Why are some against keeping juveniles outside?

Relic

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Small torts are much more vulnerable to a host of things that adults aren't bothered as much by: rats, raccoons, predatory birds, fire ants, etc. The outdoor environment is mostly out of your control: temperatures will vary above and below what a youngster prefers, they can overheat quicker in direct sun and dehydrate faster, too, small water dishes can dry-out quicker, etc. Can all these things be accounted for and mitigated against? Of course, but it is more work: some type of housing with a sturdy lid, abundant shade from the sun, porous container so rain will drain out, etc. And...consistent attention to all of these details.
 

Tom

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why do some people say that it is bad to keep young tortoises outside?
Because they don't do as well and it makes them grow slower and pyramid more.

They will grow 2-3 times faster on the same amount of the same foods with the only variable being inside all day vs. outside all day.
 

babyhermanns

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Because they don't do as well and it makes them grow slower and pyramid more.

They will grow 2-3 times faster on the same amount of the same foods with the only variable being inside all day vs. outside all day.
if they grow slower, does it harm them in any way? is it okay if they grow slower?
 

jsheffield

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if they grow slower, does it harm them in any way? is it okay if they grow slower?
I think the growth rate itself isn't the problem so much as the stress it's indicative/reflective or: predators, overheating, underheating, dehydration, etc.

@Relic said it wonderfully above.

Jamie
 

Relic

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if they grow slower, does it harm them in any way? is it okay if they grow slower?
Think in terms of: Slower growth equals more time in a smaller "package" that is more vulnerable to all the issues listed above. The sooner they attain adult size, the sooner they gain a bit of immunity/resistance to all those potentially bad things...
 

Tom

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if they grow slower, does it harm them in any way? is it okay if they grow slower?
The pyramiding and slower growth are an indication that things aren't so great for them. Think about it for a minute. Hydration, temps, calories taken in, exercise, etc... All other variables are the same, but one group is outside most of each day and one group is inside most of each day. We are talking two groups of six randomly selected clutch mates that all hatched at the same time. The indoor ones grow 3 times faster. 300%.

Does it harm them? That's tough to answer. In theory it shouldn't, but the evidence is very clear here that outside too much just isn't good for them.
 

pawsplus

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Predators are not an issue if the person builds a safe enclosure and does not leave them out at night. I live in a humid, hot place and my tortoise was outside during much of the day from the spring after I got her in Oct. of 1998. She was safe and I feel good about her living a natural life and getting real UVB. Her shell is not perfectly smooth, but that is rare in captive breds and I would not call her pyramided. She is healthy as a horse at age 22.
 

Tom

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Her shell is not perfectly smooth, but that is rare in captive breds and I would not call her pyramided. She is healthy as a horse at age 22.
First you are talking about an adult. Adults should live outside in most cases, when weather permits. No so with hatchlings and babies, which is what this thread is about.

Her shell is not perfectly smooth, but that is rare in captive breds and I would not call her pyramided.
Its not rare anymore. For people who raise them correctly, a smooth shell has become the norm. I would not expect to see many 22 year old smooth tortoises.
 

pawsplus

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First you are talking about an adult. Adults should live outside in most cases, when weather permits. No so with hatchlings and babies, which is what this thread is about.
As I think was clear from my post, I was talking about what I did when Beasley was a baby. I got her in Oct but from the next Spring she was out as much as possible from April-Oct in a very secure enclosure.
 

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