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Housing Development Project...

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#1 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:26 PM

Yes, me again :-) (Just as I like the sound of my own voice in reality, I am equally long-winded in type :-p ) This is an update on my progress (still checking I'm doing it all right!!) :-)

I went to the shop (shop/park/breeding centre/godknowswhatelse) and asked about the breeder, I've read his name in some forums (but can't remember it for the life of me!) and he does indeed recommend the hermanns are housed in a viv HOWEVER, his definition of a viv has got rather confused in translation methinks:

I believe he said never to house them in a vivarium but in a table or an odd wooden construction (like a table but with high wood on three sides) and the *ahem*"expert"*ahem* got it all backwards - including what they are all called *rolls eyes*

"Expert" says: "Expert" means:
Tank Vivarium
Vivarium Open-fronted/open-topped wooden construction
"House on wheels" Tortoise table (I lol'd!!!!)

After my interrogation (I mean, calm questioning..) we discussed equipment and enclosure size and here at least he knew his stuff (well, had read a good book, maybe), he recommended everything on my list (in my pocket lol) except for bedding he said "we don't stock soil and sand, just *this* but both are good" The type they stock, besides hemp - which they recommended in areas for burrowing etc, is a type of alfalfa pellet which, while not toxic if ingested is too high in protein for tortoises. He said he didn't know and would look into it :-) Felt quite accomplished.

From there I am getting:
reptisun 10 UVB tube
water bowl/bath/rock formation thing.. you know what I mean :-p
wooden hidey hole

From various other shops as yet to be determined:
Soil (unfertilised)
Sand (play sand)
Clip-on lamp & 60W bulb
UVB tube fitting
Cuttlefish bone

And my lovely, sweet, kinda, caring, brilliant, fabulous, amazing boyfriend is helping me make a table :-D (and yes he's reading this... :-p )

A good dimension guide I found is this one:
Dimension Carapace length
Minimum length 5 X
Minimum depth 3 X
Minumum height 2 X

(These are for one tortoise, I'll find the additional information. Also note: MINIMUM! And remember, they'll grow! Thus, Andrew seems to have plans involving an extention to my house! lol)

I'm posting this because I hope it's helpful to someone else who wants to care for their tortoise. I'm trying to show how much planning should go into getting a pet.. But in a nice, friendly and helpful way.. *looks hopeful*

So, my beautiful 2yo Thb tort male is reserved at the breeders, his quarantine is up the Saturday after my last exam, Andrew (the boyfriend) is coming down on the Wednesday with the table, I will have all the bits to go in it and then it'll be ready for Him to come home to on Saturday :-D I can't wait!

If I can edit messages I'll add the shops and prices onto the list when I get them, thinking that would also be helpful :-)

What would He like when he first comes home? A bath? Leaving alone? Feeding then or the next morning? Etc. Etc.

Thank you for all your helpful advice so far :-)

Ajay xxx

#2 Guest_Flash Herman_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 12:38 AM


Have a look at this web page for good ideas and pics for tort indoor housing:


They are all variations on a theme, but note they are all open - no vivs!


#3 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:59 PM

Hey EJ,

I'm a member on shelledwarriors as of yesterday lol and have already looked at every picture and thread my computer could cope with :-) I've planned it all out already and as I said, Andrew's making me a table, based on the designs I've seen here/on SW.

I can't wait :-)

Ajay xxx

#4 Guest_busybee_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:14 AM

Wow Ajay looks like your well sorted. I spent months looking and researching like you before I got my wee Rocky(finally named him) 2 weeks ago. He had a bath and then a nice dandelion leaf under his basking lamp when he got home and was well chuffed (I was too). :o I think some take a couple of days to settle in though.


#5 Guest_victor22_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:47 AM

Having read your previous links, Ajay, I don't think you've read the book which tells you about the sleepless nights, worry and guilt you will feel, nor about the overwhelming love you will feel for this little thing that lesser mortals think just sits and does nothing all day.

#6 Guest_Caroline McI_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:08 PM

Victor, you've just described me!

And someone once said to me - "all they do is sleep and eat lettuce don't they"...... fool.

#7 Guest_tortgal_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:19 PM

lol funny thread.

I think its best to leave the new tortoise alone (not that you'll have much of a choice because he'll be all shy) and try not to handle him for a couple of days. Definitely provide a few tasty weeds to munch on though - this will win over his affections pretty quickly :7

have you thought of any names? And how are the exams going?

i just slept through mine, whoops x(

#8 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:23 PM

LOL that's not generally the best idea! Revision's going ok thanks, can't wait until they're over though and it's not even my last year!? ARGH!

