- Tortie brats
- July 31st, 2014
Six years ago Hennie and Humphrey had clutches of tortoises, eight total, and I decided to keep two of them, I would decide when they were old enough and I had a safe place for them. Now stable enough to be expected to survive a full, long life and absolutely huge (they look like they are at adulthood, and a desert tortoise isn't even an adolescent until 10) only two are left. That's actually really good for desert tortoises, sadly. Rocky the fighter and one of his partners in crime (by which I mean escaping), Clyde, are the survivors, and I am pretty sure they are male. They are now just big enough that it worries us a little to be with the younger babies, anywhere from 4-2 years old and of average size for their age, but still too small to be in the rest of the yard with the adults. Hennie is the one that picks on them! Who would have guessed?
Since our new home is great and we will be staying for quite a while, as soon as it cools down (so not until October) and I have the time and energy (so not until way after October because who has time and energy for yard work with a newborn even when perfectly healthy?) I will be building a burrow and placing gates underground all around the yard. The back yard has a slope, so placing the burrow on the top facing down will greatly simplify drainage. My dad made a great burrow out of a sewage pipe (clean and new, of course) and it is far more stable and safe and took far less work for much cheaper then any other burrow either of us built (especially the ones recommended by the Nevada Desert Tortoise Foundation) so I will just follow his lead. We didn't try this at first since we are renting, but the landlord is just so relieved to have people that pay the rent on time and don't destroy the house or terrorize the neighbors he pretty much gave us full reign. He even covered some of the cost for the trees in the back yard and solar screens on west-facing windows.
What perfect timing, their shells are just starting to form the divots that they use in mating and that we use to tell their sex, so we have two males just reaching sexual maturity and just recently rehomed the adult male we had to stop the baby tortoise flood, so I need to take them no later then 2016, next year will be a perfect time to introduce them to their new home. Between six and eight is when desert tortoises are grown and stable enough to go to a new home, too. And I have never met any children who don't love to play with a friendly tortoise, so raising a baby with two baby tortoises sounds great!
Haha, this poor baby boy better love animals as much as his parents! Wuss already loves him it seems, she protects my belly all the time now, tends to stick around me as much as possible (and just me, coming from a puppy, er I mean cat that has never been even remotely clingy), and at night she cuddles against my big belly and purrs. It's very sweet!
I have more belly then I know what to do with and I still have 10 weeks to go! Yeesh