Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

New Here Have A Few Questions


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:25 AM

Hi there

Hope everyone is ok and well!

Im getting my first Hermann Tortiose soon but just wanted to make sure I will have the complete right set up, could you please let me know the vitimins I would need and everything for his table? Ive heard so many different things and read so many different things Im worried Ill get it wrong! And whats the best substrate? Thank you so much

#2 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,288 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 24 November 2018 - 12:48 PM

Hi Emma. Welcome to the group. When youre overfaced with info from all directions, try to imagine what they would have in nature, so no artificial substrate, food etc. I use topsoil and coir for substrate. Get the biggest open top enclosure you can, with no hide/bedroom end and use a good depth of substrate to allow the little one to bury down at night time. You need both heat and uvb, either in a combined lamp or separately. A log or plant pot for him to dig under are useful too, plus a shallow dish big enough for him to sit in to have a drink. Use slate or an upturned tile to feed from, which helps beak trimming. You need a good calcium balancer such as Nekton MSA or nutrobal for his food, to be used very sparingly daily. Id recommend this little book for diet advise www.tortoises.net and only use Florette Crispy salad as a supplement when there are not many weeds around. Are you getting your little one from a breeder and not pet shop? If so the breeder should give you good care sheets including feeding advice too. Pet shop advise isnt usually good as their priorities are to make a sale, whereas a good breeder will be more interested in getting a good home.

#3 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 24 November 2018 - 02:39 PM

Hi there

Hope everyone is ok and well!

Im getting my first Hermann Tortiose soon but just wanted to make sure I will have the complete right set up, could you please let me know the vitimins I would need and everything for his table? Ive heard so many different things and read so many different things Im worried Ill get it wrong! And whats the best substrate? Thank you so much

Hi Emma,

Welcome to the forum, glad your able to post now.  :)

Sue has given you some brilliant advice just keep asking questions you'll always get good friendly advice here. x  :) 



#4 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 24 November 2018 - 07:25 PM

Hi Wizzasmum
Thank you for all the info, I was getting a hermann from a garden centre and they gave me so much wrong info, which Im so glad I researched myself and found this forum, Im now getting from a breeder who is giving me calcium pack and care sheet, and he/she cant be released until end of Dec, early Jan which is perfect so I can get his home all perfect for him!

And thanks a lot mildredsmum haha its all sorted!

#5 babettebeau

babettebeau

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Naturopathic nutrition, biology, physiology and biochemistry, Iyengar yoga, meditation and mindfulness, swimming, food, cooking, baking, growing flowers and plants, nature in general, travel. Metaphysics and the Universal Laws, which are above the "human made" laws.

Posted 24 November 2018 - 09:03 PM

Hi Emma

Here is below some content that i posted in May 2017 for someone about husbandry on his thread: http://www.hermann-t...?showtopic=9676

 

"Below are some advises. Pardon my abrupt content, I tried to keep it to the basics and essentials for the suitable husbandry of Mediterranean tortoises in captivity (from what I have learnt).

 

1) Indoor enclosure:

Glass vivarium is totally unsuitable because

- It provides no temperature gradient/spectrum for them to thermo-regulate. Basically it is stuffy in the whole vivarium, not good for tortoises.

- The tortoises will try to get through the glass constantly because they see through, this will get them drive crazy and very stressed.

 

Please post of pic of vivarium to see how it is. May be you can remove the glass panels.

Alternatively you can buy a good size rabbit cage instead or make a tortoise table with a drawer or a shelf cabinet.

 

2) Substrate: 

Sand type is not suitable. 

You need plain top soil or coconut coir.

If top soil is used, you need to water it on the edge of the 4 walls of the enclosure, the aim it to have the soil damp underground and dry on top (like in a pot where a plant would be)

If coconut coir is used, you need to frequently make the coir damp but not soaked. Basically you poor water gradually and mix it all until you get the correct dampness.

 

3) Food:

Vegetables and fruits are not suitable. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, rocket, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, beetroot, squash, courgette etc are not suitable.

Please feed with mature weeds (dandelions and their flowers, plantains etc). Weeds are free outdoors. Try to give a different type of weeds each day or at least some variety during the week. Only feed very little clover occasionally because clover is too high in protein that is not good for torts.

