Spur Thigh Tortoise Hatchling

5.00 out of 5 based on 7 customer ratings
(7 customer reviews )


We have several captive bred spurthigh tortoise hatchlings currently available.  They are very well started active eaters with hardened shells.  They are feeding on a variety of spring mix collard greens, mustard greens, and romaine lettuce.  Given their young age, their sex remains undetermined.  They must be kept in a protected indoor environment.   At maturity, these tortoises will grow to be quite large.  When properly cared for, they will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

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Spurthigh Tortoise hatchlings (Geochelone Sulcata)

The Spur Thigh tortoise is native to eastern and southern Africa where it lives in grasslands or other semi-arid areas. The Florida climate where we keep our breeders and their captive bred offspring, provides a good substitute environment for these tortoises. These attractive tortoises are the third largest species of tortoises and the largest available at Redfoot Ranch.  Typical full size adults range from around 18 inches to over three feet in length.  These hearty tortoises have a long life span and, as they reach maturity, will require a large space. When properly cared for, they will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

Our Spur Thigh breeders openly graze for much of their dietary needs. This is augmented with leafy greens, succulent plants, cactus, and fibrous fruits (e.g., apples). Adults also receive a small amount of protein (commercially packaged turtle food, broken down with water) to augment their predominantly vegetable diet. Hatchlings are fed similarly with very little or no protein.


Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 7 × 7 × 7 in
Common Name

Spur Thigh tortoise

Scientific name

Geochelone Sulcata



Typical adult size

18 inches – 36 inches+

The natural habitat for the Spur Thigh tortoise is semi-arid grassy areas with a temperatures range typically between 75 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The tortoises need areas to graze and mixtures of sun and shade; a source of clean water; and covered areas for resting and protection against temperature extremes and inclement weather. Leopard tortoises in captivity should be housed in an environment which is modeled after this natural habitat.

While still small, Spur Thigh tortoises can be kept inside in a wooden or plastic tub. A household plastic storage bin or cement mixing tub or similar container on the order of 2 - 3 feet in width and length should work well. The tortoise will outgrow this initial setup by age 3 or so. Note that a small terrarium setup with relatively higher glass walls is NOT a good permanent setup (use at least a 20 gallon one). The glass retains heat making it difficult for the tortoises to move between warmer and colder locations to regulate their body heat. Older tortoises will need much more space in a fenced in area outside. Depending on your climate, having both an outdoor area for your tortoise(s) and an indoor one for use during colder weather may be appropriate.

Any turtle housing container will need to be filled with substrate material. Cypress mulch is a good all around base (do not use other types of wood mulch).  Hide houses and clean water dishes must also be provided.

The indoor setup will also require heating and lighting to approximate the normal temperature environment of the tortoises natural habitat. As previously noted, the tortoises naturally seek varied warm and cold areas to regulate their body temperatures. A heat source is a key requirement for Leopard tortoises which can be intolerant to prolonged temperatures below to their natural habitat.

An outdoor space for your tortoise will have similar requirements. Spur Thigh tortoises will dig an require very secure fencing that extends well below ground level.  A solid, opaque boundary fence is preferable, because the Spur Thighs will actively ram fencing to get to areas that they see on the other side.  This is particularly important if other tortoises are being kept on the other side.

7 reviews for Spur Thigh Tortoise Hatchling

5.00 out of 5 stars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Great doing bussiness with you love love my 2 hatchlings ..was scared when i got them out of the shipping container ..one was flipped on its back
    But is ok ....will do bussiness again ..

    4 of 4 found this helpful
  2. 5 out of 5

    Thank you, my tortoise has arrived safe and sound.

    4 of 4 found this helpful
  3. 5 out of 5

    I am interested in Sulcatas and RedFoots.

    4 of 5 found this helpful
  4. 5 out of 5

    I received my sulcatas yesterday and they are both active and eating real good. Very happy with them. Recommend to my friends highly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    It’s so cute it arrived safe, after I put the tortoise in it’s enclosure it already started being active.Would 100% recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Both arrived quickly and healthy with great communication on shipping . First time ordering anything alive on the internet and we had a great experience. Thanks for the torts Id definitely order from here again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    I ordered one and it arrived safe and lively!! I definitely recommend. Also they are SO damn cute.

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The land tortoises offered by Redfoot Ranch have similar dietary needs and can primarily be fed the same type of diet. We specifically discuss the care of hatchlings (including diet) in learning. Information below is more generally applicable to fully mature adult tortoises.
When possible, tortoises should be kept outdoors during warm weather in a secure area where they can graze and can move between sunny and shady areas to regulate their body temperature. They also need to be provided with clean fresh water. Solid fencing is preferred and larger tortoises, such as spur-thighs will need very robust enclosures. Also, some tortoises can be extensive diggers so it may be necessary to bury a foot or more or wire cloth or other barrier material around the perimeter (that will also help to keep unwanted predators out). Tortoises need regular sunlight to support their Vitamin D needs. Natural sunlight is best, but, in indoor settings, a good source of UVB will suffice.
Vegetation serves about 95% of the dietary needs of all of our tortoises Their natural grazing should be augmented with dark green leafy items (e.g., collard greens, broccoli leaves). Be sure that none of their food has been subjected to pesticides.
I recommend varying their diet by including items such as the following:
• grated squash, carrots, zucchini
• grated spineless cactus pads
• bell peppers, cucumbers
• small amounts of fruit such as apples (no seeds), pears (no seeds), banana, and melon
• frozen (thawed) vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
• hibiscus leaves and flowers as well as leaves from my mulberry trees
• romaine and other lettuces

I avoid giving them iceberg lettuce (no nutritional value) and spinach (calcium binding). Redfoots, Cherryheads, and Yellowfoots can be provided with more fruit than other tortoises. Commercial tortoise food available in pet stores can be used as a small portion of their diet - soak before feeding. A calcium and/or multivitamin supplement should also be considered. Calcium can be added frequently (e.g., weekly or for every other feeding) while a multivitamins is appropriate for every other week or so (see information on the packaging).
An improper diet that is too high in protein or other nutrients could lead to your tortoise developing shell abnormalities such as deformed shells. A lumpy, domed or otherwise misshapen shell can result from excessive protein or inadequate sunlight. This could negatively affect their mobility and longevity and clearly detracts from their overall appearance
Maintaining the proper variation on temperature is very important for efficient digestion and may increase vulnerability to various diseases.
In summary, a well-balanced diet is critically important for proper growth and development. Variety is one of the keys to proper nutrition. Vary the diet frequently and provide the correct environment.