Hatchling Growth Rates

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mercurysmom

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Tom, you say the tortoises are selected from several different clutches. Is it possible that 5 are from a very healthy sulcata, 5 from a mediocre sulcata and 4 are from a weak sulcata?
 

ALDABRAMAN

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This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.
 

bigbeaks

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Tom, I was wondering what symptoms did the ones that died and the ones that aren't thriving had / have?
 

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mercurysmom said:
Tom, you say the tortoises are selected from several different clutches. Is it possible that 5 are from a very healthy sulcata, 5 from a mediocre sulcata and 4 are from a weak sulcata?

Yes. This is physically possible. To my knowledge all of the adults are equally well cared for and all healthy. The breeder is very knowledgeable, experienced and competent. I have seen pics of the adults and their enclosures and everything looks great. I have also talked at length with him about the care of his adults. Everything about his care of his adults sounds ideal.

He and I differ in our experiences and opinions of how to start hatchlings, but most people agree on how to care for adults.


ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.


bigbeaks said:
Tom, I was wondering what symptoms did the ones that died and the ones that aren't thriving had / have?

Little or no growth, general lethargy, lack of appetite or motivation to go over to one of the feeding stations and eat.


ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.
 

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Tom said:
Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.

All tortoises, ALL tortoises I own, are given RO water, fwiw. Hard water can play hob on hatchlings in my experience.

Btw, I don't incubate w/ vermiculite. I use dry perlite.
 

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ALDABRAMAN

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I use distilled water during all of our incubation. Never any issues!
 

bigbeaks

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Tom said:
mercurysmom said:
Tom, you say the tortoises are selected from several different clutches. Is it possible that 5 are from a very healthy sulcata, 5 from a mediocre sulcata and 4 are from a weak sulcata?

Yes. This is physically possible. To my knowledge all of the adults are equally well cared for and all healthy. The breeder is very knowledgeable, experienced and competent. I have seen pics of the adults and their enclosures and everything looks great. I have also talked at length with him about the care of his adults. Everything about his care of his adults sounds ideal.

He and I differ in our experiences and opinions of how to start hatchlings, but most people agree on how to care for adults.


ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.


bigbeaks said:
Tom, I was wondering what symptoms did the ones that died and the ones that aren't thriving had / have?

Little or no growth, general lethargy, lack of appetite or motivation to go over to one of the feeding stations and eat.


ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.






Did they get soft at all or just die?
 

Nerdling

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This is quite possibly the most interesting thread I have ever read! Absolutely fascinating. I have heard of 'Failure to Thrive' syndrome in hatchling tortoises, but I've never seen it explained and supported with evidence. This explains so much!
 

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bfmorris said:
Tom said:
Hmmm...

The breeder suggested this as a possibility too. But my babies are all on city water. I drink it too and so do my babies that are in the same divided enclosure as these babies.

All tortoises, ALL tortoises I own, are given RO water, fwiw. Hard water can play hob on hatchlings in my experience.

Btw, I don't incubate w/ vermiculite. I use dry perlite.

I will call her tomorrow and ask her if the sandy sludge could be broken down perlite. It does crumble down to a sandlike consistency. She said it was "grayish sandy sludge that had a weird consistency and it was lining the most of the GI tract. It was sort of stuck to the intestinal walls..." She really though it was sand and it was my suggestion that it was vermiculite. It cannot be sand since they have never been exposed to any sand whatsoever.

Not to many people use perlite, so I have nothing to compare to. I've always been told not to use any potting soils with perlite in it since they tend to like to eat it. Years ago my wife uprooted a plant that had been planted long ago with soil that had perlite in it. She didn't think anything of it and left the perlite soil exposed. I went over there when I saw a couple of my sulcatas eating something from a distance. They were eating all the perlite pieces out of the newly upturned soil. These were juveniles and it had no apparent effect on them, but I could see how it would for a hatchling.

I'm am open to suggestions from anyone on this. I posted it as a means of sharing info and hopefully learning something new.


bigbeaks said:
Did they get soft at all or just die?

