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Posted by Graham on 12 September 2016 - 04:31 PM
I'm sure other members will be experiencing the same.
Posted by JenB on 28 July 2016 - 06:23 PM
I took Hank on a few months ago he is 6 years old and was in a vivarium with a head pad too. I bought some wooden drawers off ebay for £15 and put him in there with some soil, rocks and plants. He loves his broken plant pot as a hide (he has never had a hide). The difference in him immediately was amazing, he just seems so much happier.
I've been working on an outdoor area, I'm nearly there. I know how you feel, I've panicked all the way through this adventure but everyone here has helped me. It's not been that difficult getting the electrics sorted outside either.The thought of it all is bigger than it is to put it together. We bought a frost heater off ebay too they are pretty cheap.
Just look around for things, most things you might already have or friends and neighbours might be getting rid of. xxx
Posted by Graham on 18 June 2016 - 05:12 PM
I took the shed down in the garden whilst Harry was hibernating earlier in the year, and planted it up. This has given him a bit more room, and a lot more choice of weeds and flowers to feed on.
So far, it's growing well:
Busy foraging for nibbles:
His enclosure is now all the better:
He still leaves it in the afternoon for a stroll along the garden path, and a bask in the sun:
And onto the patio, where he gets up to his usual mischief; this time head-first into a bucket to see what's in there:
I'll post some more pics when the flowers bloom, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
Posted by Graham on 24 April 2016 - 06:33 PM
I know this is as far off topic as it could be, but I'm a little bit on the pleased side, and wanted to tell.
I took up Taekwon-Do at the grand old age of fifty to keep fit and active, and now, three and a half years down the line, several black eyes and bruised bones later, I gained my Black Belt today!
Not bad for an old fella
Posted by Graham on 05 March 2016 - 04:14 PM
I took Harry up from hibernation today, his eighteen weeks were up.
After a warm shower and bask under his lamp, I put him out in the enclosure for an hour.
"Where's the shed gone?", he thinks.
Half-hour under his cloche to catch the sun's rays and warmth.
A new corner to burrow down in.
I brought him in at 4pm as the sun was setting, and now he's retired to his bed-box for an early night.
Another successful hibernation, and it's great to have him back.
Posted by Beermat89 on 08 December 2015 - 10:19 PM
The keepers that you are talking too are very experienced and have studied them in their natural habbitats so being rude on here is making your self look silly!yes you may have worked in a Zoo doesnt mean your an expert on keeping tortoises,If you dont like having people giving you tips or advice them please dont post on here!
Posted by Graham on 22 June 2015 - 04:41 PM
I've had Harry three years now, can't believe where the time's gone. He hatched on June 21st 1967, and was bought by the breeder's neighbour for five shillings (25p). She had him for forty-two years before she passed away in 2009. As you can see by his smooth shell and general good health, he was well looked after. Harry then went to a patient of mine who fosters and re homes tortoises in the same situation as Harry.
Around that time I'd decided I'd like a tortoise, and realising it was a big undertaking, spent a good two years thoroughly researching the subject, and preparing the garden for his residence. In 2012 the garden was looking good with flowers and weeds, and I felt confident that I'd learnt enough to care for him properly. I also joined this forum to ask the plethora of questions I knew I'd have along the way.
Harry joined the family that same year and settled in really well right from the start. The lady I got him from was very well-meaning, but old-fashioned in tortoise husbandry, and as a result, he was rather underweight. Thankfully, he took to his new proper diet very quickly, and gained 200g in the first five weeks. Now he stays at a steady 1550g which is perfect for his size.
Yes, he is a little spoilt, but not mollycoddled; I like him to live as close to as he would in the wild as possible.
His future is pretty secure; he's likely to outlive us, so we'll have him until the time comes. Our son loves him, and has also learnt to look after him properly. He's also stated that he fully intends to inherit him (along with the house, no doubt!) when we're six feet under, so it seems Harry doesn't have to worry about where he's going to end up.
Quite a fortunate little tortoise methinks!
Posted by viperzbite on 26 May 2015 - 08:10 PM
ok thanks. Then I may wait on getting a tortoise til I can buy my own place. Probs a few years away but in mean time will look at something else. Always want what is best for my pets and if I can't provide that in rift now then not much point getting something I can't provide best home for.
It maybe best to wait until you are able to provide the best outside enclosure for a tortoise.
I do agree with Sue that pet shop advice and a good breeders advice will be different, a breeder wont just sell a hatchling for a sale they make sure the hatchling is going to the best place, I know myself I have turned people down if I feel there not the right home for one of my hatchlings, I think your best to take your advice from keepers and breeders who are not here for any other reason than to help.
