Sulcata right size for its age

RoxyA

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I'm trying to find out if my sulcata is growing at a normal rate. I got it as a very small hatchling late May, not quite 10 months ago, and he or she, Havel, now weighs 2 lbs 12 oz. I didn't know they grew this fast. Havel is very healthy, active, beautiful, & eats alot, but is growing by leaps and bounds. Is this a good, bad, normal size? I'm just trying to learn more. Thanks!
 

zovick

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I'm trying to find out if my sulcata is growing at a normal rate. I got it as a very small hatchling late May, not quite 10 months ago, and he or she, Havel, now weighs 2 lbs 12 oz. I didn't know they grew this fast. Havel is very healthy, active, beautiful, & eats alot, but is growing by leaps and bounds. Is this a good, bad, normal size? I'm just trying to learn more. Thanks!
I haven't raised any sulcata since the 1970's and 1980's, but it sounds about right to me. By the age of 5, the tortoise may be over 14" long and weigh close to 20 lb. or more.

@Tom can provide more accurate growth and weight data as I am going from my memory from those days.
 

RoxyA

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I haven't raised any sulcata since the 1970's and 1980's, but it sounds about right to me. By the age of 5, the tortoise may be over 14" long and weigh close to 20 lb. or more.

@Tom can provide more accurate growth and weight data as I am going from my memory from those days.
Ok thank you, it's just gotten so big so fast I wasn't sure. Also I was wondering, can they eat the leaves off of Strawberry plants, are those safe?
 

zovick

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Ok thank you, it's just gotten so big so fast I wasn't sure. Also I was wondering, can they eat the leaves off of Strawberry plants, are those safe?
I think the leaves would be OK for them to eat, but am not 100% certain.
 

Tom

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I'm trying to find out if my sulcata is growing at a normal rate. I got it as a very small hatchling late May, not quite 10 months ago, and he or she, Havel, now weighs 2 lbs 12 oz. I didn't know they grew this fast. Havel is very healthy, active, beautiful, & eats alot, but is growing by leaps and bounds. Is this a good, bad, normal size? I'm just trying to learn more. Thanks!
Nobody does ounces. I had to do the conversion to grams. Thats about 1250. In good conditions its normal for them to grow 800-1000 grams by twelve months. Faster grows can reach 1500 grams, but that is usually associated with higher protein intake. As long as they are well hydrated, eating high fiber foods, and have adequate calcium in the diet this isn't bad.

Just for my own curiosity: What do you feed your baby? What temperatures is he housed at? Night temperatures? How often do you soak and for how long? Fort Scott, Kansas? I always wonder when I see a faster grower how people do it. Mine never grow that fast, but babies from the same clutch raised by other tortoise keepers sometimes do. Some people offer a lot of Mazuri and that will definitely do it. I know one guy that let his torts eat the dog poo in the back yard. They eat feces in the wild, but I would not recommend that in captivity. His torts grew exception fast, and were seemingly very healthy. He paid a lot of attention to soaking and hydration too.

Strawberry leaves are great, as long as they haven't been sprayed with pesticides or any other chemicals, which they usually are when farm grown. If you are growing your own without all the chemicals, then the leaves are a great addition to a varied diet. Fruit is not so good for them, so I would skip the actual strawberries.
 

RoxyA

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Nobody does ounces. I had to do the conversion to grams. Thats about 1250. In good conditions its normal for them to grow 800-1000 grams by twelve months. Faster grows can reach 1500 grams, but that is usually associated with higher protein intake. As long as they are well hydrated, eating high fiber foods, and have adequate calcium in the diet this isn't bad.

Just for my own curiosity: What do you feed your baby? What temperatures is he housed at? Night temperatures? How often do you soak and for how long? Fort Scott, Kansas? I always wonder when I see a faster grower how people do it. Mine never grow that fast, but babies from the same clutch raised by other tortoise keepers sometimes do. Some people offer a lot of Mazuri and that will definitely do it. I know one guy that let his torts eat the dog poo in the back yard. They eat feces in the wild, but I would not recommend that in captivity. His torts grew exception fast, and were seemingly very healthy. He paid a lot of attention to soaking and hydration too.

Strawberry leaves are great, as long as they haven't been sprayed with pesticides or any other chemicals, which they usually are when farm grown. If you are growing your own without all the chemicals, then the leaves are a great addition to a varied diet. Fruit is not so good for them, so I would skip the actual strawberries.
I followed your tortoise care guide to set up my Enclosure, I keep it at around 85° , 80+ humidity. He eats all kinds of greens, carrot tops, beet tops, mustard greens, Romaine, endive, arugula, bok choy, etc, I have a store that carries everything in KC that I go to, all organic. I order him cactus pads & a tortoise mix from tortoise supply also, he does eat mazuri but not excessively, I put a small pile in there daily. I also ordered a seed mix which I grow that has grasses for grazing. In the summer I have grape vines, mulberry, hibiscus, Clover, just a multitude of good things he can eat. I soak him every day for a half hour and he has his clay saucer filled w water at all times. I sprinkle his greens with calcium powder twice a week and with calcium plus d3 once a week. I also sprinkle with minerall once a week. He doesn't eat any fruit or protein, but he has eaten a few pieces of cat food he found on the ground. We made him a safe "play" area outside for the nice days so he can enjoy the sunshine and nature. Like u said he's very healthy and a good eater. We love him so much
 

