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Member Since 11 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 26 2020 02:12 AM

#69149 You Don't Always Need The Sun.

Posted by mildredsmam on 22 March 2020 - 04:46 AM

TT.jpg TT1.jpg



By the way.... for those who think it is always nice and warm in natural Testudo graeca land.... this is the view from our office window just 10 minutes ago! Pouring with rain... and 8 Celsius (46F). Worth noting for those who insist that tortoises need to be warm and dry all the time!


#69134 Dogs & Tortoises.

Posted by mildredsmam on 06 February 2020 - 03:55 AM

Tortoise Trust

This can be a 'controversial' subject, but unfortunately, dogs and tortoises are really NOT a good mix. Sadly, we see (and hear of) the results on a depressingly regular basis. Even dogs that have previously appeared safe with tortoises CAN - for no apparent reason - change behaviour and can inflict devastatingly serious and often fatal injuries. Our advice is really clear: the risk is just too high. Don't do it. If you do have dogs, keep them separate and make certain that your security to ensure that they remain separate is adequate. This also applies if you live in an area with wild tortoises. Do not let dogs off a lead when tortoises are active. The tortoise shown here was the victim of such a incident. Please try to avoid more such horrific injuries and keep dogs and tortoises apart. It is worth adding that every time this subject comes up we hear from someone claiming that there is no risk and it does not happen... well, we have been involved with tortoises for almost 40 years now, and it certainly DOES happen. We have many photographs to prove it - some are too horrible to post in public. It is not a rare event, either. We see it every single year. Don't risk it.

#69117 Lots Of Sleeping, No Eating.

Posted by mildredsmam on 20 December 2019 - 02:03 AM

Evening all, just looking for a little advise regarding Big Dave.

For the last few weeks he has begun to sleep a lot more and is not eating much. When I do wake him to heat him up, he basically just goes back to his corner and buries himself.

The house is around 18-19 during the day due to being at work but even with his light on he isn't getting up. In the evenings it's around 22-23 and still no movement.

Is he attempting to hibernate? Should I be waking him all the time?

Any help. Would be great.


Sorry for the late reply, it's a busy time of year, how old is big Dave, have you checked the basking temperature to make sure that's high enough, also does the area have plenty of light where he is, at this time of year it's natural for them to be in hibernation and they sense the difference in the weather and temperature and it can be hard to keep them going through winter.

If your not planning on hibernating him, then yes wake him up on a regular basis, maybe try and give him a soak and offer food, then just keep an eye so he has good basking and ambient temperatures. x  :)

#69115 Top Ten Tips For Happy Tortoises.

Posted by mildredsmam on 17 December 2019 - 01:51 AM

Donna Stocking
Top ten tips for happy tortoises.
1.    SOIL substrate,  a digging animal  needs to dig!
2    a shallow,but large WATER  tray.   Don’t make them squeeze into small tray or god forbid drinking from a bowl that they can’t sit in.
3    feed what MOTHER NATURE designed them to eat,  edible wild plants, flowers and CALCIUM.   Not supermarket produce, even  if from marks and Spencer!
4    Natural  unfiltered SUNLIGHT  is the best you can get and it’s free.  Helps create and keep strong bones.
5   SPACE to live rather than just exist.  exercise also grows strong bones, these animals are not lazy, they are natural roamers. Lazy people make lazy tortoises!
6.   WINTER SLEEP.  If they are a species that nature designed to sleep through winter then they should do so.   Some humans know better than evolution or think they do!   
7.    Provide supplementary HEAT.  Reptiles are cold blooded and need heat for normal life activity. This is the UK and they  do not live wild in the Uk for a reason. Use the  bulbs to lengthen the day and lengthen the summer season.  Don’t use them instead of the sun or the cloudy warm days.
8.  If you want to spend money on yr tortoise, buy a GREENHOUSE.  The absolute best way to keep a tortoise in the Uk climate.  Gardeners caught onto their uses year ago,  high time the tortoise community did.   They provide a mini microclimate for them.   If I were in law changing position,  it would be law to purchase a greenhouse when you acquired a tortoise!
9.   Fill you garden with edibles plants.  Create an environment where the tortoise can THRIVE rather than just exists.  Finding its own food and trying safe new things.  An interesting environment makes an interesting tortoise.   Plantswill also be used for digging into, ie,  low bushes for thermoregulation. 
10.  Find yourself a qualified exotics vet.  Travel for appointments with them if you have to.  They are WORTH THE KNOWLEDGE.

#69108 Hatchling Hibernation

Posted by mildredsmam on 15 December 2019 - 03:48 AM

Thanks for replying. More questions I'm afraid.
Do I need to lower turn the heat down the second week or just the amount of time the heat is on?
Lights and heat are on a 12hr timer at the moment is that ok for week one?


Ask as many questions as you need too, the first week I just keep every thing as I had it, I don't have my lights on timers as I turn them off once the little ones settle, the second week I leave temps as normal just lower the time the light is on, until there's no light on at all I try and lower the room ambient temperature a little near the end of the second week though, really your just doing the same wind down as you would with adults just over less time if that makes sense. x

#69079 Natural Enclosures.

Posted by mildredsmam on 20 October 2019 - 12:56 AM

Attached File  hermann.jpg   79.08KB   25 downloads


Chris Leone to Hermanni Haven

Natural ground with appropriate components, the wonderful sun, safe, edible plant matter of proper ratios, visual barriers, plenty of cover and protection from predators goes a VERY long way compared to life in a box on mulch or other reptile-ready beddings. Put the work into it. 💪🏻💪🏻
T. h. hermanni reaching for some vetch in one of the enclosures here.


