New Burmese hatchlings!! Wahoo!

Xpxgizmo

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Feb 29, 2020
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California
Hi all,

Just got two Burmese star hatchlings that are 1 month old. This forum has helped me so much. Purchased a closed chamber enclosure from my local reptile store and it’s been working really well. Just wanted to say thanks all and let me know if have some tips or advice that’ll improve my habitat.
 

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Tony the Tort42

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ok thank you. I will get a secondary enclosure.
Good to hear! Good luck. Im sorry its kinda a pain, but if torts are housed in pairs one will dominate the other, leading to one not feeding, drinking, or relaxing enough. They can also block each other from going places. Its good to hear your willing to make changes.
 

Markw84

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Hi all,

Just got two Burmese star hatchlings that are 1 month old. This forum has helped me so much. Purchased a closed chamber enclosure from my local reptile store and it’s been working really well. Just wanted to say thanks all and let me know if have some tips or advice that’ll improve my habitat.

Congratulations. I am sure you will enjoy the Burmese Stars. They look great!

A few things...

I would switch out the substrate. Not sure whay type of wood chips you are using, but orchid bark (fir bark) is by far my first choice. Most of the other barks are not good substrates for tortoises. The fine grade orchid bark holds moisture well without breaking down and is completely safe. It is also a better surface for them to walk on.

Looks like your humidity is a bit low. I keep my enclosures over 90% relative humidity at all times. I also use a lot of live edible plants for the babies to hide under and nibble on. The most natural setting for security for a baby tortoise is pushed under a dense bush. It also helps keep humidity up and the moisture from the humid fronds also wets the tortoise's backs as they push under.

Here's a shot of my first hatchlings of 2020. the oldest clutch is 3 weeks old now and the 2nd clutch is just one week out of the brooder box. The first clutch has almost doubled their hatch weight as of today and are about 35g. I am using the orchid bark and the humidity is over 90% as you can see from the condensation on the double pane windows. The plants I use are pothos ivy, spider plant and wandering jew. All my tortoises love the pothos and wandering jew as food as well. There are 13 babies in there but most are hiding in the dense plants.

IMG 0823
 

Xpxgizmo

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Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
27
Location (City and/or State)
California
Congratulations. I am sure you will enjoy the Burmese Stars. They look great!

A few things...

I would switch out the substrate. Not sure whay type of wood chips you are using, but orchid bark (fir bark) is by far my first choice. Most of the other barks are not good substrates for tortoises. The fine grade orchid bark holds moisture well without breaking down and is completely safe. It is also a better surface for them to walk on.

Looks like your humidity is a bit low. I keep my enclosures over 90% relative humidity at all times. I also use a lot of live edible plants for the babies to hide under and nibble on. The most natural setting for security for a baby tortoise is pushed under a dense bush. It also helps keep humidity up and the moisture from the humid fronds also wets the tortoise's backs as they push under.

Here's a shot of my first hatchlings of 2020. the oldest clutch is 3 weeks old now and the 2nd clutch is just one week out of the brooder box. The first clutch has almost doubled their hatch weight as of today and are about 35g. I am using the orchid bark and the humidity is over 90% as you can see from the condensation on the double pane windows. The plants I use are pothos ivy, spider plant and wandering jew. All my tortoises love the pothos and wandering jew as food as well. There are 13 babies in there but most are hiding in the dense plants.

View attachment 287352

Oh what a great idea for the live plants! I will add some tomorrow. I am using cypress mulch and orchid moss as substrate. For humidity is higher the better? Thank you for all your recommendations. I def. want to do right by these wonderful creatures.
 

Xpxgizmo

Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
27
Location (City and/or State)
California
Congratulations. I am sure you will enjoy the Burmese Stars. They look great!

A few things...

I would switch out the substrate. Not sure whay type of wood chips you are using, but orchid bark (fir bark) is by far my first choice. Most of the other barks are not good substrates for tortoises. The fine grade orchid bark holds moisture well without breaking down and is completely safe. It is also a better surface for them to walk on.

