How Much Do Sulcata Tortoises Cost? $200 Or Less?

“How Much Do Sulcata Tortoises Cost?” If you are wondering how much it’ll cost you to get a sulcata tortoise of any age and size, then you’re in the right place. Irrespective of where you live and the atmospheric condition, you can buy and keep a young pet sulcata tortoise for between $50 and $200.

Sulcata tortoises are among the most popular pet tortoises worldwide. They are called African spurred tortoises, and they originate from north-central Africa. Sulcata tortoise is regarded as the most produced tortoise globally, and you may be wondering how much it costs to get one.

The price of a sulcata tortoise usually depends on the age and look of the tortoise. Baby sulcata tortoises are quite cheaper than older ones, and it is cheaper to buy from a breeder than a pet shop. However, getting the tortoise is not only your cost; you need to remember you will pay for an enclosure setup, and they require long-term care.

Determining the cost of owning a sulcata tortoise can be quite stressful, and this is why we came up with this article to help you out.

Keep reading!

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

Sulcata Tortoises Profile

Sulcata tortoises are popular pets known for their huge size, large scales, and tan and brown shell. They are a suitable pet even for a beginner hobbyist that is ready for a long-term commitment. They have unique personalities and are quite social as they can form relationships with their owner.

Sulcata tortoises originate from north-central Africa. This is why they thrive well in areas that are hot and dry all year round. They are also solitary pets and will do well in captivity.

Sulcatas are avid burrowers and usually dig the ground to take shelter from the harsh, arid habitat. Sulcata tortoises can grow to about 18 inches long and weigh 70-100 pounds. However, some can even grow to 2-3 feet long and weigh more than 150 pounds.

Sulcatas are hardy creatures and can live for more than 100 years under optimal care.

How Much Do Sulcata Tortoises Cost? between $50 and $200.
An adult sulcata tortoise

How Much Do Sulcata Tortoises Cost?

There is usually a price variation when it comes to buying a sulcata tortoise. The cost of sulcata tortoises usually depends on the appearance and age of the tortoise. You can buy a cheaper baby sulcata tortoise from a breeder than from a local pet shop.

Furthermore, the price of a sulcata tortoise is usually cheaper when you buy from a reptile show than online. You can buy baby sulcata tortoises for between $45-$100. You will also find some breeders that will sell baby sulcata tortoises cheaper if they have surplus stock.

Baby sulcata tortoises are even cheaper if they have split scutes. You will need to pay between $300-$1000 for an adult sulcata tortoise. Another thing is that you will pay more if you are buying female sulcata tortoises, unlike male sulcatas.

Sulcata tortoises can even cost more if you want to buy rare morphs. You can buy adult albino and ivory sulcata tortoises for over $1000, while you can buy baby albino or ivory sulcatas which can cost between $300-$750.

Other Costs Of Raising A Sulcata Tortoises

Although sulcata tortoises are hardy creatures with a great life expectancy, they require special care to keep them happy and healthy. This shows they need other costs, in the long run, to ensure that your sulcatas enjoy the best life possible.

Some of these expenses are stated below.

sulcata tortoise outdoors
Once your sulcata tortoise is full grown, it should be given a home outside the house

Cost Of Enclosure

You can keep baby sulcata tortoises indoors. This means if you plan to buy baby sulcatas, you will need to buy or build an inside enclosure for them. However, the larger the enclosure, the better it is for your tortoise, but this will cost more.

You may need to pay more than $25 for a large storage tub, while a pre-made tortoise table can cost around $100. You can also use larger enclosures or glass aquariums which are going to cost more.

Another thing is that you will need to make modifications to aquariums to ensure that the heat and humidity are correct, which can cost more. Apart from setting an indoor enclosure, it is crucial that you create an outdoor enclosure for your baby sulcatas to get natural sunlight and for grazing.

You can build an outdoor enclosure for over $100 based on the materials and the size of the enclosure.

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Cost Of Substrate

The amount of substrate that you will need for your sulcata tortoise enclosure will depend on the size of the enclosure. However, some substrates usually cost more than others. You can save money by buying organic soil or cypress mulch from a local garden center.

You can also buy coco coir bricks for around $5-$10. You should also keep in mind that substrate is a recurrent cost, and you will need to change them after some weeks.

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Cost Of Set Up The Lights, UV, And Humidifier

Sulcata needs to have access to UV lights when keeping them indoors. They use UV light for metabolizing vitamin D3 and calcium, which is very important for your tortoise. You will need to provide them with a heat basking lamp since they are cold-blooded and will need to stay warm.

The price of bulbs usually varies based on the watts and the brands that you want to buy. You should also keep in mind that you will need to replace the bulbs more often. Some bulbs can last for 6-12 months, while you need to replace some after three months.

The average price of bulbs is $40, and you will need a clamp and light hood that can cost around $15-$25. You can also buy a UV hood for about $30-$100, while a ceramic heat emitter can cost $10-$20.

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Cost Of Electricity To Run The Lights, UV And Humidifier

Apart from buying UV lights and heating pads, you should also consider the cost of running the humidifier, UV lights, and heat pads. You may spend around $10-$15 on average for the running of this equipment.

You won’t need to spend year-round electricity expenses if you are housing an adult sulcata. However, you may get an increase in your bill during the winter when you have to keep your tortoise indoors, or you are using a heated outdoor house.

Cost Of Food

Sulcata tortoises are herbivorous animals, and their diet consists mainly of grasses and weeds. In the winter months, you may then need to supplement their diet with hay and greens. This can become an added expense if you don’t own greens or till your hay.

You can also feed them with ZooMed Grassland diet or tortoise pellet, costing $10-$15 for smaller bags. Larger bags usually cost over $50. You will also need to buy a water bowl that can cost $5 to provide fresh drinking water for your sulcata.

Sulcata tortoises are herbivorous animals, and their diet consists mainly of grasses and weeds.
Sulcata tortoises are herbivorous animals, and their diet consists mainly of grasses and weeds.

Cost Of Vet Care

The cost of checkups at the vet for sulcata tortoise is around $120. You will need to take your tortoise to the vet at least once a year which can cost $80-$120, and you can pay more if they need treatment. Most treatments can cost between $100-$250, and it can be more expensive if your tortoise has complicated cases, costing $400 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it illegal to own a sulcata tortoise?

It is legal to keep sulcata tortoises as pets in California. However, you will need to have a permit before you can own a desert tortoise. Many people usually confuse sulcata tortoises with desert tortoises because they look similar and have similar traits.

How large do sulcata tortoises get?

Sulcata tortoises are slow growers and will reach adult size when they are between 15-20 years old. On average, adult sulcata tortoises usually grow to around 18 inches long and can weigh 70-100 pounds. However, some sulcata can grow to about 2-3 feet long and weigh 150 pounds.

Wrapping Up

The price of a sulcata tortoise varies based on its age and appearance. However, you can get them at a cheaper price if you buy from the breeders than from the local pet shop. 

Another thing is that when determining the price of a sulcata tortoise, you will also need to consider the initial cost of setting up an enclosure and for their care. This is because they have recurring costs such as supplements, food, bedding, and so on.