Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: November 2008



November 24, 2008


While we were away last week we were notified that Frankie won the national You Pet Halloween pet costume contest. He is getting a $100 gift card from PetCo. So, from Halloween pet contests this year he has won $100 from You Pet, $25 from AARP and $5 from PetSmart. Now that is a tortoise earning his keep!

Frankie got to go to Petco on Saturday -- we didn't have his gift card yet but he got to roam the store for an hour and a half so I figured he had plenty of time to look around. Frankie did have his eye on a few items. I think he is planning on getting a customized pet tag to attach to his shell. He also spent some time looking at a extra large Dogloo and the heated dog beds.

On Sunday Frankie went to PetSmart to have a look around with his $30 in prize gift cards. He picked out a bag of Botanical Hay from the Oxbow Company. I put a bag of timothy hay, orchid hay and this botanical hay in front of him and he picked out the botanical hay by going over and nipping on the bag. Since he did the choosing I figure that was a good sign since he usually refuses to eat hay. Frankie also picked out a nice cuttle bone for himself (yep, we are buying him a BIG bulk of cuttle bone this week). Being the generous tortoise he is, he bought the water dragon a big tub to soak in and some tuna for the two cats.

I think Frankie is getting into this shopping thing. I better come up with a really good costume next year if he is going to become a shopaholic.

Oh yea, we weight Frankie and he is 56 pounds.

November 22, 2008

Home Again

Greg and I were out on vacation last week. Frankie and the turtle gang were left in the care of a friend, Brian, who is a very competent reptile keeper. Frankie was more than glad to start the week out with a BIG challenge. Since it was cold, Frankie had to stay inside. The first morning he peed all over the floor and deposited a fair amount of poop on top of that. Then he walked through it for about five hours so when Brian arrived to take care of everyone he had one big mess to clean up. I guess you could say it was trial by "sulcata." Obviously, Brian passed the test.

When we got home, Frankie had been inside all day so he repeated his pee and poop routine so I had the same mess to clean up. Frankie is so thoughtful!

After five days of being stuck inside because the weather was poor Frankie was ready to get out. Since it was too cold to get him out on Saturday I took him for his first winter visit to Petco. He sure did love it. He started with a ten minute bask by their big front glass windows and then proceeded to walk all over the store for an hour and a half. Frankie really needed to do some walking!

When I got Frankie home I put him outside even though it was a bit cool. He really needed to graze. After a couple of hours outside grazing he was ready to get inside and sleep.

Its good to be home and back with Frankie and the gang.

November 12, 2008

Frankie WIshes

Every night Frankie dreams about going outside, walking in the leaves, grazing on green grass, and watching the yard friends playing around. Such pleasant dreams for Frankie and he wakes with such anticipation. What a disappointment to find day after day of cold, cloudy weather that even a big sulcata like him can't tolerate to get outside.

This has been the sad story of Frankie for the last few days. Waking with great anticipation, waiting for me to open the door, peeking out, big cold draft smacking him right in the face and a quick "about-face" turn around back inside the house. At least he gets his daily carrots. And I have three big pumpkins I collected from October that should last until January. Oh, and his friend, Farmer, sent him a acorn squash direct from his own garden that Frankie has nibbled on for the last couple of days. This are favorite foods so what more can a sulcata wish for? So indoors isn't all that bad.

Greg has finished Frankie's outdoor house so today (cold or not) Frankie gets to go outside and try out his new digs. We will put in a Hobovator Temperature Recorder to see what happen overnight when temperatures really drop.

November 6, 2008

Why I like cars

thought I would be ambitious today and take Frankie for a walk to his favorite park.....and not in a car. I really didn't think it would be a big deal. Good exercise for me. Lots of walking for him. I brought his cart and skateboard just in case. I estimated two hours. Yea, right.

Going around our block takes Frankie and I an hour. When I walk by myself it takes 15 minutes. Big difference. I estimated the walk to the park was going to take us just over an hour. So to and from park, 2 hours plus a few more minutes. Back in time for lunch.

Frankie walked most all the way until we got to a street with lots of traffic. On to his cart he went strapped down so he could not jump off (Really I it's a turtle suicide jump because the tortoise/turtle can see its a big fall and no way to they have springy knees to soften the fall). So I was careful and strapped him down. He managed to get out of the straps twice. But we finally made it to the park. He grazed for what I thought was about twenty minutes. Then it was time to go back.

On the trip back I tired. I tried to avoid the busy street and took a back road that probably added an extra 30 minutes. That final walk up our street was plain awful. I was hungry. My legs hurt. Frankie was tired. No way was I going to put him on the cart. So we trudged that final 100 feet.

When I finally got him into the back yard and checked the time FOUR HOURS expired from the time we left the house until we got back.

Will I ever take him to the park again? Sure, in my car!

November 3, 2008

Foam Home

Greg made a bit of progress on Frankie's enclosure over the weekend. He added foam to the inside top of the enclosure. A good friend of Frankie (Farmer) is providing some Prodex leftover from his house (human) house construction. Greg pulled up all the cement pavers that Frankie's enclosure was sitting on so he can re-level the area and better protect it from rain run off.

I keep thinking that Greg is doing all these marvelous upgrades and Frankie is probably going to outgrow the enclosure in a couple of years. I guess we could sell the thing to someone!

It is warm enough today that I thought it may be nice for the box turtles to spend some time outside.

Good news: Frankie's spider friend has made it through the cold snap.
Bad news: I found my yard chipmunk dead over the weekend. I am feeling really hostile toward neighbor cats. Those cats better stay clear of my yard because I am getting very accurate with a rock.