Wash the leaves with water and sprinkle like dust a very small pinch of your supplement.

Below is a list of weed names and also seeds to buy if you would like to grow. if you grow, only give fully grown weeds.

http://www.tlady.cla...t/herbiseed.htm

 

if you have doubts about a weed, please ask this forum. Someone will be able to identify the weed and tell if the weed is safe.

 

4) Food quantity:

For your tortoises: 2-3 good size weed leaves each day would be sufficient for both of them. Resist the temptation to feed too much. Not good for tortoises to be overfed even if they eat all the food you give them, they are programmed to eat and eat. Other can comments on food quantity as mine are only 20 months old and i give them 2 leaves max each day.

Hide the food so that they search for it, do not put it on a plate and don't serve it in front of them.

 

5) Food supplement:

When you finish your supplement, buy some Nekton MSA. Choose the smaller tub of 40gr, and get a new one every two months because the product expires after two months. Again the dose is proportional to the weight of tortoises, not to the quantity of food given. For your torts, it would be a small pinch sprinkled like dust on the leaves.

 

6) Hydration:

Provide fresh water daily in shallow recipients for your tortoises

Soak your tortoises in  very shallow luck warm water 3-4 times a week for 15-20 minutes. Water should not go above the base of the carapace/shell. If they want to get out of the water sooner, change the water because it has gone too cold for them.

When soaked they will absorb water and probably drink some water, When being soaked in luck warm water, they might also poop, urinate and pass out a creamy white liquid called urates. The more liquid the urates is the better because it means they are well hydrated.

 

7) Lamps: Heat + UV

Do you know how long the lamps have been in use for (how old are they?)

Do you have a laser thermometer to measure temps under the heat lamp?

 

8) Clean up daily the poo droppings.

Clean up daily uneaten food, soiled substrate.

Clean water dishes daily.

 

9) Do not let your torts walking around your house/flat. They must stay in their suitable enclosure.

 

10) Do you have an outdoor space for their future outdoor enclosure? This is a subject we can talk about later though. The more important is to get the basics right first.

 

That's all i can think of for now, i hope this helps. And i hope this is not too overwhelming for you. Being a tortoise keeper is quite a commitment and dedication.

Sabina"

 
In addition to that Emma, I would add the following:
  • If you are looking for the best combo UV/heat lamp on the market for tortoises, the brand is Megaray, the bulb you would need is 100W. 
  • Also tortoises are stimulated by light to be active, and you might need to add extra light like a UV trip.
  • Very good book on keeping Hermann torts naturalistically: https://www.amazon.c...2/dp/B01K3LDM78
  • Please note that food quantity mentionned above was for bigger tortoises, i think it was a 5 years old one. Your baby will need much less food.  Like one leaf a day.
  • You will need an electronic scale to watch growth in mass/weight. Also when your babies grows, only a small fine line (line a like of pencil) will appear on the marginal scutes, this is what we call the growth line, and it should not be thicker than a fine pencil line. Tortoises are programmed to eat so resist to give too much food and resist to hand feed otherwide it won't use its front leggs to tear leaves apart and will only see your fingers as food and won't see the leaves.
  • Also it is good to scatter  and hide food so they use their sense of smell and search for food, it makes their time more interesting and use their instinct.
  • Also please make sure the ambiant temp aduring the night are much lower than during the day. They don't need heat during the nigh, in nature it is much cooler at night and much more damp.


#6 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 25 November 2018 - 08:58 AM

Wow thank you so much, I was wondering about all these things about how much you give them and about keeping the soil damp! How often do you completely change the soil? And what would you recommend for soil? Compose from garden centre? So pleased I asked on here Cos again I read that play sand and soil combined would be great for them! Also how deep do I need the soil? Thank you

#7 babettebeau

babettebeau

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Naturopathic nutrition, biology, physiology and biochemistry, Iyengar yoga, meditation and mindfulness, swimming, food, cooking, baking, growing flowers and plants, nature in general, travel. Metaphysics and the Universal Laws, which are above the "human made" laws.

Posted 25 November 2018 - 06:50 PM

Please use plain top soil. It is the cheapest and the best. 

