Sulcata Hatchlings not Growing.

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Thalatte

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A friend of mine was given 2 sulcata hatchlings almost a year ago and I have helped her with diet and housing requirements but even though I think everything is correct they just arent growing.

They are in an outside pen. Its mostly in the shade. The burrow stays in the 70's during the day. basking spot reaches 95-100F.
Diet consists of grass, dandelions, bougainvillea flowers, aloe, and opuntia cactus on occaision. Also the food is sprinkled with ground mazuri and miner-all.
They dont eat all that much really. Atleast not as much as my sulcatas ate at their size. They are about the 2in long.

Any ideas on why they havent grown at all in a year?
 

jaizei

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How long did she have them before you were involved? What was the care like before you were involved?
 

mainey34

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Im thinking the temps may have a lot to do with it. Are the moving around? Do they show signs of pyramiding?
 

SANDRA_MEISSNEST

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how big is the enclosure where you have them in ?please post a picture

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wellington

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Have you read Toms threads on raising sulcatas? They are below in my post. Are they being hydrated well? What kind of humidity are they living in? Do they at least have a humid hide box?
 

Sulcata_Sandy

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Have they been dewormed? That will contribute to everything you have described.


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Tom

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Lots of questions. No answers yet....

They tend to grow very slowly when kept outside all the time, regardless of temps and humidity. They also tend to not grow at all, or grow very slowly when they are started with the dry routine. Lastly, the stress form being kept in a pair isn't helping anything.
 

Thalatte

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Yes I am sure they are sulcatas as they look just like mine did when I first got them only they are more yellow whereas mine are brownish.
No signs of pyramiding.
They havent been dewormed but the fecals I took in 6months ago were clean. But that could have changed in between I will get them retested and medicated if need be.
They have a humid burrow that she mists throughout the day to keep it moist but not wet. But its an open air enclosure.
They are in one of those blue plastic kiddie pools with a mix of dirt and soil. Small paint tray for water.
They are soaked once a day in warm water.
Before I was involved the care was horrible. She was going off the sheet the "breeder" gave them with the torts. Kept in a really small fish tank by a window with no uv lights or heat light. Kept on hay and fed lettuce with no humidity at all. It was maybe a month before I was informed she had them and I rectified as much as I can.
I have a pic somewhere let me find it.


ImageUploadedByTortForum1379693785186191 ImageUploadedByTortForum1379693801769894



And just to reassure people these are mine ImageUploadedByTortForum1379694006653445 well one of them anyways. Couldn't find a pic of my smaller one.


oh and that pic of my teagers is old. He was about 3lbs in that one and is now over 4lbs. He is gaining an average of 100grams a week.
 
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sibi

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Well, that explains it Thal! Their beginnings have so much to do with their state of growth. They are living, but not thriving. Are these babies under you care now? If not, I'm afraid that some poor conditions still exist. For instance, Tom mentioned that being outside 24/7 when under a year or two will cause them to stay small. Also, the temps of 70's is too cool for them. Their temps need to be over 80 in order to thrive. Also, where are they during winter months in AZ? Correcting these conditions may begin to help them grow, but it will take some time. Is there anyway they can be brought inside as winter approaches? Also, are they getting calcium supplements? Explain exactly what conditions have improved since you started to help.
 

Thalatte

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The pool is taken inside when its too hot or too cold outside for them. And then they have a 100wat mvb to keep the basking spot in the upper 90's.
I will have to have her take more accurate readings of the burrow. It should stay in the upper70's lower 80's. The above grounds hides I have in the shade for my torts read 82F at noon so I would guess hers would read the same but I will have her start a log of all temp readings.

No they arent in my care yet. Aya and I are trying to convince her dad to give them to me since Aya doesnt really know how to care for them but he insists they are fine and wont give them over.
The miner-all has calcium in it (not only the amount it comes with but I ground up cuttlebone in it too).

Until he hands them over what else can be done to improve their care?
 

Tom

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Here are the main factors that I see:
1. Being outside 24/7 causes all baby sulcatas to grow very slowly. This has been universal across the board, regardless of climate and temps. I have yet to see an exception. In a dry climate it tends to be even more pronounced. I'm only talking about babies here, not older ones that already have some size.
2. The dry start with no heat and the poor diet is a big factor. It will take time to overcome that rough start.
3. Being kept as a pair adds stress. It would be better for both of them to live separately.

Basically, all you can do is try to offer the best possible conditions and wait for nature to take its course. Building them a couple of big closed chambers for indoors, so they can have stable temps and humidity day and night will help. I would continue the daily soaks, and just make the diet as good as you can. Daily excursions to the outdoor enclosure for an hour or two are still a great idea.
 

Thalatte

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Ok I will get started on a humid indoor box. rubbermaid containers would work yes?

As far as diet what can be added or taken from what they are currently eating to make it better?
Their main food is dandelions and grass clippings. Then she alternates aloe, cactus, bougainvillea flowers. I dont think the flowers arethat nutritious so I asked that she not feed them that often.
 

SANDRA_MEISSNEST

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you should give them also escarole, Nepal cactus, hibiscus flowers and leaves grape leaves,, pumpkin mine also love avocado....

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Tom

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Thalatte said:
Ok I will get started on a humid indoor box. rubbermaid containers would work yes?

As far as diet what can be added or taken from what they are currently eating to make it better?
Their main food is dandelions and grass clippings. Then she alternates aloe, cactus, bougainvillea flowers. I dont think the flowers arethat nutritious so I asked that she not feed them that often.


Rubbermade containers are too small. You need something 4x4 or 4x8.

Some plant lists have bougainvillea listed as toxic. I wouldn't feed it at all.

Here's a diet sheet: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-76744.html
 
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