Frequently Asked Questions
**For questions on care please refer to my care page and then email me if you have additional questions**
Q: How do I order?
A: You can place an order through our Online Checkout page or you can email me with what you'd like and I can send you an electronic invoice to pay. I accept Credit, Debit, PayPal, Checks, Venmo, and Zelle.
Q: How do I care for a tortoise?
A: This is a very broad question that can quite literally take weeks to answer. There are many ways to care for a tortoise, some certainly better than others and with a vast majority of incorrect information out there simply "googling" for answers won't help you any. To start read over the care section on my website. This will help you gain a basic knowledge of how to care for your tortoise without overwhelming you. I am more than happy to provide a lifetime of answers to all my customers, simply email me your questions any time and I would be happy to assist you!
Q: What should I feed my hatchling?
A: I like to start my hatchlings off on spring mix lettuce (the kind without spinach). This is easy for them to eat and digest and also gives them all the variety they need to grow smooth and healthy. When they get to be about 2-3 months old I start adding grasses and weeds to their diet mixed in with the spring mix. I slowly add more and more until they are weaned off the lettuce completely. Mazuri Tortoise Diet is an excellent substitute for grasses and weeds when they are not available. I recommend hatchlings not have hay. Hay itself isn't bad for them but it's dry and tough which makes it both hard to eat and hard to digest for them. Fresh is best when younger.
Q: How often should I feed my tortoise?
A: Tortoises should have access to food at all times. They will eat when hungry and stop when full, they will NOT over eat despite what you might read online. If your tortoise is eating the food all gone, feed more. If the food is going to waste, cut back a little.
Q: Do I need to reserve my hatchling or can I wait?
A: My Sulcata hatchings are usually 100% reserved by the time my first clutches of the season start hatching. Deposits are held on a first come first serve basis. I can't tell you how many times I get contacted by people who decide to wait until I "have them available" and they end up missing out completely. In order to reserve your hatchling(s) you will need to place a deposit to hold your spot in line. My customers will all attest that it's well worth the wait with my hatchlings being top quality, having an exclusive health guarantee, being priced well below most other breeders or retailers, and getting my help 24/7 for the entire lifespan of your tortoises' life.
Q: How much is shipping?
A: We ship our tortoises priority overnight which is a flat rate of $55. Arizona shipping addresses get discounted shipping of $25. For orders of 6+ the shipping goes up due to needing a larger box size. Please contact me with your zip code if you'd like a shipping quote for 6+ tortoises.
Q: Do you do local pick ups in Arizona?
A: As of 2020 I am no longer doing local pick ups for hatchlings. If you are in Arizona I can discount the priority overnight shipping to $25.
Q: Is shipping tortoises safe?
A: There are risks in shipping anything but in my experience it is VERY safe! Being on the west coast I have a time zone advantage. They don't get sent out until 6 PM AZ time and are generally delivered before 10:30 AM in their delivery time zone. That means the tortoise is only in the box for 12-16 hours on average. In doing this for over a decade now I've yet to have a tortoise harmed during shipping. It's so safe I offer a no questions asked live arrival guarantee in ALL weather conditions. All you have to do is be there to sign for the package upon delivery.
Q: How are the tortoises shipped?
A: We ship our tortoises priority overnight through FedEx delivered right to your door. All live animal shipments will require a signature upon delivery so make sure someone is available to receive the tortoise(s). We will never ship a tortoise without the consent of the buyer. Upon receiving an order we will contact you to schedule a day that works best for you to receive it. Please make sure you provide an accurate email address.
Q: Where do you ship to?
A: I ship all over the US with the exception of Hawaii.
Q: My tortoise sleeps all the time! What is wrong with him/her?
A: In most cases nothing is wrong with your tortoise. Tortoises (especially hatchlings) spend most of their time sleeping and staying in their hides. If your temps are too low it can be a problem but if your temps are where they should be it is perfectly normal.
Q: When do you ship?
A: I ship Monday-Wednesday. I will ship whenever is most convenient for the buyer. Once a tortoises has been purchased I will be in touch with you on when you'd like me to ship. I do not usually ship Thursdays because if any problems occur with the shipping company then they are not able to get to it until the following Monday as they do not operate on the weekends.
Q: Can you sex a hatchling?
A: No. If anyone says otherwise they either are misinformed or are just trying to make a quick sale. Some claim their tortoise was temped to be female or vice versa. Temp sexing is not reliable or accurate. There is no way to tell the sex of a hatchling unfortunately. It takes on average 3-5 years until you can start to accurately sex your tortoise.
Q: How fast will my tortoise grow?
A: All tortoises grow at very different rates. This depends on a wide variety of factors such as how they are cared for, their enclosure size, personality, lighting, heating, diet, and genetics.
Q: Can I pick out my tortoise?
A: In some cases yes but usually for Sulcatas no. I usually have a large number of Sulcatas available and it would be impossible to pick one tortoise out of many that are nearly identical. You can certainly request big, small, light, dark, etc and I would be happy to accommodate.
Q: Is a Sulcata a Desert Tortoise?
A: NO! Unfortunately there are many out there on places like Craigslist claiming their tortoise is a Sulcata Desert Tortoise. This is not the case. Desert Tortoises are a native species to the Southern United States and are illegal to sell (not own). Sulcatas come from Africa, often in tropical regions.
Q: Can my baby tortoise live outside?
A: Yes but I don't recommend it for a tortoise under 4" however it can certainly be done successfully. It just requires more attention to temps and humidity. An enclosure like an aquarium is a much easier enviroment to control the different variables such as temperature and humidity.
Q: Can different species of tortoises live together?
A: They can but it is certainly not recommended for several reasons. Different species have different personalities and major size differences. Not only that but certain species carry diseases that others do not and they can get each other sick. There are certain species with the same temperments and sizes that can live together successfully but it is not recommended.
Q: What is pyramiding?
A: Pyramidding is when the scutes of the tortoise raise up causing them to take on a "pyramid" shape. This is not good and is most often caused from a mixture of a poor diet and a lack of hydration. Once the pyramidding has occurred it is there to stay. It can be corrected with the proper care though.
Q: Are aquariums bad for tortoises?
A: Somewhere along the way aquariums got a bad reputation for tortoises. This was due to people being concerned with them being able to see outside the glass and having it stress them out. There is some truth to this however it's very easily fixed by taping the bottom or adding a wallpaper background. Aquariums are excellent at maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, two majorly important factors when raising a healthy tortoise. So people took a small problem and created much bigger problems by switching to tortoise table type enclosures which are next to impossible to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Aquariums for the win! I recommend starting off with a minimum of a 40 gal tank or any other form of closed chamber type enclosure.
Q: What is soaking and how often should I do it?
A: I address this on my care page but it's a good question! Soakings should be done daily with young tortoises under 5". Once over 5" you can back off to biweekly soakings. Soakings should last for a minimum of 20+ minutes. The water should be shallow, just enough for them to be able to dunk their head to drink. Visit out photos page to get a better idea. Regular soakings are THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in raising a healthy Sulcata tortoise. Soakings allow the tortoise to hydrate through it's skin and by drinking.