Jump to content

wizzasmum's Content

There have been 221 items by wizzasmum (Search limited from 19-March 17)

By content type

See this member's

Sort by                Order  

#68324 Slide Show - Emerging From Hibernation

Posted by wizzasmum on 17 March 2018 - 03:37 PM in naturalistic keeping

Wow! Thanks for this Sabina. Its a fascinating and educational series of pics to illustrate how well things go when done properly. Well done, bet youre glad to have the little terrors back above ground. Everything taken into account for them. :)

#68322 Disposal Of Mercury Vapour Bulbs

Posted by wizzasmum on 15 March 2018 - 10:07 AM in Hermann Tortoise

Only just seen this Sabina. I have to say that I’ve just double bagged and binned them. Where is your safe place, so that I can do differently.

#68319 Male Horsfield M25 Area

Posted by wizzasmum on 12 March 2018 - 01:56 PM in Tortoises For Sale or Rehoming


We have a Horsfield tortoise, male and approximately 5-6 years old. We were told he was 4 when we inherited him, but we were also told he was a girl, so I am not sure the previous owners knew much about him. His sex has been confirmed by his vet.

He's very good natured, and likes exploring. Our garden, we have realised, really doesn't allow us to give him the space he needs and wants and nor do we have the space inside to give him a reasonable sized run. He's very healthy and has had pre-hibernation check ups for the last two years.

His name is Einstein and he likes radicchio and dandelions. He also eats rocket, lettuce and wild flowers. We have various bits of equipment we will happily pass on - a tortoise box with mesh roof, a lamp, feeding bowls etc.

We are based in SW2, and within reason are prepared to deliver him to his new owner (within the M25). And of course to meet them. He is really a most excellent tortoise, but I think we were misled by his previous owners who convinced us he would be fine in a small London terrace with a very small paved back garden.

If you know of someone who would like him, we would be very happy to send him to a new home to be looked after and loved.


#68318 British Chelonia Group Gifts Page.

Posted by wizzasmum on 10 March 2018 - 11:08 AM in Off Topic Chat

Here's a link to the British chelonian group page, they have some lovely items for sale including a new tea towel they also sell seeds.  :)  https://l.facebook.c...hc_location=ufi

Good to see they’re selling tlady mix

#68314 Advice On Food For Early Waker

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 March 2018 - 11:47 PM in Hibernation

NO problem, good luck with the little ones.

#68312 Advice On Food For Early Waker

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 March 2018 - 08:02 PM in Hibernation

Agree with Graham and Sabina. Florette Crispy is fine for a short time. It’s not so fibrous as naturally grown stuff from the garden, but contents wise there’s nothing in there that is harmful or overloaded with oxalic acid. Avoid anything from the cabbage family, including spinach, broccoli, cauliflower etc. A little kale is ok, as it watercress (the genuine broad leaved type grown under water, not the little boxes). Good luck.

#68308 Influenza Virus

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 March 2018 - 05:24 PM in Health

Horrible time of year isn’t it, roll on spring :)

#68305 Influenza Virus

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 March 2018 - 02:55 PM in Health

Ive always been led to believe that the only zoonotic ‘disease’ risk is from parasites, but some ‘experts’ even dispute this. I’ve never passed anything on to my torts that I’m aware of and often handled them while I’m unwell. I’m pretty sure they will be fine Sabina. I’ve got a nasty virus type thing going on at the moment and my big torts are coming out tomorrow all being well. Going by your last checks, if all is well you could always leave them for another week, raising temps slightly so they come out gradually. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

#68300 Seed Mix: Tlady's Tortoise Mix - A Grass-Free Seed Mixture

Posted by wizzasmum on 27 February 2018 - 05:33 PM in naturalistic keeping

Just love this little book, everyone should have it :)

#68299 Book: Naturalistic Keeping And Breeding Of Hermann's Tortoises

Posted by wizzasmum on 27 February 2018 - 05:30 PM in naturalistic keeping

I just love this book. It’s the most sensible advice I’ve ever seen. My daughter bought it for my birthday present a few years back.

#68296 Female Horsfield Needing A Good Home.

