Introduction, long post

OliveW

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Jul 4, 2022
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88
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Branford, FL
Hello, I am a grandmother who live in North Florida, in a very rural area. I've wanted a tortoise my entire life, but as an information junkie, every time I got the itch, I'd start researching. The overwhelming responsibility always scared me away.
So, fast forward to last week and we were coming home down a long, uninhabited stretch of our dirt road when we came upon a tortoise just strolling along. Knowing that our only native tortoises are gopher ones, and this was definitely something different, we stopped at picked it up. I initially thought someone would come forward as the owner, and we would return it. A several day search, both in person and online, and nobody claimed her. Many animals get dropped off out here, unfortunately, and I now believe someone did just that. Every dog and cat we have just showed up. We have even had two domestic pigs dropped off, years apart.
Some quick research told me what type of tortoise this is, and that her main diet is from grazing. Since we have eight fenced acres, I decided to just let her have the run of it. Our fence is a ranch type, and apparently no match for a tortoise because within six hours, I got a call from our only neighbor that she was upside down in his front yard. One of his dogs makes a sport of tortoise flipping.
So, my husband threw together a quick enclosure for her, out of wood that we had laying around. It's 12' x 24' and just temporary until we can get the materials for a larger space. We plan to enclose about an acre for her. She has two dens currently, and a shallow dug water area. We have to move her temporary enclosure tomorrow, because I chose a bad spot for it. I wanted part of it to be in the shade, but forgot that there were grape vines above where she is. I caught her eating a little green one, then did a search of her enclosure and found probably 100 more. She ate 5 or 6 of them before I realized what was going on. They are immature, pea sized grapes, I hope they didn't cause any problems for her.
My corny husband named her Shelly. I don't like the name, but it's kind of stuck now. I'm having a ton of anxiety that I will make mistakes, and obviously already have. I KNOW she will long outlive me, so long as she stays healthy and that's something I'll have to take up with the kids and grandchildren as well.
I really need some help and support as I have questions. I hope you all can help. She is 10" from front to back of shell and weighs 5.2 lbs. She's extremely friendly and loves interacting with us. Obviously, I have no idea how old she is. I determined she's a girl by her perfectly flat bottom shell and tiny little tail that's barely visible.
Here are the questions I need help with -
* We take her out of her enclosure a few times a day to let her run around and graze in big areas, while supervised. Is this a good or bad idea? I'm not sure if we should just be letting her get used to her enclosure.
* Does she need soaked at her size? She loves water, but only on her terms. When I put her in a tub with a couple inches of lukewarm water, she gets mad. Then when she goes back in her enclosure, she goes straight to a corner and tries to dig her way out for awhile.
* Should she be getting some kind of calcium supplement?
* She has bad pyramiding. Of course I don't know what caused it, or how she was kept before, but is this going to negatively impact her health in the long term?
* How often should she be allowed "treats?" By that I mean vegetables on the allowed list. I know it should not be more than 10% of her diet, but I have no clue how much she is supposed to eat altogether to gauge how much/often that should be. In addition to the contraband grapes, she also ran into my garden during one of her walks and was chomping down on a cucumber before we got to her. She LOVED it, btw. We have prickly pear cactus up by our gate and I want to bring her some pieces, but she's done nothing but eat since we got her and I also fear over feeding. She grazes on grass and clover a lot more than I thought a tortoise would.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice you can offer.
 

SasquatchTortoise

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Here is the care sheet made by @Tom - link
-you can let her roam supervised as long as she doesn't have access to poisonous plants or your other animals. The Tortoise Table is helpful for identification.
-It would be a good Idea to soak her frequently, especially if she doesn't drink much
-yes, calcium would be good, especially considering that she probably didn't get much from her old owner. I'd do a light dusting two to three times a week
-the pyramiding itself doesn't cause as much problems as its original causes
-Mine Luna only gets 'fruits' a few times a year, usually yellow squash. She gets store bought cactus whenever I can find it, and it's a good idea to remove the spines and glochids (the hairy part). A Sulcata can put away a lot of food, and as long as it is nutritious, you shouldn't stop them. Luna gets two to three every day of the following- dandelion greens, turnip greens, spring mix minus the spinach, cactus, collard greens, grape leaves, wheatgrass, the list can go on. Grass makes up most of the food every day
You'll need a 'night box'. Tom has a tutorial on how to make one. You could also modify a greenhouse or something of the sort.

