Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: June 2006



June 29, 2006

Fence Work

The morning was spent putting up 15" blinds on the chain link fence where Frankie tends to push against trying to get out. He has injured on of this front feet so action was taken. Fabric weed block was folded in half length-wise and mounted it to the bottom of the chain link fence. Tie wraps to secure the fabric to the fence.

A two week experiment with a short length of this fabric showed that Frankie would not try to paw his way out in the area where the fabric was put up. I hope to see this with all Frankie's chain link fence. Eventually, a dense evergreen hedge will be planted to block his view.

June 26, 2006

Munch and Crunch

The two new additions are doing very well. They have not eaten their first meal (as far as I can tell) but I have put in pill box bugs and snails in their enclosure should they feel the urge. I give them daily soakings in a plant saucer which they can get out themselves. They have gotten out twice in the sun which they absolutely hate to do. How do these baby turtles get UV light if they hide all the time? Sun reflections?

It has rained enough that two of the box turtles have buried themselves in mud up to their heads. They look like big worms as I cannot see any shell -- just mud.

Frankie got new cuttlebone. He promptly ate the one I put out within ten hours. And, this is the big 16" cuttlebones, not the small cuttlebone that you put in with birds.

Mattie had some cactus, ordered with the cuttlebone, and really enjoyed it. The box turtles ignored the cactus. Frankie ate his.

June 24, 2006

Relief from the heat

After a week of very hot weather, rain brought the temperatures to more tolerable levels. Even Frankie the sulcata was distressed by the heat. I have been more aware of his reaction to increased temperatures since Do Dah Days when he overheated.

After multiple suggestions on ways to help Frankie, I have settled on a kid's pool. I have not seen him drink from it, or really use it to cool down, but he has access to cool water when he needs it. The pool has lots of water due to heavy rains last night.

I continue to take the rest of the turtles to water daily just to be sure that they are getting hydration. This morning I let them use Frankie's pool since the water was so deep. I supervise so that no one gets into trouble, but they did just fine and headed to the cut out opening when they were finished swimming and drinking.

June 17, 2006

Water Works

There has been little rain here. We were lucky to get a soaking rain once last week - most of Alabama missed out. With it so hot, I've made sure that the turtles all get water via my putting them directly in a shallow pool of water everyday.

I got Frankie a children's pool, 48" pool from Wal-mart, one side cut out for entry. He understands how to get inside but at this point the pool is a playtoy to him. No problem, as long as he has water available to him.

I fed Frankie some watermelon which caused him, apparently, to urinate daily for ten days. Although I have been told that watermelon for an occasional treat is okay, I think after this ordeal, I will not give him watermelon.

Frankie is back to walking on his "treadmill", the plastic lid that I have sitting on a slanted part of the yard.

June 9, 2006

Early Summer Days for Turtles

I spend entirely too much time with the turtles & geckos and don't pay attention to my blog. Its been very warm here in Alabama. I go out each morning to give the box turtles fresh water. Just to be sure they are getting their hydration needs met, I put each one in a water dish every morning. Besides the turtles using the water dishes, so do neighboring squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Daily cleaning is necessary.

Frankie is out of his house, most of the time, before I check on turtles first thing in the morning. His first trek is straight through the wooded area of the yard and to the back area for fresh grass. Once he has a morning snack, and before it gets too hot, Frankie starts his trek around the yard - walk, walk, walk, walk. During the hot afternoon, he sits under the stairs keeping cool. By late afternoon as the sun casts shadows in the backyard, Frankie heads out to graze again.

I am thinking of buying him a plastic kid-pool so that he can cool off in water. Use to have a small pool for the box turtles but it has long since fallen apart. Guess it is time for a new one. Even if Frankie decides he doesn't like it, the boxies will.