Hey all. We just adopted this 9 year old from it's original owner. I'm hoping for a long relationship with him. Any advice, specifically on habitat/enclosure, for a Phoenix tortoise owner is appreciated.
Hi and welcome! What caused you to decide to get a sulcata? Are you thinking just an outside enclosure with a heated house? I would suggest you make a new thread over either in the enclosure section or the sulcata one giving details on what your thinking of for the enclosure. Like where you having it, size, your budget, ect.., That would give us a better starting point for ideas.
We have been thinking about getting a tortoise for a while now. I love the exotic-ness of them. We also just recently bought a corn snake, and hope to get a ball python soon. We homeschool our kids and I love being able to show them various animals and how to treat them. My oldest son, 6yrs old, basically feeds the corn snake by himself. When we heard of a friend-of-a-friend who wanted a good home for their sulcata, we jumped at the chance.
As far as enclosures go, i'll post a pic later of the temp one I built him. I built a quick one using stuff I had around the yard. I need some heat as the overnight lows here are approaching 50Â°. I also need to get him a water source.
His face looks like a painting in this photo rather then a real tortoise. Not sure of his size, but I like to bury a round rubber garbage can lid for some middle size sulcatas. Not real pretty, but I have spares laying around so they are cheap and do stand up to them. Easy to clean too. I would also suggest making him a mudwallow. They love them in the hot summer heat.
Does he look like he's pyramiding? they prevowner did say that he fed him frozen veggies sometimes. I plan on feeding him mostly bermuda grass from Western Ranchmen and then following the advice from the "Recommended Diet Items" section on http://www.sulcata-station.org/diet.html .
Is my "house" ok? should it be bigger? should I put a head bulb (or ceramic) in the top corner? Should it have a dirt floor or should I just put some substrate down over the wood? The rest of my backyard is either grass or gravel.
Food doesn't have much to do with pyramiding or not. The little bumps you see on your tortoise's carapace mean the he was pyramided when he was about two or three years old, but since that time all the growth has been smooth. They grow the bumps at a very early age if they're not kept moist/humid enough. Too late now to do anything about that. He's growing beautifully and smooth.
Make sure he get plenty of exercise and a decent diet with a nice variety and plenty of water.