New Desert Tortoise Hatchlings

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Tom

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Also in a decent sized area there should not be any rivalry problems with these until they reach puberty or possibly get too crowded. My Red foots and Hingebacks do fine living together. Sometimes I see these opinions taken too far on here and vehemently disagree.
I know nothing of hinge backs, but RFs are a relatively social species. We had a member here a couple of years ago that was advised to separate her two baby RFs and she listened to someone like you, instead of the multiple people that told her to separate them. Six weeks later she was back asking what to do as one had eaten the tail and most of the back leg of the other.

How many Gopherus babies have you raised up there in Eugene? Are you sure they are just like the other species you've raised, or might their temperament be different than the ones you know? I don't think you have any idea what you are talking about. I don't think you have any Gopherus experience, and I think you are offering bad advice based on ignorance. I call attention to it not to start an argument, but so that people reading know to dismiss your baseless assertions. Little Gopherus can and will attack or intimidate each other when kept in pairs. I know this from repeated first hand experience with the species in question. Is this an opinion taken too far? Here's what can happen when people listen to your advice:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/bad-day-for-baby.114328/
Why don't you have a look at that thread and then come back and tell the OP that they won't have a problem until puberty. Have a look at the picture of a baby tortoise with a bloody hole where its eye used to be and then tell me all about your vehement disagreement. Or the lady with the RF that got its tail and leg chewed off over a period of weeks. Do you vehemently disagree with that too?
 

kthomas

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Unfortunately I believe we are already seeing signs of bullying, based off of what my wife is telling me (I'm not going to be home until Monday).

We currently have all 4 of the hatchlings from the clutch in our care (owners went on vacation). The most active hatchling (bomber as we call him/her), does a lot of head bobbing, which I understand is a sign of aggression. Hatch, will not eat and is very lazy when the other hatchlings are around. When Hatch is alone in the enclosure, she (my wife likes to think she is a female - we know sex can't be determined for a few years) is very active and eats. She also seems to really enjoy her solitary baths/soaks. She doesn't seem to like being around the other hatchlings. Strangely, 3 of them all sleep together under a pot shard (including hatch last night). From what I have seen and heard, there are no real overt signs of aggression (yet).

At the moment my wife does not have the capability to separate them. I will see what the plans for the owners is, they recently got back from their trip. I really DO NOT want to see any hatchlings suffer. We only plan on keeping one hatchling now.
 

TechnoCheese

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Unfortunately I believe we are already seeing signs of bullying, based off of what my wife is telling me (I'm not going to be home until Monday).

We currently have all 4 of the hatchlings from the clutch in our care (owners went on vacation). The most active hatchling (bomber as we call him/her), does a lot of head bobbing, which I understand is a sign of aggression. Hatch, will not eat and is very lazy when the other hatchlings are around. When Hatch is alone in the enclosure, she (my wife likes to think she is a female - we know sex can't be determined for a few years) is very active and eats. She also seems to really enjoy her solitary baths/soaks. She doesn't seem to like being around the other hatchlings. Strangely, 3 of them all sleep together under a pot shard (including hatch last night). From what I have seen and heard, there are no real overt signs of aggression (yet).

At the moment my wife does not have the capability to separate them. I will see what the plans for the owners is, they recently got back from their trip. I really DO NOT want to see any hatchlings suffer. We only plan on keeping one hatchling now.

If you have other hides available, them sleeping together could be them crowding each other, trying to bully the other(s) out of their territory.
 

kthomas

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If you have other hides available, them sleeping together could be them crowding each other, trying to bully the other(s) out of their territory.

There are a few hides in the enclosure, but that particular one is probably the most favorable hide, if I was a betting man.
 

Tom

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In most cases, groups of babies will do fine together. It is with pairs that I see the vast majority of problems.

If you have a head bobber and one not eating, it might be a good idea to have the head bobber live alone, and let the other three live together peacefully until they start getting closer to maturity.
 

Minority2

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"Cut sections of the acrylic out so that your fixtures can rest directly on top of the acrylic sheet. Leave only enough room for your basking hood and linear florescent reflector to rest on. I would also suggest using a material such as aluminum foil to cover the sides and edges to really seal in all the left over exposed areas."