Posted by wizzasmum on 25 February 2018 - 10:36 PM in Tortoises For Sale or Rehoming

This little lady is still looking for a good home. Coming out of hibernation this week.

#68293 Lamp Advice Please

Posted by wizzasmum on 23 February 2018 - 01:26 PM in Hermann Tortoise

Hi, im New to the forum and wanted to ask a question about lighting. I have just purchased a 100w Mega Ray bulb which came with a 22cm deep dome lamp fixture. Is this appropriate for my 4ft tortoise table? I only ask as it looks huge. Any advice would be appreciated.

Yes it’s fine. Think of it as the sun, it needs to cover a fairly large area, otherwise the tortoise will have too much shade. So long as there are some shady areas left with lower temps and higher moisture it will be fine.

#68286 New Forum.

Posted by wizzasmum on 21 February 2018 - 11:07 PM in naturalistic keeping

Bring on the summer :)

#68285 Hello, I Am From Germany....

Posted by wizzasmum on 21 February 2018 - 07:21 PM in Introduce Yourself Here

I've hopefully added a new section Sue for naturalistic keeping.  :lol:

Oh that’s brilliant Karen. Hopefully summer will bring more interest. This year I’m hoping to have a more naturalistic approach to incubation too, so will post the progress.

#68279 Hello, I Am From Germany....

Posted by wizzasmum on 21 February 2018 - 08:03 AM in Introduce Yourself Here

Lovely to see them all outdoors eating naturally, just as they should be. Did you breed the smaller ones yourself? These photos would be great in the photo section. It woulD be good to have a section for naturalistic keeping, so that new keepers could see what a difference it makes. Ive got a little blind hermanni that also does well outdoors self feeding. She grows more slowly than the others but is still doing well. This is one of my sub adults last year.

Attached Thumbnails

  • A18222F0-8E58-40A0-823A-B714C402CDCE.jpeg

#68275 What Is Shell Rot?

Posted by wizzasmum on 20 February 2018 - 03:31 PM in Health

Haha. Don’t make it too damp. Remember that underground it’s pretty damp too compared to most people’s hibermation methods. Any ideas on this anyone, metabolism?

#68273 Video - Adult Hermann Emerging From Hibernation

Posted by wizzasmum on 20 February 2018 - 10:34 AM in Hibernation

Yes, even adults can weigh more after hibernation, it’s not really related to age, but their condition when going into hibernation. They are very good at finding the right spot. Even in my hibernaculum I find they prefer the damper areas on the whole. Soon be time to come out

#68272 What Is Shell Rot?

Posted by wizzasmum on 20 February 2018 - 10:32 AM in Health

Hi Sabina
It’s usually when either conditions are not right or following an injury. Fungal can be caused by continual damp conditions, where the tortoise isn’t able to find a dry basking spot, but it can also happen following injury for the same reasons. Bacterial is similar, but more likely to follow an injury or keeping in dirty conditions. In over 35 years I’ve only seen it once in my own tortoises and that was when my vet (yes really) dropped one of my tortoises splitting his carapace. After a fibreglass repair the rot set in, but after removing this patch, debriding and replacing with a more flexible repair the shell healed nicely and no rot reappeared.

#68268 Video - Adult Hermann Emerging From Hibernation

Posted by wizzasmum on 19 February 2018 - 04:47 PM in Hibernation

That illustrates perfectly just how hydrated they should be in hibernation. Sometimes a tortoise hibernating this way will actually weigh more after hibernation than before. When hibernated artificially many tortoises lose weight because of the way they are stored (for want of a better word), illustrating that something went slightly wrong.

#68265 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by wizzasmum on 19 February 2018 - 02:10 PM in Outdoor Enclosures

Thanks Sabina for your compliment to the German tortoise forums. So, you speak German?
Thanks wizzasmum for letting me know about your experiences about the babies and how they hide and sleep in the Mediterranean regions. Where have you been so far?

Well, mainly Turkey, where of course we saw the Graeca Ibera, but also hermanni in Spain, noting the behaviours, habitats etc were more or less identical. The most fascinating observations though, were in the Galápagos Islands. Being based on Santa Cruz meant daily trips to the Darwin Centre, other than time spent visiting other islands to compare wild behaviour with captive.

