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RE: Help with Hatchling

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Posted by: GregKnoell at Fri Apr 3 17:24:08 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by GregKnoell ]  
   

Really sorry to hear about your baby sulcatas. Here are a couple ideas that come to mind. I don't know is these issues are the problem but it may be something to consider.

There's a significantly important correlation between UVB, vitamin D synthesis, and body temperature. A baby tortoise may have access to UVB but still have problems with calcium absorption because its not at a properly elevated body temperature for an appropriate period of time. Your indoor enclosure may be rather large to hold a proper temperature for two small hatchlings. The basking spot temperatures look ok but I have noticed that baby tortoises don't "bask" a whole lot. They seem to rely on ambient temperatures to thermoregulate more so than lizards or larger tortoises do. This is probably because baby tortoises in the wild basking out in the bright open can easily become a meal for a hungry predator. Try to create an environment where half the entire cage is around 90 degrees with a basking spot at 100. Provide a cool half of the cage at around 80 degrees. Also - If the weather in your area is less than 75 try to make sure your tortoises are "warmed up" before you take them out to get some rays. If the outdoors is less than 70 degrees for more than a few days I'd suggest you get some UVB reptile lights for their indoor enclosure. Your 2x2 box is large enough to use a Zoodmed Powersun UVB or T-rex Active Heat, both of which are great products and have saved many pet reptiles suffering from metabolic bone disease. Unfortunately this disease can come upon quickly in baby tortoises and they often struggle to recover.

The romaine is probably not a great source of nutrition on its own. Dandelions are great but, again, not as an entire diet source. It would be best to feed your tortoises a varied diet including turnip, collard, mustard, prickly pear pads and such. Include dandelion, fresh grasses (very good for sulcatas), and some romaine. Obviously be careful to avoid any food items that may have been treated with pesticides.

Seems like you are supplementing fine but I may cut back on the multivitamin to once a week, a SMALL pinch. Tortoises can overdose on these supplements damaging kidney function. Remember, a well varied diet will provide most of the multivitamins that your tortoises need. Your tortoises will also absorb them easier and more naturally.

Greg Knoell
www.thecoloreddragon.com
www.thecoloreddragon.com
www.thecoloreddragon.com


   

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