Why we should soak babies alot, 'cause they are like cats.

Kapidolo Farms

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So a long winded anecdote: a vet had to remove my cat's penis because he did not drink enough water. I felt so horrible bad about that I trained an old adult cat to drink more water. Cats are notorious for not drinking enough water, they get crystal formations in the urine track and then infections and then surgery. I grew up in a cat household, up to 20 at one time, my parents really liked cats much. They had access to dry food all the time, and wet food once each evening. Much cat husbandry was wrong, based on what I've learned since. I would give my cat, Oscar, access to dry food all the time, he declined to eat wet. He's roughly 17 years old now and doing great, never had a weight problem. But he'd develop bladder crystals and infections, have a hard time peeing, and one vet would be happy to take $ and treat the condition. Then a new vet came into the picture, "Will, you have to get your cat to drink water on his own, or you will loose him". So, Oscar still get dry food, but always with hot water added, first a little then about 50/50. He now drinks the 'sauce' first. By playing with his water in front of him in a non-threatening way he decided he would dip his paw in and lick his paw, now he just laps water up like a dog.

The meat of the point, tortoises: I think tortoises are like cats in regards to water. They need to be conditioned to drink often, daily even. So the little guys get a good start on the habit, placing them in shallow water everyday helps them get familiar with it. Many will relax and poop in it, what to do(?) as long as they drink too. I use restaurant serving trays, they are very shallow and have a big surface area. I leave them in the enclosure all the time. The water is to temperature simply by being in the enclosure. Every morning I place the babies in the center of the tray. they sit there look about and most walk out pretty soon, at first. Over several days most will just sit there (as if to yield to the that giant hand that does it to them everyday). They start to learn to put their little faces down and drink. It makes me think of baby elephants figuring out what to do with their trunk. Sometimes a couple bits of greens end up in there, and they eat those bits, maybe associating water and food together(?). Soon they start pooping in their water when I place them there. The next step is finding poop in the water, when they sorted it out on their own. This means they at least can direct themselves to the water tray (I suppose it could be accidental walking in the water tray and pooping?).

The best is opening the enclosure or peering through the window, and seeing a baby sitting in the water, legs extended, chilling, they are obviously think a margarita would be good, maybe a few bubble jets. Really seeing them self service drinking in the first few weeks after hatching is great. I don't give up on placing them there at that point. I use a sharpie and a little mark on those who I find drinking and pooping on their own. I think the others may envy such a badge of accomplishment(?) leading the little rear marginal stickers say "I drink water on my own, Kapidolo Farms school of drinking"

Seriously, who teaches them this in the wild? Circumstance, most babies die in the wild. Those that make the trials of avoiding predation also have to figure out drinking. I suspect most get water from dew condensation on leaves or blades of grass (high primary productivity). Then there are the small accumulations of water on dried curled leaves, a giant pond compared to a baby tortoise.

Water is an important part of nearly every metabolic activity in animals. Water makes up about 75% of the mass of baby tortoises' shells: https://kapidolofarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/With-notes-KapidoloFarmsTTPG.pdf. page 21 and 22.

Water is not listed as an essential nutrient on any such lists. IT is the most essential nutrient.
 

ZenHerper

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Feline urologic syndrome is a bit more complicated than not drinking water. Bacteria will form crystals in the bladder even if there is water...it has a great deal to do with the urinary pH, food ingredients, early age of castration, body condition, inflammatory syndrome, renal health...blah, blah. (Cats are behaviorally averse to drinking out of dishes for many reasons, as well.)



So, tortoises. Their DNA is from a time before rain, when the planet was ultra-humid. Soupy, really. Plenty to learn to drink, plenty to absorb otherwise.

They adapted well to rain, and drink during downpours (shells are perfect sluices, and no fur to get all gummed up and heavy). Hatching during a hot rainy season is the best opportunity to learn about water.