They never got soft. They just never grew and slowly faded. It was obvious about two or three weeks in, that there was a problem. I assumed the normal dehydration stuff, but necropsy showed otherwise.
 

bfmorris

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Well, perlite is definitely not shiny, at least. I think the notion of using constant high environmental humidity as a means to control water loss in hatchling sulcata is misplaced. The best place for moisture is inside the tortoise, with the tortoise controlling its moisture loss by barrier means (ie hiding, even under dry grass substrate) and access to sufficiently hydrated (but not too moist) foods. Humidity generally 40- 50 percent. High humidity can be a bacteriological extravaganza. Eye infections, sinus infections, etc.
 

Tom

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I wish to show you the utmost respect here. My questions and discussion with you here are not to be argumentative with someone who has such a tremendous amount of experience as you do, but to learn from someone who has such a tremendous amount of experience as you do.

It seems that Tyler leaves his on the vermiculite, as you do with the perlite, but his either don't eat it or are able to pass it. I use vermiculite and I know mine eat a little before I can get them off of it, but mine all pass it with no problem. I know of several other sulcata breeders who use vermiculite and experience no problems. I dont know anyone else who uses perlite, I only know the ones I got from you were blocked up with something resembling "grayish sandy sludge". Seems to me like it must be the perlite, since everybody else's are on vermiculite and no one has had any problems with blockages, as Dean and I both have. Dean did not have his in constant high humidity. Dean kept his outside in the hot dry Palmdale air all day long everyday and was putting them on 6" of orchard grass hay at night, at your suggestion. We did not necropsy his, but the symptoms are completely identical to mine. Dean's six never saw any humidity as mine did. We stopped at his place on the way home from your place. His six came out of the box you gave us, and my 14 came home with me and into my enclosure.

I have heard all the arguments against humidity and/or hydration, but none of them have ever materialized for me. I have had 100% success with every baby of every species that I have tried it with. Wouldn't I have seen some instance of bacteriological problems, sinus infections, shell rot, respiratory infection or something? Instead, I grow beautiful, smooth super healthy tortoises every single time. The five I got from you that aren't impacted and are doing well are truly the healthiest, best looking sulcatas I have ever raised. Right next to them in the same divided enclosure I held back six of my own hatchlings. These were pipping as Dean and I were driving out to your place. I decided to raise them side by side with the ones we got from you because we thought it would be a neat comparison to watch growth rates since the Sudans will turn out to be such giants. Since day one ALL things were done identically with the two groups, but the Sudans had a two or three week head start. If the high humidity is such a potential problem, how come all six of my hatchlings grew and developed totally normally and on the same par as the five healthy ones that came from you? Not a single one has had any problem whatsoever. There are pictures of them on other threads here on the forum. Their weights have been recorded and it's clear that they are healthy. The older three from my holdbacks are just reaching 300 grams. The five healthy ones I got from you, reached 300 around two or three weeks ago. No tortoise is going to go from 35 to 300 grams in five months if they are sick, fighting bacterial infections or in any sort of unhealthy conditions. Am I wrong here? Sick tortoises, or tortoises kept in unhealthy conditions don't grow much according to what I've seen.

Clearly I was wrong about them being impacted with vermiculite. That was incorrect speculation on my part, since you don't use vermiculite. They WERE impacted with something that in hind sight must be perlite, since I have only kept them on coarse orchid bark. Believe me I have given this a lot of thought. I expected them all to thrive as all of my hatchlings do. As their cage mates did. I was terribly saddened when this did not happen. I spent hundreds of dollars on vet bills and diagnostics just to find out what was going on. I would really like to learn anything you have to offer, but I'll need you to help me add it all up, so that it all makes sense. You can't say it's humidity when very single leopard and sulcata that I have done the high humidity thing with is thriving and growing smoothly. Going back all the way to Daisy, who was my first guinea pig starting in 2008, through my "End of Pyramiding" babies, through my leopards in 2010, through my current six holdbacks which are the best yet due to the closed chamber vs. the old open topped enclosures I was using in years past. The lives of all of these tortoises have been chronicled here on the forum and every single one of them is healthy and thriving. Even if you wish to disregard my tortoises, there are literally hundreds of people doing the same thing here on the forum, and their tortoises are showing the same results as mine. The only time we see sick tortoises is new people who come on with an already existing problem, usually due to chronic hatchling dehydration, or people who take bits and pieces from different care sheets and let their tortoises get too cool with the humidity.

