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Sulcata weight?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Health' started by Sica8278, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Sica8278

    Sica8278 New Member

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    Can anyone tell me roughly how much my sulcata should gain in a month? We have had our little one a bit over a month so we are very new to this. We were told he was 3-6 months old when we got him from someone who couldn't take care of him any more. Anyways, we really don't know much about his history before we got him. So with that being said, I weighed him on the 28th of January and he was at 49g. I just weighed him this morning, and he hasn't gained any weight. We feed him twice a day and he eats great, poops at least once if not 2 or 3x a day, gets soaked for roughly 15 minutes daily, and drinks really well. The cool side of his enclosure is 75-80 and the warm side is around 100 with 75-80% humidity. He moves around his 75 gallon tank several times a day so seems fairly active. I'm not sure if it's normal, but normal for him. He goes in spurts of being super active and the just chills out. Is it normal for them not to gain any weight? Does this weight seem right for his supposed age? Thanks!
  2. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Greetings and Welcome to the Forum

    I’m sure many sully owners will chime in here, but from my experience it seems like they all grow at different rates due to lots of reasons. The source of your hatchling and it’s early care/conditions; habitat, lighting, heat, stress, soakings, food supplies, quantities of food, etc.

    Our Sully will be 4 years old this May and has been growing and gaining weight from day to day, week to week, year to year. Shipped to us here in Md from @Lancecham in California, and from day one, just ate and grew and gained weight. We soaked him daily, provided full bowls of greens, weeds, mazuri....and all well. Steady rate of growth and weight gain. Our Sully is now about 70 pounds, but we haven’t weighed and recorded for a long time. Under my own separate thread I recorded Sully’s weight every week. What this graph did show was steady weight gain, then a pause for a week or so, then more gain, then pause. But always upward. A good steady weight gain indicated good health.

    So, a lot depends on the start of the hatchling, coupled with the general care and feeding of your Sully. Good luck

    Here are two recent pix of our little guy, and one of my last charts on weight vs time

    0CFEE8CE-BCF9-4492-BB06-5CD5CBE54362.png


    4F3FACA0-6838-42DF-ADDB-B7FB3070BE83.jpeg 20479DAA-53EA-4F8E-951B-977AF15B8A4F.jpeg
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    Dizisdalife and Sica8278 like this.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    That weight is low for that age. Is it "normal" if you define normal by the number of people who have baby sulcatas that don't get past 50 grams. I'm sad to say yes, it is a fairly normal occurrence. It happens because the breeders who hatch them and the sellers who care for them keep them too dry, don't soak often enough, and don't feed them right. This damages their kidneys and there is nothing the new owner or caretaker can do to reverse this. No vet for any amount of money can fix it either, and most vets make it worse by injecting things that tax the damaged kidneys further. These babies with damaged kidneys due to early chronic dehydration seem fine, eat, and behave normally for weeks or months, then they get lethargic, eat less, barely open their eyes, the plastron gets squishy, and they die. Because this happens weeks or months later, the new keeper is usually blamed. Breeders will often say: "Well the baby was fine when it was here, and you had it for months…"

    All you can do is offer the best conditions possible and hope for the best. Some of them pull through and some don't. And get your low temp up to a minimum of 80. 75 is too cool for this species.

    Here is more explanation: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

    Try to reach the breeder and tell them what you've learned. If enough people call and tell them the same thing, they might start to listen and make a change.
  4. Sica8278

    Sica8278 New Member

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    Thanks for the info Tom, though not really what I want to hear . Hopefully this little one will pull through. My 4 kids are really attached to him. I have been reading a lot of your posts since we got our little one. I guess I was hoping the lady we got him from maybe had the age wrong or something (wishful thinking). I asked the lady I got him from if she was sure on the age, and if she could tell me where she got him from. The low end only dips under 80 when I open the top to feed or soak him. That's why I put the 75-80 in there. received_10211133405917364.jpeg
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