New-School ideas on keeping sulcata tortoises humid

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New-School ideas on keeping sulcata tortoises humid

Post  Cameron on Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:33 pm

I fugured this would be some good information for any tortoise keepers on here. I love tortoises and always have. Sulcatas are one of my favorites. The first time I had heard of keeping sulcata tortoises humid was during a talk by Russ Gurly about keeping tortoises in captivity. Until then, I had only heard what everyone else hears about them, "they are a desert species and need to be kept hot and dry." The reasoning behind that, I think, is flawed. Plus, no one could figure out why a lot of sulcata's were growing up pyramided. Recently research has been done and has been found that as young sulcata's spend a lot of time in underground burrows. They do this to escape the sweltering heat as well as predators. These burrows are naturally cooler and more humid than conditions are on the surface. The tortoises also expell wastes in the burrows which aids in the humidity. People started thinking, maybe humidity has something to do with pyramiding in captive sulcatas.
I belong to another forum (tortoiseforum.org) and there are several sulcata keepers on there who have been experimenting a lot with this pyramiding issue and how humidity affects it. They have had extraordinary results. One keeper in particular has raised many sulcatas, all with proper nutrition and sunshine and they all grew up pyramiding. Last season with a group of hatchlings he experimented. He started keeping their substrate moist soaking them and misting the tortoises shells 3 times a day. They still got all the natural sunshine and good nutrition like all the other tortoises before them; but this time they were kept humid and misted. It has been over a year and all the babies' shells are perfectly smooth with no signs of pyramiding. If anyone has kept sulcatas before you know that pyramiding can start within a few weeks of age.

Since I have found this information and have been studying it, I am a firm believer in it. It is thought that the moisture from misting and humidity actually helps the shells form and grow naturally smooth. Not everyone of course believes this theory. It is a HUGE debate in the tortoise world. You kinda have to do the research yourself and see what you think about it. For me and my sulcatas, it's HOT, HUMID, SOAKS AND MISTING!!

Here is a link to a great thread with pics to back up this theory.....

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-The-End-Of-Pyramiding?highlight=pyramiding#axzz1QDZQoLSl


Last edited by Cameron on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New-School ideas on keeping sulcata tortoises humid

Post  Zak on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:18 pm

Good info Cameron.

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