There is probably a lot I am missing. You can see others for help
 

OliveW

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88
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Branford, FL
Thanks! I had already read the care sheet, but the link to the Tortoise Table was extremely helpful!
We don't have plants where we take her for walks, only a small vegetable garden, 100% organic. We don't use any chemicals of any kind - ever. No fertilizer, no pesticides anywhere on our property.
I'll do a search for tutorial on night box. Right now, she's been spending nights in soaker tub inside. We close the AC vent and it stays pretty warm in there.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Good evening west coast time and welcome
You do indeed have a Sulcata tortoise and you are correct in that he or she wasn't well cared for.
The pyramiding is from lack of humidity and it will be permanent. But it probably won't effect the health of your new friend. Especially since his or her health is guaranteed to improve now..

We have a lot of Sulcata keepers here on this forum..
You're in great hands
 

Tom

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Hello, I am a grandmother who live in North Florida, in a very rural area. I've wanted a tortoise my entire life, but as an information junkie, every time I got the itch, I'd start researching. The overwhelming responsibility always scared me away.
So, fast forward to last week and we were coming home down a long, uninhabited stretch of our dirt road when we came upon a tortoise just strolling along. Knowing that our only native tortoises are gopher ones, and this was definitely something different, we stopped at picked it up. I initially thought someone would come forward as the owner, and we would return it. A several day search, both in person and online, and nobody claimed her. Many animals get dropped off out here, unfortunately, and I now believe someone did just that. Every dog and cat we have just showed up. We have even had two domestic pigs dropped off, years apart.
Some quick research told me what type of tortoise this is, and that her main diet is from grazing. Since we have eight fenced acres, I decided to just let her have the run of it. Our fence is a ranch type, and apparently no match for a tortoise because within six hours, I got a call from our only neighbor that she was upside down in his front yard. One of his dogs makes a sport of tortoise flipping.
So, my husband threw together a quick enclosure for her, out of wood that we had laying around. It's 12' x 24' and just temporary until we can get the materials for a larger space. We plan to enclose about an acre for her. She has two dens currently, and a shallow dug water area. We have to move her temporary enclosure tomorrow, because I chose a bad spot for it. I wanted part of it to be in the shade, but forgot that there were grape vines above where she is. I caught her eating a little green one, then did a search of her enclosure and found probably 100 more. She ate 5 or 6 of them before I realized what was going on. They are immature, pea sized grapes, I hope they didn't cause any problems for her.
My corny husband named her Shelly. I don't like the name, but it's kind of stuck now. I'm having a ton of anxiety that I will make mistakes, and obviously already have. I KNOW she will long outlive me, so long as she stays healthy and that's something I'll have to take up with the kids and grandchildren as well.
I really need some help and support as I have questions. I hope you all can help. She is 10" from front to back of shell and weighs 5.2 lbs. She's extremely friendly and loves interacting with us. Obviously, I have no idea how old she is. I determined she's a girl by her perfectly flat bottom shell and tiny little tail that's barely visible.
Here are the questions I need help with -
* We take her out of her enclosure a few times a day to let her run around and graze in big areas, while supervised. Is this a good or bad idea? I'm not sure if we should just be letting her get used to her enclosure.
* Does she need soaked at her size? She loves water, but only on her terms. When I put her in a tub with a couple inches of lukewarm water, she gets mad. Then when she goes back in her enclosure, she goes straight to a corner and tries to dig her way out for awhile.
* Should she be getting some kind of calcium supplement?
* She has bad pyramiding. Of course I don't know what caused it, or how she was kept before, but is this going to negatively impact her health in the long term?
* How often should she be allowed "treats?" By that I mean vegetables on the allowed list. I know it should not be more than 10% of her diet, but I have no clue how much she is supposed to eat altogether to gauge how much/often that should be. In addition to the contraband grapes, she also ran into my garden during one of her walks and was chomping down on a cucumber before we got to her. She LOVED it, btw. We have prickly pear cactus up by our gate and I want to bring her some pieces, but she's done nothing but eat since we got her and I also fear over feeding. She grazes on grass and clover a lot more than I thought a tortoise would.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice you can offer.
Hello and welcome.

