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#1 Gary_Mac

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

Hi there,

 

we just got a 18 month old Hermann for our daughter, we've done loads of research before committing but have a couple of questions.

 

Q1. we put the heat lamp on at 730 each morning but by 10.30 he's still sleeping, is this normal or encourage him to wake from his slumber?

 

Q2. at this time of year when it's difficult to get weeds etc and it's a very steep learning curve to recognise good V bad can anyone recommend the best dried food to keep us going, i've looked around so many forums,websites and it's quite daunting what people use / recommend. i've seen a lot of people use Pre Alpin FibreTortoise Food, is this the best one?

 

thanks in advance but we really do want to give the wee thing the best possible start in its new home.



#2 Kelly

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:07 PM

What are your ambient temperatures like in your enclosure? If they are too low it could mean that your tortoise is a bit sleepier than he should be. You're aiming for the room temperature to be at about 18-20oc and your basking temperature should be about 32oc for your tortoise to remain active.

 

The Pre Alpin is one of the few dried foods that are any good. Have a look here for ideas of what is best to feed during the winter months.

 

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/enews/

I'm quite lucky where I am..... I've never had any trouble locating weeds during the winter months. I just have to hunt a bit harder and further afield. I normally plan ahead too, if snow or heavy frost is forecast..... I find that most weeds can last up to 2 weeks in and airtight container in the fridge.   :)



#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 09:37 PM

I agree, there are always enough weeds around for one small tortoise. I manage for the most part to keep 20 hatchlings going. I would always go for Florette Crispy Salad above dried stuff though, especially for something less than 50 - 100 grams or so. As this is normally a time for hibernation, you don't really want any noticeable growth over winter, so salad leaves will produce less weight gain that something concentrated, which will not help shell growth in one so young ;) ~The shell needs a resting period if it is to grow nice and smooth like the wild ones :)



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

How long have you had him? If only a week or so, then this is perfectly natural behaviour and you might need to uncover him in the morning until he gets the hang of not being walked on by other torts to wake him up. Make sure the substrate is slightly damp to give him the chance to dig into an area that is higher humidity too, this will help with a nice smooth shell :)



#5 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:25 AM

Thank you so much everyone, thats a big help.

 

we live in a very rural part of scotland so we are pobably surrounded by plenty of wild free food but it's getting to recognise the different weeds and what is good and bad.

 

we got 'Fergus' on Sunday and he was kept in pretty threadbare conditions to be honest, i only say that from what i've learnt off my own back and by this wonderful forum.

 

his heat under the basking bulb is around 34.5 and he is 18 months old and we weighed him yesterday and he is 38g, is this weight ok?

 

the substrate in use at the moment(because it was what we got with Fergus) is 'Habistat vivarium substrate' is this ok or should we be looking to change to soil ASAP?

 

thank you so much for al your advice/help

 



#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:41 AM

His weight is fine for his age. I would lower the basking temp a little though as he will only be using the outer edge of the heat circle (if this makes sense) to get his optimum temps of 30 - 32. You might find the conditions were more sparce if the breeder was keeping several babies, as it's not so easy to keep things organised with lots of little ones and less furniture means easier to keep an eye on them all. They should have had deep substrate though to enable thermoregulation. Yes, I would change to soil or coir ASAP if it was me, but he will be OK at the moment while he is getting used to things. Just make sure it is deep enough for him to disappear into and if you are able, to keep it watered that will help too. I'm not familiar with the Habistat substrate, but if it looks like bark, chippings or pellets, then not a good idea and I'm guessing he is from a pet shop if this is what he was kept on ;) 

Good luck :)



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:43 AM

Just looked up the substrate Gary and it's not suitable for tortoises as they will eat some at times which can cause impaction ;)

Hope this helps.



#8 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:55 AM

Thank you so much for that, all noted on temp and have adjusted lamp.

 

yea i wasn't sure about the substrate but you have confirmed what i have sort of discovered myself.would this soil be ok do you think - http://www.amazon.co...rds=bag of soil We got him from a private seller who's little child wouldn't leave it alone through the day.

 

we just want to make sure we do everything possible to make his life as comfortable and happy as possible and we'll definitley manage that with people like yourself out there to keep us pointed in the right direction.



#9 Kelly

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

You're best with an ordinary sterilised topsoil. Wickes do a good one and it's loads cheaper.