No sand because some sand types cause eye irritation.

Please DO NOT use compost. They do not live on compost in nature.

Changing soil, it depends of the size of the indoor enclosure. In the daily routine you will need to scoop up any soil soiled by droppings, urine (if you see that) and urates.

People say changing the soil every couple of months is swhat is recommended. 

 

By the way on the hydration, i will be on the safe side with your young baby and soak it daily every morning in luke warm water (temp no higher that 30-32 degrees), i am saying that because babies are very prone to dehydration. I find that a terracotta dish keeps the heat longer for the soak. If your baby wants to go out of its soak it is becasue the water has gone too cold or it is too hot. Then you can change the water and continue the soak. Please don't soak your baby in the sink or bath tub. 

 

For example I soak my babies daily 20-30 minutes when they have woken up and warmed up for a little while under the heat lamp. The dish they soak is placed in the enclosure so there is no change in surroundings. When you soak your baby tort,  it has to be under supervision (you have to watch it in case it falls asleep in the water, the head falls in water and to avoid drawning - Hermman tortoises are not amphibians and they cannot swimm).

Typically when they have their soak, they will however lower their head in water to drink, their nostrils will also be in the water, this is nornal and you notice their eyes are opened (not asleep) and their throat moving as the water is sawllowed. So don't panic and let it drink.

 

Also tortoises do not like to be handled and to be lifted from the ground, this is a big source of stress for them, they are ground animals and they freak out when lifted from the ground, so handling must be to the minimum and only if necessary (when soaking, weighing etc).

When handling, you will have to be sure you approach your hands very slowly so they see your hands, and not be surprised otherwise that will stress them as well. Also when handling you have to think of the size of your tortoise, so if you move it fast and lift is very fast high, imagine we put you in a supersonic high speed plane and you go from 0km to 300km from floor zero to floor 100 in 3 seconds, this is a lot for a tortoise. So handling is slow and low. Typically when they freak out when being lifted they urinate because too scared. Frequent handling will lead to stressed tortoises, and symptoms will be from hiding away to diseases.

 

The way I handle my babies is this way: approach hands slowly, make sure they see my both hands, then put one hand flat on ground, then slide the tort on the palm of hand, slowly cover the tortoise with the other hand, so it does not see, and then lift it very low and move it very slow and transfer it in the soaking dish or on the scale. etc... 

 

Basically tortoises are not domesticated animals, they are still wild and have stong natural instincts, they are not pets, we cannot play with them, they have no affection for us like dogs or cats, they cannot be petted. The less they see us, they less we interact with them, they less we handle them, the better they live in captivity.

Also they don't hear sounds like we do, they hear vibrations. So if you call them by their names they basically won't hear your voice. Also they have no voice and no facial expressions.

 

Having a tortoise is a hobby rather than having a pet if that makes sense and an interest in learning about tortoises and reptiles in general. Also because they are an endangered specie, this is also a way to contibute to the preservation of the specie. 

 

When you are about to buy stuff for the indoor enclosure please email us before you buy and we'll tell you if this is ok to buy. 

 

Do you have a garden for an outdoor enclosure?

 

I hope this is some good insight for you.

 

Sabina



#8 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 25 November 2018 - 07:57 PM

Hi Sabina thanks again for loads of info!

Yeah I have a garden for the enclosure and Im gonna make it for him ready for the summer!

I have so much to read and Im so pleased that I came here for advice as the garden centre gave complete wrong advice!

Thank you loads! I will defo ask whether the stuff I have is right for the table!

Emma

#9 babettebeau

babettebeau

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Naturopathic nutrition, biology, physiology and biochemistry, Iyengar yoga, meditation and mindfulness, swimming, food, cooking, baking, growing flowers and plants, nature in general, travel. Metaphysics and the Universal Laws, which are above the "human made" laws.

Posted 25 November 2018 - 08:00 PM

You are welcome. Please ask before you buy rather asking after you got the things.

Sabina



#10 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 25 November 2018 - 10:23 PM

I will do! Im going to a breeder this week to have a look at some Hermann anything I need to look out for? Thank you

#11 babettebeau

babettebeau

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Naturopathic nutrition, biology, physiology and biochemistry, Iyengar yoga, meditation and mindfulness, swimming, food, cooking, baking, growing flowers and plants, nature in general, travel. Metaphysics and the Universal Laws, which are above the "human made" laws.

