New Sulcata Mom Here

dobermomx2

New Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Florida's Space Coast
Hello All!

Thank you for allowing me to join. We rescued our guy, (or girl. More on that in a minute, but we'll go with "him" for now) when someone found him abandoned in an undeveloped part of our city. I'm afraid to "tip" him to his side to tell if he is in fact a he because I don't want to stress him out. I have no idea how old he is.

He seems to have settled down, as he has burrowed. He eats from my hand and could care less about our two Dobermans that run around the yard with him, (we always watch them when they are all out together.) He will follow us when we are outside. We give him some kind of veggie or fruit (no seeds) each night. Is that ok?

What's the story on water? I hear they get it from their food, but I read on here you should "mist" them once a day, then hose them off once a week? What's the majority opinion?

Thanks all. And I look forward to educating myself on all things Sulcata.

"Bowser's Mom"
 

LaLaP

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Tortoise Club
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Jun 25, 2018
Messages
949
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
Hi and welcome! Here are a couple of threads that can help while you are figuring out how to care for your new friend:
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/african-spurred-tortoise-sulcata-care-sheet.52524/
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

So one thing you're going to hear from everyone is that it's not safe to have the dogs in the same space as the tortoise. Even if you are watching and the dogs are sweet and gentle or disinterested. It only takes a second for a deadly accident and it has happened A LOT. You can search the forum if you wanna read horror stories.
So I don't have a sulcata and am not an expert but what I know is that young torts need lots of humidity and soaks but adults just need soaks so you should post a pic of your guy and someone will tell you if he needs high humidity. Either way soak him. It'll give details on the care sheet. Also you should have fresh water out for him. Something big and shallow will allow him to self-soak if he wants. Careful about dishes that can cause him to flip over.
Again I'm no expert on these guys but they might not be fruit eaters... check the caresheet. Chance are the diet needs improvement. Lots of people (me included) when they first get a tort will feed it all kinds of things it shouldn't eat. They'll eat it but it's terrible for them. So read up on Sulcata diet.
This forum is a great resource for learning to care for your new tortoise. Glad you found it!
 

Maro2Bear

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May 29, 2014
Messages
13,961
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Welcome to the Forum - lucky you, you found a Sully. Most ppl have to purchase one!

Yes , read the care sheet as posted above. For sure no dogs and no fruit (they don’t digest sugars well).

Have fun, post some pix when you can.

Happy torting.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hello and welcome. We'd love to see a pic of the tortoise. What size is it? This will have a big effect on how you house it and what advice you get. Babies need to be primarily indoors and larger ones can live outside full time with a heated night box.

The tortoise definitely needs its own space where the dogs cannot go.
 

dobermomx2

New Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Florida's Space Coast
Thank you all for the advise. I'm definitely doing a lot of reading and doing research so I can give Bowser the best life. I understand about the dogs. Thank you for that advise. We live on the east coast of Florida. Rarely does it get "cold" here. However, we can get a handful of nights that get pretty chilly. At what temperature should I bring him inside? We don't have a heat lamp.

Also, while reading, I read to give him "Mazuri" food. Anyone know anything about this? I attached a photo.

Here are a few photos of my handsome boy. Thank you for the advise and keep it coming!!

Food Bowser 1 Bowser 2 Bowser 3 Selfie
 

Tom

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Thank you all for the advise. I'm definitely doing a lot of reading and doing research so I can give Bowser the best life. I understand about the dogs. Thank you for that advise. We live on the east coast of Florida. Rarely does it get "cold" here. However, we can get a handful of nights that get pretty chilly. At what temperature should I bring him inside? We don't have a heat lamp.

Also, while reading, I read to give him "Mazuri" food. Anyone know anything about this? I attached a photo.

Here are a few photos of my handsome boy. Thank you for the advise and keep it coming!!
You don't need to bring him in, you need to make him a heated night box. And heat lamps are not safe for larger tortoises. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-night-box-thread.88966/#post-828952
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/

Mazuri is a good supplemental food, but most tortoises prefer the original version to the "LS" type. Nothing wrong with the LS if you can get your tortoise to eat it.
 

dobermomx2

New Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Florida's Space Coast
You don't need to bring him in, you need to make him a heated night box. And heat lamps are not safe for larger tortoises. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-night-box-thread.88966/#post-828952
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/

Mazuri is a good supplemental food, but most tortoises prefer the original version to the "LS" type. Nothing wrong with the LS if you can get your tortoise to eat it.

Thank you. I will research a heated night box. I will also look for the original version of Mazuri as opposed to the LS version. Do you know how often I should give it to him?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Thank you. I will research a heated night box. I will also look for the original version of Mazuri as opposed to the LS version. Do you know how often I should give it to him?
Opinions vary on this. Some people like to feed a little mixed in with there foods each day. Others never feed any "prepared" foods at all. My preference is to offer Mazuri once or twice a week as a supplement to an otherwise good diet.
 

Maro2Bear

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Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Thank you. I will research a heated night box. I will also look for the original version of Mazuri as opposed to the LS version. Do you know how often I should give it to him?


You can provide a few moistened nuggets every few days, or a handful once/week all as part of a well balanced diet of good Sully food - weeds, grasses, hibiscus, cactus pads (Opuntia spineless), toss in a cuttlebone too.

Hope that helps.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Do they learn their names? He follows me, but I think it's just because he knows I'm the "thing with the food." LOL.
Another topic of debate... An experienced member here had some scientists come to his place to do a study on tortoise hearing. The conclusion they reached: Tortoises don't hear human voices, but they can certainly feel vibrations from things like approaching footsteps. Other people swear their tortoise hear them and come running when their names are called.
 

Ray--Opo

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Oct 14, 2017
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Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Thank you all for the advise. I'm definitely doing a lot of reading and doing research so I can give Bowser the best life. I understand about the dogs. Thank you for that advise. We live on the east coast of Florida. Rarely does it get "cold" here. However, we can get a handful of nights that get pretty chilly. At what temperature should I bring him inside? We don't have a heat lamp.

Also, while reading, I read to give him "Mazuri" food. Anyone know anything about this? I attached a photo.

Here are a few photos of my handsome boy. Thank you for the advise and keep it coming!!

View attachment 254296 View attachment 254297 View attachment 254298 View attachment 254299 View attachment 254300
What a great find. Still waiting for my find. You said you live in eastern Florida. So do I so maybe the runways are getting closer.
 
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