A few things:
-You can't tell the sex until they are around 14-18 inches. They all look female as youngsters. The secondary sexual characteristics don't show up until later. The behavior sounds male to me.
-Soak the tortoise two or three times a week for 30-40 minutes. This is good for them, and Shelley will get used to it. Use warm water in a tall sided opaque tub. Make the water come about 1/3 to 1/2 way up the tortoise.
-The tortoise should never be running loose. Keep it contained in its own safe enclosure area. Shelley will find a way to get sick, injured or killed if you let her/him roam free.
-The immature grapes won't hurt anything. The leaves are great tortoise food.
-Grass and clover grazing is ideal. Opuntia is also an excellent tortoise food.
-You can't over feed the correct foods. Grasses, opuntia, weeds, and leaves. Got hibiscus? The leaves and flowers are great. Kudzu? Also good. In time dry grass hay might be useful if you can't grow enough of the other stuff. Pumpkins and any other squash family leaves are great.
-There is't much you can do about the pyramiding now. What's done is done. The new growth from here on out will probably come in much smoother.
-Calcium supplementi a couple of times a week would be a good idea.
-Veggie treats are fine. Avoid sugary foods like carrots. Don't use fruit at all.
-Here is the night box you need:

Questions are welcome.
 

OliveW

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Branford, FL
Wow, I am so thankful for you guys!!!

I swear I'm not stupid, I just have anxiety, so will probably ask a lot of stupid sounding questions in the interest of giving my new baby the very best I can.

I am kind of not surprised to hear that she might be a boy. I was actually pretty shocked when I thought I found out she was female. She is very bold and outgoing and pushy. She seems much more like a male. No offense to anyone, just seems very male.

Tom, it's interesting that you picked up on her typical male behavior just from my one post. I appreciate that you read my post that carefully, and paid attention to what I was saying, rather than just glossing over it.

We will build her a night box ASAP. I am so happy to have the info and pics! I was curious about how people felt comfortable leaving their tortoises outdoors at night. I have been to countless webpages and have never read anything about a night box before. I also never found anything like the Tortoise Table, other than here. Such helpful information for us new parents!

We have so many wild animals around here, that I was just bringing her inside. While we are fenced, we still see all sorts of wildlife and I wasn't sure what would be a threat to her at night. Her enclosure is right outside my back door, but I still put a camera on it, so I can see her live from my phone during the day when I'm not out there.

We do have a big beautiful hibiscus bush and she's already been in it. I knew that was safe from my Google searches, so I let her. I'm going to get a few more bushes, along with more Sulcata-friendly plantings. And that leads me into my next round of questions -

* When I bring home plants from the nursery, how long should I quarantine them away from her since I don't know what kind of chemicals might have been used on them?

* More soaking concerns. I feel like I may drown her if I put water that deep. I put it up to the bottom of her shell when I've done it so far and she has to keep her neck up. I'm worried that if she has to crane her neck up that high, for 30 minutes, it will be hard on her. I think she not like soaking because the clear bin I use is not much bigger than she is. It was one I already had, I will have to buy a bigger one.

*Calcium - is there any specific brand that any of you guys us that have tortoises with no pyramiding? When I had to start taking calcium for myself, my doctor warned me about all the junk on the market and had specific recommendations of what to look for. I imagine it would be even more difficult to find quality supplements in the pet world.

I suspect, based on how she acts, that Shelly was raised in a tank and may not have been outdoors before the day we found her. I think she got too big and her previous people didn't know what to do with her when she outgrew her tank. And her poop is the size of cat poop, so I imagine it would be unpleasant to keep clean.

Regardless, I've completely bonded with her (or him) and would not want any other tortoise. This one has won my heart and no other tortoise would do. Just like one of my dogs or cats, she's not replaceable.
 

TammyJ

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Hi and welcome! I think it's great what you have done, started on a journey of love and care for this tortoise! Wish I had a sulcata tortoise just appear in my yard! Sure is a lucky guy to have found you guys. Rock on!
 

OliveW

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Branford, FL
@TammyJ it's literally the only way I would have ever gotten one. I have wanted one literally my entire life, since I was a child. Raising kids, I would have never had the time or energy to devote. Now that my kids are grown, it was perfect timing! I was afraid of the huge responsibility for a life that would outlive me, but if I didn't care for this one, nobody else was going to, so it worked out so perfectly!
 

