Article by tmfleo1
Origin : Northern Africa.
Size on average 30 inches in carapace length and 80 to 110 pounds some times larger.
(note Geochelone sulcata require room to roam!!!)
Habitat: Dry arid areas with weed clumps , shrubs
With shallow ponds mud hole to soak and cool down in extreme heat.
Heating : Never use heat rocks ! can severally injury your tortoise . Use a ceramic infrared bulb 150 watts very important use dome lamp at either have ceramic or porcelain sockets.
Best to use a basking heat source from above the enclosure placed in an area that will provide a hot spot to a warm area and to a cool side .Should have at least two hides one in the warm area and one on the cool side.
Lighting : Full spectrum UVB is necessary for proper health and proper development for your tortoise.
Temperature: Very important to monitor the temperature in your tortoise enclosure use at least two good thermometers one on the hot side floor temperature and one on the cool side floor temperature
on the hot side temperature should not exceed 90 degrees on the cool side should not drop below 72 degrees.
Soaking: Soak hatchlings & juveniles 3 time a week hatchling for about 5 minutes , juveniles for about 10 minutes . Soak adults once a week for 10 to 15 minutes .
Water should be luke warm (tepid) in a shallow dish pan no deeper than the bottom of the shell for larger tortoise you may want to use a shallow kiddy pool .
Substrate: The best thing to use for them is a 50/50 mixture of sterile soil (topsoil )and sterile play ground sand. Sulcata’s spend a lot of time digging and making borrows .
Feeding : Very important don’t over feed or to force growth feeding can cause severe heath problems for your tortoise. For hatchling to 6 months feed aprox ¼ cup once every day 6 months to a year feed ¼ to ½
Cup once every day juveniles should be fed aprox 1 cup every day and adults should be fed larger rations .
( note if your tortoise does not finish it’s day rations fed a little less .) always provide fresh drinking water .
Diet: Very important Sulcata tortoise’s diet is mostly high fiber low protein there diet intake should be a variety of grasses, weeds , clover , Sulcata’s are grazing animals ( NEVER FEED ICEBERG LETTUCE )
On occasion can be fed fruits strawberries, banana, cantaloupe, berries, peaches no pits, apricots no pits,
Apples no seeds, pears. Never feed chard, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beansor any kind of beans, corn, sprouts of any kind, tomatoes of any kind or any type of vegetable that has legume,oranges or citrus fruits
On occasion can also fed in place of fruit Opuntia cactus .
( Note make sure all food is free of pesticide free)
Supplements: Tri-Cal 2:1 ratio phosphorous free calcium supplement Nekton –Rep multi vitamin or Rep-Cal calcium and multi vitamin. The calcium and multi vitamin should be sprinkled onto food twice a week.
Outdoor housing: during warmer dry months of the year area should be free from poisonous plants , pesticides , fertilizers, sharp objects etc any thing that can harm your tortoise. The wall of your outdoor enclosure should be at least 24 “ tall and aprox 12” under ground sence sulcata’s enjoy digging and making borrows . the walls should be reinforced to with stand pushing from inside out Can use a dog house or something simular for the hide with a heat source inside provide a swallow pool for soaking and wading .
As your sulcata grows it will require more room the best thing to do is to do the adult set up for the area at least 12‘ x 12’ the larger the better sence sulcata’s like to roam about and graze