Hi, welcome to our page! Balland's Tortoise Ranch is owned and operated by Paul and Deanne Balland. Paul, the reptile and animal brains, was born in Alaska and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He has always had a passion for reptiles; even as a young child he would hide snakes under his bed. Deanne, the actual brains, grew up in Hermiston, Oregon. Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined she would become a tortoise rancher.
After graduating from college, Deanne moved to Phoenix to start a new job with Revlon Cosmetics. Deanne worked in the lab and Paul was a compounder (made the cosmetics). Although she rejected many of his batches of makeup, shampoo and lotions, she didn't reject his invitation to dinner. That's where it all started!
Early in their marriage Paul spent his time breeding snakes, monitors, iguanas, and various other lizards. This was HIS hobby - Deanne would only stand by and watch - she definitely wasn't going to unwrap the 20 foot python from around him. This is Paul's favorite story, Deanne calling his buddy who lived several miles away to come help as he was being "squeezed to death." The story gets better every time it is told. But obviously he survived!
After moving from Phoenix to Buckeye, Arizona, they continued to work with animals. Paul slowly sold his snakes and lizards and they started working with horses and donkeys. For about 10 years they halter broke colts, fillys, baby donkeys, and even broke horses to ride. They also fostered puppies for many years, finding thousands of loving homes for them.
Early in the 2000s, Paul's mom and dad gave them their female Sulcata tortoise; that was the beginning of Balland's Tortoise Ranch. The Ranch now produces thousands of Sulcata tortoises and hundreds of Ivory Sulcata and Leopard tortoises. At the ranch, you can also find, Red and Yellow-footed, Indian Star, Hermann's, Russians and box turtles.
Richard Fife of Riparian Farms developed and produced the First and Original Ivory Tortoise in 2000. In May of 2018, Balland's Tortoise Ranch had the opportunity to purchase Richard's original line of breeding stock - an opportunity that couldn't be passed up! Paul and Deanne can't wait for this years hatch to see what beautiful hatchlings come out of those eggs!
30 years of marriage, 5 kids, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law and 2 beautiful granddaughters later, they are living the life--tortoise ranchers.
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