If the problem is not due to perlite impaction from their first two weeks, then please explain what else it could be. Given all the factors, its the only thing that makes sense to me so far. My mind is totally open. I don't care if I'm right. I care about learning from this one way or another.
 

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Hey Tom I don't know if this helps at all but here's my experience... I use vermiculite but as soon as their little nose pops through the shell I move the egg into a brooder box. They have zero access to the vermiculite. Once hatched in the brooder box I move them to a second stage of brooder box, same thing but clean. They stay here till their sac is absorbed enough to where I feel comfortable with them in substrate. I do this for all my tortoises and they flourish magnificently and grow quite fast!

Now a while ago I was checking in my incubator and to my surprise a whole clutch had hatched without me knowing (must have miscounted the days on my calendar) and they were all in the virmiculite. I suspect they were there for at least a week for them to have all hatched. Their sacs had already sealed and everything. I still put them into a brooder box for a couple days. Now these hatchlings although still healthy, did not flourish nearly as much as the others all have. They have had much much slower growth rates.

Don't know if that helps any but I thought I'd throw it out there! Sounds like I did the same experiment as you but on accident... Haha

PS no deaths and none seem to be struggling. Just significantly slower growth rates.
 

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ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

That happened recently to a significant breeder in FL, too. I feel quite bad for him. Pseudomonas, I believe, in his case.


There is a ton of of inductive drive in this thread surrounding a true sample size of two (necropsied) animals (making broader conclusions based on a small number is considered scientifically irresponsible) and associated & assumed root causes for observations surrounding those two and others, but I do appreciate all of the details shared as they are believed to be.
 

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Since this effectively is implicitly calling Brad into some degree of whatever this is, I should mention I bought twenty babies from Brad. One came with a little hiccup (congenital ocular issue), but was born with it and it was simply overlooked (and Brad graciously took care of the situation). The rest, simply put, have been doing all of fantastic. No deaths. No stunting.

I resold them piecemeal after months went by and I have kept in loose contact with most of the new owners. No deaths. No stunting. I retained some as holdbacks for my own purposes, which is why I bought the original group of twenty, up until relatively recently. Since I was able to acquire one of Brad's awesome and beastly adult females, I was able to let even those holdbacks go. Among the holdbacks, the scls ranged from just over 3.5" (with the highest dome of any in the group) to a bit over 4.5" (the longest and was very masculine in head and overall structure). Individual differences, of course, but no deaths and no stunting. All fed readily. Some (many) ate more than my Aldabra (and "she" eats a lot) at much smaller comparative body masses. If there was a problem, it was not showing up at my place, so I believe the animals I received were in excellent internal condition. They only crapped out crap. No perlite. No vermiculite. No sand. No gold. No razor blades. I am very pleased with my transactions with Brad and more than satisfied with the animals he has sent me on multiple occasions now.

I have no problem with the higher ambient humidity methods and often allow a very humid ambient area to exist in some of my enclosures for smaller animals. This area is no larger than a quarter of any of my enclosures by happenstance. However, rather than shoot for air saturation in most of my enclosures, my overall tendency is to provide a substrate with a thick and moist subterranean layer beneath a thin to moderately thick and totally dry surface layer. I occasionally wet down the surface layer (once a week to once every two weeks; it dries within a day or two). When outside, I let them dig beneath tussocks and plant root balls, just like I have observed hatchling and small juvenile tortoises engaging in the practice of in several parts of the world in nature. Different strokes for different folks.

I have side question for Tom, since I am curious. Why were your ivories returned to Fife?
 

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Baoh said:
Since this effectively is implicitly calling Brad into some degree of whatever this is, I should mention I bought twenty babies from Brad. One came with a little hiccup (congenital ocular issue), but was born with it and it was simply overlooked (and Brad graciously took care of the situation). The rest, simply put, have been doing all of fantastic. No deaths. No stunting.

