African Sulcata Tortoise Care Sheet

Before purchasing your Sulcata tortoise for sale, or any tortoise for sale, whether it is a baby sulcata tortoise or a well-started baby, juvenile African spur-thighed tortoise for sale, also known as the Sulcata tortoise or adult sulcata tortoise for sale, understanding proper care is key to enjoying your new tortoise. Sulcata Tortoise also known as the African Spurred Tortoise

Natural Geographic Range of the African Sulcata tortoise:

Arid, sparse areas of sub-Saharan Africa

African Sulcata tortoise Lifespan

African Sulcata tortoises are long lived and very hardy.  Expect a baby Sulcata tortoise for sale live 80-100 years.  Depending on the level of care you provide your shelled buddy, he or she should outlive you!  Quite a few Sulcata tortoise owners end up giving their baby tortoise as an older mature adult to their own children!

African Sulcata tortoise Size:

How big does a Sulcata tortoise get?

A very large tortoise of 24-30 inches, the Sulcata is the 3rd largest species of tortoise.  Expect your tortoise to grow to at least 18″ and 50 pounds by age 15.  By Age 25, your tortoise should be just about full grown as far as length, width and weight are concerned.

African Sulcata tortoise Appearance

What does a Sulcata tortoise look like? African spur thighed tortoise males are much larger than females. Adult male Sulcata tortoises have the deep concavity in the rear of their plastron.  Also, male Sulcatas have longer, thinner tails.  When “flashing” or “breeding” you may notice the males tail is tipped by a horned spur. Female Sulcata tortoises will have a more rounded shell with less details and a shorter, blunter tail.  Sulcata tortoises from yellow to 10 two even darker brown.Some may have darker coloration surrounding the scutes where others are uniform in color. Their plastron, head, and limbs are a uniform yellowish. Juvenile Sulcata tortoises may have a pale yellow carapace.  Sometimes even with with brown on the scutes.  Lastly, babies and juveniles will have a lighter colored plastron and carapace plates.

African Sulcata tortoise Habitat

So,You’ve decided you want to purchase a large tortoise.  First things you will have to be concerned about, will be the size and shape of the habitat. Having a properly sized habitat is key to raising a healthy and happy baby tortoise for sale.  Due to their large size, housing sulcata tortoise inside can be quite impractical. Please consider this carefully prior to purchasing. Of anything use to create a tortoise habitat, we would recommend building a tortoise table.  Sulcata tortoise hatchlings may be raised something small with limited air movement like a sweater box. Keep in mind with babies especially, high humidity and low air movement is going to be key to raising them properly. A good sized habitat for a Sulcata hatchling is 2 foot by 2 foot.  Keep in mind that they will outgrow this quickly and need a larger habitat within 18 months. As you’d expect, as the tortoise grows larger, the size of its habitat needs to be increased.

Sulcata tortoise water dish

The water dish in the habitat should be large enough to allow the tortoise to soak in, whilst remaining shallow enough to protect from drowning. For an adult African Spurred tortoise, the indoor habitat should be at least 8 foot by 8 foot! If you live in a colder climate, an outdoor heated shed or greenhouse is sometimes a better option for an adult African Spurred tortoise. During hot summer days allow your baby sulcata tortoise to roam under close supervision. Because of their large size and grazing habits, these tortoises do great being outdoors when the warm enough.  Do your best to make sure there is adequate shade, hiding spots, and access to a shallow dish of water.  Also, try to provide a dry grassy area for grazing if at all possible.  Sulcata tortoises love to graze.

African Sulcata tortoise for sale – Water

T. A shallow dish of water should be provided at all times, and needs to be cleaned daily.  It is normal for your baby tortoise to want to spend time and it’s water bowl. For this reason, it is imperative that you something that they can easily get in and out of, as well as being very shallow in depth.

Sulcata tortoise care

African Sulcata Tortoise Substrate

There are many types of substrates that can be used.Substrate is very important because it allows the animal to burrow down and Thermo regulate. It is also important because it helps us maintain the humidity percentage necessary to sustain life properly.   As a substrate, a mixture of topsoil and children play sand or cypress bark works well, but for this and other arid loving species, the best substrate is grass hay. Hay is easily maintained and provides nourishment if they nibble it.

Here at Arturs Farm, our baby tortoise habitatsAre kept with 4 inch deep substrate and spray down each morning to maintain ambient humidity in the range of 70%. Furthermore,We use a mixture of cypress mulch and organic potting mix to create our substrate.

Sulcata tortoise heating and lighting

In one corner of the environment, a heat spot lamp should be positioned to provide artificial basking facilities. This should be positioned to provide a basking spot of 90 degrees F in that section of the habitat, while the rest of the enclosure can be heated to 80-90 F during the day with a drop at night. Heating sources should always be run through a thermostat. The enclosure should also be equipped with a full spectrum fluorescent light to provide for UVB. A UVB source is necessary for Vitamin D3 syntheses (needed in calcium metabolism). There should be a hide box located in the corner away from the basking spot to allow the animal a cooler dim retreat.