 

http://www.wickes.co.uk/invt/200247



#10 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

brilliant, cheers Kelly



#11 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

would it also be possible to identify this for me and if its suitable for feeding

 

thanks

Attached Files



#12 Kelly

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:15 PM

Ivy.... no feed.



#13 Kelly

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:17 PM

Here's a link to The Tortoise Table website.

 

http://www.thetortoi...=main&catID=341

 

You can use their search facility to check any identified plants to see if they are suitable. :)



#14 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

thanks for that and for link



#15 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:22 PM

I have a link on my website too with pics that you can enlarge for ID. www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm Steer clear of most evergreen shiny leaved plants as most are toxic. I agree, ordinary topsoil is best. Just avoid fertilisers and always think of what they would have in the wild, so no artificial stuff, concentrated foods etc. Hopefully you got the ID papers with your tortoise from previous owners too, as you might need them in the future ;)



#16 Gary_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:22 PM

thanks again Sue, yea the papers are en-route as we speak



#17 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

Cheeky so and so - I've seen Pre Alpin but until I am absolutely desperate would not use it. I'm not saying no-one else should though, just that I won't be ;) I just threw out the water from the torts bath but can state with 100% certainty that they were proper little poops (logs) and not sloppy or undigested. Just off to do my babysitting for the weekend but will be on poop duty on return with camera at the ready :D Even weeds are not 100% safe if fed solely - take dandelions for instance, they have a great calcium to phosphorous ratio but if fed alone would give a high concentration of oxalates, so not good to feed solely at times when they are plentiful ;) Anyway off to do my bit for the mini members of the family ;)



#18 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:53 PM

You make me smile Sue!!!!!
On a serious note I do worry that generally people tend towards feeding dandilions as they are easily the most commonly known weed. Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on plantain ..... The spikes of plaintain are as easily recognised and much better for our torts x x x hugs x.

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:48 PM

LOL, yes I am well aware of what AH says, also of how a 'certain organisation' did some research into 'humid hides' after poo pooing them for many years and being quite rude to those of us who claimed how our own research, showed huge improvements in shell growth. I think at the time 'one of us' said something along the lines of 'Watch this space' :rolleyes:  I 'used to' donate annually to a 'certain charity'  :ohmy:

Well, weekend babysitting over and off to bath the babies with camera at the ready, just for you Ozric :)  Shall I get some Pre-Alpin do you think - maybe a tiny amount if that is possible, just to say I have tried it :P



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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:28 PM

Yes Ozric I have read his article. I also have very old TT pics and articles that I think they would be embarrassed about. Stuff changes all the time and as I say, no-one has the monopoly on tortoise care. I do agree with a lot of what is said, but don't follow one particular regime other than my own present one, which as I say is subject to change at times. I find it a bit worrying that anyone would insist on one persons way being the only way! Had I not spent considerable time watching tortoises in the wild, I would probably be taking certain advice a lot more literally than I do now. I do NOT feed supermarket bagged salads exclusively, only ever as a supplement when absolutely necessary. I seem to remember the TT recommending the same some time ago or was that my imagination :ohmy: I really don't want to argue, but have no intention of being preached to either. My torts are perfectly healthy, no pyramiding, no loose stools and never needing vet treatment, other than the occasional rehabber and one case of egg laying problems following incorrect/unnecessary induction by previous vet.  After 30 odd years, must be doing something right :laugh: I think we just have to agree to disagree on he gospel according to................. :wacko2:

 


Yes Ozric I have read his article. I also have very old TT pics and articles that I think they would be embarrassed about. Stuff changes all the time and as I say, no-one has the monopoly on tortoise care. I do agree with a lot of what is said, but don't follow one particular regime other than my own present one, which as I say is subject to change at times. I find it a bit worrying that anyone would insist on one persons way being the only way! Had I not spent considerable time watching tortoises in the wild, I would probably be taking certain advice a lot more literally than I do now. I do NOT feed supermarket bagged salads exclusively, only ever as a supplement when absolutely necessary. I seem to remember the TT recommending the same some time ago or was that my imagination :ohmy: I really don't want to argue, but have no intention of being preached to either. My torts are perfectly healthy, no pyramiding, no loose stools and never needing vet treatment, other than the occasional rehabber and one case of egg laying problems following incorrect/unnecessary induction by previous vet.  After 30 odd years, must be doing something right :laugh: I think we just have to agree to disagree on the gospel according to................. :wacko2:






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