I resold them piecemeal after months went by and I have kept in loose contact with most of the new owners. No deaths. No stunting. I retained some as holdbacks for my own purposes, which is why I bought the original group of twenty, up until relatively recently. Since I was able to acquire one of Brad's awesome and beastly adult females, I was able to let even those holdbacks go. Among the holdbacks, the scls ranged from just over 3.5" (with the highest dome of any in the group) to a bit over 4.5" (the longest and was very masculine in head and overall structure). Individual differences, of course, but no deaths and no stunting. All fed readily. Some (many) ate more than my Aldabra (and "she" eats a lot) at much smaller comparative body masses. If there was a problem, it was not showing up at my place, so I believe the animals I received were in excellent internal condition. They only crapped out crap. No perlite. No vermiculite. No sand. No gold. No razor blades. I am very pleased with my transactions with Brad and more than satisfied with the animals he has sent me on multiple occasions now.

I have no problem with the higher ambient humidity methods and often allow a very humid ambient area to exist in some of my enclosures for smaller animals. This area is no larger than a quarter of any of my enclosures by happenstance. However, rather than shoot for air saturation in most of my enclosures, my overall tendency is to provide a substrate with a thick and moist subterranean layer beneath a thin to moderately thick and totally dry surface layer. I occasionally wet down the surface layer (once a week to once every two weeks; it dries within a day or two). When outside, I let them dig beneath tussocks and plant root balls, just like I have observed hatchling and small juvenile tortoises engaging in the practice of in several parts of the world in nature. Different strokes for different folks.

Again your tone and choice of words is insulting. Your sarcasm and snotty tone helps no one.

Its wonderful that your purchases from Brad all did well. Mine and Dean's did not. Your cleverly hidden stand against my way of keeping them does not explain why the same ratio of mine and Deans both failed despite vastly different methods of keeping. All 20 of ours only crapped crap, coincidentally too. No razor blades, sand or incubation medium here either, but thanks anyway for the implications...

I too let mine dig into tussocks and root balls when outside, what does this have to do with anything?

If my method of keeping them were somehow faulty, as you so subtly wish to imply, why do 100% of all the tortoises that I hatch and raise with these methods thrive? THIS is why I am so glad that I did the control group, just on the other side of a divider in the same enclosure.

The ivories are irrelevant to this discussion. I have chosen not to speak publicly about what Fife did. If you wish to know, ask him. Privately.
 

ALDABRAMAN

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Baoh said:
ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

That happened recently to a significant breeder in FL, too. I feel quite bad for him. Pseudomonas, I believe, in his case.


There is a ton of of inductive drive in this thread surrounding a true sample size of two (necropsied) animals (making broader conclusions based on a small number is considered scientifically irresponsible) and associated & assumed root causes for observations surrounding those two and others, but I do appreciate all of the details shared as they are believed to be.



I think we are probably referring to the same person, same exact issue!
 

DeanS

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Tom said:
Baoh said:
Since this effectively is implicitly calling Brad into some degree of whatever this is, I should mention I bought twenty babies from Brad. One came with a little hiccup (congenital ocular issue), but was born with it and it was simply overlooked (and Brad graciously took care of the situation). The rest, simply put, have been doing all of fantastic. No deaths. No stunting.

I resold them piecemeal after months went by and I have kept in loose contact with most of the new owners. No deaths. No stunting. I retained some as holdbacks for my own purposes, which is why I bought the original group of twenty, up until relatively recently. Since I was able to acquire one of Brad's awesome and beastly adult females, I was able to let even those holdbacks go. Among the holdbacks, the scls ranged from just over 3.5" (with the highest dome of any in the group) to a bit over 4.5" (the longest and was very masculine in head and overall structure). Individual differences, of course, but no deaths and no stunting. All fed readily. Some (many) ate more than my Aldabra (and "she" eats a lot) at much smaller comparative body masses. If there was a problem, it was not showing up at my place, so I believe the animals I received were in excellent internal condition. They only crapped out crap. No perlite. No vermiculite. No sand. No gold. No razor blades. I am very pleased with my transactions with Brad and more than satisfied with the animals he has sent me on multiple occasions now.

I have no problem with the higher ambient humidity methods and often allow a very humid ambient area to exist in some of my enclosures for smaller animals. This area is no larger than a quarter of any of my enclosures by happenstance. However, rather than shoot for air saturation in most of my enclosures, my overall tendency is to provide a substrate with a thick and moist subterranean layer beneath a thin to moderately thick and totally dry surface layer. I occasionally wet down the surface layer (once a week to once every two weeks; it dries within a day or two). When outside, I let them dig beneath tussocks and plant root balls, just like I have observed hatchling and small juvenile tortoises engaging in the practice of in several parts of the world in nature. Different strokes for different folks.

