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Introducing Tooter

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by CLittleSmith, Oct 11, 2018 at 7:17 PM.

  1. CLittleSmith

    CLittleSmith New Member

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    After much thought and preparation, my family decided to try another hatchling. It's pretty clear now that our first one was sick from day one and there's nothing else we could have done. So, without further ado, this is Tooter. We've had Tooter just shy of two weeks, and follow all the guidelines pinned in the forum. As you can see, Tooter eats great and is very active. Quick question though - Tooter only seems to eat while outside, despite have the exact same types of grasses and weeds available in his/her indoor enclosure (both growing and clipped into small pieces on a terracotta dish). Since she/he is too small to be outdoors full-time, how do I make sure Tooter is eating enough and getting enough calcium? IMG_20181011_180328427.jpeg IMG_20181011_184713.jpeg
    Miscally likes this.
  2. drew54

    drew54 Active Member

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    Very cute baby! May I suggest putting Tooter in a predator proof enclosure such as a mesh cover or similar. Birds, hawks, owls, cats, dogs, etc could snatch your tort up. Also, it helps ensure that they won't run off and get lost somewhere. As far as your question goes I'll let an expert answer that question.
  3. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely adorable! & I love his name:) find that one thing Tooter loves & put it with / his clipped food inside his enclosure.. is he gaining weight and pooping ok? Where did u get him?
  4. *debora*

    *debora* Well-Known Member

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    Tooter looks very cute. I hope this one will thrive!!
  5. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    Tooter is adorable. With the cold weather coming, Tooter is going to need to spend most of his time indoors, in his heated and humidified enclosure. You might be able to grow some grass and weeds in trays and swap them into his enclosure, so it will feel more natural to him than eating cut greens. Maybe his indoor enclosure is too small? They naturally graze over large areas and the exercise helps them digest their food. Maybe he isn't moving enough indoors?
  6. Minority2

    Minority2 Active Member

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    1. Where was your first tortoise purchase from? And the second?

    It's hard to say why a tortoise would prefer eating outdoors instead of indoors. There could be many reasons contributing to this issue. Can we get some picture(s) of your enclosure and lighting setup to see if there is anything we can visibly identify that could cause this issue?
  7. CLittleSmith

    CLittleSmith New Member

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    Thank you all for your feedback. Tooter spends most of his time in a 49.5"x19"x27" indoor enclosure. Humidity stays between 70-80%. Basking spot is 100-110, ambient warm end is 88-93, and ambient cool end is 80-83. There is a variety of grasses and weeds growing in the enclosure, along with cactus and aloe. There is also a hollowed out log and medium-sized terracotta dish with water that he likes to soak in. Substrate is 3.5"-6" deep.

    He poops regularly, and his poops are normal in appearance. I only weigh him once a week, and so far have seen no changes (but he's only been weighed twice, total). Tooter was purchased at a reptile show, while our last tort was purchased at a pet store. Neither purchase was an impulse buy.

    I don't necessarily think there is a problem; I just want to be sure I'm monitoring his daily habits well enough to address any potential issues before they become a problem. I'm really just looking for an objective way to determine if Tooter is eating enough. For example - "You'll know your hatchling is eating enough if he gains x amount of weight per week."
  8. Minority2

    Minority2 Active Member

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    Both pet stores and reptile trade shows are a gamble in my opinion. In both instances, tortoises are kept in small enclosed spaces with very little equipment to keep them comfortable. While reputable breeders do indeed sell their specimens in these functions; many other more questionable breeders occupy that very same space. This combination really makes it hard to ascertain, in a short amount of time, which breeder actually has the better stock.

    I usually recommend new owners and previous owners of recently deceased dry-started tortoises to only purchase a new tortoise from a reputable tortoise breeder/retailer with a history of positive reviews. Having evidence and verification of a tortoise's level of care prior to being purchased would greatly reduce any possible anxieties left from previous experiences.

    Keep the basking bulb at 95-100F.

    Always keep food available for your tortoise until the lights are switched off. Regular bowel movements are usually a good sign. A healthy tortoise can eat and poop multiple times in a single day. You can also give your tortoise mazuri 5m21 once or twice a week if you want to encourage faster growth.
  9. Emily Contreras

    Emily Contreras Active Member

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    At first I had my tortoise, saturn in a 20 gallon enclosure (as recomennded by a petco employee, (I went there for hedgehog food. but I decided to ask about sulcatas since they had some there) He said "max 20 gallon enclosure.. They only grow as big as their cage, so if you want it smaller. The smaller cage the better." OBVIOUSLY I decided to listen to the "educated" petco employee, and continue my research on my own. I noticed he didn't eat in his enclosure and was SUPER happy outside. He ate, he did his business too. But not in his enclosure. I put him in a christmas tree tote from walmart. I got it for 12 dollars! He loved it. I tried putting him in a HUUUUGEE wooden enclosure I made him, He absoloutley HATED it. He didn't want to eat, or pee, or poop, inside of it. So I moved him back to the tote. (MORAL OF THE STORY: Try moving him in a bigger enclosure and MAYBE change his bulb too.)
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