Something the Vet said.....

AzDesert

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Hi all!
I'm sending this out to all my tort lovers and trust all of your thoughts!!!!!
I was at my exotic vet clinic a few days ago for one of my tort babies (nothing major wrong w/ him) and they told me that only about 20% of hatchlings from a clutch survive past the first 3 months of life. They were including pretty much all tortoise species.
That stuck in my mind and has bothered me for the past 4 days and wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on that. The reason it has bothered me so much is that if it IS true, I wish i had known that, especially after buying a number of hatchlings over the past year. (Different species & breeders) Breeders that sell their hatchlings should at least state that on their website. (if its true) I'm not saying they have to be responsible for every tort that doesn't survive and do refunds and all that mess, i'm just saying that if I had known that before I purchased (if it's true) I may have thought a little harder about it before spending hundreds of dollars on a high risk animal. OK, LOL! I would have done it anyway! :)
I totally get it, I have common sense and understand the "uncontrolled ways of life", so please don't think i'm looking for trouble with anyone. I am just simply curious if anyone has any feedback on the survival rate of a clutch and if what they told me was actually true.
Thanks for listening and look forward to your thoughts!!
p.s. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Hi all!
I'm sending this out to all my tort lovers and trust all of your thoughts!!!!!
I was at my exotic vet clinic a few days ago for one of my tort babies (nothing major wrong w/ him) and they told me that only about 20% of hatchlings from a clutch survive past the first 3 months of life. They were including pretty much all tortoise species.
That stuck in my mind and has bothered me for the past 4 days and wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on that. The reason it has bothered me so much is that if it IS true, I wish i had known that, especially after buying a number of hatchlings over the past year. (Different species & breeders) Breeders that sell their hatchlings should at least state that on their website. (if its true) I'm not saying they have to be responsible for every tort that doesn't survive and do refunds and all that mess, i'm just saying that if I had known that before I purchased (if it's true) I may have thought a little harder about it before spending hundreds of dollars on a high risk animal. OK, LOL! I would have done it anyway! :)
I totally get it, I have common sense and understand the "uncontrolled ways of life", so please don't think i'm looking for trouble with anyone. I am just simply curious if anyone has any feedback on the survival rate of a clutch and if what they told me was actually true.
Thanks for listening and look forward to your thoughts!!
p.s. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!
I think your vet was referring to tortoises in the wild, not captivity.
 

Maro2Bear

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Maybe your vet meant 20% survive when hatched in the wild and have to fend for themselves. All kinds of bad things happen, fires, monsoons, droughts, predators, vehicular traffic, lots of reasons for high mortality rste among torts hatching in the wild.
 

Markw84

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Maybe this is a guess of what happens in the wild. Maybe a guess based on what is seen with breeders who dry start babies. But I can honestly say that I have hatched at least 1000 tortoises of 4 species the past 30 years. Probably 1/3 of those I have kept over 3 months to start myself. Not one has died.
 

Tom

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This is sadly true, but its because most people start tortoises all wrong. I think a 20% survival rate might be generous for dry started babies.

100% of my babies of all species survive because I house them correctly and keep them hydrated. Dehydration kills babies.
 

TammyJ

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I also would think that the wild-hatched survival rate would be even less than 20%. So many factors to take into consideration including nature and predation.
As for the captive bred ones, a good responsible breeder is absolutely the key to the best chance for survival of the babies.
 

Lokkje

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I’ve had desert tortoises breeding in my backyard in Phoenix for decades. I don’t know about eggs that don’t hatch because I do not dig up their clutches but once they’re hatched I’ve had pretty much 100% survival other than things like an ant attack on one hatchling. I take my tortoises to the same veterinary clinic as you are referring and they have said some things that I disagree with but they’re excellent vets. I’m not sure to what source they are truly referencing but I would’ve asked for a source of the reference. I had a discussion with one of the vet techs there about the legality of my tortoises breeding in my backyard which was ludicrous. Sometimes you hear things even from excellent resources that just don’t make sense. I would assume that they are more referring to hatchlings in the wild as there is predation, dehydration, lack of food source, off roaming idiots, desert flooding which may be occurring today with the rain, and other issues that would lead to a much lower survival rate. I only know that my hatchlings do quite well.
 

Heckhaven

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I think 20% is a high figure. Is your Vet taking that % from the ones that come into his clinic, or Wild Born, Store bought??? if from his Clinic - many owners don't know when it is almost too late to even save a Tort. Most Tort's are bought from Pet Shops especially when the Kid's see a Tort in the store and "will die" if they can't have a cute little Tort in there. Parents will buy to shut the kid up and not bother to read up on what the Tort REALLY needs to survive. They take a care sheet from the store and that's what they go by. Many breeders that sell to stores are only in it for the money - so as long as they live long enough to sell them to the store - quantity is more important than quality. If wild born - all predators (especially Raccoons) KNOW when it's hatching time and will dig or sit an wait for the Torts to craw up from the underground.
 

AzDesert

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Thank you to everyone who responded to my post! I was just curious about the rate of those in captivity-which is what the vet was talking about. I trust my exotic vet ... they are darn good at what they do...but it did concern me and all of you who care for torts daily, year after year, I feel have a better gauge on the mortality rate so wanted some feedback. It was great, and appreciated!
I've raised hatchlings since 1998 (multiple species) and have only lost 1 out of 32 that I have..and it was sick when I got it. Guess I wasn't thinking about the people who are clueless/careless/lazy that have the little ones and those don't make it. Or the ones that are not properly cared for right after hatching.
Anyway, as always, your thoughts were re-assuring and I feel I am doing things right as mine are happy & healthy!
 
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