Andrew's biggest concern was the food supply and what to do if I over winter him this year so I've directed him and his paypal account to buy me some weed seeds :-D I do love him lol

When I collect him I'll post pictures and we can try to confirm my suspicions that he's a 2-4yo male.. The dateless guy I spoke to today said they're all from the same clutch(? Is that even the correct term for torts?? lol) but I think three look like Thb and the other two (including mine) look like Thh, from the keyhole, other shell markings and head shape.. But I'm no expert, maybe once we reach a consensus online I can name him/her lol I'd feel mean if I named my tort blindly with a name with the wrong gender :-/ lol

Ajay xxx

#9 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:15 PM

Hi Victor,

Well being a higher mortal (:-p) I have several years experience of loving things with four legs (usually more than those with two! lol) and am certainly not dateless enough to believe any of that twaddle :-p

Oh I will :-) can't wait!

Ajay xxx

#10 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:08 PM

I hope so :-) I wasn't sure whether to bath him or not. I suppose time and settling in depends on the individual so we'll see what he wants.. I can't wait!

I don't think I've seen Rocky on here yet, how old is he? Thb or Thh? I'm going to have to post pictures when I get him/her just to be a bit more certain on subspecies and sex. I'm (kind of educated)guessing he's 2-4, male and Thb but definately not certain lol

Thanks Fran

Ajay xxx

#11 Guest_hobbernob_*

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:58 PM

Hi Ajay, I dont mean to burst your bubble, but from everything you have said, it sounds like you are buying him/her from a pet shop.
Please please dont, these torts will almost certainly have been imported in terrible conditions, and more often than not be very ill (even if not showing any signs yet)
Have you read the many many posts people have posted on here where their little tort which they have brought from a pet shop, has died within a couple of weeks (and dont think you will get any come back from the shop - they dont care they have already had their money)

When they are shipped over here, they are all just shoved in crates, piled on top of each other, all mixed species (which is certainly not good) all the ones at the bottom will probably have died by the time they get over here, and the ones which have manged to survive are probably very ill by now.
I cant stress enough what a big mistake it would be buying one from a pet shop - you are not saving a little tort, you will just be increasing the demand to have more shipped over.

There was a thread on here recently where Terry posted a list of actual breeders in this country. Not only will they be cheaper, they will be so much healthier and you will have all the follow up advice (good advice) which you could want. They will also be able to tell you exactly when it hatched (and might be able to give you a good guess as to which sex it is, depending on what time their incubator was at!!) You might even get to see Mum and Dad too!!
You will also be guarenteed that it has had a good diet so far and been looked after properly!

Please reconsider where you are getting it from!

#12 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:16 AM

Hi Lisa,

Yes I know all of that though I do thank you for your concern. They are UK captive bred, if there was any chance they were imported I'd be reporting them not buying from them!

I did get the name of the breeder but can't for the life of me remember it :-/ although it does worry me slightly that I can't find it online, many people on the various tortoise sites I've seen recently sell their hatchlings and call themselves breeders..

Is there a way I can check up on them? Also, could you tell me of any breeders around Nottingham?

Ajay xxx

#13 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:00 AM

hi if someone breeds tortoises then then they are a breeder good or bad better you should check up on the place you bought your tortoise from because it is not illegal to import so called captive bred tortoises from slovenia. when you go through all the worrys and joys of hatching baby tortoises then realise the kindest thing is to rehome them the last thing you want is to be checked up on i have been breeding hermans a long time and have hatchlings that i know are female unfortunately as i dont give out address of their new homes to anyone i cant get on a breeders list so dont supply to the uk

Hi Lisa,

Yes I know all of that though I do thank you for your concern. They are UK captive bred, if there was any chance they were imported I'd be reporting them not buying from them!

I did get the name of the breeder but can't for the life of me remember it :-/ although it does worry me slightly that I can't find it online, many people on the various tortoise sites I've seen recently sell their hatchlings and call themselves breeders..

Is there a way I can check up on them? Also, could you tell me of any breeders around Nottingham?

