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Im New - Where can i get a baby hermann tortoise from?


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#1 Guest_xsammie89x_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:21 AM

I am interested in getting a hermann tortoise, i have priced up the vivarium and all of the extras, uv light etc..

I have also priced up a hermann tortoise from a shop at 99, although i have also read that i shouldnt be buying a tortoise from a shop as it could be ill or damaged due to being poorly transported.

Does anyone have any advice on wether i should get a tortoise from a shop or any well known breeders close to darlington/county durham?

#2 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:04 AM

hi welcome to the forum

first off i would advise against a viv as there not very good for tortoises, you are better off going for a tortoise table or indoor rabbit/guinea pig cage instead much better for a tortoise, :) 

i bought my two from a pet shop and so far touch wood there ok, but yes try finding a breeder around your area first, if you do go the pet shop way ask to see the certificate before you buy that way you will know if they were imported and then its up to you wether you buy, (my pet shop said they were captive bred here but the certifacte says otherwise)

hopefully someone will be along soon and can advise you on a breeder in your area.
 



#3 Guest_xsammie89x_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:11 AM

 
hi welcome to the forum

first off i would advise against a viv as there not very good for tortoises, you are better off going for a tortoise table or indoor rabbit/guinea pig cage instead much better for a tortoise, :) 

i bought my two from a pet shop and so far touch wood there ok, but yes try finding a breeder around your area first, if you do go the pet shop way ask to see the certificate before you buy that way you will know if they were imported and then its up to you wether you buy, (my pet shop said they were captive bred here but the certifacte says otherwise)

hopefully someone will be along soon and can advise you on a breeder in your area.


Thanks for your response, so you said that the pet shop told you they were captive bred when they werent... does that not matter then? because obviously i didnt just want to dive in head first, buy a tortoise and not have a clue what to do, therefore ive looked at a lot of websites and quite a few say that you shoudnt buy them if they arent captive bred.

Also, on some advertising websites there is people advertising tortoises free to a good home, should i be wary of these or not?



#4 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:26 AM

Hi and welcome to the forum....

Ok, firstly please do not get your new tort a vivarium, they are expensive and not very good for their health - please read through the various posts on here on them.

A basic set up for a tort:

A tort table -
you can buy these ready made or for a cheaper option buy a cheap bookcase (argos do one for 11.99) and use that - there was a recent post on how to convert a bookcase - about 10 post's down titled 'Is this ok'. An alternitive is an indoor rabbit cage - again you can get these from argos or any pet shop priced around 40 depending on size and where you get it from!

Heat bulb & UV bulb -
Here you have a couple of choices, you can have seperate bulbs; for this option you can use an ordinary spot bulb - R63/64 or R80 depending on wattage - these are under a 1 in most supermarkets (get either a 40 or 60 watt, this should be sufficient), for UV you can either get a tube a REPTI 10- these are anything up to 30 and you will need the starter (not sure on their price 30 - 40 ish) or you can get an arcadia compact UV bulb (around 25) then you just need a lamp holder to put it in (Arcadia do a holder for around 10 - 15) or you can get a combined heat/UV bulb - these cost around 50 but work out cheaper in the long term and a ceramic bulb holder for one of these is approx 15

Substrate -
Cheapest option is topsoil! Either from your garden or a garden centre - just make sure it has no pesticides in it (some come with active weedkillers mixed in the soil) or you can use ambiouse, hemp, or a mix of sand/soil (must be childrens playsand and a mix of approx 30% sand to 70% soil or thereabouts)

Food -
WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS!!!!!!! You can find a list of weeds and edible plants on the forum - all free and cheap!!! As an alternitive you can give Florretti mixed leaves or supermarkets own equivalent, but weeds is a first and cheaper choice.

Extra's -
bowls - use the plastic bowls that go inder plant pots as a cheaper option, you only really need one for the water dish as the food should be placed on a peice of slate to help keep their beak trim.
2x peices of slate - one for the food and another to go under the heat lamp..
Hides - use flowerpots on their sides for a cheap option - why go out and buy expensive little houses - trust me they rarely use them!!! They tend to just bury down in the substrate anyway!!!! Or get some bits of bark and make a 'natural' hide or rocks....