#69047 Limestone Flour

Posted by mildredsmam on 19 September 2019 - 01:41 AM

Thanks a lot Sue. I will order more than 1kg actually, i will put some outdoors to enrich the soil so new plants growing in spring can be richer in calcium.


That's what I do Sabina, buy enough to add to the soil if I plant seeds and some times sprinkle loads in the enclosure at the start of the season so the rain washes it into the soil. x   :)

#68999 Carrot Top

Posted by mildredsmam on 27 August 2019 - 02:35 AM

Hi Nic,

It's not something i would feed, here's the link from the tortoise table which i really only use as a rough guide but gives you a little info. x  :)   https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/viewplants/?plant=619&c=8 

#68976 Floor Covering

Posted by mildredsmam on 22 August 2019 - 03:51 PM

Is normal top soil available from garden centres suitable? Would i be required to put a liner type material over the base of the table first to help protect it from moisture etc. I thought the tropical terrain was better than top soil as it was specially developed for tortoises but am i wrong in my thinking?

Hi yes just buy topsoil from any garden centre, or I buy the Westlands topsoil from B&M stores, you could line the table first to protect the wood, you can use pond liner or some thick type plastic sheets, also the soil needs to be a good depth.

Things like tropical terrain and other products bought from pet shops are not always the best, just because they sell them doesn't mean it's good it's just a money making racket. x  :)

#68975 Floor Covering

Posted by mildredsmam on 22 August 2019 - 03:46 PM

Hi, the best thing to use is topsoil as this gives the tortoise the option to dig down if it wants too, you can line the table as well before adding the soil. x

#68948 Weed Seeds

Posted by mildredsmam on 16 August 2019 - 02:14 AM

A more updated list. x  :)

Attached Files

#68947 Another Year Older

Posted by mildredsmam on 15 August 2019 - 01:57 AM

Wow fantastic photo's Graham, Harry is just perfect and i hope this weather picks up again so he can enjoy the garden a bit longer. x  :wub:

#68934 Hibernation Query

Posted by mildredsmam on 05 August 2019 - 02:51 AM

Hi all,


I am planning to hibernate Queenie again in a few months time, probably around end November. 

I usually send her off to a lady who specialises in hibernation, just because i was scared to do it myself but i feel like i would like to give it a go this year. 


Queenie lives outside permanently now and i was wondering if this is going effect the wind down of her hibernation? Am i going to have to bring her indoors for the 3 week wind down, or can this all be done while she is still living outside? Once i am ready to hibernate her she will, of course, go into the fridge indoors, but i am just wondering about the wind down? 


What does everyone who else has a tortoise who lives outdoors permanently do when they hibernate? 


Thank you,


Hi Nicola,

Mine are outside all the time and have been some years now and I find it easier to control the wind down while they're outside, you just have to make sure they can't get to any food, but it's easier in the sense of temperatures as I used to find winding down in the house could be a nightmare when you needed to reduce the them. x  :)

#68865 Help! Tortoise Behaviour

Posted by mildredsmam on 07 June 2019 - 03:22 AM

She's absolutely fine now, it must have been a one off!
Not sure what is was about but it doesn't seem to have caused her any bother lol.
Thanks though.

That's good to hear Nic.  :)

#68849 Keeping Tortoises Together.

Posted by mildredsmam on 28 May 2019 - 05:50 AM

“I thought this was just a little bash!” No, actually, this is a severe injury that will always be visible even if the wound dries up eventually – and the animal will be lucky if her internal tissues and organs aren’t so damaged as to result in sepsis and possibly a very painful death. “I thought they can’t feel through their shell” – no again, tortoise shells are living tissue with nerves and blood supply, and are very sensitive to touch, injury and infection.

This little 10-year-old Thb female was kept together with two males of similar age by her owner. For several months, they were bashing her, forcing her into corners and relentlessly hitting the old wounds – can you imagine the pain and terror this little animal felt? Her owner regularly disinfected the bleeding shell – as if that would excuse this kind of abuse, letting this happen. She was actually breaking the law – the Animal Welfare Act (2006) states that animals in our care have to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Female tortoises know very well when their male pursuers are coming to get them again, they panic and try to run away from the attack they know will happen, but in an enclosure this is not possible, the males will get them. Lazy, unthinking owners often use the excuse: “it’s natural for males to pursue females” but do not want to acknowledge that in the wild females can get away – tortoises will meet up, there may be mating, then the female goes her own way in a vast terrain with lots of hides – that’s natural - but not if we keep males and females together in usually quite small enclosures. Apart from the incredible stress and pain that these females are suffering, they often cannot eat sufficient amounts of food, and they often experience egg retention problems, as they are not able to nest in a stress-free environment.

So, what to do? New owners of Mediterranean tortoises who are buying or taking on several juveniles, must be aware that these animals will change their behaviour when they reach sexual maturity, and even males can often not be kept together. In extreme cases, males can even kill a weaker one. So these animals must usually be kept separately, each with their own large indoor and outdoor space, lamps and heating, or may have to be rehomed. Other species of tortoise may be less aggressive, so know what you’re getting and have a plan in mind of how to change the accommodation if necessary.

There is no excuse – we MUST keep our tortoises stress- and painfree, it’s our responsibility and, surely, should be guided by our humanity. Please share this with anyone who is thinking of getting tortoises – thank you!