I know it's been beaten to death, but here is another sexing question.

SanctuaryHills

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As some of you might know I'm the proud owner of 3 Aldabras. Here is the thing, I might just be the unluckiest person on this side of the hemisphere. I keep having nightmares that they'll all turn out to be the same sex. And by the time they are old enough to be properly sexed, it'll be way out of my price range to get another one of the opposite member.

So I was thinking of getting another two (possibly 3) in order to increase my odds.

So here is the question: If I'm choosing amongst tortoises born from the same batch, does it make sense that the males would be a tad bigger than the females and hence make my picks based on the biggest size difference?

I understand that males tend to be bigger in average as adults, yet I'm not sure if that average applies at their current size (5 to 6 inches).

I'm under no illusion that this is a perfect science. I'm just trying to do anything at all possible to increase my chances. Am I crazing for attempting this methodology? Would you fine experts recommend a different approach?

Some pics attached as a reward for reading this far.
 

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wellington

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No not likely. However, you could possibly pay to have one or all three of yours surgerically sexed. It's not cheap but might be cheaper then buying 3 more?
Just be sure to find a vet that has done it before. A lot of Radiated tortoises are surgically sexed.
You could also ask a breeder you want to buy from to incubate for female. Its not fool proof but better then incubated for any sex.
 

zovick

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As some of you might know I'm the proud owner of 3 Aldabras. Here is the thing, I might just be the unluckiest person on this side of the hemisphere. I keep having nightmares that they'll all turn out to be the same sex. And by the time they are old enough to be properly sexed, it'll be way out of my price range to get another one of the opposite member.

So I was thinking of getting another two (possibly 3) in order to increase my odds.

So here is the question: If I'm choosing amongst tortoises born from the same batch, does it make sense that the males would be a tad bigger than the females and hence make my picks based on the biggest size difference?

I understand that males tend to be bigger in average as adults, yet I'm not sure if that average applies at their current size (5 to 6 inches).

I'm under no illusion that this is a perfect science. I'm just trying to do anything at all possible to increase my chances. Am I crazing for attempting this methodology? Would you fine experts recommend a different approach?

Some pics attached as a reward for reading this far.
Wellington has made a great point. You could have those three endoscoped for gender determination for well under the cost of one new baby. At the UGA Vet School, the cost would most likely be about $200 per tortoise. I had several hundred Radiateds done there over the years for an average cost of under $150 per animal. Even if it was $250 per tortoise today, you would save a lot of $$ by getting your tortoises endoscoped, plus then you would not be stressing for years wondering what you have.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Wellington has made a great point. You could have those three endoscoped for gender determination for well under the cost of one new baby. At the UGA Vet School, the cost would most likely be about $200 per tortoise. I had several hundred Radiateds done there over the years for an average cost of under $150 per animal. Even if it was $250 per tortoise today, you would save a lot of $$ by getting your tortoises endoscoped, plus then you would not be stressing for years wondering what you have.
@wellington @zovick I did think about doing that after reading another post. But I'd have to do the surgery on at least 2 of them and possibly 3 if the first two come out to be the same sex. That would still be a lot cheaper than buying more of them, but then there is also the whole surgery thing which makes me pretty anxious. Specially since I don't know any doctors that do that around me, never the less a reputable one.

Buying incubated is not a choice since I'd be buying them from a 2021 batch to make sure they are the same age, and my breeder already told me he has never incubated for sex.

I'm really torn here. On one hand it's a lot of money, on the other is finding someone I can trust and cutting open my babies so young (possibly all 3)

Dammit it 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫
 

wellington

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It's not an easy decision for sure. You could buy 3 more though and end up with 6 males. You may be able to at that time or if you stayed with your 3 and were all males possibly trade one along with some cash for a female. That likely would not be easy to find though.
Good luck figuring it out. Let us know when you decide.
 

dd33

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If you have space for 3 more just get them. Even if you were lucky with your first three you’ll probably still wish you had more.
 

SanctuaryHills

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I ended up getting offered a pretty attractive price so I'm going to bite the bullet and get the other 3. Don't get me wrong it's still not the cheapest option but I think in the long run I'll be happy I made the move. You have to be practically rich to afford an Aldabra once they are past 2 years old.

Im picking them up this Monday. I'm still not sure if I should go for the "biggest size difference" approach when selecting my new buddies..So I guess it will be up to my dumb luck.

Like @wellington said. I can always do some type of trade down the line if I end up being so unlucky as to get 6 of the same sex.
 

