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



August 30, 2006

All is Well, Rain and All

Our budget is a bit tight right now so we haven't done much more than install the solar panel. We are saving up for the foam insulated panels that the enclosure will be made of. Weather, although wet, is still fine for Frankie and his summer house will probably be okay through October.

Rain comes and goes, sometimes coming pretty hard. When the rain is heavy, I still bring all the box turtles inside. The boxies get so agitated as if they think they will drown in the heavy rains. Just to keep them calm and happy, inside they go.

Crunch and Munch get adopted out in about a week. Until then I am keeping them fed and watered and snug as bugs in their nice humid enclosure. Tomorrow it will be time for them to get outside for a little while.

August 20, 2006

Frankie Goes Solar

Greg is on the first stage of getting Frankie's winter house ready. His design includes solar heated water tanks to heat the house. Greg had the solar panels already. He just bought the frame for the panels and a 10' pole to sink in the ground. This weekend was spent mounting the solar panels on the frame and digging the hole (which was slowed down by the presence of ground wasps in the area).

Here is the plans for the house:

The solar panels are located in front of the house.
The area inside the enclosure that has a circle is the main area where Frankie will sleep, etc.
The two rectangular boxes within the main area is where the two collection tanks will be.
Of course, the house will be made from foam insulated concrete.

Here are four of six solar panels mounted ready to put on the pole:

Our goal is to have this all finished by November.

Aug 26 2006, 01:55 PM Solar panel installed
Frankie's solar panel is installed and ready for the next phase -- the hook up to 12 volt hot water heater. Of course, installing Frankie's winter home is really what we need to do next.

Other than that, all is well with turtles. Crunch and Munch are being adopted out to a Turtletimes Forum member. The adoption will probably take place in a couple of weeks.

August 17, 2006

A Little Bit Much Love

Frankie has, after six years, learned to respond very well when I call him. I have made it a point to call him and say "snack" or "carrot" when the call involves food. He usually can clearly see that I have a treat. However, he does come, when he darn well wants to, when I call him to me.

Today, I called him for a "snack" by saying so and saying "carrot". He responded and approached me and I gave him a handful of cut up carrots. As he was occupied with the carrots, I decided to clean out his house which was just a couple of feet where he was eating. While I was leaned over the house picking up "poop" I felt a nudge on my leg. Frankie had come over and gotten so close to me that he was in contact with me with his front carapace. Was he simply curious about what I was doing, or was he being aggressive? He still had carrots that were uneaten. Did he abandon them just to nudge me? As I moved away with my bucket of "poop" (into the compost pile), he went back to his carrots.

I've only heard of one male sulcata who rammed humans. Is this more common than this one situation? Was Frankie ramming me? Not a wanted behavior. Will post this on the forum for in put.

August 9, 2006

Home Again

I am home again. Yeah! Missed everyone so much. Frankie and the turtle gang all did well under Greg's care. It didn't rain one bit yet Greg kept all the turtles with water as needed. Frankie's pool was kept clean. Greg did well.

Macy did very well with Crunch and Munch, the two newly hatched box turtles. She enjoyed her responsibilities. She went as far as asking her Daddy to drive over to a friends house to find more rolly polly bugs

Greg and I were interviewed by the Birmingham Newspaper yesterday. The paper is planning to publish a story about us possibly this Sunday. The story is about our geckos but I made sure they knew about my turtles, too.

August 3, 2006

Far Away From Home

I am not in Alabama, I am back in Oklahoma. My mother had surgery and I was needed to care for her in recovery. For the first couple of days I was totally concentrated on Mom and hadn't thought at all about Frankie, Crunch & Munch, the rest of the turtles, Zooter and the geckos (I did think of Greg a lot ). However, I started thinking of them today (Frankie first) and wondering how they were doing. Greg, who got me into this whole reptile business (I got into turtles all by myself) is as good a caretaker as I am, so I really have nothing to be concerned about. He has fewer hours to do his gecko and turtle chores than I did -- he works fifty hours weekly (if not more). My job was the reptiles.

Crunch and Munch, the two newly hatched three-toes turtles, were farmed out to my very proficient assistant, Macy, who was very excited to be in charge of the two. Macy is just a grade-schoolers, but trained well in the needs of turtles and geckos. With supervision, I believe she will do a great job. The only limits I really had to give Macy was holding baby turtles was limited to 10 minutes per day. I believe she will do very well as "Head Turtle Keeper".

Would say more about how much I miss everyone but it is time to get to the hospital to see Mom and maybe take her home today.