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Hello from Southwestern Iowa

Barb S.

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Crescent
I have been enjoying your forums for a while, but just joined today. I have been very hesitant to join and post, as I know many may not approve of my profession. My husband and I have owned, and operated, our pet store for 28 years now, and contrary to popular opinion, we absolutely love all the animals in our care and give them the best care we possibly can, which is what brought me to your forum in the first place. I found you while doing research for a new addition that will soon be arriving at our store. There is a gentleman in our area that can no longer keep his Sulcata Tortoise and we have agreed to take him. We do not carry Sulcatas in our store, as they get too large for most people to maintain them in their homes, and we have some brutal winters here which prevents them from being kept outside. We do not plan on selling him, but we think we can provide a good home for him in our store and I want to make sure we provide the best for him. We have an area in the store we plan on sectioning off for him that is about 10X12 feet, and we hope to let him out for periods of time to roam the store for exercise (under supervision of course). I'm looking for advice on the construction of his enclosure and hide. I don't know how old he is, but he is probably about 12-15", and he has some fairly significant pyramiding. Most of the info I see about pyramiding and humidity is directed towards hatchlings and young tortoises, what about one this size? Any advice you may have regarding his enclosure or care would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Mizcreant

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
1,421
Location (City and/or State)
Cincinnati, OH
Welcome! My biggest concern would be the area you plan to keep it in. Is the 10x12 area indoors or outdoors? If indoors, will it have access to a large outside area for grazing? I'm even more concerned about letting it roam the shop floor. As I'm sure you're aware, sulcatas are like bulldozers. I would fear ultimate damage to your shop. Not to mention that the shop may be kept too cold for it. I have many other questions/concerns, but environment tops the list for now.
 

EllieMay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
5,363
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
Hello Barb and welcome! So glad you found us. It’s not an ideal situation...but it’s certainly doable with a few modifications. He will still need a heated house in the 10x12 area and you’ll need to turn your indoor area into an outdoor like habitat.. the floor will be too cold bare.. no free roaming. He will need more space as he grows . There are others who may can give you some better ideas..in the mean time give these a read..
How To Raise A Healthy Sulcata Or Leopard, Version 2.0

https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/How-To-Raise-A-Healthy-Sulcata-Or-Leopard,-Version-2.0.79895/

For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata...
https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/For-Those-Who-Have-a-Young-Sulcata....76744/

Maybe these will be helpful!

If you have the tortoises best interest in mind, then you can find a way that will work for both of you, just may take a bit of extra remodeling:)

Also, we would love to see pics of your new member! GOOD LUCK
 

Barb S.

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Crescent
I have been enjoying your forums for a while, but just joined today. I have been very hesitant to join and post, as I know many may not approve of my profession. My husband and I have owned, and operated, our pet store for 28 years now, and contrary to popular opinion, we absolutely love all the animals in our care and give them the best care we possibly can, which is what brought me to your forum in the first place. I found you while doing research for a new addition that will soon be arriving at our store. There is a gentleman in our area that can no longer keep his Sulcata Tortoise and we have agreed to take him. We do not carry Sulcatas in our store, as they get too large for most people to maintain them in their homes, and we have some brutal winters here which prevents them from being kept outside. We do not plan on selling him, but we think we can provide a good home for him in our store and I want to make sure we provide the best for him. We have an area in the store we plan on sectioning off for him that is about 10X12 feet, and we hope to let him out for periods of time to roam the store for exercise (under supervision of course). I'm looking for advice on the construction of his enclosure and hide. I don't know how old he is, but he is probably about 12-15", and he has some fairly significant pyramiding. Most of the info I see about pyramiding and humidity is directed towards hatchlings and young tortoises, what about one this size? Any advice you may have regarding his enclosure or care would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Barb S.

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Crescent
Welcome! My biggest concern would be the area you plan to keep it in. Is the 10x12 area indoors or outdoors? If indoors, will it have access to a large outside area for grazing? I'm even more concerned about letting it roam the shop floor. As I'm sure you're aware, sulcatas are like bulldozers. I would fear ultimate damage to your shop. Not to mention that the shop may be kept too cold for it. I have many other questions/concerns, but environment tops the list for now.
 

Barb S.

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Crescent
The area we will be keeping him/her in is indoors, there is no access to a grassy area as there is parking lot all around the store. During the summer months I could take him home to my ranch for some outdoor time, but like many people, I don't have any room for him inside my house. I am planting some flats of seed for fresh grass throughout the winter months and we carry hay and hay blends for small animals so I have access to as much of that as I need. If we let him roam around the shop, it would only be for short periods of time and under direct supervision. I was thinking of building a wooden "fence" around his area that is solid around the bottom. Then I thought we would build him a hide box (could use recommendations on size) for him to retreat to whenever he wants. Of course, I will have heat lights and UV lighting on him as well. Would you recommend two heat bulbs in an area that size? Should I heat his hide box during the cold months as well? Thank you for your help.
 

Barb S.

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Crescent
Thank you for sharing those threads, I have read them before, but always good to read them again. Do you have any suggestions on the size I should make his hide box? Should I make it like a closed chamber? Any idea on humidity requirements for one this size? Would you recommend two spots for an enclosure this size? What would you suggest for substrate? Sorry for all the questions, I just really want to do what is best for this guy and I figured it made sense to build things right the first time. Thank you for your help.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,143
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi Barb, and welcome!

Allowing a tortoise to roam around the floor of the store isn't the best thing for a sulcata, but I have read about store owners doing it quite a bit. Would I do it? No, but it may work for you. Only time will tell.

Your tortoise will need an area where he can warm up his inner core to 80F or above otherwise the food won't digest. His night house only needs to be big enough for him to be able to turn around. I'd make it about twice his size.

Good luck with your new tortoise. You're going to enjoy the heck out of him. They are wonderful animals.
 

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