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#1 Guest_darm_314_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 11:24 AM

i have 2 herman tortoises. when we bnought them last year we were told by tthe store nto to hibernate them and they they could stay inside all the time if they wanted although we did put them out side in a little run on really hot days.

howvere now the same store sells them as garden totorises and says you have to hibernate them so whihc is the truth? if it is the latter how and when do i hibernate them and at what age. also what srt of stuff and size outside enclousure dot hey need? whwere cna ib uy this stuff? how often should they be out in it? i would want to make a really good outside enclousre so i need ltos of help and specifics please


#2 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:27 PM

Hi Sam

do not panic !

There is loads of information on this website under 'care sheets' and 'information' etc and on the forum answers from Arnie and others and also on other sites such as the Tortoise Trust. Do you know for sure you've got Hermann's tortoises? This is really important - some kinds of tort don't hibernate at all.

Hermanns are built to hibernate but they don't die if we decide not to hibernate them and if you are unsure and worried then don't do it this year especially if you don't know how healthy they are.

If you are keeping them awake indoors all winter then you need to keep them warm and really they benefit from artificail lights with ultraviolet in them. You can get these lamps from various mail order companies.
The one I have is called the ZOOmed and it puts out heat and light at the same time, with this one you need about 70 to get up and running also its useful to have a timer for it which you can get very cheap.

If you are keeping your torts awake all winter I suggest you don't worry about the outdoor enclosure yet because you won't need it till April or May anyway.

Don't leave you torts outside now we are into winter as they can easily die with the wet and cold.

Have a look all over this website and read up the information on it.

If they are Hermanns torts then they are fairly hardy but don't leave them outside in winter and do not attempt to hibernate unless you feel reasonably sure what you are doing. Diet is also very important - if you are just starting out and don't have much information then dandellion leaves are always good for tortoises and they are easy to find (give leaves a good wash). Good luc and read up what is on this site.

In the spring you can build a super outdoor area but for the moment I suggest you focus on getting the indoors bit right.

#3 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 01:28 PM

Hi Sam

I totally agree with Orzic. Check out what kind of tortoises they are first. If they are def.hermanns or another species. When you do come to building an outside enclosure make sure it is rodent proof and try to dig it down slightly as torts are pretty good diggers :D


#4 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 01:29 PM

Whereabouts in the country are you sam?


#5 Guest_Henry_Flash_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 04:00 PM

I agree with all the advice given here.
I have a small outdoor housing section on my website. I will leave a link incase it is of use to you :-)


0.1.3 Hermanns
1.0.0 graeca graeca
1.0.0 Horsfield

#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:59 PM

Hi Sam,

You've found a really friendly and helpful group of people here, so do't worry. Petshops are notorious for talking authoritatively about subjects on which they know nothing, and there are a lot of poorly torts as a result. In addition to the care sheets on this site, have a look at these two sites - the information they give will really get you on the right road very quickly.

But do come back with any questions you might have - that's what we're here for. Can you tell us how you are keeping your torts (what kind of enclosure are they in, what sort of substrate and lighting/heating do they have, what are you feeding them)? It all helps us to get a picture and then we can answer specific questions quicker. And if you can, do post a picture of them - we love looking at pictures of torts


#7 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:49 PM

Hello Sam
You've been given some good advice and web sites to read, just remember a garden tort is the old name for a Hermann tort, (we need to be sure on there species though)
But even Hermann's need some kind of heat for cold mornings and days in the 6 months they are outside so always bear that in mind, heat makes a tortoise function properly and also the chance to cool down if they want to, so both options should be offered.

#8 Guest_darm_314_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:44 AM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 14-12-06 AT 10:47 AM (GMT)]thancx fro all the help. will look a the sites later. i wont be attempting to hibernate them this year. they are def herman tortoises. they are inside for the winter and they have the unltra violet light thing in their indoor enclosure so have not done it as bad as i thought. thanx for the help. i found a lsit the other day pf edible plants whihc was good as well. what do you feed them int he winter as obvious;ly dandelion leaves arent around as arent most the p[lants. also how do you know if you are feeding them the right amount?

oh also i am based in norfolk. thanx for all the help

#9 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:59 PM


Actually dandelions are still around in my garden, as is plantain and quite a few other weeds (mild winter we're having), but when it gets really cold then you can feed a type of salad called Floretti Crispy (sold in most supermarkets), romaine lettuce, water cress (not salad cress) for part of the diet, and grow your own weeds indoors for the rest. You can get super weeds seeds especially formulated for tortoises from
It seems expensive, but a bag lasts for ages (I overwintered my tort last year and grew countless trays of weeds and I still have over half the bag of seeds left.


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