Vitamins/Minerals -
basically if your tort is on a weed diet then they will not need additional vits/mins. You only need to give these as a supplement if they are not getting enough calcium from their food (ie if you feed an artificial diet, ie florretti or other other foodstuffs) Weeds have enough calcium in them. Same sort as thing as us humans really - if you eat good there is no need for added vits but if you eat a crap diet then you need supplements!

Finally, you will need an outdoor run that your tort can go in to get some au-natural fresh air and sunshine! There are different options - ranging from rabbit/guinea pig runs or you can just rig something up yourself! The sides need to be high enough to prevent the tort climbing out - beleive you me - they can climb!!!!! Prefably something covered - look on the outdoor enclosure forum for ideas... It needs to be in a sunny spot with areas of shade, edible plants growing for him to eat, places to hide - basically a natural environment! Smaller torts can be prey to large birds (magpies, crows, seagulls etc) and also foxs, cats and dogs! So make sure the enclosure is preditor proof. As already mentioned a covered enclosure will prevent this happening.

Torts need to go out and if you can't provide an outdoor environment for them then you really need to think if this is the right pet for you.

The tort will also need to be hibernated - this can either be done via a fridge or natural environment. For a beginner (and even some of us as well!) The fridge method is the best option as you can control the temperature. Again, this is a natural occurance for thr tort and if you 'don't want to' hibernate for your own reasons then I would suggest getting a tort that doesn't need to hibernate. It really is of a benefit to them and helps to control their metablism and growth. The ONLY reasons a tort shouldn't be hibernated is if they are ill or severly underweight.

Care -
If you have the above set up for your tort, then your tort should thrive. The only other things you will need to do is bath the tort - unless you see them actively drinking - for this you will need a tub (biscuit tub is ideal!) fill it with enough warm water to come up to the bottom of the shell and pop your tort in for anything from 5 - 20 mins. This will ensure your tort is hydrated. They normally pee and/or poo in the water! Some people bath daily, some weekly, or even monthly. Your choice as long as your tort is hydrated. Signs of dehydration include 'gritty' or 'chalky' urates. This is white stuff normally passed when they pee - the consistantsy should be creamy.
Leave your heat/UV lights on for around 12 hours a day in the summer - they will gradualy need to be decreased with the cooler months so your tort can start to wind down for winter. Basically if you have your light set on a timer to mimic when the sun rises and sets you wont go far wrong - check the internet for these times.

Getting a Tort -
Pet shops are not ideal - but I cant commet (and neither can most of us!) as we have all been there! BUT I would strongly advise you go to a breeder for a number of reasons - they will be cheaper, healthier and you can be sure of their background. Most shop bought torts are wild caught (meaning they were obtained illegally from the wild or bred on farms - you know like the puupy farms?? Where the conditions will be less than ideal)
If you scroll through some of the posts on this forum you will come across lists of breeders. In the search bar type in breeders - that should bring some up... if not post again and we will find some lists for you.

Anyhew! Hope this has helped... please ask if you are not sure or have any other questions -
DO NOT RUSH OUT AND BUY EQUIPTMENT & TORT FROM A PETSHOP WITHOUT FIRST THINKING VERY CAREFULLY ABOUT IT!!!! You could be making a rod for your own back in the long term!!!!!




#5 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:29 AM

 
Thanks for your response, so you said that the pet shop told you they were captive bred when they werent... does that not matter then? because obviously i didnt just want to dive in head first, buy a tortoise and not have a clue what to do, therefore ive looked at a lot of websites and quite a few say that you shoudnt buy them if they arent captive bred.

Also, on some advertising websites there is people advertising tortoises free to a good home, should i be wary of these or not?



YES!!! Be very wary of these - mostly it is beacuse the tort is ill! Only follow this route if you can be sure the tort is not ill. Also NEVER obtain a HErmanns tort without a certificate - it may be stolen!

