quarantined and run at least two fecals before introducing them. Too late now.

Here is what you need to know about breeding and the eggs:
Well I guess I need to get busy. Thank you so very much!
I did not expect a need to separate them but it does make sense. I only want one or two clutches for now until I learn what I am doing. So separating them is a necessity. Given that, how often should I put them together?
And one more thing, do you feed dry foods? And if so, what do you recommend?
Do not let them live together as a pair full time. That will be very bad for her health. Separate enclosures, and put them together for breeding once a month or so.

You should have quarantined and run at least two fecals before introducing them. Too late now.

Here is what you need to know about breeding and the eggs:
Wow I guess I need to get busy. Thanks so much!
I did not expect the need to separate them, but it does makes sense. You mentioned putting them together every month or so for breeding, I only want one or two clutches at this time until I have more experience. Given that limitation, then I should put them together less frequently. Is that correct? Will the female get pregnant each time I put them together? - (Assuming of-course they mate).
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
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Messages
58,609
Location (City and/or State)
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I guess I need to get busy. Thank you so very much.


Well I guess I need to get busy. Thank you so very much!
I did not expect a need to separate them but it does make sense. I only want one or two clutches for now until I learn what I am doing. So separating them is a necessity. Given that, how often should I put them together?
And one more thing, do you feed dry foods? And if so, what do you recommend?

Wow I guess I need to get busy. Thanks so much!
I did not expect the need to separate them, but it does makes sense. You mentioned putting them together every month or so for breeding, I only want one or two clutches at this time until I have more experience. Given that limitation, then I should put them together less frequently. Is that correct? Will the female get pregnant each time I put them together? - (Assuming of-course they mate).
Female tortoises can store sperm. Some, like leopards, have produced babies five years after contact with a male. Sulcatas don't hold it for that long and lose fertility with each clutch, until they hit zero after about 6 months with no further breeding.

Sulcatas in North America tend to lay from Dec/Jan through April and occasional one last clutch in May. No need for the female to be harassed by the male from early April through November. If you want fertile eggs, you can put them together for a day or two once or twice a month from November through March. They typically lay three clutches a year, but I've had some that only did one clutch in a year, and one year I had three females lay 8 clutches each. Normal is three. Once bred and things get going, she will produce eggs on her schedule depending on several variables like season, weather, nutrition etc... The frequency of breeding only serves to ensure fertility when she does lay a clutch. If you breed once a month, you should have maximum fertility percentages in your clutches. If you only let them have access to each other once every three or four months, your fertility percentage will likely go down.

Their main diet should be grass or grass hay. Orchard grass hay works best. Mulberry or grape leaves, spineless opuntia pads, weeds, and loads of other good plants and flowers should be offered for variety and nutrition. Mazuri is a good supplemental food once or twice a week, as is the ZooMed pellets.
 
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KOBEATL

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Got it. Thanks much very!
I am going to go broke feeding these big guys. Any suggestions for keeping good quality food at a lower cost?
 

Tom

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Got it. Thanks much very!
I am going to go broke feeding these big guys. Any suggestions for keeping good quality food at a lower cost?
Hay. This is the savior of any large grass eating species. Orchard grass hay or Bermuda grass hay should be their main diet item all day every day. Unless they have access to enough real grass, and then you don't need to "feed" them at all. During our rainy season here, all sorts of weeds and wild grasses spring up, and I don't feed my tortoises at all. If I put out a tray of food, they literally walk through it to go graze on the weeds and grasses.

You need to be growing your own spineless opuntia, and put up grape vines wherever you can. If you have the space, plant fruitless mulberry trees. If you don't have the space for mulberry trees, then find some in your area and offer to prune some branches for the owners of the property where they sit. We have a park near here where I can cut all the mulberry I want, and I recently "discovered" an entire neighborhood of old mature huge mulberry trees. There are dozens of them and all the neighbors are thrilled to see me cutting and removing branches by the truck load. Sometimes they come out and help me with a big smile and a thank you.

You are only feeding two tortoises. Imagine feeding 30-40, or more... Hay is your friend. Find your local feed store and get to know them. You can also look into horse hay cubes and pellets that can be soaked and fed alone, or mixed in with other foods to add bulk. I have some friends that own a restaurant and they give me 40 pound boxes of lettuce scraps once a week or so. I chop of grass hay, , put it in a large tub, wet it, and lay the lettuce on top. I dust a little calcium powder onto the lettuce, mix in soaked hay pellets that stick to the lettuce, add in whatever else I have handy, mix it all up and put that out on their feeding trays. The lettuce entices them to eat it all and serves as a "vehicle" to get all that other good stuff into them. Lettuce by itself is not a good tortoise food, but when you add in a bunch of calcium, hay, and other good stuff, the lettuce in that mix essential adds water to their intake.

I have one friend/mentor that likes to add some "Purina Equine Senior" pellets to the diet of his giants about once week, and there are also low molasses versions of this. Will of @Kapidolo Farms here on our forum likes to mix in "Purina Organic Lay Crumbles" to his mix sometimes. This is chicken food, but its fortified with calcium and D3, as well as many other good nutrients for laying hens. It takes a lot of calcium and nutrition to form all those egg shells and yolks, and calcium is exactly what our tortoises need too.

Hope these ideas help.
 

