Future interest

smarch

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Hey guys,
I currently have a Russian tortoise, he's been in my care for 2 years now. I got him for his small size due to my still living with my parents and not having huge amounts of space.

But since around the time I was looking for a tortoise I fell head over heels for Sulcatas. It was obvious they were never a choice so I never thought more about it. But in the future... I know it may be possible. I figure being such a long commitment and large decision I need to think about it for quite some time before, which in my case will probably be the years it will take to move out get an apartment and then move on to a house where i'd be able to keep him. I liked the idea of getting a hatchling and watching him grow to huge sizes, and that will probably always appeal to me, but I think when the time comes I'll find one who someone got without research and quickly grew way to big for them. I know nature sanctuaries end up with many due to that. I also don't know how I feel about the having to worry about someone after me wanting him, so the idea of getting an adult is more appealing (I can always raise my future turtle from hatchling).
I have a few major questions that come to mind. I live in Massachusetts, There WILL be months I wont be able to keep him outside-outside, I've read about heated sheds as what is used, how big are these sheds you use? And I read about how they can ram walls and knock off all sorts of stuff, so how would the shed stand up to him wanting to get out? (I plan to end up building that shed to fit custom needs anyways.) Would something like a little garage attachment to a house work? I like the idea of him being close, and then I could just open that door to a penned up area to let them roam in and out as they choose during the day and then close him up at night (so many animals I'd just feel much less anxious doing that.)
I say "he" because so far I've never considered a female due to problems that can arise with eggs (as learned through my cousins turtles) but due to size difference I may end up considering either in the future.
Also I hear they are pretty much the most personable tortoise you can have, are they just like my Russian is and like people but not each other? Because depending on my future yard space I'd consider a little herd of 3 or 4 females instead of just 1 male, and how much space would we be talking for that?
It may seem silly to be asking all these things so far ahead of time, but I like to do a lot of research and since they are a much longer commitment than franklin and i'm facing having to have them in my will, I need all the time I can to think about them and learn.

Thanks in advance guys. And any advice or things to think of that I haven't mentioned are also greatly appreciated.

*I've thought about leopards too since they're just so beautiful, but theres something about the sulcata that just calls to me!
 

Yvonne G

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It's always a good idea to learn and research beforehand. Read Maggie's Bob stories. Read Frankie's tortoise Tales. Here's another good one you might not have seen:

http://www.turtlerescues.com/sulcata_challenge.htm

747117wei24kafiu.gif
 

smarch

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It's always a good idea to learn and research beforehand. Read Maggie's Bob stories. Read Frankie's tortoise Tales. Here's another good one you might not have seen:

http://www.turtlerescues.com/sulcata_challenge.htm

747117wei24kafiu.gif
I literally just discovered Bob before you posted this! I've only read a few stories, but it certainly doesn't scare me off lol, I know how much of a twerp they can be haha little Franklin's a twerp it just makes life interesting with some stories to tell.
one thing from that link I have a question about: I don't really have to share my bathtub with them right!? I can get something more effective for them to soak in? I don't think my future bathtub would appreciate so much poo!
although with research I'm realizeing 1 will only evr be the option because I probably wont have several acres... unless I can call my land farmland with my "livestock" as tortoises ;) plus one can make so much trouble why would I want 3 or 4!!?? I like the guys better anyways lol, easier for everyone to be "he", and I actually like how the males get significantly bigger in this case, I mean if I already want to go big I might as well go big!
Thanks for the info!
Oh! I actually have an old coworker who i'm still semi in contact with who has a sulcata, I should talk to him too, especially since we have the same climate to keep them in (assuming I stay in Mass like I plan to).
 

Yvonne G

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No, you don't have to share your bath tub! I soak them when they're small, but once they graduate to living outside, they have to get their own hydration. I provide waterers big enough for the tortoise to fit in if he so desires, and they get their own drinks.

747117wei24kafiu.gif
 

Saleama

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Why would you want 3 or 4? LOL. Because they are the Lay's of the pet world! I bought one sulcata hatchling and didn't make it out of the reptile show before I saw another one at the next booth that I had to have. Exactly a week later I was at the show in Arlington and came away with two more Sulcatas and my first pair of Leopards. Two months later my fifth Sulcata came to live with me and a month after that Leos three and four. Shortly after that Leo number five came my way from @yvonne (he is doing fantastic by the way!). In between all of these my Uncle's box turtles started having babies and I started rescuing turtles from craigslist and other not so happy places. So 1 year and 1 month later I have an assorted collection of some 40 turtles and tortoises. I am in Texas so this winter when construction begins on the yearlings outdoor areas (Adult box turtles and adult Russians already have out door gardens) I will have a much easier time of it than you will up north though.
 

smarch

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No, you don't have to share your bath tub! I soak them when they're small, but once they graduate to living outside, they have to get their own hydration. I provide waterers big enough for the tortoise to fit in if he so desires, and they get their own drinks.

