Gained a full pound in just under 6 weeks!

OliveW

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We got back from vacation yesterday, and our pet sitter wasn't comfortable doing soaks, so I gave our sully, Tortimer a good soak before we left last Wednesday and a total health check when we got back yesterday, followed by lots of love and a long soak.

Anyway, we've had him just under six weeks and he's gained a full pound! He was 5.2 lbs the day we got him and 6.2 lbs yesterday! I knew he had been eating well while we were gone, as our pet sitter sent me daily videos of him and all our other babies, still yet, I checked him over really well and weighed him as soon as we got home.

I had weighed him after we had him for 3 weeks and he was up .5 lbs at that time, to 5.7 lbs.
I have no idea how old our boys is, as I've read on this forum there is no real way to tell by size. All I know is he wasn't receiving proper care prior as he is badly pyramiding. At first I thought his bumps made him looked really cool, then I learned how he got like that and it broke my heart. He is a super active, friendly, and healthy guy now so we are just moving forward. I know he will get very large, so I'm happy to see him gaining. Hope he's not gaining too fast. He never really stops eating, unless he's digging - we should have named him Dozer!

He needs measured, but I'll need two people to do that, as he's a busy little guy, always on the move. Someone will have to hold him. Last time I measured him, he was just at 12", measuring from above. I didn't curve a fabric tape on him, just held a ruler above him and lined it up with front and back. Not sure which is the proper way. I'll post his current pic and shell measurement here later today.
 

Sarah2020

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Pic please. You actually want slow gradual growth aiming for smooth new scute growth lines on top shell even if it is pyramided as you mention. You achieve this with patience, correct heat, light, substrate, diet fresh and not over fed, water and soaks.
 

Turtulas-Len

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An easy way to get an accurate measurement is to push him against a barrier of some sort while setting on something that you can mark with a pencil to get the length of the shell. This is Squiggy that really didn't want to be measured this morning. As soon as I took my hand off his shell he moved but you can see the pencil mark on the board. Then I measured from the end of the board and he's 14 inches in length. KIMG1179 KIMG1181
 

OliveW

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Pic please. You actually want slow gradual growth aiming for smooth new scute growth lines on top shell even if it is pyramided as you mention. You achieve this with patience, correct heat, light, substrate, diet fresh and not over fed, water and soaks.

This is from when we first got him, six weeks ago.

He lives outside and grazes for nearly 100% of his diet, so I really can't control how much he eats unless I quit taking him on daily walks and he picks his enclosure clean. Although, I doubt that could happen, as grass and weeds grow fast around here.

He has a large shade area and a large sun area, as well as a mud hole and an endless (to us) burrow. I soak him daily.

After his soak tonight, when he's looking all handsome, I'll get some new photos of him. 🥰

TortimerSWade
 

OliveW

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An easy way to get an accurate measurement is to push him against a barrier of some sort while setting on something that you can mark with a pencil to get the length of the shell. This is Squiggy that really didn't want to be measured this morning. As soon as I took my hand off his shell he moved but you can see the pencil mark on the board. Then I measured from the end of the board and he's 14 inches in length. View attachment 348498 View attachment 348499

That's a great idea! Thanks, I will do that this evening! I don't expect he has grown that much in shell size, but you never know.
 

Sarah2020

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He looks alert and happy. You can see small new growth on the shell. Just check all is provided diet, water, soaks and shades and patience will reward. Can you pick him up and put on weigh scales? That is a good way to check weight gain and loss and keeping a log is fun.
 

OliveW

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He looks alert and happy. You can see small new growth on the shell. Just check all is provided diet, water, soaks and shades and patience will reward. Can you pick him up and put on weigh scales? That is a good way to check weight gain and loss and keeping a log is fun.

Oh yes! That's exactly how I weigh him. He has his own scale, my old one. I am getting him a new one as he's almost as big as the scale.

I only have it logged in my head, as of now, but I do need to keep a written log.

I'll make sure to post a pic of him this evening. I didn't realize you could see new growth on his shell. I'm anxious to hear what you have to say about how he looks now. I know he will always have pyramiding, but I sure don't want it to get worse! I follow Tom's care sheet to the letter!

Eventually, I will provide more of his diet, but as of yet, he is too new for me to judge what 10% is, so I err on the side of caution and let him get 100% from grazing most days.

I love him SOOOOO much! :<3: :<3: :<3: All advice is welcome. If we need to move his current 12'x24' enclosure to a place there is less available food, we can do that.
 

Sarah2020

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Enjoy your new charge. Tortoise graze and will also stop eating when. You can monitor weight gain and adjust his environment. Keep him safe and look after him. Enjoy.
 

OliveW

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Bad storms passed through last evening, so I wasn't able to get Tortimer out for his walk, soak, and photos last night. Lightening is a serious threat here that kills a good number of people every season, so I don't chance it.
 

OliveW

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Day 70 with Tortimer -

Weight 7 lb 10 oz or 3.46 kg or 3459 gm

Length 10.25" or 25 cm

Y'all seem to like some metric around here, so there you go. :) I really need to measure his width and height since he has only grown a quarter inch in length, but looks substantially bigger than he did 70 days ago.

Growth in 70 days = 1100 gm and .6 cm in length

Since 95% of his diet is grazing, I'm not changing anything, even with the fast growth. The only additional things he gets fed (once or twice a week) are organic romaine & organic arugula. I've looked everywhere around here for escarole, but since it's a cool weather crop, it won't be available in Florida until December.

Also he's had cucumber twice, which he's extremely possessive of. I put a couple slices down for him while out on his walk and our German Shepherd sniffed it to see what I had put down. All dogs know not to get near Tortimer, they have been taught to "leave it." Tortimer was probably 6' away or so, and I put the pieces in his clover patch to surprise him.

In the blink of an eye, Tortimer sprinted over and jumped at the German Shepherd and bit her on the nose. Despite being a very expensive working dog, from a line of police dogs in the Czech Republic, she cried and ran from the attack tortoise. 😂🐢

Our GSD, Addie, was gifted to me by a fireman in Indiana, at the age of 9 months, because she suffered severe separation anxiety and would literally injure herself during training if put in any kind of kennel or crate. She always escaped, but damaged herself and everything in the way in the process. Anyway, he drove her all way to Florida to me and was crying when he left. I honestly thought he'd be back for her before the night was over. That was seven years ago and she's happy and healthy, although being bossed around by a tortoise. I'm still in contact with the Indiana department that gave her to me.

Sorry, got sidetracked - back to my sulcata ...

Even on days he is fed, Tortimer still grazes for hours, so I know I'm not overfeeding him. I personally think he is thriving. I also don't think his walks are harmful in any way. He enjoys them, and doesn't try to escape his enclosure, once put back in. He's usually tired and heads down into his burrow. Even when he comes out between walks, he is usually quite content to graze inside his enclosure, sit in the sun, or in his little mud hole.
 

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