We've been fortunate to watch these three critters develop in a natural environment:


Waters at different locations have different flavors. Animals coded heavily to prevent self-poisoning have a lot of trouble changing location (plates), foods, water sources. In addition to offering a wide variety of food items, breeders might consider offering a variety of waters to see if wee ones will be more accepting of baths, saucers, and humid hides in new homes.
 

jsheffield

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I've noticed that, since I installed the solar fountains in the underpots in their outside enclosures, I've seen all of my torts drinking when out there... my thinking is that the tinkling sound of the water falling stimulates some drive.

Jamie
 

ZenHerper

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I've noticed that, since I installed the solar fountains in the underpots in their outside enclosures, I've seen all of my torts drinking when out there... my thinking is that the tinkling sound of the water falling stimulates some drive.

Jamie

Interesting.

I wonder though if it is the aerosolized water that smells/tastes attractive...
 

Pastel Tortie

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I've noticed that, since I installed the solar fountains in the underpots in their outside enclosures, I've seen all of my torts drinking when out there... my thinking is that the tinkling sound of the water falling stimulates some drive.

Jamie
Maybe the fountain seems like rain... and they might be more likely to drink if it's been raining?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I'm so glad you got my point, about the importance of drinking water as I related to something many people could relate to. Cats. And then you messed it all up with ecology and evolution. Science mumbo jumbo as Tom would say. LOL

Feline urologic syndrome is a bit more complicated than not drinking water. Bacteria will form crystals in the bladder even if there is water...it has a great deal to do with the urinary pH, food ingredients, early age of castration, body condition, inflammatory syndrome, renal health...blah, blah. (Cats are behaviorally averse to drinking out of dishes for many reasons, as well.)



So, tortoises. Their DNA is from a time before rain, when the planet was ultra-humid. Soupy, really. Plenty to learn to drink, plenty to absorb otherwise.

They adapted well to rain, and drink during downpours (shells are perfect sluices, and no fur to get all gummed up and heavy). Hatching during a hot rainy season is the best opportunity to learn about water.

We've been fortunate to watch these three critters develop in a natural environment:


Waters at different locations have different flavors. Animals coded heavily to prevent self-poisoning have a lot of trouble changing location (plates), foods, water sources. In addition to offering a wide variety of food items, breeders might consider offering a variety of waters to see if wee ones will be more accepting of baths, saucers, and humid hides in new homes.
 

maggie3fan

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I have a 35+ lb Sulcata who is very badly pyramided. He won't drink water from a plant saucer for love nor money. But run the sprinkler in his pen and he will spend the day in the puddles, naps in the pond, and plays in the water. Winter's are harsh. 100_4235.JPG
 

Chefdenoel10

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I have a 35+ lb Sulcata who is very badly pyramided. He won't drink water from a plant saucer for love nor money. But run the sprinkler in his pen and he will spend the day in the puddles, naps in the pond, and plays in the water. Winter's are harsh. View attachment 298433

he is Gorgeous!!!!! ..... I.... might.... have a girlfriend for him soon????🤔😬
 

maggie3fan

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he is Gorgeous!!!!! ..... I.... might.... have a girlfriend for him soon????🤔😬
Knobby? He won't be sexually mature for a few years. He has an unusual looking face, to me he looks like the Cowardly Lion..."put'em up....put'em up..." Thanks, I like him too...but gorgeous? Maybe, not... 100_4326.JPG
as much as I would like to send Knobby's great personality traits on to other generations, he and any female must have an online romance only....and, yes, I am hoping his beak breaks off all the way, or in 2 weeks he's gonna get dremeled...
 

Chefdenoel10

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Knobby? He won't be sexually mature for a few years. He has an unusual looking face, to me he looks like the Cowardly Lion..."put'em up....put'em up..." Thanks, I like him too...but gorgeous? Maybe, not... View attachment 298617
as much as I would like to send Knobby's great personality traits on to other generations, he and any female must have an online romance only....and, yes, I am hoping his beak breaks off all the way, or in 2 weeks he's gonna get dremeled...

listen!..... I have seen some boogly faces in my day and I am telling you!.... he is cute!
Look at those eyes!! And so clean!
he could look A LOT worse...😛
 
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