Some forums have a rehoming section - but these tend to be long process's and like with anything you rehome you will be vetted to ensure you are suitable.

Bear with me and I'll try and post some breeders lists.....



#6 Guest_xsammie89x_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:36 AM

Thankyou for all of that information, it has really helped a lot.

So if i went and bought a hamster/guinea pig cage then that should be okay? or not?
Does the tortoises home have to be wooden or could it be plastic? I have seen someone elses home out of a guinea pig cage and it was plastic (on another post) and it looked good.

Also, Im still living with parents and in the house we live in, weve only got a yard, not a garden. I could put a run out there for the tortoise to get fresh air etc, and place in some weeds for it to munch, but would not have any grass, just concrete. Would this be a bit too dangerous for the tortoise or could i get round it? like with adding weeds. Do they need to go out every day? because if they dont i could take the tortoise to a friends house to borrow their garden :D 

How much should i be looking to pay for a tortoise too? ideally under 1 year old. as i dont want to be ripped off or anything with me being new to this :)



#7 Guest_xsammie89x_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:38 AM

 
YES!!! Be very wary of these - mostly it is beacuse the tort is ill! Only follow this route if you can be sure the tort is not ill. Also NEVER obtain a HErmanns tort without a certificate - it may be stolen!

Some forums have a rehoming section - but these tend to be long process's and like with anything you rehome you will be vetted to ensure you are suitable.

Bear with me and I'll try and post some breeders lists.....



Okay thanks :)



#8 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:46 AM

 
Thankyou for all of that information, it has really helped a lot.

So if i went and bought a hamster/guinea pig cage then that should be okay? or not?

Yes thats fine - I personally prefer to use these..

Does the tortoises home have to be wooden or could it be plastic? I have seen someone elses home out of a guinea pig cage and it was plastic (on another post) and it looked good.

It can be anything - just don't go paying loads of money out - there is no need! Have a look around at what you have... flowerpots are ideal..it's just you can go and pay loads of money out for a supa-dooper house and they probably won't use it!!!!

Also, Im still living with parents and in the house we live in, weve only got a yard, not a garden. I could put a run out there for the tortoise to get fresh air etc, and place in some weeds for it to munch, but would not have any grass, just concrete. Would this be a bit too dangerous for the tortoise or could i get round it? like with adding weeds. Do they need to go out every day? because if they dont i could take the tortoise to a friends house to borrow their garden :D 

Your yard should be fine - concrete is ok, can you not put an area in the enclosure where you can put a layer of dirt? Just so that they can bury down a bit if they want. OR use a rabbit/guinea pig cage outdoors! This way your tort will be in an enclosed and safe environment that can be moved around if need be. Just be careful though if it's a small yard that someone can't climb over and pinch your tort!!!! This can and does happen!!!!! If your using one of these cages indoors then you can just take it outdoors when you want

How much should i be looking to pay for a tortoise too? ideally under 1 year old. as i dont want to be ripped off or anything with me being new to this :) 

Price varies but around £100 - £120 for a hatchling



#9 Guest_xsammie89x_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:57 AM

Thankyou so much for this information
I dont mind payin £100+ for a tortoise when im saving a fortune on the cage

And obviously once its bought.. food is cheap enough - free :P 

I work in a nursery so could just take the children weed picking one day :D 

Thanks a lot for your help.. Ill have a look about for a cage.. i used to have a hamster but gave the cage away as it died after about 4 years.. ill see if the cage is going spare yet and once ive washed it then thats done.

soil is ideal to get cuz my grandad is into his gardening and would happily give me some.. once its up and running ill then look to find a breeder



#10 Guest_clairiscrazy_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 12:01 PM

 
Thanks for your response, so you said that the pet shop told you they were captive bred when they werent... does that not matter then? because obviously i didnt just want to dive in head first, buy a tortoise and not have a clue what to do, therefore ive looked at a lot of websites and quite a few say that you shoudnt buy them if they arent captive bred.

