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Looking for Marginated in California

Discussion in 'Marginated tortoises' started by Magnolia7330, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 New Member

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    I am new to this forum. I don't have a tortoise yet. I would like to get a juvenile or adult Marginated tortoise. Does anyone know where I can get one? I live in Northern California. I am mostly looking to adopt and am okay with paying an adoption fee, but will also consider purchasing from a reputable source. Thank you for your help.
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    If I was in the market for a Margie this is the first person I'd contact: @tglazie

    They are a valuable tortoise and in short supply, so it is unlikely that you'll find one up for adoption, but no harm in looking.
  3. tglazie

    tglazie Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you for the reference, Tom. Yeah, Mag, if you're looking to adopt a tortoise, a Russian or sulcata would be far easier to find given the sheer number of them being turned out by pet stores. Margies are being produced only by a handful of breeders. To give you an idea of how rare we are, I've only met five guys who breed marginated tortoises in Texas, and I'm the only one in the San Antonio area. If you've ever tried raising a group of marginated tortoises, you'll find that males seem to be far more common than females, which is why if you ever see juveniles on offer, they're typically male. By contrast, I know over fifty guys who breed sulcatas here in South Texas alone, and I know there are more of them, I've just never introduced myself. Shoot, I think I know more breeders of Russians, Hermanns, and Greeks than I do margie breeders, though many guys I know who do breed margies often breed other members of the Testudo group. Anywho, rambling. Bottom line is that marginated tortoises are difficult to come by when compared to other, more prolific species. I remember when I was younger, before I my animals were sitting in STHS stalls, margies were a rare thing to see at the local expo. I would maybe see one every two or three years, and I would usually buy it without a second thought. As a result, I have a pretty big group now, and they are more common now than they were back then. But they still aren't common, and for some reason that completely escapes me, more folks aren't interested in them.

    I don't have any juvenile or adult tortoises at the moment for sale. I generally only have yearlings at the beginning of the year, holdovers from the previous year. I have a few hatchlings right now, but I don't like parting with my kiddos until I know they're strong enough to take the stress of a new environment in the hands of a novice. If you're looking for an adult male, I do believe Andy over at Arizona Tortoise Compound has one. I've never had dealings with Andy other than ordering seed from him, but from everything I've read on the forum aside from an incident involving a box turtle and some vet bills, he's a reputable breeder and quite knowledgeable. I can tell you that the seed mix he sent my way sprouted and was clean, grew into the graze as advertised.

    T.G.
  4. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 New Member

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    Thank you Tom. I did not realize it, but I guess it explains why I haven't had much luck, haha.
  5. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 New Member

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    Wow, thank you for all of this information. I had no idea. I'm still trying to talk my other half into us getting a tortoise. So, it will probably be some time before I can get one. So, I will just be patient. Maybe by the time you have yearlings I can talk him into one, haha.
  6. tglazie

    tglazie Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you follow advice on offer here at the forum, and with a little luck, you will find the keeping of tortoises to be without compare. My old man was the one who introduced me to keeping them when I was a kid back in the 90s, back when books were recommending feeding bread soaked in milk and cheese (those damned TFH books were pure insanity). If there's a mistake to make in caring for these animals, I've made it. Keeping torts can be a challenge, especially at first when you're just getting things set up. Beginnings are hard, for the tortoise and for the keeper both. The stress of the new situation seems to create this feedback loop with most tortoises and their beginner keepers, with tortoises stressing over their new surroundings and beginning keepers fretting over every inexplicable behavior exhibited by their new charge. However, this feedback loop of stress and panic will ultimately mature into a confident familiarity, as you and the tortoise get to know one another's personal habits. Lucky for you, you have the forum as a bastion of collective knowledge, unlike those of us who came to the hobby stumbling about in the darkness with only misguided pet care guides to lend us clues. Ask us anything. I'm usually in the margie forum, though I participate in the rest of the threads as much as time allows.

    And my kiddos should be ready for sale by next spring. I generally offer them up by February so that I can lighten the load prior to my adults awakening from brumation. Spring time is probably my busiest time of year, with planting, waking brumating beasts, twice daily baths for all tortoises in the collective, supervising group interactions, fixing up shelters and clearing out the last of the winter vegetation, all the while watching the weather reports to guard against late frosts or hail storms. Anywho, if you haven't found a beast by then, let me know, and we can figure something out. Until then, ask lots of questions, and start planning the enclosure.

    Also, it's never too late to start planting stuff. Grab a hibiscus, a couple grape vines, pick up a seed mix from ATC or TortoiseSupply. One thing you'll find is that calling yourself a tortoise keeper is just a fancy way of becoming a gardener who gets funny looks from other gardeners. I regularly buy coco coir from this local nursery, given that they don't have it at the Home Depot nearest me, and the cashier once asks me how big my garden is that would require me buying so much coir. I then explain that it's a substrate for baby tortoises, and she didn't know what to say. Another time, I bought some hibiscus at this garden expo, and this guy at the booth went on and on about how beautiful the blooms were. I then crudely said, well, my radiated tortoises seem to enjoy chowing down on the blooms, and this strain seems to produce a lot of them, so it serves my purposes. He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I can understand that. I mean, he sees a hibiscus blossom, and he wants to take a picture and fondly remember it. I see a hibiscus blossom, and I think, "Better snatch it before the sugar ants make it wilt and lose some of it's precious water content. Lumpkins doesn't consume the flowers as eagerly when they're limp and dried out."

    T.G.
    KarenSoCal, Tom, Pearly and 3 others like this.
  7. Magnolia7330

    Magnolia7330 New Member

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    I am super excited! I purchased an adult male marginated tortoise! I will be picking him up at the end of the month. I need to get a habitat ready outdoors. Can someone please point me in the right direction for plants to have in the enclosure and what may be toxic? Is it okay if he's near a pine or redwood tree? I purchased a broadleaf seed mix for him already. Thank you!
  8. King Arthur

    King Arthur New Member

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    I'm curious why Marginate Tortoise?
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