SULCATA HOUSING??

NicoleB26

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I recently moved my 2 y/o outside for the summer. He has a heated house. I just got home and it's been raining on and off for hours, temp 70. He did not go into his house, he was taking shelter under some plants. Is this normal? I worry he will get sick after being in those conditions. Also I have a large area set up in my basement for him I plan to try a pig blanket, MVB/CHE, and an oil heater to maintain temps? Any input would be great. Thanks.
 

wellington

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You should always put them in at night and lock them up. If you do this daily(nightly) he should start putting himself in.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I personally would not put a small 2 yr old outside unsupervised. In fact, he could get too hot outside all day in the summer. He could be carried away by a hawk or Crow.
Also, my other comment would be that you train him to go inside. You put him in his house and put something across the doorway. A 2 yr old is still a baby and must be taught things.
But I think one that young should not be left alone. Actually a few hours of sun a week and a good diet, to me, would be better than a baby outside alone. Then he could stay out on the week ends when you are home...
I don't mean any disrespect, but I think leaving a 2 yr old outside all day alone even in Ohio could end up in a dangerous situation for him; I'd only put him put when someone is home. I'm interested in what others think.

Question...why don't you use that heated box in the winter? I mean he should be in the house for the winter, but I was just wondering about the heated house you mentioned.
 

NicoleB26

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He isn't very small. He is 15# and 13" x 9" last i measured about a month ago. Is that still too small to live outside? Unless a bald eagle shows up in my yard he is safe from birds. The heated house is not big enough for him to live in all winter but too big to fit through the doors to use in the basement. I lock him in his house every evening. It has been about a week now. Any guess on how long before he knows to use it in inclement weather? Thanks
 

Dizisdalife

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Hi Nicole. Sometimes sulcata get it right away and other times they take some encouragement. Rather than put him in the box each night try putting him in front of the opening and letting him walk in on his own. As a reinforcement some members here have built a small pen in front of their nightbox so that their sulcata had no where else to go but into the box. You may need to retrain him each summer, depending how he is housed during the winter. As far as going into the night box to get out of bad weather, I think they do that when they really see the night box as their burrow.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Hi Nicole. Sometimes sulcata get it right away and other times they take some encouragement. Rather than put him in the box each night try putting him in front of the opening and letting him walk in on his own. As a reinforcement some members here have built a small pen in front of their nightbox so that their sulcata had no where else to go but into the box. You may need to retrain him each summer, depending how he is housed during the winter. As far as going into the night box to get out of bad weather, I think they do that when they really see the night box as their burrow.

Good ideas, Is his box comfy? hay to burrow in? Basking light?

just one question...2 years old and 15 pounds? Are you sure he's 2 yrs? Wow
 

NicoleB26

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I am sure he's 2y/o. I got him 2 Junes ago as a tiny hatchling. His box has a hot spot and mulch for bedding, I think it's cozy for him. I will try guiding him in and out instead of just taking him in and out of the night box and see if it helps. Until he learns I will prob bring him inside when rain is in the forecast. Thanks for your help!!
 

Tom

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Unfortunately, they don't always know whats best for them, and we do have to help them. What you are seeing is totally normal. Having a warm indoor set up for inclement weather is definitely a good idea.
 

Tom

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just one question...2 years old and 15 pounds? Are you sure he's 2 yrs? Wow

Pretty cool, huh Maggie? Now that people are starting them right and raising them right, this is pretty normal size for a two year old. My hatchlings easily reach 1000 grams by one year old. They don't slow down until I move them outside. If I kept them inside like someone in an Ohio winter would have to do, I have no doubt they'd reach that size in two years.
 

NicoleB26

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Don't know his hatch date. My boyfriend actually bought him from our local pet store I said don't get him....it will be too hard to house him. He didn't listen... I fell in love with the baby tort....pretty much stole him from my boyfriend lol and now I have to pay for housing! Lol I tried to give him back when he outgrew his enclosure but my boyfriend wasn't having it :). he is beautiful though. I enjoy him.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Pretty cool, huh Maggie? Now that people are starting them right and raising them right, this is pretty normal size for a two year old. My hatchlings easily reach 1000 grams by one year old. They don't slow down until I move them outside. If I kept them inside like someone in an Ohio winter would have to do, I have no doubt they'd reach that size in two years.

Very impressive. Bob was 5 pounds at 5 yrs.
 

Tom

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Very impressive. Bob was 5 pounds at 5 yrs.

Remember Trey from "The End of Pyramiding" thread. She just turned five in May and she's over 50 pounds. All she eats is hay, dead grass and weeds. She probably ate Mazuri 20 times in five years.
 

NicoleB26

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I wish he was still 5lbs! I was hoping he would turn out to be a small, slower growing female. No such luck.
 

DawnH

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I wish he was still 5lbs! I was hoping he would turn out to be a small, slower growing female. No such luck.

I am totally fascinated by how different they grow, it's pretty crazy and amazing at the same time. Tuleo turns 2 next month, his current length 8.5" and as of 6/1 he weighed 1527grams (3.36lbs) For a while there I was super concerned about his size but now I just roll with it. He has always been a bit of a lightweight.

Your baby is just PRECIOUS! (You can say that about a Sulcata, right?!) :p
 

NicoleB26

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I am totally fascinated by how different they grow, it's pretty crazy and amazing at the same time. Tuleo turns 2 next month, his current length 8.5" and as of 6/1 he weighed 1527grams (3.36lbs) For a while there I was super concerned about his size but now I just roll with it. He has always been a bit of a lightweight.

Your baby is just PRECIOUS! (You can say that about a Sulcata, right?!) :p

He is precious! Thanks. So is your Tuleo! Such a cutie pie!!
 

Tom

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I am totally fascinated by how different they grow, it's pretty crazy and amazing at the same time. Tuleo turns 2 next month, his current length 8.5" and as of 6/1 he weighed 1527grams (3.36lbs) For a while there I was super concerned about his size but now I just roll with it. He has always been a bit of a lightweight.

Your baby is just PRECIOUS! (You can say that about a Sulcata, right?!) :p

Sometimes when we talk about some of the faster growers, the people with healthy normal tortoises somehow feel like they've done something wrong or something. I hate that. Some of mine grow slow too and there is nothing wrong with them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that growth rate should not be the measure of good health and keeper ability. Dawn, your tortoise is as close to perfect as any I've ever seen, and his size is excellent for his age. You are doing a great job raising him and no one should feel slighted because their tortoise is a little smaller than the next person's.

I'm just putting this out there as a general discussion point, not saying that Dawn or anyone else necessarily felt slighted in any way. I just want to pro-actively make sure that no one feels that way.
 
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