TammyJ

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@TammyJ it's literally the only way I would have ever gotten one. I have wanted one literally my entire life, since I was a child. Raising kids, I would have never had the time or energy to devote. Now that my kids are grown, it was perfect timing! I was afraid of the huge responsibility for a life that would outlive me, but if I didn't care for this one, nobody else was going to, so it worked out so perfectly!
From one grandmother to another - I understand totally. Enjoy!!!
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

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@OliveW , I am an accidental Sulcata owner, too. Mine showed up on my front porch last October. He was only about five or six inches long when he came into our lives, and he's now double the size and is extremely feisty! We never thought we'd be guardians to a tortoise, but it's been an incredible ride thus far.
 

Donna Albu

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Peoria, Maricopa County, AZ
Welcome to owning a bulldozer!!! They grow at a rapid pace, and are way stronger than they look!! Our first one started out as a hatchling the size of a quarter - just showed up in the yard. She now has had hatchlings of her own, and all of them have started out 3 times the size that she was. To say we were ignorant in the beginning is putting it mildly. Pretty sure we made every mistake possible along the way, and we're not done yet! Here's a few things we've learned.

Our adults are outside, each in their own space, enclosed in low cinder block walls (24 - 30" tall. The walls are set on an 18" cement foundation, and all are cemented together. Each has it's own short wrought iron gate, with the slates a bit over an inch apart. The foundation is solid, meaning it also goes under the gates. Each tortoise has their own 36" x 36" condo. The doorways are open with industrial freezer flaps covering the opening. I ordered the flaps when we first built the condos, so they came in with the hanging rods, etc. We live in a HOT environment for a good 6 months of the year, and these flaps are still in great shape 16 years later. Definitely money well spent. The first 2 occupant condo was rebuilt from the ground up last year, and we made it stronger than the original one. It is framed in 2 x 4s, the outside walls are 1/2" plywood covered with PVC shingles. The inside walls are 3/8" cement board, with 12" ceramic tiles covering the lower portion of the walls. The floor is a cement slab, also covered with 12" ceramic tiles. The roof is also framed with 2 x 4s, but the covering top and bottom are lighter in weight. Between the outer and inner walls is fully insulated. Pig pads, managed with thermostats and temperature controls, provide heat in the winter time when it can get to below freezing once in a while, but usually range in the 40s at night. The original condo had suffered from water damage from the sprinkler overspray, and holes in the lower walls scratched over time by the torts. Hopefully, we've prevented those problems from happening again!

To make sure the dogs stay out, the entire enclosure is surrounded with 2" x 4" wire fencing, 7 feet tall, with cyclone gates for we humans to enter through. While the torts were small, we had all of that covered, including the top, with bird netting when we noticed the grackles stalking the babies toddering around in the grass. We also have hawks and owls, and a good number of coyotes, so better safe than sorry!

The cement foundation has saved us from escapes, and the insulated condos provide much cooler hidouts when it gets over 100 (so far we've topped out at 117) and nice and warm when needed in the winter. Their water bowls are on automatic waterers, and the sprinklers run 4 times a day to provide humidity and mud to dig in for 8 months of the year. The reason the foundation is 18" deep is because that is the maximum depth of the trencher. We dug the trenches, filled them with QuikCrete and water, waited a couple of days, then put up the walls. There are also foundations for the walls that separate each of the tortoises from the others so they can't get to one another.

We also have all of our lawn surrounded by a short (15") heavy wrought iron fence (85' by 25" roughly) and let each tortoise have the run of it by themselves for several hours at a time when one of us is out in the yard.

Too bad we didn't start at this level - it would have eliminated a bunch of tear down and rebuilding!
 

Tom

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* When I bring home plants from the nursery, how long should I quarantine them away from her since I don't know what kind of chemicals might have been used on them?
Decorative plants are grown with systemic pesticides that last a year. Best to grow your own from seeds or from cuttings.

