How to Care for a Sulcata Turtle

How to Care for a Sulcata Turtle

Sulcata turtles, native to a semi-arid environment, are animals that demand care. They weigh more than 80 pounds (36 kg) and live more than 75 years. A basic aquarium is not a suitable habitat for a Sulcata turtle. You’ll need a lot of expensive accessories to make the right habitat. Taking proper care of your tortoise is essential to your well-being.

How to Care for a Sulcata Turtle
How to Care for a Sulcata Turtle

Step 1

Provide a suitable outdoor enclosure for your Sulcata turtle. It must measure at least 200 square feet (61 square meters). The sulcatas are strong and stubborn and will try to escape their enclosure. Make sure the sides of the enclosure are as high as the sulcata because if the turtle can’t see through, it will spend less time trying to escape. You’ll also have to provide a small shelter. This must be big enough for your tortoise to turn completely. Also, make sure this shelter has a roof to shade and protect you from rain.

Step 2

Make sure your tortoise has the right temperature at all times. Your tortoise will feel more comfortable between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 29.4 degrees Celsius). The enclosure should have a bit of shade at all times of the day. In this way, your sulcata can regulate their temperature when entering and exiting the shadow. Your sulcata can easily withstand night temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius). If it’s even colder, you’ll need to heat the turtle’s little shelter. Using a hot compress is an easy way to do this. Make sure your tortoise doesn’t get tangled up in the power cords.

Step 3

Feed your sulcata correctly, this is the most critical part of their care. Sulcatas need foods high in fiber and low in protein. Diet is the reason why it is very important to keep it outdoors most of the year, as its ideal food is grass. Make sure the lawn is chemical-free and don’t worry about dandelions, as they are actually a great food for your tortoise. Always give him access to water. You can give it a prize of dark green leaves like Roman lettuces, but no more than once a week.

Step 4

Plan an acceptable diet during the winter. Dry grass hay is the best alternative for living grass. Make sure it’s grass hay and not alfalfa hay. Nopal is the easiest food to get besides grass hay. Most supermarkets will have nopal or you can order it. Nopal should not constitute more than a quarter of the sulcata’s diet. In the winter it’s okay to give him a little more of that, but try to get him to eat grass hay.

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