Also, on some advertising websites there is people advertising tortoises free to a good home, should i be wary of these or not?



sorry i didnt make myself clear i asked the shop keeper if they were captive bred here meaning in the uk he said yes so i was happy with that and bought them it wasnt until i looked at the certifacte (which you must get with every hermanns) that the country of orgin was not the uk, so my tortoises were brought in they may off been captive bred in the country of origin but they were not here :(  . i am new to owning tortoises so until i found this forum i didnt have a clue,

i think a hamster cage would be on the small side, if you look on the forum for the pictures of indoor cages you will get a rough idea on what to go for i paid £50 for my large rabbit/guinea pig cage or go to ebay and type in tortoise table loads will come up there,

i use topsoil/playsand for the substrate ive planted weeds and pansies in there aswell so they can graze at there leisure they have a plant pot and a rope straw hidey hole so they can pick whichever to hide in, my cage is plastic the bottom is coloured so they dont get stressed thinking they can walk through..lol..

i paid £125 each for betty and boris i havent seen any hermanns tortoises less than that yet....

adverts in papers or online again you would have to make sure they came with certificates and make sure there healthy

dawn has posted some great advice, also just browse these forums for more info or pictures remember these guys will be with you for a long long time so take your time in finding and getting a good cage + accessories and hermanns :) 


 



#11 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:51 PM

Just bear in mind that by guinea pig cage we mean the indoor one, not a wooden hutch. I use a dog crate and have put about 6" of hardboard around the bottom as the wire goes to the base.

#12 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:57 PM





Some examples of indoor rabbit/guineapig cages...

#13 Guest_becciwales_*

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:56 PM

Ooh that looks great!! Just the answer I was looking for :-)

#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:12 AM

Do bear in mind that if looking at that enclosure, although fine proportionally, the substrate is not a good choice - topsoil or coir is far more suitable ;)

#15 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 06:32 PM

You got there in the end Becci...... X x x hugs x

#16 Guest_becciwales_*

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:04 PM

Do bear in mind that if looking at that enclosure, although fine proportionally, the substrate is not a good choice - topsoil or coir is far more suitable ;)

 

Thank you, yes I've got that on my list of things to get when the time is right!! :-) Where do you get coir from and what is it? Like the door mats? Sorry if that's a daft question!! Ha ha

 

You got there in the end Becci...... X x x hugs x


Yes thank you Stella I did :-) I've also been thinking about how, when the time is right (prob a few years) we could make an outdoor enclosure bigger and more permanent xxx

#17 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:08 PM

Thank you, yes I've got that on my list of things to get when the time is right!! :-) Where do you get coir from and what is it? Like the door mats? Sorry if that's a daft question!! Ha ha

 

Yes, exactly like doormats only shredded. In IKEA it goes by the name of kokosnot but is available in many garden centres too, it comes in brick form which has to be soaked before use and just needs regular watering to keep up the correct consistency. make sure if from garden centres it has no additives which could harm if eaten.



#18 Guest_becciwales_*

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:53 PM

Thank you Sue. Which one would you think is better? Do Tortoise need to be fully cleaned out weekly?

#19 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:16 PM

I tend to use a mix of both topsoil and coconut indoors as it is lighter to carry than just soil. The coconut is easy to rehydrate and the tortoises look nice and clean when emerging from it after burying. I don't do a regular clean as they tend to wee in the bath and it is easy to spot clean the area as and when you see the poops. I probably give a full clean about once a month. Remember to put everything back in the same position as they tend not to like change ;)

#20 Guest_becciwales_*

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

That's great, thanks!!
Well, I've learnt loads from reading this forum and can't wait to start looking for a tortoise!! :)
I'm so glad I did my research first as now I think I know what's best to use/get without making costly mistakes and its always better to learn from experienced people and tortoise lovers than pet shops.
I'm soooo excited :) but we have a lot going on at the moment so now isn't the right time to get one but fingers crossed we can soon!!
Thanks again xx




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