Is 40F degrees too cold for a Sulcata?

ksp9116318

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Covington, KY
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

ArchelonBath1.jpg ArchelonBath2.jpg ArchelonBath3.jpg ArchelonBath4.jpg ArchelonBath5.jpg
 

calmingwind

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Phx Az
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl
Well here in phx it did get cold low 40s but biggie did okay I had him in a 2’ hole with an igloo on top and a heat lamp 150 watt he did fine I plugged it in about 5 p when he decided to go in for the night till about 10 a the next day. Did cover the igloo with a tarp to keep in the heat it stay warm in there even on cold day/ nights.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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You just need to put heat inside his shelter. In my sulcata shed I have a pig blanket on the floor and a 250 watt brooder lamp hanging from the ceiling so it's about 3.5 feet above the top of the tortoise's shell
 

Turbo'smom

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Raleigh, NC
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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Turbo'smom

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The coolest I have ever left mine out is 55 degrees and I still made sure there was lots of hay and I covered his den with a blanket.
 

lizznet15

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el paso, Tx
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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I too put Goldie in my garage for hybrantion in October and he comes out every march. He's been doing that since 2008 and doing just fine
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
30
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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Soooooo handsome!
 

TortMandew!

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Guam
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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We've had our Reginald Q. Tortoise (sulcata) here in Vermont since 2005. He lives outside all summer (roughly May through September), with a fenced in grazing yard and an unheated wooden box to go into . Our rule of thumb is, if it's going to go BELOW 40 degrees, or if it's going to be in the 40s and wet, we bring him inside for the night. He seems healthy, he weighs 20 pounds right now, and I'm pretty sure that he's never had any significant illness.
 

EllieMay

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I would like to say for myself and other members that this thread has become a bit offending. I am so proud to be part of the TFO because experienced tortoise keepers have made an ongoing effort to provide the knowledge to promote safety & well being of all animals that are mentioned here. It seems that some of you are trying to convince others that your ways are ok... when in fact it seems that your tortoises are slowly being tortured and are not thriving at all, merely surviving.. I am not one to criticize but I don’t like thinking that someone who is trying to get an education could read your false information and mimic it while not knowing any better. I’d like to see this thread stay what it’s title says. Just love and photos. Bad husbandry has no place here.
 

Jenncreates

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I would like to say for myself and other members that this thread has become a bit offending. I am so proud to be part of the TFO because experienced tortoise keepers have made an ongoing effort to provide the knowledge to promote safety & well being of all animals that are mentioned here. It seems that some of you are trying to convince others that your ways are ok... when in fact it seems that your tortoises are slowly being tortured and are not thriving at all, merely surviving.. I am not one to criticize but I don’t like thinking that someone who is trying to get an education could read your false information and mimic it while not knowing any better. I’d like to see this thread stay what it’s title says. Just love and photos. Bad husbandry has no place here.
Not at all trying to be dramatic or keep the topic going. You can refer me elsewhere to keep this thread just pictures and love, but as a newbie still learning this post is so vague that I wouldn't have any idea what kind of things talked about here are so offensive regarding husbandry. I didn't really even notice anyone trying to push one type of husbandry or another, so this post has only caused confusion for me. I don't want to cause any arguments and I do want to keep this as a pictures of aan love for our tortoises thread, so I dunno. You long time members probably know exactly what is being referenced between the lines, but folk like me, just starting to learn and gain experience with a baby sulcata won't know what is so offensive. I mean no disrespect, just don't understand. Maybe I just overlooked the conversations because I was focused on photos and people loving their animals.
 

EllieMay

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Not at all trying to be dramatic or keep the topic going.
Your post is perfectly respectful and no offense or ill will is taken.. I am in fact glad that your focus was where the thread was intended. I will apologize for being confusing and unclear.. I was also trying not to be dramatic or open a can of worms.. however, my love for animals eats at me when I think something is not right. As a pet owner, I think one should do as much research as possible to provide the best for one who cannot provide for itself. All that being said, there were 3 points that I read that bothered me. So here’s what I have learned here on the forum.
1) Sulcata tortoises should not hibernate
2) they need warm temperatures daily to thrive
3) a 12+ year old Sulcata that only weighs 20lbs is not normal.
I hope people will read this knowing I meant the best by it.
 
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TortMandew!

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Well, Emily, Jenn, Ellie, et al. I was obviously new to posting on this forum, although I have been reading bits of it from time to time for at least a year or so. Early on, I got the impression that there was a bit of a judgmental (shall we say "Tortier Than Thou") attitude here, which contributed to my hesitancy to post. Well, now that I realize that the statements "this thread has become a bit offending" and "a 12+ year old Sulcata that only weighs 20lbs is not normal." probably refer to me, well, I feel judged, and I perceive that as least somebody here is indeed "trying to be dramatic"..