Posted 25 November 2018 - 11:21 PM

I am unsure... Sue and Karen will be best to answer this question.

#12 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 26 November 2018 - 03:21 AM

I will do! Im going to a breeder this week to have a look at some Hermann anything I need to look out for? Thank you

Hi Emma,

The hatchlings should be bright eyed and active and have no discharge from the nose or mouth, ask the breeder as many questions as you feel you need to a good breeder will answer them all and take time to make sure your happy and know the hatchling is going to a perfect home.  :)



#13 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:46 AM

Hi Emma,
The hatchlings should be bright eyed and active and have no discharge from the nose or mouth, ask the breeder as many questions as you feel you need to a good breeder will answer them all and take time to make sure your happy and know the hatchling is going to a perfect home.  :)


Thank you! I think Im going Saturday to see them! So will keep you all posted!

#14 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,288 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:48 PM

Lovely. Just be sure they are a breeder and not a dealer (recently had a case on another forum of new owner being conned by so called breeder). Ask about their adults, which should be in hibernation now if they are breeding animals. A good keeper will show you where they are. As Karen said, make sure they are bright eyed, lively, have no discharge, sneezing etc Also ask about certificates, microchip etc If they are over 6cm plastron length they MUST be chipped by law, if not, dont buy as you could find yourself in trouble when reregistering them. The seller should also offer you extensive care sheets and not just a food list etc. Make sure any home you have for them is as big as possible, at least 3ft as they are roaming animals.

#15 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 28 November 2018 - 03:33 AM

Thank you! I think Im going Saturday to see them! So will keep you all posted!

We look forward to hearing all about it, as Sue says make sure you ask the question about certificates. x  :)



#16 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 28 November 2018 - 03:49 PM

Lovely. Just be sure they are a breeder and not a dealer (recently had a case on another forum of new owner being conned by so called breeder). Ask about their adults, which should be in hibernation now if they are breeding animals. A good keeper will show you where they are. As Karen said, make sure they are bright eyed, lively, have no discharge, sneezing etc Also ask about certificates, microchip etc If they are over 6cm plastron length they MUST be chipped by law, if not, dont buy as you could find yourself in trouble when reregistering them. The seller should also offer you extensive care sheets and not just a food list etc. Make sure any home you have for them is as big as possible, at least 3ft as they are roaming animals.

 

We look forward to hearing all about it, as Sue says make sure you ask the question about certificates. x  :)

I'm not having much luck with the breeders, i have contacted a few and one has said the tortoises are very sluggish cos of the time of year, so i decided to not go with that and the other two when i am asking to go and see them they just don't get back to me. So still on the look out.



#17 babettebeau

babettebeau

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Naturopathic nutrition, biology, physiology and biochemistry, Iyengar yoga, meditation and mindfulness, swimming, food, cooking, baking, growing flowers and plants, nature in general, travel. Metaphysics and the Universal Laws, which are above the "human made" laws.

Posted 28 November 2018 - 05:30 PM

Emma
Another idea will be for you to prepare serenely everything for indoors and outdoors and get a baby Hermann in spring rather than in the middle of the winter.

What do you think?

#18 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:16 PM

Yeah I probably will now to be fair! Ill keep you all posted xx

#19 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:21 AM

 

I'm not having much luck with the breeders, i have contacted a few and one has said the tortoises are very sluggish cos of the time of year, so i decided to not go with that and the other two when i am asking to go and see them they just don't get back to me. So still on the look out.

Hi Emma,

Have a look on here to see if there's anyone close to you, there's another list from facebook so i'll look on there later see if there's anyone else. x  :)   http://www.tortsmad.com/breeders.htm



#20 emmajones79

emmajones79

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Surrey
  • Interests:Animals, and my children

Posted 29 November 2018 - 07:23 PM

I did look on there and got one from there who was in my area but unfortunately Valerie had passed away and they are trying to keep her groups and stuff going! So sad! Waiting for them to contact with me! Im not on fb so that would be great! Thank you xxx




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users