Thanks for the info. Exactly why I came hear
Posted by finndor on 02 May 2015 - 11:00 AM
This morning my little guys arrived. They are just adorable!
They have had a warm, and are now eating and having a good explore, they are very interesting to watch, finding myself just sitting and looking.
Posted by Graham on 25 March 2017 - 07:56 AM
For the cables and attachments, you need the type designed for outdoor use so that they can withstand the rain. Pond cable is ideal, and if you thread this through conduit, it will be doubly safe.
Have a read through this thread that myself and Sue commented in some time ago:
Just ask if you have any further queries; we will help.
Posted by crusty on 20 March 2017 - 02:14 PM
Finished the framework for the security netting this weekend, next is to attach the actual wire to it, we've made it in three separate sections so different parts of the enclosure can be accessed as required, also completed the weed bed behind the greenhouse, planted it up young plants and sowed some seeds
One piece of advice I give to anyone thinking of embarking on a similar project, finish all the woodwork and frame building before planting it up, it would have been a lot easier this weekend if I'd done so, but hindsight is a wonderful thing
Posted by crusty on 15 March 2017 - 10:57 PM
This is where we're up to now, most of the planting is done and just needs to mature now, hopefullly we're make it secure at the weekend (our main worry around here are foxes, crows, magpies and seagulls)
Then it's just the electrics to sort.
Posted by crusty on 06 March 2017 - 04:15 PM
It's coming on well, landscaping is done, rocks placed, we've tried to make it quite undulating to give the little fella a workout, plants are placed at the moment, I'll plant them next weekend when I'm sure they in the right position, we've tried to break up the line of sight as much as we can, the bricks are where the Tort house and cold frame will be placed.
The frost heater was lost in the post and a replacement is on the way so hopefully the electrics will be sorted in the next two to three weeks.
Posted by NANACAZ on 10 November 2016 - 02:54 PM
Posted by babettebeau on 09 November 2016 - 08:57 PM
Posted by Graham on 24 October 2016 - 12:32 PM
It's completely normal to feel apprehensive and jittery when it comes to hibernating out torts, especially for the first time.
First of all, it's the wind-down that's really important; as long as you get that right, the hibernation should be completely fine. For an adult tortoise, this period lasts four weeks, so Ben is due to go in around November 10th.
My Harry is in fifty next year, so I'm in the same boat as you. Do remember that Ben has hibernated over forty times in his life already, so he's well-used to the experience.
I've found that a large plastic tub (similar to an ice cream container) is ideal; I half-fill it with sterilised top-soil, as this gives moisture, and a substrate to burrow down in, a more natural environment for them.
The preparation of the fridge is important; set it up a couple of weeks before Ben goes in, and add some bottles water to help keep the temps stable. I've always found it's best to buy bottled water from the shops as the caps are sealed and therefore wont leak if laid on their sides in the fridge.
Keep an eye on the fridge temps, adjusting when necessary to attain a constant temperature of around 4°-5°C.
When Ben goes in, remember it can take a couple of weeks for torts to settle down, so don't be surprised if he's still awake when you check on him.
Each day, open and close the fridge door a couple of times to let fresh air in.
Make sure you weigh him before you put him in, and keep a record for reference. During hibernation, you can take him out once a fortnight or so and do a quick check to make sure he hasn't weed or lost too much weight; this procedure only takes a minute or so and wont disturb him at all.
I give Harry eighteen weeks in the fridge, and this seems to suit him for his size and age.
There are a couple of pinned links at the top of this topic page offering more details than I've given you here. Have a look at them, and if you have any questions or queries, just post them here, and we will help you.
Posted by firebelly on 19 October 2016 - 05:56 PM
I'm not an expert by any means, but until someone else comes along, I would say hibernation outside in just a garden enclosure is definitely not an option. He/She needs to be healthy and at a decent weight to survive, would need a proper wind down period and to be hibernated in a fridge kept at 5 degrees. There is a lot of info on the site if you search hibernation. I would personally get the tortoise up and quickly set up your indoor enclosure and give warm baths to make sure He/She is not dehydrated . Not sure where you live but it has been far too cold up here in the north east to leave a tortoise outside especially overnight.
Hope that helps,
Posted by babettebeau on 07 October 2016 - 01:28 PM
I am a new keeper and from what i learnt on the forum is that tortoises hibernate from the first winter after born in the wild, even those in captivity will have a strong instinct to hibernate, this is part of their natural life cycle and their DNA make up. Humans set-up the 5 years old thing, not nature.