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RE: Questions for the owners of big sulcatas

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Posted by: tglazie at Tue Nov 20 19:07:50 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tglazie ]  
   

I've never owned any female sulcatas (believe me, I've tried, but all I seem capable of raising is males; I purchased one sulcata, my first, twelve years ago; I then purchased a group of five seven years ago; all of them turned out to be male), but I keep my males together on two acres of land in South Texas. Fighting is generally limited, especially when they are well fed, though occasional separation is necessary. I would assume that some degree of separation between the sexes is necessary, as a constantly gravid female is not a healthy female, nor will her hatchlings be healthy.

As for the question of feeding, I generally offer food two days on, two days off. However, every other day also works according to several of my friends. Keep in mind that these tortoises come from an arid landscape, where food is often scarce as rain falls an average of six to eight inches per year. Sudan and Mauritania have regularly been in the news as having fickle precipitation, and some areas do not receive rain for years at a time. Now, this does not mean that you should starve your animals (I feel that refusing food for over one week is unacceptable); however, it does mean that with proper care, it is very unlikely that a sulcata will starve. More important than frequency is dietary constituents. Make sure your giants have plenty of grass and alfalfa hay during the winter months and plenty of natural graze during the summer, spring, and fall. Also remember that these animals eat a great deal. I've seen my males take down six heads of romain lettuce and ten pounds of zuchini in a single sitting, then resume browsing on winter grass, bermuda, and dandelion afterwards.

T.G.


   

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