Sulcata Tortoise Habitat: Indoor Housing

Indoor habitats are probably what you’re most concerned with since most people raise their animals indoors for most of their life. Pacifically, during the baby stages you should almost always how’s your animal indoors so you can pay close attention to the parameters vital for sustaining healthy life. When we are working indoors, it is important to realize we must modify the parameters within the environment that we are giving the animal to mimic that of its natural habitat in the wild.Will not always possible, we are able to provide proper UV lighting, proper humidity,As well as fresh food and waterAt hiding spots.

There are many, many ways to construct your indoor Tortoise habitat.  You can modify a terrarium. Even construct a tortoise table or similar habitat out of wood, metal, and acrylic.  Indoor habitats should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2′ x 4′ until five years of age where as they should be closer to 3′ x 6′. Once full grown, the habitat should be a minimum of 4′ x 8′ in size.  Indoor habitat should supply UVB lighting.  We prefer a T5 high output fixture at 10% or 12% depending on the distance between the lighting and the top of the substrate. For example, if your substrate is 15 inches from the lighting, we recommend a 10% UVB lamp.  However, if you are supplying light from a higher distance, say 24 inches or 30 inches above the substrate height, you will want to use a 12 percent UVB lamp.   Both of these tortoise UVB lights are available in our UVB lighting and heating section.

Sulcata tortoise Diet:

African Spurred tortoises are herbivorous, grazing tortoises and need a high fiber, low protein diet. At least 75% of their diet should be given as grasses and hays, along with some edible weeds and flowers. Small amounts of other leafy green vegetables are okay, but avoid foods high in oxalates.

Here at the farm, we use a high quality salad that we create and chop twice weekly to consist of the following: collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, other dark and leafy greens and weeds. Also, we include: zucchini, squash, shredded carrots, and Spring mix. In addition to all this, three times a week we toss softened and well soaked tortoise chow pellets in with our salad.

Examples of proper Sulcata Tortoise food and Sulcata Tortoise Diet Needs:

* Orchard grass or hay

* Timothy or Bermuda Grass .* Dandelion greens

* Clove

* Cactus pads

* Edible flowers

Avoid:

* Fruits

* Spinach

* Grains (bread, pasta etc)

* Human foods

* Pellet type complete tortoise foods

* Dog and cat food or any animal protein

Sulcata tortoise vitamins

Providing proper Vitamins and nutrition is key when trying to properly grow a healthy baby tortoise. Using a calcium supplement powder that is equipped with vitamin D3 is recommended as well as a reptile multivitamin. Here at the farm, use a 5250 mixture of a reptile multivitamin along with calciumWith vitamin D3. We sprinkle this mixture on top of our tortoises food every other day or three times a week. This is very important not only for baby tortoises for sale but also for growing juvenile and adult tortoises as well as breeding males and females.

Sulcata tortoise care

UVB levels in the tortoises natural habitat are vastly higher than anything we experience in the, so food must be lightly dusted with a vitamin and mineral supplement which contains vitamin D3 and calcium daily. Cuttlebone is a good source of calcium and can be left in the enclosure at all times.

Sulcata tortoise hibernation

African Spurred tortoises do not hibernate.

Make sure there are no steep surfaces or steps that the tortoise can climb on as they can tip over onto their backs and be unable to get back up.

African Sulcata Tortoise Natural History

Sulcata tortoises are native to more northern parts of Africa, ranging from the southern edge of the Sahara down through the arid countries, including Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, the Sudan, and Ethiopia, up through the dry, hot Massaua coast bordering the Red Sea.

African Sulcata tortoise care – Behavior

As babies, these tortoises are fairly active most of the day however they do spend quite a bit of time sleeping as well.  You will see them spend time walking the permitter of their enclosure quite often.  When cold they will use the substrate to burrow into in order to thermoregulate their body temperatures.  Active tortoises, an African Sulcata tortoise is not boring to own that is for sure.  Keep in mind we are talking activity when compared to tortoises, which are a slower moving animal.

Keeping your baby Sulcata tortoise healthy

As with any new pet, it is highly recommended that you take your new tortoise to a vet with exotics experience for a health check-up. Problems and health issues in chelonian are often hidden and your pet may appear healthy at first. It is also recommended that you measure and weigh your tortoise on a regular basis.  Before you purchase a sulcata tortoise for sale, whether it be a well-started baby sulcata tortoise or a hatchling sulcata tortoise, it is important that you find the right sulcata tortoise breeder.

Explore our extensive Sulcata tortoise care section

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