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Member Since 14 Feb 2016
Offline Last Active May 08 2018 11:04 AM

Topics I've Started

Top Soil Has Got Moisture In It

14 April 2016 - 08:58 AM

Hi all

I have been adding topsoil to my tortoises outdoor enclosures and coldframe recently.  I especially have put a lot in my Hermanns tortoise coldframe as I am going to let him hibernate in his coldframe from next week onwards.  While looking at the soil I noticed that it is described as a loam, clay type top soil that has been screened.  But it appears to have moisture in it and I am concerned that it may be too much moisture for my Hermanns Tortoise to safely hibernate in.  Especially as I read that wet conditions can cause infections and other health problems.  Can someone please let me know what I could add to the top soil to make it drier.  Or suggest something else to put into his coldframe that would be better for him to burrow down in while hibernating.  His breeder suggested I also add some straw in his coldframe for him to hibernate under.  Thanks for any advice in advance.

Is This Normal Behavior?

22 March 2016 - 04:28 AM

Hi, well I have had my 2 year old hermann Tortoise for around 6 weeks.  And I have noticed that he seems to want to stay sleeping in his wooden dog kennel.  He has a choice of a mini greenhouse or his doghouse.  I did insulate his doghouse with Polystyrene and artifical grass, so that's he is comfortable at night.  In the late morning he will still be in his doghouse. He doesn't often come out to eat the food I give him.  Even though the temps here are up to around 24 degrees.  I have got him out a few times and when I do he does go to the food and eats, but it's like if I didn't get him out he'd probably stay in his doghouse all day. Which is located in the shaded part of his enclosure.  I noticed that if he sleeps in his greenhouse he seems to come out sometimes as I guess it gets too hot in there.  We are in the 3rd week of autumn and the weather is still rather hot. I am worried about him not being more active. He is used to being outside but if the weather at night goes below 11 degrees I have bought him inside.  When he is indoors he tends to just go over to the corner of the tortoise table, go under a artifical plant and go to sleep. I am concerned he is not more active.

2 Year Old Hermanns Tortoise Loosing Weight

10 March 2016 - 10:23 AM

Hi everyone

I am a tad concerned about my Tortoise that I have now had for around 5 weeks. Throughout the time he's been with me he has lost weight from 274 grams to 270 grams.  I have mentioned him before on this website, and explained how he has been bought up on mixed veges (ie. frozen corn, peas, and beans), and fresh greens such as mesculin.  He does have slight pyramiding and from the time I got him I have changed his indoor enclosure to soil as a substrate, the breeder had told me to just use artifical grass.  He was kept outside by the breeder and lived on a grass substrate, has already hibernated once.  I have also mainly left him outside  in an enclosure that has had the grass removed soil put in and there have been a few changes in his enclosure such as adding plants and a small doghouse.  He has definitely to coin a phrase, "really started to come out of his shell" as he has started walking around his outdoor enclosure quite a lot esp to check out any changes that I have done.  I have been told that he is too heavy for a 2 year old.  He does not eat a great deal of food, but he does eat most days.  I am feeding him a mixture of Puha, dandelion, catsear, fushia, aloe, little bit of watercress, kale, and grapevine leaves.  He doesn't mind being hand fed at times, so I think is starting to trust me. Do I need to worry about the weight loss? He never eats all his food, but then I could be giving him too much.  How often should I feed him during the day and how much? He's been looked at by my vet, as I took him in for a check over, and as I am my vet said he is looking good, slight pyramiding but nothing to worry about.  I intend to over winter him, as I am thinking that for his first year with me, getting probably stressed with the travel to get to me, change of ownership, change of food and weight loss it woould not be a good idea to let him hibernate.  What do others think of that train of though? thanks

Update And Pictures Of Changes In My Hermann Tortoise's Outdoor Enclosure

01 March 2016 - 07:03 AM

Hi everyone

The weather turned cold today, so I went out and bought my Tortoise (his name is Florin) a new wooden dog kennel that has a kinda of plastic strip moving curtain in the front so he can come and go.  It appears to have room for a warming light as it is  55 cms high and I thought I could add the warming light around 30 cms up the side of the kennel. I thought of eventually adding some insulation, can someone please let me know which insulation is best? I thought I would use a black ceramic bulb in a cage as the same as I have mounted in his indoor enclosure. Not sure what wattage to use, does that sound okay? I will have to get an electrician to wire it all up, as all electrical work must be done by an electrician in NZ.  With the change of weather the last two days Florin has not eaten (or if he did it would be very little),  After putting in the new enclosure I also put some fresh food into it at around 5 pm tonight so hopefully when I check on him tomorrow some will be eaten.  Do I need to worry that he's not eaten? We have just started Autumn today but will still get some good weather. I put some artificial grass and some glass panels underneath the soil in his new house so that the floor would be warm and the gaps in the wood would be covered.  I hope that is okay.I guess I was so enjoying seeming him come out while we had good weather, but find that I am constantly worrying about him being in his outdoor enclosure, He is still hiding a lot.  It's kind of bare in his enclosure at the moment but I might be putting some grasses in a few weeks. Anyway I have attached some pictures of the new house in his enclosure and the cold frame, plus a pic of the wall me and my husband put up to hide where his enclosure is, so people that go past our front fence or walk up or froAttached File  outside privacy wall.jpg   44.37KB   1 downloadsAttached File  Florins new house.jpg   48.66KB   2 downloadsAttached File  cold frame & new house.jpg   34.78KB   2 downloadsnt path can't see that there is a hutch.


Store Bought Grasses For Outdoor Enclosure

29 February 2016 - 04:42 AM

Hi everyone

Firstly, I must thank again, the moderator of this forum for such quick replies.  I really appreciate your help.

Today, I went out and bought some grasses to put into the outdoor enclosure.  A mixture of Carex and Fescue.  As they are store bought, I asked the owner how long it would take for the fertilizer or any sprays to leave the plant so that it'd be safe for my tortoise.  She said two weeks.  The garden centre does not spray the plants, but she couldn't comment on the nursery that sent them.  When I got the plants home, I got each plant out of it's container, spent a long time hosing it down to get rid of all the soil and expose the roots.  I then planted them in organic potting soil, to sit for a couple of weeks outside.  After that I would like to plant them straight into the substrate or place them in the containers, into my outdoor enclosure.  I washed the actual plant as well as the roots really well. Also did the same with some coleus that has been inside for around 6 weeks and the woman at the garden centre said they would be fine to feed to my toroise as in six weeks any fertiliser or spray would have gone. So I need to ask is the above procedure okay to ensure all is safe with the grasses plus my plants that I have indoors. I did the same with a pansy. If not what is a safe procedure.

Thanks again,