Tom

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I ended up getting offered a pretty attractive price so I'm going to bite the bullet and get the other 3. Don't get me wrong it's still not the cheapest option but I think in the long run I'll be happy I made the move. You have to be practically rich to afford an Aldabra once they are past 2 years old.

Im picking them up this Monday. I'm still not sure if I should go for the "biggest size difference" approach when selecting my new buddies..So I guess it will be up to my dumb luck.

Like @wellington said. I can always do some type of trade down the line if I end up being so unlucky as to get 6 of the same sex.
In several of the species I work with, I have observed that the males grow much faster than the females initially. Its usually around year 3 or 4 that the females catch up, and in some species, pass the males in size. This is anecdotal at best, and I have no idea if this applies to Aldabras or not, but it might.

I've experienced the same dilemma as you when starting with a a new species that I wish to breed. I usually just buy a whole bunch of babies and sell of the extra males once the sexes are obvious. I agree with your decision to get three more as long as they are from different parents. I would not want to breed siblings.
 

zovick

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@wellington @zovick I did think about doing that after reading another post. But I'd have to do the surgery on at least 2 of them and possibly 3 if the first two come out to be the same sex. That would still be a lot cheaper than buying more of them, but then there is also the whole surgery thing which makes me pretty anxious. Specially since I don't know any doctors that do that around me, never the less a reputable one.

Buying incubated is not a choice since I'd be buying them from a 2021 batch to make sure they are the same age, and my breeder already told me he has never incubated for sex.

I'm really torn here. On one hand it's a lot of money, on the other is finding someone I can trust and cutting open my babies so young (possibly all 3)

Dammit it 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫
I know you have already decided what you wish to do, but for future reference, be aware that the only incision needed for performing an endoscopy is roughly 1/8 of an inch in length (if that large). I have had endoscopies done on three month old Western Hermann's Tortoises which are about the size of a fifty cent piece with no problems. By comparison, the incision would be nothing more than a minor scratch to a yearling Aldabra Tortoise.

Just thought knowing this might allay some of your fears in case you wanted to consider endoscopy as an option down the road, maybe even on the 5 you will soon have in your possession. I believe there are some qualified vets in FL who can do the procedure successfully. Perhaps U of FL Vet School has such a vet on their staff if you were able/willing to take the animals to Gainesville.
 

Obbie

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As some of you might know I'm the proud owner of 3 Aldabras. Here is the thing, I might just be the unluckiest person on this side of the hemisphere. I keep having nightmares that they'll all turn out to be the same sex. And by the time they are old enough to be properly sexed, it'll be way out of my price range to get another one of the opposite member.

So I was thinking of getting another two (possibly 3) in order to increase my odds.

So here is the question: If I'm choosing amongst tortoises born from the same batch, does it make sense that the males would be a tad bigger than the females and hence make my picks based on the biggest size difference?

I understand that males tend to be bigger in average as adults, yet I'm not sure if that average applies at their current size (5 to 6 inches).

I'm under no illusion that this is a perfect science. I'm just trying to do anything at all possible to increase my chances. Am I crazing for attempting this methodology? Would you fine experts recommend a different approach?

Some pics attached as a reward for reading this far.
 

Obbie

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You said your 3 torts are from the same clutch ? Just wondering, are you planning to breed them ?
 

SanctuaryHills

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You said your 3 torts are from the same clutch ? Just wondering, are you planning to breed them ?
All three are from different mommas, but hatched at around the same time. No plans to breed them, at least not comercially. But I would love to have little Aldabra babies at some point in the future :)
 

Suranai

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As some of you might know I'm the proud owner of 3 Aldabras. Here is the thing, I might just be the unluckiest person on this side of the hemisphere. I keep having nightmares that they'll all turn out to be the same sex. And by the time they are old enough to be properly sexed, it'll be way out of my price range to get another one of the opposite member.

So I was thinking of getting another two (possibly 3) in order to increase my odds.

So here is the question: If I'm choosing amongst tortoises born from the same batch, does it make sense that the males would be a tad bigger than the females and hence make my picks based on the biggest size difference?

I understand that males tend to be bigger in average as adults, yet I'm not sure if that average applies at their current size (5 to 6 inches).

I'm under no illusion that this is a perfect science. I'm just trying to do anything at all possible to increase my chances. Am I crazing for attempting this methodology? Would you fine experts recommend a different approach?

Some pics attached as a reward for reading this far.