* More soaking concerns. I feel like I may drown her if I put water that deep. I put it up to the bottom of her shell when I've done it so far and she has to keep her neck up. I'm worried that if she has to crane her neck up that high, for 30 minutes, it will be hard on her. I think she not like soaking because the clear bin I use is not much bigger than she is. It was one I already had, I will have to buy a bigger one.
Two or three inches of water should come 1/3 to 1/2 way up the shell. I'm including the entire shell in that. She should not have to lift her neck at all.
IMG 3183

*Calcium - is there any specific brand that any of you guys us that have tortoises with no pyramiding? When I had to start taking calcium for myself, my doctor warned me about all the junk on the market and had specific recommendations of what to look for. I imagine it would be even more difficult to find quality supplements in the pet world.
I prefer RepCal brand. No need for D3 in your calcium since your tortoise lives outside and gets sunshine. ZooMed brand is also good, and you won't need much with a good diet.
 

Tom

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*Calcium - is there any specific brand that any of you guys us that have tortoises with no pyramiding? When I had to start taking calcium for myself, my doctor warned me about all the junk on the market and had specific recommendations of what to look for. I imagine it would be even more difficult to find quality supplements in the pet world.
More clarification on this: I prefer Repcal for smaller tortoises kept indoors, and I use the type with D3 in it for babies and indoor tortoises even though they have indoor UV and get sunshine sometimes. Cheap insurance in my opinion.

For larger tortoises housed outdoors, and when I'm mixing up buckets of food for my whole herd, I prefer the calcium powder from Will @Kapidolo Farms . Its just plain calcium powder. Organic, food grade, and it has no additives of ay kind. He sells it in bulk which is handy for the amount I use.
 

OliveW

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Branford, FL
Update, Shelly is now named Tortimer, as he puts off those male vibes!
@Donna Albu thank you so much for sharing! It has been a daily conversation around here about how to build our long term enclosure. We have definitely decided to do block with a concrete foundation, as we don't want to rebuild. We are looking at probably next March, so need to save some money. Block is super pricey right now (like just about everything else.) One of our sons just bought a used doublewide to put on our property, and he paid $800 just for the block to set that up. Directly from the store, not through a third party. It was a big trailer load, but not nearly enough to enclose an entire acre, as we originally wanted to do.

The size of the enclosure will be determined by what we can afford at the time, and we will go as big as possible. And of course, will need to build a long term night box, as the one we threw together for now is nowhere near big enough. Thanks for the tip about the freezer flaps! The Florida sun here eats up everything, so good to know they have lasted in AZ for that length of time!

As far as our dogs go, they are terrified of tortoises. They've had enough run ins with our local dinosaur sized gopher tortoises that will RUN and chase them down, hissing, to get a bite in! Even so, we have a temp dog fence around our current enclosure.

@Tom I'm proud to report that today's soak was a 100% success! I never knew that his neck didn't need to extend, because it was extended the entire time, as he tried to escape on all previous soaks. Today was the first time he just chilled, so I added some water and he made it through the entire 30 minutes calmly.

Today marks one week since we found him, and he has been soaked every day so far. It was one of the early things I started doing after Googling his excessive drinking. I'm sure I will cut it down to a few times per week, but for now I feel like he needs extra water for awhile.

The first day we brought him home, he went straight to water and drank for a full two or three minutes. I've never even seen any tortoise drink before, let alone for that long. It felt like forever at the time. And then he got into the water and stayed there for a long time. I guess he knew what he needed.

Tortimer


I know he needs a larger soaking tub, but I haven't been to town yet, it's quite a long ways for us.

I'll check out @Kapidolo Farms for his calcium. Thanks. I probably won't keep him on it long term, but for now I feel better putting some on his favorite approved foods. I'll admit it feels really odd to have an animal friend who I don't have to buy food for. He's an excellent grazer, and couldn't be more proud of him!

I guess I'll get busy finding a good source for seeds for plants he likes! That will at least make me feel like I'm doing something. :)
 

Jan A

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Wow, I am so thankful for you guys!!!

I swear I'm not stupid, I just have anxiety, so will probably ask a lot of stupid sounding questions in the interest of giving my new baby the very best I can.

I am kind of not surprised to hear that she might be a boy. I was actually pretty shocked when I thought I found out she was female. She is very bold and outgoing and pushy. She seems much more like a male. No offense to anyone, just seems very male.

Tom, it's interesting that you picked up on her typical male behavior just from my one post. I appreciate that you read my post that carefully, and paid attention to what I was saying, rather than just glossing over it.

We will build her a night box ASAP. I am so happy to have the info and pics! I was curious about how people felt comfortable leaving their tortoises outdoors at night. I have been to countless webpages and have never read anything about a night box before. I also never found anything like the Tortoise Table, other than here. Such helpful information for us new parents!