RoxyA

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Location (City and/or State)
Fort Scott
I followed your tortoise care guide to set up my Enclosure, I keep it at around 85° , 80+ humidity. He eats all kinds of greens, carrot tops, beet tops, mustard greens, Romaine, endive, arugula, bok choy, etc, I have a store that carries everything in KC that I go to, all organic. I order him cactus pads & a tortoise mix from tortoise supply also, he does eat mazuri but not excessively, I put a small pile in there daily. I also ordered a seed mix which I grow that has grasses for grazing. In the summer I have grape vines, mulberry, hibiscus, Clover, just a multitude of good things he can eat. I soak him every day for a half hour and he has his clay saucer filled w water at all times. I sprinkle his greens with calcium powder twice a week and with calcium plus d3 once a week. I also sprinkle with minerall once a week. He doesn't eat any fruit or protein, but he has eaten a few pieces of cat food he found on the ground. We made him a safe "play" area outside for the nice days so he can enjoy the sunshine and nature. Like u said he's very healthy and a good eater. We love him so much
Oops, like "i" said, sorry
 

zolasmum

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It sounds like he has a wonderful life !! You must be proud of him. but where is his photo ?
Angie
 

RoxyA

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Fort Scott
Nobody does ounces. I had to do the conversion to grams. Thats about 1250. In good conditions its normal for them to grow 800-1000 grams by twelve months. Faster grows can reach 1500 grams, but that is usually associated with higher protein intake. As long as they are well hydrated, eating high fiber foods, and have adequate calcium in the diet this isn't bad.

Just for my own curiosity: What do you feed your baby? What temperatures is he housed at? Night temperatures? How often do you soak and for how long? Fort Scott, Kansas? I always wonder when I see a faster grower how people do it. Mine never grow that fast, but babies from the same clutch raised by other tortoise keepers sometimes do. Some people offer a lot of Mazuri and that will definitely do it. I know one guy that let his torts eat the dog poo in the back yard. They eat feces in the wild, but I would not recommend that in captivity. His torts grew exception fast, and were seemingly very healthy. He paid a lot of attention to soaking and hydration too.

Strawberry leaves are great, as long as they haven't been sprayed with pesticides or any other chemicals, which they usually are when farm grown. If you are growing your own without all the chemicals, then the leaves are a great addition to a varied diet. Fruit is not so good for them, so I would skip the actual strawberries.
 

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Tom

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I'm still learning how to use this forum so I hope the pictures came through
He looks great. Thanks for sharing your care routine. All sounds perfect and your tortoise is obviously thriving.
 

Talkinturtles

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Nobody does ounces. I had to do the conversion to grams. Thats about 1250. In good conditions its normal for them to grow 800-1000 grams by twelve months. Faster grows can reach 1500 grams, but that is usually associated with higher protein intake. As long as they are well hydrated, eating high fiber foods, and have adequate calcium in the diet this isn't bad.

Just for my own curiosity: What do you feed your baby? What temperatures is he housed at? Night temperatures? How often do you soak and for how long? Fort Scott, Kansas? I always wonder when I see a faster grower how people do it. Mine never grow that fast, but babies from the same clutch raised by other tortoise keepers sometimes do. Some people offer a lot of Mazuri and that will definitely do it. I know one guy that let his torts eat the dog poo in the back yard. They eat feces in the wild, but I would not recommend that in captivity. His torts grew exception fast, and were seemingly very healthy. He paid a lot of attention to soaking and hydration too.

Strawberry leaves are great, as long as they haven't been sprayed with pesticides or any other chemicals, which they usually are when farm grown. If you are growing your own without all the chemicals, then the leaves are a great addition to a varied diet. Fruit is not so good for them, so I would skip the actual strawberries.
Please don't feed sulcate's any type of tortoise food. they are strictly vegetarians and should not be eating proteins. occasional fruit is perfectly safe for them.
 

Tom

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Please don't feed sulcate's any type of tortoise food. they are strictly vegetarians and should not be eating proteins. occasional fruit is perfectly safe for them.
You are off base and wrong. There are several prepared diets that are perfectly healthy for them, and fruit is not good for them.
 

Talkinturtles

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You are right about the prepared foods. There are some that are strictly vegetarian. But fresh foods are much better. And be careful not to get one with animal product in it. Sulcatas have always enjoyed fruit in their natural diet (5%). Who decided they couldn’t have it? It’s always been acceptable as a treat.
 
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