Ajay xxx

#14 Guest_Flash Herman_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:32 PM

I have read that many torts from Slovenia state "captive bred" on their certificates, but there are so many coming out of that country, and no evidence has been provided to show that Slovenia has any captive breeding facilities to produce that many hatchlings for them to be truly captive bred. This has led to serious doubts that any (or all) torts from Slovenia are genuinely bred in captivity, rather that they almost certainly have been taken from the wild (either eggs taken, or babies taken). It also seems highly likely that if torts are hatched in captivity, then they will have parents that were wild caught. Since there is no evidence of vast captive breeding farms, neither is there evidence of humane animal welfare practices.
The conditions that these torts arrive in are hideous, and only a few survive. Those that do, enter the UK pet shop market and are sold to unsuspecting buyers, who later discover that they have worms and RNS at best, at worst they only survive a short time. Many "breeders" stated by pet shops as their supplier, are actually dealers. Some pet shops may act in good faith and not realise how these animals get to them. Some may not care.
I am not a breeder myself, so have no vested interest in promoting breeders over pet shops. However, I have seen that many genuine hobby breeders state that they would never supply pet shops because they have no assurance that the buyers will properly care for the torts, since they do their own "vetting" of private buyers.
Imagine you were buying a puppy - you would want to see it in the breeder's home with its mother, to see what temperament/markings/health it is likely to inherit, the care and socialisation it has received, etc. You would not necessarily (I hope) buy a puppy from a pet shop "off the shelf" with no idea of its heritage or care. Torts are no different, except that you know there is a good chance that they may have had a harrowing journey from abroad without food or water, had no healthcare or treatment, and may well have been wrenched from their natural environment.

The even better option (in my mind anyway) is to rehome a rescued tort that is unwanted and offer it a loving home. All my animals are rescues (except for the Guinea Pigs!) and I feel I am contributing to animal welfare. Rescues often make better pets too. You can do this from the Tortoise Trust, and you need to show that you are knowledgeable about the right sort of care and have appropriate facilities.

Sorry for the rant, but I hope this deters you from buying from a pet shop. You can join the Tortoise Protection Group if you are interested in supporting efforts to stop the cruel international trade in torts. http://pets.groups.y...?yguid=57263976


#15 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 12:28 AM

Hey EJ,

There's no need to rant at me. I'm interested in all aspects of animal care and this is an important subject on the topic; I'm willing to listen to anything without ranting.

Perhaps I haven't made myself clear; I want to offer a home to a healthy, happy tortoise, who I will likely outlive me and enjoy a home with my children (not that I have plans for any of those yet!).

I have tried repeatedly to join these yahoo groups people keep recommending to me and I can't, it simply wont let me with the e-mail account I have etc.

All my other pets have been rescued bar my betta fish. I believe in rehoming/rescuing animals as it is the fault of humans that they are in need of help. However, nowhere I have been, online or otherwise, says tortoises can be rehomed in this way. Had I known I wouldn't have been looking for a breeder in the first place!

I will try again another day to join these groups and find out more information about rehoming etc. In the mean time, I think I'll resign myself to firstly finding out what is written on the paperwork provided by this place (out of further interest towards their 'breeder') and awaiting a chance to offer a home to a youngster from a recommended breeder or a rescued tort.

I don't mean to come across as aggressive here, I guess I'd just been so looking forward to this it rather got the better of me :-/ I've wanted a tortoise for a very long time and now seemed the ideal time. I think I'll check through the list you copied out for me and see where the breeders are.


Ajay xxx

#16 Guest_Flash Herman_*

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 01:06 AM

Ajay, not meaning to rant or have a go at you at all.

Just passing on the current wisdom (not my own!) on the tort trade so you can make your own decisions. Lots of people don't know about how the imports are treated and sourced.

You are probably in a minority in that you are finding out all about it before you leap in (myself included). At least you have the info to make an informed choice.

I rehomed a Hermann who was Slovenian and had to deal with his health problems, so speak from experience. I knew nothing about this when I took him on, and it would not have made a difference to me anyway, but I would have been better prepared I think. I worry that the greater the demand for torts, the greater the supply from these sources, and that will only lead to more tort suffering.

There I go again - I don't mean to lecture! Anyway, I am sure any tort you get will be very well cared for, and I hope you are able to find a good breeder or rehomer.


#17 Guest_Ajay_*

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 05:06 PM

Ah I see. As I explained in my pm, not been a great few days and I apologise again for snapping. Thanks for all the info, I hope I do too!!

Ajay xxx

#18 Guest_busybee_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:12 PM

I have plenty photos on my camera but one of these lazy people that don't upload them. I call him a he cos I think thats what he is but if im wrong in a few years I will have to change it from Rocky to Roxy :7 He is a year old and a wee cutie. Will definately get the photo's sorted!!!


#19 Guest_busybee_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:15 PM

This is wee Rocky. Thats if I got the photo to work. Wasn't easy, was too big!!!

#20 Guest_hobbernob_*

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:11 PM

Although I have loved every second of having our first lot of eggs hatch, I dont think we could ever do it and sell any. I would worry so much about if they are being treated/kept right.
A few years ago we let one of our cats have one litter of kittens, she had four, it was heart renching letting them go to new homes, (and kittens have pretty universal easy care) thankfully we are still in touch with two of them:-)

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