747117wei24kafiu.gif
Haha ok good! I was a little alarmed by that lol, it was the only question I really said no to in the article, I have no plans to fish out slimy bathtub poo!
 

smarch

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Why would you want 3 or 4? LOL. Because they are the Lay's of the pet world! I bought one sulcata hatchling and didn't make it out of the reptile show before I saw another one at the next booth that I had to have. Exactly a week later I was at the show in Arlington and came away with two more Sulcatas and my first pair of Leopards. Two months later my fifth Sulcata came to live with me and a month after that Leos three and four. Shortly after that Leo number five came my way from @yvonne (he is doing fantastic by the way!). In between all of these my Uncle's box turtles started having babies and I started rescuing turtles from craigslist and other not so happy places. So 1 year and 1 month later I have an assorted collection of some 40 turtles and tortoises. I am in Texas so this winter when construction begins on the yearlings outdoor areas (Adult box turtles and adult Russians already have out door gardens) I will have a much easier time of it than you will up north though.
My intent is to go out and look to "rescue" a sulcata when it comes to it, we have a nature sanctuary in my current town and if i'm still close by when I finally do have a yard I'd go to them first to see if they knew any sanctuaries that had any dropped off and could use a home, I'd have an enclosure set up and bring Frankin to show whoever I'm not just some random person and I know what i'm getting into, I mean I really got to feel for the dropped off torts out here because having winder indoor months its almost definite they wont be getting the space they need. I plan to do the same with rescue turtles, we have the Turtle Rescue League up here who do a lot of road rescues and also find abandoned aquatic turtles as well has have many dropped off and theyre always looking for fosters, so I want to do that and know in the end I'll probably end up with some since that seems to be how those things work;)I'm just like that with animals though, all I can rescue I will!
I would love to move southwest! If I wasn't so set on staying close to family and oceans i'd be in Texas, Utah, or Wyoming with a huge tortoise ranch, and I would literally give up this job to be a cowboy!! like literally that is my one dream... ignore the fact that i'm female I prefer to be one of the guys and ropin cattle is my idea of fun (and the cool hats you get lol:cool:)
But yeah my one problem for the future guy (or gals, i'll keep the idea open) will be what to do in the winter, obviously a shed but making the size work will be the tricky part! And UV lights in said shed.
 

Saleama

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My intent is to go out and look to "rescue" a sulcata when it comes to it, we have a nature sanctuary in my current town and if i'm still close by when I finally do have a yard I'd go to them first to see if they knew any sanctuaries that had any dropped off and could use a home, I'd have an enclosure set up and bring Frankin to show whoever I'm not just some random person and I know what i'm getting into, I mean I really got to feel for the dropped off torts out here because having winder indoor months its almost definite they wont be getting the space they need. I plan to do the same with rescue turtles, we have the Turtle Rescue League up here who do a lot of road rescues and also find abandoned aquatic turtles as well has have many dropped off and theyre always looking for fosters, so I want to do that and know in the end I'll probably end up with some since that seems to be how those things work;)I'm just like that with animals though, all I can rescue I will!
I would love to move southwest! If I wasn't so set on staying close to family and oceans i'd be in Texas, Utah, or Wyoming with a huge tortoise ranch, and I would literally give up this job to be a cowboy!! like literally that is my one dream... ignore the fact that i'm female I prefer to be one of the guys and ropin cattle is my idea of fun (and the cool hats you get lol:cool:)
But yeah my one problem for the future guy (or gals, i'll keep the idea open) will be what to do in the winter, obviously a shed but making the size work will be the tricky part! And UV lights in said shed.
We do have to winter them here in Texas so for now, I have the hibernating ones outside and the young and non-hibernating ones in tortoise tables. That will not be enough come spring 2015. The lack of room in a shed for the winter is not as bad for them as it seems. Although you are right in thinking you would need a much bigger one up there than we do down here since they would be in it longer.
My brother is currently in the market for ten acres or so in south Texas and as soon as he finds it, I will be getting a job at a convenience store or Wal-Mart and moving down there with him to start a rescue (or at least a good place for my current Bale and Creep) for box turtles and tortoises.
 

smarch

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We do have to winter them here in Texas so for now, I have the hibernating ones outside and the young and non-hibernating ones in tortoise tables. That will not be enough come spring 2015. The lack of room in a shed for the winter is not as bad for them as it seems. Although you are right in thinking you would need a much bigger one up there than we do down here since they would be in it longer.
My brother is currently in the market for ten acres or so in south Texas and as soon as he finds it, I will be getting a job at a convenience store or Wal-Mart and moving down there with him to start a rescue (or at least a good place for my current Bale and Creep) for box turtles and tortoises.
Its our bad winters I worry about, this year was cold and rough. Around my house 2 people had cave in's from the snow, I obviously know enough to shovel it off so that ones not my worry. This winter was so cold, my cat, who normally sleeps in our semi-finished basement (allergies mean he sleeps in his place!) got to sleep around the house for a few weeks, so I can only imagine fighting to keep a shed/garage warm! Though our basement is concrete so I guess that played into its coldness. I wonder if done right I could get a woodburning/pellet stove to do the majority of the heating as long as I kept it so it couldn't be accessed by torts, because ours heats the whole house like crazy and it would cost much less than oil heat! I live on 3 acres right now in my parents house, its perfect room and land for a sulcata but I can't stay forever lol and I have to think tortoises first in that regard.

good for you that you're getting so much space to give so many torts a well needed knowledgeable home!
 

TortoiseRN

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I live in Montana and have have 2 sullies and a few other species. I'll go over my average yearly timeline. All my adult torts go outside for the summer in mid march or when the average daily temp reaches at least 80 degrees. My torts live outside through mid September or when the average daily temps go below 80 degrees. After that I bring them inside the house or into their fully insulated and heated shed. In Montana weather can vary quite a bit so if it gets close to 80 I'll put them back out for the day.
 

tmh

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When I read yours posts it makes me rethink the whole sulcata idea. I do have heat in concrete floors in shop and kennel. Seriously thinking of closing my kennel and getting a turtle. Lol. Hubby is in oil patch in n.d.. Maybe buying a winter house in texas.
 
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