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Does my Tortoise Know best

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#1 Guest_Tortoise_gal_*

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:25 PM

Hi all,
If you don't mind I'd like to ask a beginner's question?
My little Tortoise 'Diny' (short for Dinosaur, my 2 year old son thinks he's one!)seems to like his new enclosure. He wandered around for approx, 2 hours and then burrowed in the coolest corner under hay and dried leaves and into the soil/sand.
The thing is he stayed there for approx. 16 hours and he felt so cold that I took him out gave him a luke warm bath and his dins which he ate, wandered around again (approx. hour)and then buried himself in the same corner.
This has happened every day since I got him (a week).
My question is.........does Diny know whats best for himself temp. wise, should I leave him buried until he comes out himself, will he come out himself? Why is he choosing the coolest part, and how active are your tortoises. All your 'photos seem to suggest that they are active alot of the time.
Best regards

#2 Guest_Henry_Flash_*

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

I would just let him decide where he wants to be although I usually move mine at feeding time if there at the cool end and asleep (because I worry). Mine aren't very active at the moment because the weathers cold they just sleep and eat.

1.0.2 Hermanns

#3 Guest_heaven leigh_*

Guest_heaven leigh_*
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Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:40 PM

one of my torts likes to sleep in the cool area of there pen so i just leave her there , cos i think if shes cold she'll move lol

#4 Guest_Tortoise_gal_*

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:54 PM

I'm just afraid that he'll get so cold that he won't move. Is it possible? he's in my kitchen which is usually quite warm and his table is next to south facing french doors, so he gets lots of sun.
Maybe I'm worrying too much. I just love him so!

#5 Guest_jeff_*

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 09:44 PM

Hi there henry is right,just keep an eye on him.like henry said move your tort at feeding time so he can eat but dont worry they dont seem to eat as much this time of year.the air tems are to low and tortoise just seem to know.keep up with the baths and next month should start to pick up as air tems rise.take care jeff

#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:17 AM

I was just wondering what the temperatures are in his enclosure (at the hot spot and in the cool area).


#7 Guest_Katrin4711_*

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:32 AM

Have you got a lamp in your enclosure?


#8 Guest_Tortoise_gal_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 03:43 PM

Just to let you know,Diny got up at 9am this morning and is still wandering around now at 3.40pm, he's eating loads, and hasn't gone into his shell once evening though my kitchen can be quite busy, so maybe he was just shy settling in.
Thanks for all your help,
Best regards
Louise xx

#9 Guest_Henry_Flash_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:23 PM

Thats good to hear, but make sure you don't feed him too much you don't want him pyramiding

1.0.2 Hermanns

#10 Guest_Tortoise_gal_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:07 PM

Hi Henry_Flash
He already has quite a bit of pyramiding. He is a 'captive bred' Slovenien Tortoise. He's 5 years old so it makes me wonder where he's been for 5 years. What kind of condition has he been kept in etc. He's very friendly though, but still his diet can't have been good.

#11 Guest_Henry_Flash_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:35 PM

My five year old is also slovinien he was slightly pyramided when I got him but as he grows it is becoming less obvious (well it seems like it is I'm not sure if it's possible)

1.0.2 Hermanns

#12 Guest_vale46_1_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:01 PM

Hi all,

Pyramiding does seem to be quite a common occurance in the imported torts i have seen in garden centers and pet shops. Obviously due to poor diet and in some shops lack of UV light. Again this is down to ignorance and lack of interest on the part of the seller. I know that in the last few years in particular, there have been an awful lot of so called complete dried foods (high in protien) put on the market and are sold along with the tortoise to the new keeper. The sorry thing is, is that the new keeper who has little or no knowledge of the correct husbandry listens to what the so called expert in the shop tells them and goes away happy with their new purchase unaware of the problems they are going to cause the poor little fella. In this case to some extent ignorance on the part of the new keeper can be excused, they have sought the advice from the pet shop, they have seen the set up in the shop, so why would they doubt what they are told. However ignorance on the part of the seller is never and acceptable excuse. Its all about education and if the seller has no idea what they are doing then the new keeper and worse still the poor little tortoise have no chance.