Well, here's your drama: I don't need this, to hell with your forum. I'll spare you folks from getting further "offended", and do what I can to delete my account ASAP.
 

Jenncreates

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Okay, then. I didn't take what she said as judgemental as I am truly happy to have the wealth of resources here at TFO, just wanted to understand. There's so much bad information online and I more read it as concerned and passionate. Sigh:( I am sorry to cause animosity between anyone. Feel free to delete my posts to keep this a pictures sharing post. I forgot about how forums can be at times. :/
 

Sue Ann

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chapin , South Carolina
We've had our Reginald Q. Tortoise (sulcata) here in Vermont since 2005. He lives outside all summer (roughly May through September), with a fenced in grazing yard and an unheated wooden box to go into . Our rule of thumb is, if it's going to go BELOW 40 degrees, or if it's going to be in the 40s and wet, we bring him inside for the night. He seems healthy, he weighs 20 pounds right now, and I'm pretty sure that he's never had any significant illness.
Wow! thats great news. My sully is only a few months old. I am in South Carolina and was worried 40 degrees would be too cold. I am planning on building an outdoor heated space for him when he is bigger. At least we do not get snow. Thanks for sharing
 

Cheryl Hills

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Wow! thats great news. My sully is only a few months old. I am in South Carolina and was worried 40 degrees would be too cold. I am planning on building an outdoor heated space for him when he is bigger. At least we do not get snow. Thanks for sharing
40 degrees is to cold for a sulcata. They can handle it for very short periods if they have a heated night box to go to. Sulcatas should be 80 degrees and above.
 

EllieMay

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Wow! thats great news. My sully is only a few months old. I am in South Carolina and was worried 40 degrees would be too cold. I am planning on building an outdoor heated space for him when he is bigger. At least we do not get snow. Thanks for sharing
This is exactly what I did not want to see happen. I was not trying to pick on this guy or be judge mental at all. It’s just that he states he has had his tortoise since 2005, & it weighs 20lbs.. to me this is a huge indicator that something is off.. Sulcatas NEED warm temperatures to properly digest, grow, etc.. the lack of heat daily is likely a huge contributor to the smaller size of the tortoise.. while it may be true that the tortoise seems perfectly healthy, wouldn’t you want to make sure it was at its best? Or at least research and see if you could learn something? No harm done if I’m wrong... but if your wrong, can you right a wrong and be the bigger person?
 

Yvonne G

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Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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These tortoises have evolved in a land that doesn't get cold. They have no idea what 40F degree weather is. At night they are snuggled up in a burrow where the ground temperature is towards 80F and in the day when it gets real hot, back to the cool burrow they go. (cool being 80F). A sulcata should never be in weather colder than about 75F. He can go out for a bit, but should have a warm, insulated, heated shelter to retreat to before his inner core temp gets too cool.

This is what Tom says about cooler temperatures and sulcatas, ". . .17C is WAYYYY too cold at night. This species should never drop below 26-27. They need some sort of night heat. You are lucky they are still alive. Where this species comes from there is no cold time of year. Ground temps are always 80-85 F for this species in the wild. They avoid the extreme heat of the day and the occasional cool "winter" night by staying in underground burrows." (this was on a different thread, and 17C is 63F, so yes, 40F is way too cold!)
 
Last edited:

Yvonne G

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I too put Goldie in my garage for hybrantion in October and he comes out every march. He's been doing that since 2008 and doing just fine
Sulcata tortoises don't hibernate. This is the wrong message to send to a new sulcata tortoise keeper.
 

Yvonne G

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We've had our Reginald Q. Tortoise (sulcata) here in Vermont since 2005. He lives outside all summer (roughly May through September), with a fenced in grazing yard and an unheated wooden box to go into . Our rule of thumb is, if it's going to go BELOW 40 degrees, or if it's going to be in the 40s and wet, we bring him inside for the night. He seems healthy, he weighs 20 pounds right now, and I'm pretty sure that he's never had any significant illness.
No significant illness, but a 13 year old sulcata should be much bigger than 20lbs. Being too cold is hindering his growth.
 

Sue Ann

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Messages
335
Location (City and/or State)
chapin , South Carolina
Hi turtle lovers,

This is Archelon, Archie for short. These pics were taken a year ago, he's a lot bigger now. We just put him out yesterday. I hate keeping him inside for so much of the year. But I'm afraid to leave him out, if the temperature goes down into the 40's. Has anyone tried leaving their tortoise outside, in 40 degree weather? If so, were there bad effects?

Thanks,

Karl

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Such a pretty boy. Mom was right you needed a bath.
 
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