Sulcata baby not eating and drinking

BeeBee

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Hi, I just got a sulcata baby a week ago as a present and I have never seen her drink water during her daily soakings. Also, she's going on day 3 now of not eating. Yesterday, I managed to get her to eat two leaves out of the spring mix package. She's not lethargic or anything. She does move around (when she's not hiding) and she doesn't like her water bowl.

When I got her delivered, she was already pyramiding with some scratches on her shell and some of her toe claws were broken already.

Before I completed her enclosure, I had a temporary hide made of cardboard and she scratched that thing up. I hope she didn't eat it. I have her in an open enclosure but I do use the foil technique to keep the moisture in. The temperature inside is 75-80 degrees and is around 70%-80% humid, MVB in the morning and CHE at night. She does have a humid hide as well as a normal hide near the basking area. I do use sphagnum moss (I hope she doesn't eat that too).

I'm am lost. Later today, I'm hoping to try the baby food soak but my last option is the vet. I don't know if there is any behaviors I need to be looking out for. Can anyone offer me some advice?

PS, It was not an "impulse buy." I had done research on them before I even asked for one on Christmas.
 

Blakem

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You must look at the sulcata thread on how to raise your baby. You have four temps you need to keep for your little one to stay warm; ambient (overall tank temperature) temp 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit, basking 95-100, night time, and cool side should not get below 90, I like to not get below 95. I wouldn't even let the temps get below 75-80 in my 3 year old, 15 inch sulcata housing right now. Increase thAT and it should help.

What kind of water dish do you have? Take a picture of your whole set up please.
 

BeeBee

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I read a lot of threads regarding temperature and I decided to take Tom's advice so besides the basking area being between 90-100, I like to keep everything else around the 80s. But you definitely got me thinking. I had thought in the 90s range was a bit high but if it will help her, I'm willing to try.
 

Gillian M

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:tort:A warm welcome to the :tort: forum! One thing I have learnt is that torts need very warm temperatures so as to eat. Moreover they tend to lose appetite when cold Winter days approach.
 

chaseswife

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I don't let my baby sulcatas cage go below 80° ever. If they are too cold they won't eat.
 

BeeBee

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Gillian, thanks for the welcome! :) . I didn't know they lose their appetite if the temperature is low. That is great knowledge to know.

I do have additional questions. Is there a specific temperature that the humid hide needs to be at? I find that the temperature seem to be a lot lower in the humid hide than the temperature of the enclosure. Should it also be above 80?

Also, if I leave food in there for her to munch on whenever she wants to, how do I keep it from withering from the heat? Do I have to continuously spritz it? I don't exactly know her feeding schedule yet so I would like to make food available at all times right now.
 

Tom

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No part of the enclosure, especially the humid hide, should ever drop below 80 for a baby.

Don't worry about wilting. Just don't put the food directly under a heat source. Your CHE should be set on a thermostat so it will regulate ambients temp all day and night.

Good conditions are very difficult to maintain in an open topped enclosure. Covering the top can help, but still does not solve the problem. Check out these threads:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.78361/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/closed-chambers.32333/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Missing nails, a scratched shell, lack of appetite and pyramiding are all pretty bad signs. A tortoise with all of this other stuff going on is going to need a first rate enclosure with all the proper temps to over come these previous hardships.
 

BeeBee

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Thanks Tom. Yeah my tortoise came in that condition from the seller but I didn't want to return her. I don't want you to think I did those things to her. I barely had her for one week. I've read all those threads multiple times before and I'm doing my best to take care of her. I just noticed that the humid hide temperature is way lower than the ambient temperature. I'll figure something out, like a heating pad under it or something.
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom. Yeah my tortoise came in that condition from the seller but I didn't want to return her. I don't want you to think I did those things to her. I barely had her for one week. I've read all those threads multiple times before and I'm doing my best to take care of her. I just noticed that the humid hide temperature is way lower than the ambient temperature. I'll figure something out, like a heating pad under it or something.

I would not use a heating pad. I would add a second CHE or better yet, build a closed chamber, so you are not losing your heat out the top in the first pace. If I can convince you to go this route, I know you will be happy with it, and your tortoise will be even happier.
 

Dizisdalife

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Hi, I just got a sulcata baby a week ago as a present and I have never seen her drink water during her daily soakings. Also, she's going on day 3 now of not eating.

I'm am lost. Later today, I'm hoping to try the baby food soak but my last option is the vet. I don't know if there is any behaviors I need to be looking out for. Can anyone offer me some advice?
Don't panic! I hardly ever saw my baby tortoise drink until it was a year old. They are quick. Once you really see it, you will see it more often. Your baby has been through trauma. It will settle down as it becomes comfortable and familiar with the new habitat. Once you get the environment so that it can thermo-regulate it's temperature properly, and feel safe and secure in a hiding spot, hunger will take it's hold and your baby will eat.
 

Gillian M

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:DIt'll take time for it to get used to a new environment, a new place, "new everything" so as to say. Please take it easy. All you need is patience. Good luck, and keep us updated.
 

BeeBee

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Tom: I didn't actually mean heating pad. Heheee...sorry.:( I was entertaining the idea of one of those heating mats for seedlings and putting it under my humid hide. But I ended up just using an extra flood bulb as an extra source of heat. I would like to one day build a closed enclosure for Willow but I will need to seek out help to build it and will have to wait for warmer days.

Dizisdalife: Thank you for putting my mind at ease. I still have yet to see her drink but she was eating more. I'm still paranoid she's not eating as much as she should but at least she's eating.

Gillian: I see her being more active and exploring every inch of her enclosure. Made me happy :).
 

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