Alternative to what everyone has suggested, there's a paper that discuss about the practice of counting the number of tail scales to determine the sex of a young aldabra. Presumably the number of scales doesn't change as they grow and males have a larger number of them (12-14) than females (8-11). See the paper below:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1709/ad97e7b851b9795409fc9a8d56d47e3633c5.pdf

Aside from sexing, the paper also discusses about other aspects and it's an interesting read. In any case, I think all aldabra parents should at least see this paper.

I like to do some experience to proof this theory but my group isn't big enough to validate it. Would you (and everyone here) be willing share the photos of your baby aldabra tails?

Anyway, it's just a suggestion and it doesn't cost money. Why not try? Opinion?
 

wellington

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Alternative to what everyone has suggested, there's a paper that discuss about the practice of counting the number of tail scales to determine the sex of a young aldabra. Presumably the number of scales doesn't change as they grow and males have a larger number of them (12-14) than females (8-11). See the paper below:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1709/ad97e7b851b9795409fc9a8d56d47e3633c5.pdf

Aside from sexing, the paper also discusses about other aspects and it's an interesting read. In any case, I think all aldabra parents should at least see this paper.

I like to do some experience to proof this theory but my group isn't big enough to validate it. Would you (and everyone here) be willing share the photos of your baby aldabra tails?

Anyway, it's just a suggestion and it doesn't cost money. Why not try? Opinion?
I would love if this worked on all tortoises specially but I just don't see it being that easy. Of course it will take years to know the results on an experiment of this.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Alternative to what everyone has suggested, there's a paper that discuss about the practice of counting the number of tail scales to determine the sex of a young aldabra. Presumably the number of scales doesn't change as they grow and males have a larger number of them (12-14) than females (8-11). See the paper below:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1709/ad97e7b851b9795409fc9a8d56d47e3633c5.pdf

Aside from sexing, the paper also discusses about other aspects and it's an interesting read. In any case, I think all aldabra parents should at least see this paper.

I like to do some experience to proof this theory but my group isn't big enough to validate it. Would you (and everyone here) be willing share the photos of your baby aldabra tails?

Anyway, it's just a suggestion and it doesn't cost money. Why not try? Opinion?
Love this! Tomorrow I'll get some good detailed pictures of the tails. Let's do some science!

By the way I ended up getting the other 3, so I'm the proud keeper of 6 Aldabra babies at the moment 😁😁😁
 

SanctuaryHills

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@Suranai I haven't forgotten about you! Just how in the hell do you get tail pictures. Every time I pick the little guys up they tuck in their tails tighter than I can pull without hurting them.

Also, where exactly are the scales? On the top part of the tail?
 

Suranai

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@Suranai I haven't forgotten about you! Just how in the hell do you get tail pictures. Every time I pick the little guys up they tuck in their tails tighter than I can pull without hurting them.

Also, where exactly are the scales? On the top part of the tail?

Not sure if this technique applies to all Aldabra, but it worked for me. I flipped my torts on their back but make sure to tilt their heads side up about 30 degree. I happened to have a plastic bowl that support the shell to prevent it from rocking or sliding. The torts will tense up a bit and some will struggle for few seconds before calming down. Do not touch their tails. When they calm down, you'll see their tails will begin to relax. Otherwise rub on their tummy slowly - this trick worked on my torts. Take multiple pictures from multiple angle. Dont worry if the tail moves, Just take multiple pictures. I took 10-15 totals per tort.

It took me about a min or two for each tort. Dont forget to flip them back on the same side you you flipped. Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes.

FYI, you count the scale on the bottom side of the tail, not the top.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Not sure if this technique applies to all Aldabra, but it worked for me. I flipped my torts on their back but make sure to tilt their heads side up about 30 degree. I happened to have a plastic bowl that support the shell to prevent it from rocking or sliding. The torts will tense up a bit and some will struggle for few seconds before calming down. Do not touch their tails. When they calm down, you'll see their tails will begin to relax. Otherwise rub on their tummy slowly - this trick worked on my torts. Take multiple pictures from multiple angle. Dont worry if the tail moves, Just take multiple pictures. I took 10-15 totals per tort.

It took me about a min or two for each tort. Dont forget to flip them back on the same side you you flipped. Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes.

FYI, you count the scale on the bottom side of the tail, not the top.
Awesome. I'll probably soak them tomorrow so I'll try it then since I'll already have them in their bowls, plus I'm sure the pictures will be clearer with the water washing off any dirt.
 

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