#13 Guest_Tortoise_gal_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:20 PM

I agree with you Steve, and its a good job I found this site. Youre all doing great work on behalf of our shelled friends. Thanks Louise

#14 Guest_lelasuzi_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 01:12 PM

Hello, I joined 2 weeks ago. I`ve been scared to post cos Shelly was an impulse buy from a pet shop. Anyway, I got her and then came on here and was appalled that I did`nt have all she needed.I bought all that I could and she seemed happy. However the pet shop gave me T-Rex pellets and I did`nt give her them. I gave her Florette, Nutrobal, cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage and watercress. She does`nt eat at all. On Sat I caved in and gave her the pellets and she ate 2 capfulls of them. We have 8 cats, Shelly is free in the day cos I am there. Today I saw her eating cat food! She was crazy to eat it. I moved the bowl and she was`nt happy. I put her back in her house but she kept looking at me. Am I being awful with her? Is it ok if she eats cat food when she wont eat greens? I am worried sick as I love her so much. Also, I have her in 50/50 sand and topsoil. I bath her every 2 days. How often do I need to change her substrate? Thanks in advance. Sue.

#15 Guest_AW1971_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:09 PM

I bought my first tortoise from a pet shop as i didnt have a clue. I`m quite new to all this aswell. I didnt even know you could still buy them. But its amazing the amount of things i`ve learnt. All that matters now is that you give the little chap a good life which i`m sure you will. There are lots of lovely people on here that will help you, they make you feel very welcome, take care. Alex.

#16 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:26 PM

Hello Sue
Please throw the pellets away, the diet you were giving him was better than that, but take out the tomatoes and cabbage, the tomatoes can upset there gut flora and the cabbage belongs to the brassica family which takes out the calcium he needs in his food, well it would if he was eating :-)
Try and find some dandelions, sow thistle. He won't starve. make sure his heating is correct in the setup, that can really throw a tortoise off it's food.
Have a read and if you need anymore help get back to us, don't be frightened to come on here, we are not that bad :-)

#17 Guest_lelasuzi_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:24 PM

Hi Arnie, Thanks so much for replying. Is it not ok to give the pellets once a week for example? If you saw her eat them on Saturday!! She ate so much of them. I`m not totally stupid but if she likes them is it so bad 1 time a week? I give her all the things that peeps on here say to but she`s not interested. I still need answers for the cat food and changing the substrate by the way. Thanks so much, Sue.

#18 Guest_amy_smith33_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:27 PM


Sorry to say, pellets should not be fed at all, they are high in proteins, which in the long term will cause your tortoise great damage.
Cat/dog food are out to because of the high protein content.
Weeds and flowers are the thing to get. If you go to www.thetortoisehouse.com www.tortoises.net you will find all the information you will need on how to keep and feed your torotise.

#19 Guest_mattgriffin1_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:47 PM

Don't be tempted to feed the pellets at all, not even once a week. They are highly addictive and it is better to get your tort off them now. Certainly don't allow any cat or dog foods or any meat-based products. Your tortoise will not starve itself to death. It won't come to any harm if it sulks and refuses to eat for a week or two. If you keep offering the weeds eventually it will eat them and develop a taste for them. Don't cave in during the process and give the pellets becasue you will back to square 1.


#20 Guest_lelasuzi_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:00 PM

Thanks Matt, I wont give them again. She just wont eat what I put down for her. Like I said, I did the stupid thing and bought her from a pet shop. I cant give her back cos we`ve all fallen in love with her. I know now I should`nt have got her from there but she`s here now. She can have anything she needs. We live up north and we dont have any dandelions yet. Cant wait till they come! Still need to know about substrate. Regards, Sue.

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