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Sulcata humidity questions

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by SushiAndReptiles, Oct 17, 2018.

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  1. SushiAndReptiles

    SushiAndReptiles Member

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    for hatchling sulcata tortoises, humidity seems to be vital for proper growth. However, when sulcatas grow up people recommend keeping them outdoors; so my question is, do sulcatas become more resistant to dryer climates as they grow up? Or is there some way that outdoor keepers maintain the humidity for there sully? Thanks for any and all knowledge!
  2. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, humidity is key for proper growth. The closed chamber should be around 70-80%. Regarding your question, hatchlings shouldn't be housed solely outdoors. It's alright for them to spend an hour or so outside for sunshine, but the majority of their time should be spent indoors. Once they get bigger and less fragile, they can spend more time outdoors.
  3. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I think your question can be addressed in two parts. The first is smooth shell growth, which we all strive for. Raising babies humid certainly leads to smooth shell growth, and it seems that after a certain size, that smooth shape is locked in and will continue to grow rather smooth even in drier conditions. (within reason) I don't have any particular study showing at what size humidity isn't such a concern in smooth shell growth, but I tend to use a SCL of 10" as my metric. that being said, I run my tortoise room at a minimum of 55% RH (at day time temps of 85 F) all winter, and I keep adults in there.

    The other part is general hydration and health. Young tortoises have no water reserve, very little thermal mass, etc...so they can dehydrate very quickly if conditions are too dry. Larger animals have a greater ability to moderate water usage and can withstand sub-optimal conditions for a longer period of time before it starts to do damage.

    If you lived in a desert I would suggest differently, but once your sulcata reaches 8 or 9 inches, I would have no problem leaving it outside 24 x 7 during the summer months. Mine dug a burrow as its first task when put outside for the summer, and that's another way they can control their micro-climate.
    T Smart likes this.
  4. Emily Contreras

    Emily Contreras Active Member

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    I think this person knows about humidity and what not. I think they are asking if keepers who have adult sullys find a way to control humidity outdoors. or if when a tortoise gets bigger, humidity doesn't really matter anymore.
    TechnoCheese likes this.
  5. SushiAndReptiles

    SushiAndReptiles Member

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    Couldn’t have asked for a better response, thanks
    Sterant likes this.
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