What bedding is best for a young sulcata tortoise? | Tortoise Forum
I went to buy a new bedding for my tortoise, but I don't know if its best for a sulcata
Substrates that can be used in the enclosure include soil, a sand/soil mix, pine bark mulch and wood shavings such as aspen bedding or fine aspen chips. Strive to use a substrate comprised of smaller particles, so if any is accidentally ingested by the tortoise, it can be easily passed. Otherwise, you will be risking ingestion/impaction problems for your young sulcata.
I just received a sulcata tortoise, estimated to be 3-4 months old, as a birthday gift. I have researched how to take care of them and I'm fully committed to the work it's going to take. I was just wondering what are the best kinds of bedding, food, and vitamins/minerals for such a tortoise?...
Sulcata bedding | Tortoise Forum
Bedding confusion for juvenile sulcata.. Need advice | Tortoise Forum
of humidity-holding bark such as pine or cypress, since the tortoise is unable to tolerate high humidity. Humidity from a water bowl or moist bedding can cause respiratory infections in Sulcata tortoises. Therefore, When that first bit of very wet poop first appeared that early morning in July I could not have been happier. Little by little I’d see a little more each day and Myrtle began to eat a bit on his own and then one day at the beginning of August he pooped a real Sulcata poop. Friends told me I should have taken a photo of that poop and I sure should have since I waiting six months for that one. Of course rather than take a picture I took it apart to see what was in that mass of black tar like poop. Sure looked like shavings to me so my conclusion was a mass of aspen bedding caused that blockage. Being as he was not kept well hydrated and not fed a high fiber diet that mass just built up and sat there causing that blockage. That poor tortoise suffered for over six months. He was not given proper care for the seven years of his life which was obvious by the condition of his shell. I know he was loved by his owners but they were given poor information and the tortoise suffered because of it. Upon receiving Myrtle he munched on a few greens but not with the usual gusto that a Sulcata does. He was not able to walk which the vet thought was from the MBD, and which I also thought as well, until several weeks went by and Myrtle really wasn’t eating much, but worse, there was no poop either. I had been continuing daily soaks to keep him hydrated, but it’s really odd to not have any poop and no appetite for a Sulcata. I contacted the owner to find out when was the last time he ate well and was told banana, but he vomited. That’s when bells went off and I realized this tortoise was not walking because of an impaction, not because of the MBD as first thought. So off to the vet for an x-ray for confirmation, and sure enough, a blockage in his intestines. My next question was what substrate was the tortoise kept on and how often was he soaked. At the advice of the vet he was kept on aspen bedding. He was soaked maybe once a week but no water bowl for self soaking was provided. In my opinion aspen is way to dry for Sulcata to be kept on and since Sulcata are known to eat everything in sight it is very likely they are going to eat it. For five months, from March through July I tried everything I could think of and my vet helped with all he could think of to get Myrtle to poop. He was tube fed that whole time because he ate very, very little if anything at all and our hope was that if we could get food in it would get things moving, and of course we added things to help get the blockage moving. He was also given enemas to try to help things along. (Substrate) can consist of Alfalfa (rabbit) pellets, hay or aspen bark. Do not use any type of humidity holding bark such as pine or cypress, since the tortoise is unable to tolerate high humidity. Humidity from a water bowl or moist bedding can cause respiratory infections in Sulcata tortoises. Therefore, DO NOT keep a water bowl in the tank with your tortoise, unless for brief periods to take a drink. Bedding will also need changed regularly to discard moist substrate and potential mildew from urine.