This seems unclear. To clarify the lights should not have to "shine" through any glass or plastic as it kills the good UV rays.

Also in a decent sized area there should not be any rivalry problems with these until they reach puberty or possibly get too crowded. My Red foots and Hingebacks do fine living together. Sometimes I see these opinions taken too far on here and vehemently disagree.

Materials such as metal, glass, and plastic do not "kill" UV(B) rays. They completely block it. Which is the reason why I tell people to cut out sections of the material.

Most members usually understand what referring to when I mention cutting sections out from a solid lid and leaving only enough room to rest their fixtures on. I do often follow up if people are still confused with more explanations and pictures as examples.
 

Michelled

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The wife and I recently obtained two desert tortoise hatchlings. We have named them Taco and Hatch, and we are absolutely enamored!

I built them a tortoise table, which is lined and has a layer of cypress mulch, some rocks from the outdoors, enclosures to hide/sleep, a reptile specific combo heat/UVB lamp, and a pond with ramp and shallow layer of water. The table is 4' long, 2' wide, and has 9" tall walls with an open top. I measured the temperature directly under the heat/UVB lamp, and it is 93 deg F. The lamp is on a timer from 7 AM to 7 PM. We keep the house around 74-75 deg F, with no additional heat supply (minus the already mentioned lamp) for the tortoises. We still need to soak some of the mulch to create humidity though.

We just received them the other day, I'm currently out of town/country for work but the wife is loving having them around! She's been feeding them, taking them outside to enjoy the AZ heat for short periods of time, and enjoying watching them move around their new enclosures.

They seem to be loving their new home, and for the most part seem pretty healthy and active. The wife did mention that Hatch seems to be having issues with one of it's front legs - she mentioned that it is slightly discolored and Hatch seems to drag that leg underneath it's shell and fall to the side of that leg when walking. Any ideas on what that is about? And what we can do to remedy any potential issue(s)? I did mention to her that we should be soaking the hatchlings everyday, I don't think she has done that yet.
Habitat looks awesome. What are you feeding them?
 

kthomas

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Habitat looks awesome. What are you feeding them?

Hi Michelle,

Apologise for the late response, haven't been on here much lately. Thanks for the compliment on the enclosure!

Right now I am feeding them live lettuce (not the most nutritious, I know), wild grasses from the backyard (no pesticides or poisons are used on our property), a ZooMed wildflower occasionally, ZooMed grassland tortoise food pellets and a Repashy grassland grazer gel premix.

They love lettuce. The other foods they eat intermittently and seems to be hit or miss.Bought some Mazuri to try to feed them occasionally, and will be looking to buy/grow some local grass species to make more a staple of their diet.

IMG_20181210_093519.jpg IMG_20181210_093526.jpg IMG_20181210_093531.jpg
 

orv

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Hi, our 4 CDTs are sleeping for the winter right now, but once they awaken, a few of their favorite foods include mulberry leaves, grape leaves and cactus pads. You might try these as you wean your's from lettuces and expensive commercial pellotized foods.
 
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kthomas

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Hi, our 4 CDTs are sleeping for the winter right now, but once they awaken, a few of their favorite foods include mulberry leaves, grape leaves and cactus pads. You might try these as you wean your's from lettuces and expensive commercial pellotized foods.

Excellent, will try those out. Thanks!
 

Yvonne G

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Re the acrylic and lights - You cut a hole for the light from the bulb to shine through, but small enough so the edges of the light fixture still sits on the acrylic. Line the edges of the hole with foil.
 

kthomas

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Still have x4 desert tortoises that are alive and well. Some have been growing at a faster rate then others, but they are all eating, drinking, peeing, pooping and generally active.

I've started to add in some Mazuri pellets which I soak with water to their diet, which they love. Otherwise, still need to diversify their diet some more. We moved earlier in the year, and our new place doesn't have native grasses growing like the old place - I hope to correct this soon and get some native edible plant species growing on our property.