Again your tone and choice of words is insulting. Your sarcasm and snotty tone helps no one.

Its wonderful that your purchases from Brad all did well. Mine and Dean's did not. Your cleverly hidden stand against my way of keeping them does not explain why the same ratio of mine and Deans both failed despite vastly different methods of keeping. All 20 of ours only crapped crap, coincidentally too. No razor blades, sand or incubation medium here either, but thanks anyway for the implications...

I too let mine dig into tussocks and root balls when outside, what does this have to do with anything?

If my method of keeping them were somehow faulty, as you so subtly wish to imply, why do 100% of all the tortoises that I hatch and raise with these methods thrive? THIS is why I am so glad that I did the control group, just on the other side of a divider in the same enclosure.

The ivories are irrelevant to this discussion. I have chosen not to speak publicly about what Fife did. If you wish to know, ask him. Privately.

Tom...some people just don't get it! But let me clarify one thing here. I left the babies in a controlled outdoor environment...until Pineapple died. They spent one hour in the morning (8AM-9AM) and one hour in the evening (7PM-8PM) in the hay...so they could nibble and burrow which they did with relish! From 8PM to 8AM, they were on moistened coconut bark/coco coir...80-90F and 50-60% humidity!
 

DesertGrandma

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Opinions please...
The baby leopard I had that died pooped out quite a bit of some whitish stuff on the first day or two after I got her. Reading on the forum that "urates" are normal I didn't worry about it. She was about two months of age. She wouldn't eat and didn't poop for the entire time I had her. I took her to the vet and had her euthanized apprx. 6-8 weeks later because she was beyond saving. She was soaked every day, kept in a warm, humid environment and offered a variety of healthy foods. Now, since then I have had several leopard babies, given them all the same care and they are all thriving. None have every pooped out "urates."
Do you see this as possible vermiculite problem?


I have to admit that being new I wouldn't have known the difference between "urates" and vermiculite in the poop.
 

EricIvins

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DesertGrandma said:
Opinions please...
The baby leopard I had that died pooped out quite a bit of some whitish stuff on the first day or two after I got her. Reading on the forum that "urates" are normal I didn't worry about it. She was about two months of age. She wouldn't eat and didn't poop for the entire time I had her. I took her to the vet and had her euthanized apprx. 6-8 weeks later because she was beyond saving. She was soaked every day, kept in a warm, humid environment and offered a variety of healthy foods. Now, since then I have had several leopard babies, given them all the same care and they are all thriving. None have every pooped out "urates."
Do you see this as possible vermiculite problem?


I have to admit that being new I wouldn't have known the difference between "urates" and vermiculite in the poop.



Urates are completely normal. They are a product of Uric Acid in the body. Excessive amounts or none at all would be cause for concern.....

Urates look nothing like Vermiculite though......
 

Baoh

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Tom said:
Baoh said:
Since this effectively is implicitly calling Brad into some degree of whatever this is, I should mention I bought twenty babies from Brad. One came with a little hiccup (congenital ocular issue), but was born with it and it was simply overlooked (and Brad graciously took care of the situation). The rest, simply put, have been doing all of fantastic. No deaths. No stunting.

I resold them piecemeal after months went by and I have kept in loose contact with most of the new owners. No deaths. No stunting. I retained some as holdbacks for my own purposes, which is why I bought the original group of twenty, up until relatively recently. Since I was able to acquire one of Brad's awesome and beastly adult females, I was able to let even those holdbacks go. Among the holdbacks, the scls ranged from just over 3.5" (with the highest dome of any in the group) to a bit over 4.5" (the longest and was very masculine in head and overall structure). Individual differences, of course, but no deaths and no stunting. All fed readily. Some (many) ate more than my Aldabra (and "she" eats a lot) at much smaller comparative body masses. If there was a problem, it was not showing up at my place, so I believe the animals I received were in excellent internal condition. They only crapped out crap. No perlite. No vermiculite. No sand. No gold. No razor blades. I am very pleased with my transactions with Brad and more than satisfied with the animals he has sent me on multiple occasions now.

