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RE: Sulcata Questions - owners of large ones

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Posted by: Joel__H at Sun Jan 3 02:17:18 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Joel__H ]  
   

My questions are about his impact on our life and home.
What is life like with one of these big guys?
-My back yard is mostly tortoise space. If there is any plant I don't want him to get to, it has to have a cinder block or a sturdy fence around it, otherwise he will walk over and crush whatever plant is under foot. Mine is surprisingly affectionate for an animal that doesn't bark, or wag a tail, or purr. That said, his definition of attention is to walk over and see what you're up to. He also has worn a groove around the edge of the yard, so if your land lord is ok with having two small grooves in the lawn like miniature tire tracks, cool. He will also push around any patio item he can. This includes the bbq, the stack of chairs, whatever.
I have a pretty large backyard
-What is pretty big? If it's not big enough, you will need to supplement his food in the summer and in the winter, instead of just in the winter.
Do these big ones burrow?
-They can burrow and tunnel, given enough time(days) and the right kind of space, but if you keep an eye on him, you can block off the beginnings of a tunnel or cave.
The plan is to give him free range of the yard.
-You may find that you want a turtle free zone, like the patio after a while
There is plenty of grass and shade. Plenty of room for a house for him. (he comes w/ a heated house)
-Do you have a reliable plug that you won't mind using for the purpose of heating his house? Or mind the higher electrical bills? Also, is the house big enough for him to get even larger and heavier in? He will probably get another 50-75 lbs heavier and larger since he's so young.
I have a 2 year old son, any issue there?
-Sulcatas have been known to carry salmonella, so not playing with the tortoise and then licking one's hands is important. I also have a dog that is older and very mellow.
-This shouldn't be an issue. The larger torts are too big for a dog to mess with easily-though given the wrong dog and the right situation it could be bad.
I live in a warm climate with little rain in CA desert. I have been told they should do fine here as long as he has a heated house for the cool nights and winter months.
-This is accurate.
How is the feeding and care for these?
-Diet is important to understand correctly. These guys live in a desert naturally. This means that nutrients and water are the enemies of a good diet. Dark leafy greens and legumes are out(too much nutrients and vegetable proteins), and fruit(too much water) in quantities over once every now and then are out as well.
If you go away for a few days can you leave extra grass hay out? etc?
-Yep, they also don't require feeding every single day. Even for a longer trip, if someone comes by to check every now and again, a week or more is doable.
So any thoughts and hints would be great. I don't want to go into this without knowing what to expect.
-There's a ton of great information on the web about care, behavior, longevity, etc. I would start out here: I have the oppertunity to pick up a large male sulcata. He is 8-9 years old and supposed to be 80 pounds.
My questions are about his impact on our life and home.
What is life like with one of these big guys?
I have a pretty large backyard, though it is a rental house and I would rather not have him ruin too much. Do these big ones burrow? The plan is to give him free range of the yard.
There is plenty of grass and shade. Plenty of room for a house for him. (he comes w/ a heated house)
I have a 2 year old son, any issue there? I also have a dog that is older and very mellow.
I live in a warm climate with little rain in CA desert. I have been told they should do fine here as long as he has a heated house for the cool nights and winter months.
How is the feeding and care for these? If you go away for a few days can you leave extra grass hay out? etc?
So any thoughts and hints would be great. I don't want to go into this without knowing what to expect.
-There is a ton of great and not so great information on the web. I would suggest starting here: http://www.anapsid.org/sulcata.html and then moving to http://www.sulcata-station.org/pdf/switch.pdf and then keep going until you're sure you understand what you're getting into.


   

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<< Previous Message:  Sulcata Questions - owners of large ones - JeffHouston, Mon Aug 18 19:29:09 2008