We have so many wild animals around here, that I was just bringing her inside. While we are fenced, we still see all sorts of wildlife and I wasn't sure what would be a threat to her at night. Her enclosure is right outside my back door, but I still put a camera on it, so I can see her live from my phone during the day when I'm not out there.

We do have a big beautiful hibiscus bush and she's already been in it. I knew that was safe from my Google searches, so I let her. I'm going to get a few more bushes, along with more Sulcata-friendly plantings. And that leads me into my next round of questions -

* When I bring home plants from the nursery, how long should I quarantine them away from her since I don't know what kind of chemicals might have been used on them?

* More soaking concerns. I feel like I may drown her if I put water that deep. I put it up to the bottom of her shell when I've done it so far and she has to keep her neck up. I'm worried that if she has to crane her neck up that high, for 30 minutes, it will be hard on her. I think she not like soaking because the clear bin I use is not much bigger than she is. It was one I already had, I will have to buy a bigger one.

*Calcium - is there any specific brand that any of you guys us that have tortoises with no pyramiding? When I had to start taking calcium for myself, my doctor warned me about all the junk on the market and had specific recommendations of what to look for. I imagine it would be even more difficult to find quality supplements in the pet world.

I suspect, based on how she acts, that Shelly was raised in a tank and may not have been outdoors before the day we found her. I think she got too big and her previous people didn't know what to do with her when she outgrew her tank. And her poop is the size of cat poop, so I imagine it would be unpleasant to keep clean.

Regardless, I've completely bonded with her (or him) and would not want any other tortoise. This one has won my heart and no other tortoise would do. Just like one of my dogs or cats, she's not replaceable.
Welcome to the forum! They do steal your heart and yes, you're always second-guessing yourself. I never had a child so while I've had mostly cats during my adulthood, Houdini (my redfoot) is my child, & I rarely stress over my cats compared to Houdini. Fortunately, this is a great forum to ask questions, look at previous discussions for answers. And we do have some non-tort discussions to talk about other things. So welcome & congrats on Shelly!
 

Donna Albu

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I use the plastic children's wadding pools for soaking. They come in several sizes, and are easy to fill and empty. I put them out in the morning, and if the hose water is too cool, wait until the sun has heated it up before I bring them out. They let me know when it has gotten too warm, as they start running around in the pool, like looking for a cooler spot. By then they've been out about an hour or so. The little one is happy to go in, the 2 year old thinks he should stay outside, not recognizing that it is now summer, and even the air temp is getting too hot. The pools were less than 10 dollars each; They'll work for quite a while, but no longer work for the adults - they can beat up the pool and escape out into the yard! They get to build their own mud puddles, it was kind of shocking to initially see them with only their heads above the water. I was sure they'd get stuck - but they don't! And they come out of the puddle with mud coats on, at least an inch thick.
 

TammyJ

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Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
I use the plastic children's wadding pools for soaking. They come in several sizes, and are easy to fill and empty. I put them out in the morning, and if the hose water is too cool, wait until the sun has heated it up before I bring them out. They let me know when it has gotten too warm, as they start running around in the pool, like looking for a cooler spot. By then they've been out about an hour or so. The little one is happy to go in, the 2 year old thinks he should stay outside, not recognizing that it is now summer, and even the air temp is getting too hot. The pools were less than 10 dollars each; They'll work for quite a while, but no longer work for the adults - they can beat up the pool and escape out into the yard! They get to build their own mud puddles, it was kind of shocking to initially see them with only their heads above the water. I was sure they'd get stuck - but they don't! And they come out of the puddle with mud coats on, at least an inch thick.
Watch them carefully in those plastic wading pools - the water can get too hot in a very short time!
 

OliveW

Active Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
88
Location (City and/or State)
Branford, FL
I bring Tortimer inside to do his soak, as I'm afraid of his water heating up. I know when he gets bigger, he will have to have outdoor soaks!

He's such a personable boy! We had to dissemble and move his enclosure, due to him eating contraband grapes. The following day, when I was digging to put in his new and improved water feature, he peaked out of his den, saw it was me, and came running over to see what I was doing. He stood there and watched me the entire time. 🥰😘 After I went back inside, he made a few improvements to the entrance to his den, then went back in.
 
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