#68260 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 February 2018 - 10:24 PM in Outdoor Enclosures

Sabina, yes, they look like healthy babies. But I suggest to mix the cococoir more with just normal soil from the garden and make it smooth. This way it´s easier for them to go. I´m afraid they eat something of the cococoir with the weeds without wanting to. Do you know that in nature these babies hide almost all day long? They come out in the morning, still hidden by long old and dry grass or other plants, catch some sunshine, look for food, mostly in a small area around their hideout, find little leaves and dead insects and then hide again more or less completely until afternoon. So I recommend to plant more plants in the enclosure, grass-sods for example. They love to creep under them.
I really admire your garden-enclosure. Never seen such a good shelter from above!
But I would make it smaller for the very tiny animals. 1 x 1 m² plus the cold frame would be enough for next summer. I´m afraid you wouldn´t find them otherwise. They really don´t need much space when they are that young.
I wish you much joy with the two!

I agree that in the wild baby tortoises hide away for most of the day, but what we found in the Mediterranean regions was that they were very wet in the mornings after coming from their very humid hides overnight. Some babies had dug under stones, some under dew covered plants and some had dug right under the substrate, again usually under plants.

#68259 Tortoise Nipping

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 February 2018 - 10:16 PM in Hermann Tortoise

Tortoises are essentially wild animals and therefore display wild animal behaviour. If we think of their behaviours on a human level, then it’s easy to misinterpret certain behaviours. If a tortoise doesn’t want to be bathed or drink, then it’s probably already well hydrated. On the other hand it could be that the water is cold, too warm etc. Tortoises that attack feet are often attracted to certain colours. My tortoises will try to bite the toes of people wearing nail varnish. It’s not because they are nasty, just because they would like to taste the coloured blobs in case they are food. They will come to be hand fed, simply because you are the bringer of food :)

#68251 Hello, I Am From Germany....

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 February 2018 - 10:09 AM in Introduce Yourself Here

So refreshing to see more naturalistic type keeping. Is is sad to see so many American keepers keeping their tortoises more as specimens than wild animals with specific requirements. The same can be said of many uk keepers too. Given that tortoises display stress related behaviours just like other animals, I find it hard to see how they don’t notice this, when they are kept in close confinement.

#68250 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 February 2018 - 09:56 AM in Outdoor Enclosures

Hi there,
I am curious about how it looks like with plants and weeds. How many Hermanns have you got?
Is there a dark "sleeping house" in the cold frame - or where do the Hermanns sleep at night or when the weather is bad?

Not Sabina, but I always encourage my torts to dig down as they would in nature rather than giving them dark hides.

#68246 Hello, I Am From Germany....

Posted by wizzasmum on 17 February 2018 - 06:45 PM in Introduce Yourself Here

Thanks for your welcome.
Well, is it alright to answer your questions here or shall I write open a new topic?
But, here they are, my answers:
I have 21 landliving tortoises, 20 Greek ones (you call them Hermanns) and one Testudo graeca ibera.
It all began with 2 little tortoises in 1979.......
And no, I don´t need any heated areas, neither in summer nor in winter.
I have such -how do you say?- plant frames, in which is a dark house for sleeping and under which they dig themselves in for hibernation. The plant frames would get very hot inside when the sun is shining, so I cover them with straw mats except in spring and autumn. When all my tortoises are hidden in the ground, I fill the plant frames with straw and put straw around them. And I put the mats on the roof. So I prevent the cold getting to the animals. But they can dig as deep as they like, when they feel the cold. Finally I put a kind of large plastic sheet over the frame and fasten it wide-ranging from the plant frame, so that rain and melting snow doesn´t get too close to the frames.
So, please admin, if my posting is not in the right place here, move it!

Yes fine to answer here. It’s good to hear of more naturalistic keeping. Mine use greenhouses to warm up, but I can’t trust them to give temps of 32c long enough for food digestion. Do you know of a lady called Editha Krüger? She is also in Germany and keeps her tortoises naturally too, although I think she uses supplementary lamps too. I e been to Cologne in winter and it was bitterly cold, but I’m thinking your summers must be warmer than here.