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Getting hatchling sulcatas to eat dry grass

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by replover, May 16, 2006.

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  1. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I am considering getting some hatchling sulcatas from a friend, and have researched and read up on everything, and know that I can give it everything it needs well into adulthood (space, heat, burrows etc.), the only problem is the food source.

    I do have a small varenda that I can grow maybe a pot or two of grass in, but the bulk of the foods will have to be bought. I can't really find available weeds for sale, and I can only pick so much from the mountains etc. which I don't want to as I don't know what's been sprayed on them. I do know that timothy and orchard grass is great for them, and they are easily available to me. However, these are available in "Dry hay" form only, which I understand is ok.

    But an experienced tortoise keeper (albeit not sulcatas, but aldabras) told me that for younger tortoises, it is very hard to get them to eat dry hay. I don't know if this is true for sulcatas or not. Is it? If so, how do you train them to eat dry hay?

    Also, those timothy and orchard hay available in rabbit shops, if you soak them in water overnight or something, will they become softer and more palatable for the tortoises to eat and make the hatchlings/juvies more willing to eat them?
  2. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    How much space do you have? If you're talking about a "small veranda" and your apartment, that is NOT enough space for even ONE adult sulcata. These torts can grow to well over 200 pounds. The sleeping den alone that we have for Stanley has a 4 ft by 8 ft footprint.

    Anthony, you keep mentioning how difficult it would be to get your iguana to the vet... it will be at least 100x more difficult to get an adult sulcata to the vet. I truly appreciate your love for reptiles, but I have to recommend AGAINST getting a sulcata.
  3. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I have space INSIDE my apartment. There's no sunlight to grow grass there and I don't like the idea of getting UVB lamps to grow them indoors as I know that weeds get into tile cracks and start growing there. It's not a small tiny apartment. We just don't have the same outdoor facilities as people have in the states because we have highrises instead of floor level houses with large lawns. I have lived in the US for a few years in the late nineties and I can understand why the word "apartment" conjures up the image of a tiny space I myself can't fit into. But its not the same in Hong Kong. I have a spare room that had been used for storing uneeded rubbish for the past 5 years which I am clearning out now, and it is 750 square feet and I plan to build fences outside the doorway let it outside for a certain area as well. I do know how big they get, and I can lift a 200 pound tortoise with ease (even though all care sheets I read say about 150 pounds max, but it makes no difference), I've lifted aldabras that were not full grown but definitely heavier than that.

    I truly do appreciate your response (I'm not just saying that, I mean it), and I love most of you people to death, but honestly I'd thought that by now, I've shown through my posts that I am not just a person who buys animals at a whim without first researching (afterall, that's what I'm doing now, months in advance of the herps being hatched) and will take well over normal due care of them DESPITE being in a country that isn't very conductive to herp care. The animals are gonna be born here and someone is gonna buy them. They will not be exported. Regardless of what you think of my apartment (which is well big enough inside) the animal would be much better off being kept by me than any of the host of other people who will keep them in a shoebox and feed them cat food. 99% of them, if any, will NOT be bought by people with big lawns here because the only people with big outdoor lawns in Hong Kong are 1) the farmers and people who live in outlying islands and 2) the top notch echelon of the wealth ladder (i.e., maybe the top 0.00000001% of people). In fact, if you ever come to Hong Kong, visit the Tuen Mun reptile house in Tuen Mun park. Even the local ZOO here provides less space for their sulcatas than I plan to. The tortoises will be bought by someone, and in my opinion I'm about on of the best persons there is in Hong Kong to take care of them. In no way am I trying to antagonize you or anything, and I apologize if I seem to be. I am just trying to calmly get the point accross that I can take care of these things.

    Now, hopefully someone can tell me. How hard is it to get a hatchling/juvenile sulcata to eat dry hay such as Timothy hay? And if such hay bought in rabbit shops etc. is soaked prior to feeding, will they become reasonably soft or palatable? I respect you people and value your opinions so I hope I can get my answers here and not have to be relinquished to asking the other sulcata owners here who may not give proper care information as I want them to be happy and healthy.
  4. grant123

    grant123 Member

    mine doesnt, i have this dry pellet multi colored toroise food i soak and then give it to him, he wont eat the hay, or i never see him do it.. so i use it more for a substrate to go along w/ the dirt lol. it will eat lettuce or other random semi green (non dry) leaves/grass/weeds i throw in, bbut just not the dry alf alfa or hay
  5. venus

    venus Founding Member

    This post is almost 2 yrs old.
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