Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Tortoises!

It's two baby K. homeana! These are the turtles tortoises (thanks, dear...) that my wife discovered out in the backyard a few days after they hatched. It's not that she wasn't expecting this to happen at some point, but one of her females laid eggs in the ground instead of my wife digging them out and incubating them indoors. The other big difference is that she let them stay out in their turtle tortoise garden during the winter instead of bringing them in when it got below 50°F and stressing them out. Normally these are native to West Africa, and we had to assume that the temperatures here were going to be close enough for them to be okay outside.

Common husbandry recommendations for these would normally have you keep them above 65°F at all times. A quick check of would show you that it never gets much below 70°F or much above 85°F for many areas in their territory. But, these three tortoises that she has have been living here most of their lives, and have managed to acclimate OK.

Since two hatched out, maybe letting them deal with the elements is better than making them stay in tortoise jail on cold nights.

The babies are eating cucumber, apple, blueberry, banana, raw sardines, romaine lettuce, baby greens, sweet potato, beef heart, hibiscus, and one of them ate an earthworm. They did not like carrots, opuntia (prickly pear), grapes, celery greens, and they spit out kiwi. Most of the other things they didn't like they just didn't keep eating.

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