Anonymous
Anonymous asked in PetsReptiles · 1 decade ago

Sulcata Tortoise owners! Or anybody who knows anything about them.?

My boyfriend has this intense love for tortoises. We've been looking into getting a sulcata.

It's mostly for him, but over time I've also fallen in love with the sulcata tortoise..

There's a very healthy looking, but lonely hatchling that I found in a petstore down the street, and I've done some very extensive research.

I've had many different suggestions for temporary, hatchling housing-

such as beginners lizard set ups, to rabbit/guinea pig cages for proper ventilation. I was wondering if any personal owners had any suggestions?

Also, at the pet store, they're only feeding him timothy hay. I know this can't be completely healthy, because it's only a staple.. Is there a certain food combination that I can use until I can begin growing an array of grasses? How do you currently feed your sulcata?

Also, I live in FL, so if I was to house my sulcata outside when it gets older, how would I go about avoiding the humidity issue? And if not, in the future, how would I go about housing a Sulcata? A Tortoise table?

2 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey, daytime temperatures during much of the year should range from 85-105 F (29-40 C) during the day. At night, temperatures can drop into the 70s F (21-26 C) in their enclosure. They must be dry. Provisions must be made to house them indoors during rainy weather and in places where the nights are cold and/or damp.

    And the Outdoors: later on i will give you some links.

    Sulcatas can be housed outdoors only if they are provided dry, heated housing into which they will retire at night and during inclement weather. If they will not come out and go in on their own, they will have to be directed or physically moved. (Note that while this may not be a problem when the tortoises weigh less than 25 pounds or so, it can become quite problematic when they weigh 90 pounds or more.) In sufficiently dry areas that are protected from predators and humans, sulcatas may be kept outdoors at night as well, with living in-ground trees and shrubs providing the shelter over their pallets they require. Some owners recommend making sure that fencing surrounding the compound be opaque: if the sulcatas can see through it, they will try to plow through or burrow under it.

    A dog house or, for younger sulcatas, a trash can laid on its side, make suitable houses for sulcatas. They must be raised up off the ground and must be supplied with heat during colder weather. A wide ramp must be constructed for them to move easily in and out. Make a curtain to cover the opening; a couple of layers of plastic drop cloth, cut into 2-3 inch wide strips, will create a curtain that can easily be pushed through but will keep out draughts. It will also help insulate the house by reducing heat loss. During the winter months, insulating layers of plastic, sod or wood can be used to cover the top and sides of the house. Red lights or ceramic heating elements, suspended from the ceiling of the house and safely out of reach of the tortoise, may be used during cool weather. A pig blanket (also called a farrowing pad, these are rigid heating pads made for pigs to lie upon) can be used inside on the floor.

    Sulcatas like to burrow and they are quite good at doing so. They feel more comfortable when they can feel their environment around them. When a pig blanket on the floor is enough for heat, a trash can may work just fine as they can feel the sides of it around it. The curtain across the doorway helps as well by providing not only insulation by a physical, albeit passable, barrier. Fresh mounds of alfalfa hay or pesticide- and pest-free leaves and grass can be placed inside to also give them a burrowing medium. Check regularly and replace as necessary.

    A shallow water bowl, with sides low enough for the tortoise to reach into, should be available at all times if there is no wallow available. Tortoises do not swim, they sink. You need to make sure they can easily access the water but that it is not any deeper than the tortoise's bridge, the section of shell that joins the carapace (top shell) and plastron (bottom shell). A bowl or flowerpot saucer (plastic or glazed ceramic) may be find for a larger tortoise; it may need to be sunk slightly into the substrate for smaller tortoises. Be prepared to refresh daily and clean frequently.

    Good Luck.

    http://www.anapsid.org/sulcata.html

    http://home.earthlink.net/~rednine/sulcatacare.htm...

    http://www.wnyherp.org/care-sheets/turtles/african...

    http://www.tortoiseclub.org/caresheets/Care%20of%2...

    Source(s): reptile enthusiast.
  • Kimg
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Florida is perfect for sulcatas. There are a lot of keepers in FL.

    Less winter months to have to keep them in headed area/sheds.

    Pet shops do not give the best care instructions so continue to research.

    Here are sites and a groups to join to learn and meet people in FL and all over.

    http://www.africantortoise.com/

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/African-Tortois...

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/sulcatastation/

    http://www.sulcata-station.org/

    All have been real helpful to me.

    I feed spring mix greens mix-ed with salad hay. (which is chopped up hay) You can buy it or use a coffee grinder to make your own.

    For my small ones I have screen mesh on the bottom and top of their pens and in the summer they are outside 24/7. When temps drop below 65 at night we bring them in at night, back out in the day.

    When temps get below 65 in the day the small ones are all in tort tables with UVB/heat lamps all the time. The big guys have the roam of the shed and can come and go outside as they please.

    tort tale:

    http://tortoiseyard.com/tortoise_table.htm

    http://www.unc.edu/~dtkirkpa/stuff/table.html

    They should have a cool end 70degree-ish and a warm end 90ish.

    My big guys are still grazing on what is left of green grass, but when thats all gone I will feed them hay with some turnips & collards mixed in.

    You know you can rescue sulcatas from turtle rescues.

    There is one in FL to.

    They are really cute when they are small thats why so many end up in rescues. Pet stores do not tell how big they will get or how strong so people give them up.

    http://www.turtlerescueusa.com/

    http://www.turtlehomes.org/usa/orgs.shtml

    a must see before getting a sulcata.

    http://www.turtlerescues.org/sulcata_challenge.htm

    good luck

    Source(s): keeper of 8 sulcatas, 6 red foot, 4 leopard tortoises, & 4 box turtles. Most rescues & re homes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8375048@N03/sets/
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.