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New Desert Tortoise Hatchlings

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by kthomas, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    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?
    TechnoCheese likes this.
  2. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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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.
  3. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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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.
  4. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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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.
    TechnoCheese likes this.
  6. Minority2

    Minority2 Well-Known Member

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    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.
  7. Michelled

    Michelled New Member

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    Habitat looks awesome. What are you feeding them?
  8. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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    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
  9. orv

    orv Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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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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  10. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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    Excellent, will try those out. Thanks!
  11. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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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.
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  12. kthomas

    kthomas New Member

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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.
    jsheffield likes this.
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