I've changed out the MVB for a T5 10.0 HO 48" UVB, which seems like a nice change. This change was spurred on by their room in the new house getting some high ambient temperatures, and with an MVB it was getting way too hot in their enclosures. The new UVB is a welcome change.

At what point should I move them into a larger enclosure? When they are big enough I am planning on moving them outside, at which point they will all have their own dedicated enclosures. I would like to keep them in the same tortoise table that I've built until that point, but not at a cost of being a detriment to their physical and mental well being.

I've also toyed with installing a mister system for the tortoise table, I'm sure its not necessary but I think it would be neat to somehow replicate the monsoon seasons here, and a misting system seems like a neat way to do so. More so a fun thing for me to "renovate" the tortoise table, not sure if I'm going to pull the trigger on that.
 

Gabym

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Feel free to provide any constructive criticism or suggestions - I'm new to this and I'm on this forum to learn!
Hi, I too have a little hatching. We found him out in our front walkway. He’s been living in a wooden box/ trunk we had. Today, my husband and I put together an elevated raised garden bed that we ordered and that looks so much like yours! I was going to line it like you did, but worried Gordie would dig thru the cedar chips down to the plastic . Have yours done that? I have a piece of flagstone under the heat lamp and a terra cotta saucer for his water. It should be low enough so it’s easy to get in and out. You don’t want them tipping over. I still can’t believe I’ve fallen in love with a reptile! He’s just so cute!
 

Sarah2020

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They wife just gave them each a soak, or a bath as we call it! They seemed to enjoy it
Very good as they grow they may try to climb but that is excercise for duration of bath . You may need to upgrade to a deeper sided bowl ( I use 2 washing up bowls) but a great start in there they will drink and excreet so I move them over to 2nd bowl to avoid them drinking dirty water.
 

Sarah2020

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This forum will really help you and read the care sheets for your tortoise to make the most of them and be rewarded with health and good growth. Hatchlings will climb and tumble so take away all climbing hazards or they will flip and can not right themselves and cause injury. Tip: If you do find them flipped over then place immediately in water to hydrate.
 

KarenSoCal

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@Gabym
@Sarah2020

If you check the dates on this thread, you'll see that it was started in 2018 and ended over a year ago. The OP hasn't been on the forum since July.

But anyway, @Gabym , in your post you said cedar chips substrate. Cedar chips are not suitable for tortoises. Maybe you meant to say cypress?

Are you sure your baby is a Desert Tortoise? If you post some pictures we can help you to be sure. Then we will know which care sheet applies to your tort. Include some pics of your enclosure and lights, too.

If your baby is a hatchling, an open topped enclosure won't work for him. We'll help you get everything right for him.
 

Tom

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Hi, I too have a little hatching. We found him out in our front walkway. He’s been living in a wooden box/ trunk we had. Today, my husband and I put together an elevated raised garden bed that we ordered and that looks so much like yours! I was going to line it like you did, but worried Gordie would dig thru the cedar chips down to the plastic . Have yours done that? I have a piece of flagstone under the heat lamp and a terra cotta saucer for his water. It should be low enough so it’s easy to get in and out. You don’t want them tipping over. I still can’t believe I’ve fallen in love with a reptile! He’s just so cute!
Can we get some pics of your baby?
 

Gabym

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@Gabym
@Sarah2020

If you check the dates on this thread, you'll see that it was started in 2018 and ended over a year ago. The OP hasn't been on the forum since July.

But anyway, @Gabym , in your post you said cedar chips substrate. Cedar chips are not suitable for tortoises. Maybe you meant to say cypress?

Are you sure your baby is a Desert Tortoise? If you post some pictures we can help you to be sure. Then we will know which care sheet applies to your tort. Include some pics of your enclosure and lights, too.

If your baby is a hatchling, an open topped enclosure won't work for him. We'll help you get everything right for him.
He is a desert tortoise based on what my brother tells me. He has a couple of older ones he’s had many years. I realized that the initial post was old after I posted my reply. I’m new to this forum and it’s hard to read on my phone. I just checked and I’m using Repti Bark . It says it’s fir bark . Is that ok? I will post pics of his enclosure later today . I appreciate all the advice you can offer. Thank you!
 
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