Looks like your humidity is a bit low. I keep my enclosures over 90% relative humidity at all times. I also use a lot of live edible plants for the babies to hide under and nibble on. The most natural setting for security for a baby tortoise is pushed under a dense bush. It also helps keep humidity up and the moisture from the humid fronds also wets the tortoise's backs as they push under.

Here's a shot of my first hatchlings of 2020. the oldest clutch is 3 weeks old now and the 2nd clutch is just one week out of the brooder box. The first clutch has almost doubled their hatch weight as of today and are about 35g. I am using the orchid bark and the humidity is over 90% as you can see from the condensation on the double pane windows. The plants I use are pothos ivy, spider plant and wandering jew. All my tortoises love the pothos and wandering jew as food as well. There are 13 babies in there but most are hiding in the dense plants.

View attachment 287352

got couple plants for the enclosure. Thank you for the rec! Also, my glass gets crazy wet and foggy. Like, droplets running down the glass. Is that normal? A151DCB6 D70F 4415 8100 06E1D309CA11
 

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Markw84

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10 Year Member!
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Location (City and/or State)
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got couple plants for the enclosure. Thank you for the rec! Also, my glass gets crazy wet and foggy. Like, droplets running down the glass. Is that normal? View attachment 287391
Yes, condensation on the glass is normal if your humidity is where it needs to be. With high humidity and the inside of the enclosure warmer than the outside of the enclosure, condesation will form on the inside of the glass.

Be sure your tortoises aren't eating the orchid moss. I have not used that, but I know of cases where young tortoises have eaten sphagnum moss and it lead to some impaction problems.
 

Heckhaven

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
39
Location (City and/or State)
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Hi all,

Just got two Burmese star hatchlings that are 1 month old. This forum has helped me so much. Purchased a closed chamber enclosure from my local reptile store and it’s been working really well. Just wanted to say thanks all and let me know if have some tips or advice that’ll improve my habitat.
They are beautiful.
 

BTM

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
New York, NY
Congratulations. I am sure you will enjoy the Burmese Stars. They look great!

A few things...

I would switch out the substrate. Not sure whay type of wood chips you are using, but orchid bark (fir bark) is by far my first choice. Most of the other barks are not good substrates for tortoises. The fine grade orchid bark holds moisture well without breaking down and is completely safe. It is also a better surface for them to walk on.

Looks like your humidity is a bit low. I keep my enclosures over 90% relative humidity at all times. I also use a lot of live edible plants for the babies to hide under and nibble on. The most natural setting for security for a baby tortoise is pushed under a dense bush. It also helps keep humidity up and the moisture from the humid fronds also wets the tortoise's backs as they push under.

Here's a shot of my first hatchlings of 2020. the oldest clutch is 3 weeks old now and the 2nd clutch is just one week out of the brooder box. The first clutch has almost doubled their hatch weight as of today and are about 35g. I am using the orchid bark and the humidity is over 90% as you can see from the condensation on the double pane windows. The plants I use are pothos ivy, spider plant and wandering jew. All my tortoises love the pothos and wandering jew as food as well. There are 13 babies in there but most are hiding in the dense plants.

View attachment 287352
This is all such great information, really appreciated. I'm new here and doing my research in anticipation of eventually getting a Burmese Star tortoise. Right now I'm trying to learn as much as possible about the closed chamber enclosure....do you mind if I ask what brand you prefer and is it available online? Also, do you use just the orchid bark as substrate or mix it with any type of soil? I've seen both, is one better than the other?
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,793
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
This is all such great information, really appreciated. I'm new here and doing my research in anticipation of eventually getting a Burmese Star tortoise. Right now I'm trying to learn as much as possible about the closed chamber enclosure....do you mind if I ask what brand you prefer and is it available online? Also, do you use just the orchid bark as substrate or mix it with any type of soil? I've seen both, is one better than the other?

I now make and sell enclosures specifically for raising tortoises as I have not found any in the marketplace I feel is sufficient. What I posted above is one of those. PM me with your email address and I can send you complete info if you wish.

I use only orchid bark. (fir bark) It holds moisture well, lasts well over a year with no need to replace. Does not mold or mildew. I use "fine grade" and it is easy for even babies to walk on. Any soil or coco coir is way too messy.
 
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