KOBEATL

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Joined
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Hay. This is the savior of any large grass eating species. Orchard grass hay or Bermuda grass hay should be their main diet item all day every day. Unless they have access to enough real grass, and then you don't need to "feed" them at all. During our rainy season here, all sorts of weeds and wild grasses spring up, and I don't feed my tortoises at all. If I put out a tray of food, they literally walk through it to go graze on the weeds and grasses.

You need to be growing your own spineless opuntia, and put up grape vines wherever you can. If you have the space, plant fruitless mulberry trees. If you don't have the space for mulberry trees, then find some in your area and offer to prune some branches for the owners of the property where they sit. We have a park near here where I can cut all the mulberry I want, and I recently "discovered" an entire neighborhood of old mature huge mulberry trees. There are dozens of them and all the neighbors are thrilled to see me cutting and removing branches by the truck load. Sometimes they come out and help me with a big smile and a thank you.

You are only feeding two tortoises. Imagine feeding 30-40, or more... Hay is your friend. Find your local feed store and get to know them. You can also look into horse hay cubes and pellets that can be soaked and fed alone, or mixed in with other foods to add bulk. I have some friends that own a restaurant and they give me 40 pound boxes of lettuce scraps once a week or so. I chop of grass hay, , put it in a large tub, wet it, and lay the lettuce on top. I dust a little calcium powder onto the lettuce, mix in soaked hay pellets that stick to the lettuce, add in whatever else I have handy, mix it all up and put that out on their feeding trays. The lettuce entices them to eat it all and serves as a "vehicle" to get all that other good stuff into them. Lettuce by itself is not a good tortoise food, but when you add in a bunch of calcium, hay, and other good stuff, the lettuce in that mix essential adds water to their intake.

I have one friend/mentor that likes to add some "Purina Equine Senior" pellets to the diet of his giants about once week, and there are also low molasses versions of this. Will of @Kapidolo Farms here on our forum likes to mix in "Purina Organic Lay Crumbles" to his mix sometimes. This is chicken food, but its fortified with calcium and D3, as well as many other good nutrients for laying hens. It takes a lot of calcium and nutrition to form all those egg shells and yolks, and calcium is exactly what our tortoises need too.

Hope these ideas help.
Hay. This is the savior of any large grass eating species. Orchard grass hay or Bermuda grass hay should be their main diet item all day every day. Unless they have access to enough real grass, and then you don't need to "feed" them at all. During our rainy season here, all sorts of weeds and wild grasses spring up, and I don't feed my tortoises at all. If I put out a tray of food, they literally walk through it to go graze on the weeds and grasses.

You need to be growing your own spineless opuntia, and put up grape vines wherever you can. If you have the space, plant fruitless mulberry trees. If you don't have the space for mulberry trees, then find some in your area and offer to prune some branches for the owners of the property where they sit. We have a park near here where I can cut all the mulberry I want, and I recently "discovered" an entire neighborhood of old mature huge mulberry trees. There are dozens of them and all the neighbors are thrilled to see me cutting and removing branches by the truck load. Sometimes they come out and help me with a big smile and a thank you.

You are only feeding two tortoises. Imagine feeding 30-40, or more... Hay is your friend. Find your local feed store and get to know them. You can also look into horse hay cubes and pellets that can be soaked and fed alone, or mixed in with other foods to add bulk. I have some friends that own a restaurant and they give me 40 pound boxes of lettuce scraps once a week or so. I chop of grass hay, , put it in a large tub, wet it, and lay the lettuce on top. I dust a little calcium powder onto the lettuce, mix in soaked hay pellets that stick to the lettuce, add in whatever else I have handy, mix it all up and put that out on their feeding trays. The lettuce entices them to eat it all and serves as a "vehicle" to get all that other good stuff into them. Lettuce by itself is not a good tortoise food, but when you add in a bunch of calcium, hay, and other good stuff, the lettuce in that mix essential adds water to their intake.

I have one friend/mentor that likes to add some "Purina Equine Senior" pellets to the diet of his giants about once week, and there are also low molasses versions of this. Will of @Kapidolo Farms here on our forum likes to mix in "Purina Organic Lay Crumbles" to his mix sometimes. This is chicken food, but its fortified with calcium and D3, as well as many other good nutrients for laying hens. It takes a lot of calcium and nutrition to form all those egg shells and yolks, and calcium is exactly what our tortoises need too.

Hope these ideas help.
I can’t imagine 20 to 30 sulcatas. 2 are enough for me now. I found a bale of orhard grass hay mixed with Timothy hay; found the mazuri pellets and calcium powder, followed your directions and “voila”. I later found Bermuda hay - orchard grass here is hard to find. I plan to feed mazuri once a week. How many pellets each feeding do you think? Growing the cactus is a good idea.
Thanks much
Kiki and. Kobe
 

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KOBEATL

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Thanks again. I got a bale of Timothy hay mixed with orchard grass. As suggested, I wet it and mix romaine, bok choy and carrots. I add D3 and mazuri twice a week . They do consume quite a bit of the hay 👍. Is it possible to wean them off the mixed veggies all together? If so , how.?
 

KOBEATL

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Messages
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Thanks again. I got a bale of Timothy hay mixed with orchard grass. As suggested, I wet it and mix romaine, bok choy and carrots. I add D3 and mazuri twice a week . They do consume quite a bit of the hay 👍. Is it possible to wean them off the mixed veggies all together? If so , how.?
Started growing my own opuntia cactus as a future food source, in addition to other plants I will grow sooner rather than later
 

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