I have no problem with the higher ambient humidity methods and often allow a very humid ambient area to exist in some of my enclosures for smaller animals. This area is no larger than a quarter of any of my enclosures by happenstance. However, rather than shoot for air saturation in most of my enclosures, my overall tendency is to provide a substrate with a thick and moist subterranean layer beneath a thin to moderately thick and totally dry surface layer. I occasionally wet down the surface layer (once a week to once every two weeks; it dries within a day or two). When outside, I let them dig beneath tussocks and plant root balls, just like I have observed hatchling and small juvenile tortoises engaging in the practice of in several parts of the world in nature. Different strokes for different folks.

Again your tone and choice of words is insulting. Your sarcasm and snotty tone helps no one.

Its wonderful that your purchases from Brad all did well. Mine and Dean's did not. Your cleverly hidden stand against my way of keeping them does not explain why the same ratio of mine and Deans both failed despite vastly different methods of keeping. All 20 of ours only crapped crap, coincidentally too. No razor blades, sand or incubation medium here either, but thanks anyway for the implications...

I too let mine dig into tussocks and root balls when outside, what does this have to do with anything?

If my method of keeping them were somehow faulty, as you so subtly wish to imply, why do 100% of all the tortoises that I hatch and raise with these methods thrive? THIS is why I am so glad that I did the control group, just on the other side of a divider in the same enclosure.

The ivories are irrelevant to this discussion. I have chosen not to speak publicly about what Fife did. If you wish to know, ask him. Privately.

Your ad hominem modus operandi aside, you must be ignoring the fact that I stated I have no problem with higher ambient humidity methods in your whatever-it-is-you-are-doing.

Digging into humid microclimates is another means of providing ambient moisture. That is what it has to do with anything.

Regarding your control group, there is more to care than a cage. If you say that you maintain them equivalently, I have nothing to say otherwise. I am only going by what you have put forth, whether it is factual, wholly detail inclusive, or not. Twenty animals which came here from the same breeder are alive (including one with a physical disadvantage). Less than twenty of yours combined between yours and Dean's are alive. I doubt I am doing anything especially wonderful. I doubt the breeder picked out bulletproof animals to send to me.

I do not know that the situation with the ivories is not relevant without the provision of details. For all that has been shared, this could be some kind of repetitive theme, which is why I asked in the hope that you would clarify with details.


ALDABRAMAN said:
Baoh said:
ALDABRAMAN said:
This thread is fantastic. Tom you are wonderful. I would like to share a recent lengthy conversation i had with a well known respected tortoise breeder here in Florida. Several years back he lost most of his hatchlings, various species including sulcatas. Many developed close to full term and died right before hatching out. Making a very in depth conversation short, his water source being used for his incubation process was straight from the well, untreated other than by a softener. After many test it was concluded that all the deaths were directly due to a type of bacteria that is very common in our water down here in Florida. The hatchlings that did hatch out were very "puffy" and never had a chance.

That happened recently to a significant breeder in FL, too. I feel quite bad for him. Pseudomonas, I believe, in his case.


There is a ton of of inductive drive in this thread surrounding a true sample size of two (necropsied) animals (making broader conclusions based on a small number is considered scientifically irresponsible) and associated & assumed root causes for observations surrounding those two and others, but I do appreciate all of the details shared as they are believed to be.



I think we are probably referring to the same person, same exact issue!



Quite possibly. I feel terribly for him. It was a massive loss, both in terms of living creatures and income.


DesertGrandma said:
Opinions please...
The baby leopard I had that died pooped out quite a bit of some whitish stuff on the first day or two after I got her. Reading on the forum that "urates" are normal I didn't worry about it. She was about two months of age. She wouldn't eat and didn't poop for the entire time I had her. I took her to the vet and had her euthanized apprx. 6-8 weeks later because she was beyond saving. She was soaked every day, kept in a warm, humid environment and offered a variety of healthy foods. Now, since then I have had several leopard babies, given them all the same care and they are all thriving. None have every pooped out "urates."
Do you see this as possible vermiculite problem?


I have to admit that being new I wouldn't have known the difference between "urates" and vermiculite in the poop.



Urates and vermiculate have completely different appearances.
 
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