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How many times should i feed my tortoise a day?

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#1 Guest_DJx_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:03 PM

I have a 4 year old hermann tortoise that i have owned for about 4 months. I am a bit worried that i am over feeding her because i feed her 3 times a day each time it covers her shell is this to much? She alway eats it all and wants more what do i do? ( i have been advised to keep feeding her untill she is full leaves her tile i feed her on).

#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:18 PM

Mine are kept outdoors and I tend to chuck in a handfull of weeds then let them forage around the enclosure if they want more!

The best way to moniter it is to keep an eye on his weight. You want to aim for slow steady weight gain.

Some people feed once, some feed a couple of times, depends on your tort! Some of mine are grazers whilst others will munch away as soon as its put there!

#3 Guest_DJx_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:23 PM

ok thanks i will weigh her soon but is there a difference because my tortoise lives indoors ? thanks :rolleyes:

#4 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:03 PM


Once a day is plenty - weigh her monthly and look for a gain of around 3 grams. What you do is feed as much as gives a good weight gain, not what the tortoise wants. The idea of covering the shell is a false one as some food is higher in fibre than others.

#5 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:08 PM

I give my tort two feeds a day,i only give the amount of the shell size,so i half the amounts, overfeeding will cause pyramiding of the shell,i give one feed in the morning and the other late afternoon.
Jay and H

#6 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:15 PM


Just to say if thats your tortoise in the picture, he/she show quite bad signs of pyramiding. The shell should be as smooth as a babies bottom:0)
The straw substrate you are using will in time cause problems too, as your tortoise cant dig down in it.
And your tortoise should be outside from May to October weather permitting, as its cruel not too sorry.

#7 Guest_DJx_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:30 PM

Thanks everyone for giving me advice, yes my tortoise does have very bad pyramiding but it was already bad when i got her, is there any way apart from less food i can help it. thanks :rolleyes:

#8 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:55 PM

Hello there welcome to the forum! :D 

Do you bath her regularly? There is said to be a link between dehydration and pyramiding. What type of enclosure does she have? Does she have access to a UV light and heat lamp?

I would be careful using your substrate near any heat source. Most people on here use either a topsoil and playsand mix (70/30) or just topsoil. Far better for the little guys!! :wub: 

We are always happy to help where we can. :D 

Paula x

#9 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:24 PM

Hi there, I think you are almost certainly feeding too much. I like to see mine eat every day but some keepers feed less often than that. Tortoises kept indoors can easily over-eat. I'd suggest once a day and keep an eye on the weight gain. A steady but slow increase over a period of months is what we should be aiming for.

Tortoises are sort of programmed to eat any food they find as in the natural environment it would be hard to find anything to eat and the tortoise would have to survive some days without anything.

One way to keep check over things is to put in some food and let the tortoise eat, then remove whatever is left after 20 minutes.

#10 Guest_DJx_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:01 AM

Hi thanks everyone, yeah i do bath her regulary about 2-3 times a week. I have cut down on the amount i feed her i gave her one feed yesterday she was a bit grumpy with me! :rolleyes:

#11 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:47 AM


Bathing will not help with shell growth but overnight humid hides will. I know that certain 'experts' disagree with this link but having done it succesfully for several years now, even faster growing tortoises are producing completely smooth shells this way, as opposed to the very dry upbringing of my original hatchlings which are slightly lumpy. When you think of how they live in the wild, it is just common sense really.

#12 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:26 PM

Now I have never used a humid hide, and can get smooth tortoises. So it must have something to do with the husbandry, but not sure what if its not over feeding. And the South East is a quite dry area to boot.
I wouldnt advise growing tortoises big/faster under any circumstances, but its each to their own.

#13 Guest_wizzasmum_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 04:52 PM


The south east may be dry but outdoor humidity is still high Sandy, especially in the early mornings and overnight. The Med is incredibly dry but I got soaked on my weed hunts in the mornings. I don't advocate deliberate fast growth either but when keeping torts in groups outdoors theres not a lot you can do if one grows faster than others. It's nothing to do with each to their own' I am just stating what I have found. I'm not here to score points so maybe it's best if I just take a break for a while.

#14 Guest_brucefairweather_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:43 PM

we need keepers/breeders like you both on here.i have herd a lot of really good advice from the pair of you!!!!dont go sue :(

#15 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:05 PM

Ohhhh nooooo!! :( 

This is what the forum is all about, sharing ideas, offering different points of view, respecting that others may have a different point of view, but valuing everyone elses opinions and findings.

Who out there does know everything there is to know about tortoises? We are learning all the time, we are at any early stage of finding out about the science of how things work, sharing info is what it is all about.

Lets carry on sharing thoughts and experiences.... for the little guys sake!! :wub: 

Paula x

#16 Guest_markf_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:24 PM

ive been reading back through this thread and cant see where there was really a problem........

I think quite often when conversation is taking place like this on forums, in typed form, it is very difficult to guage how something is being spoken, and in what "tone of voice" if you like, its being said!

Its like texting. The ammount of times ive texted something , tongue in cheek, and its gone wrong!!

Im on many forums, because i have many hobbies!!, I always stay with friendly ones like this, but still at times, mis understandings happen.

Thankfully , they are all resolved, forgotten, and the forum is enjoyed by all again.

So heh, lets do that.!! (although im at a loss to find the problem!!)

#17 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:44 PM

For me its good to have different voices on the forum and there would be something wrong if everyone agreed totally on everything. I believe that would be a situation when nobody learns.

When my tortises are outside I don't feel they need additional humidity and I don't make humid hides for them. When they are indoors I have tried a few ways to make humid hides for them but I haven't got the perfect solution yet! Very often they don't sleep in the hide and I prefer not to disturb then by lifting them and placing them somewhere that they didn't choose to go.

#18 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:16 PM

Group hug please everyone :rolleyes:  :wub:

#19 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*
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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:59 PM

are we all good now? truth is there are lots of ways to rear tortoises that each work well, just like for example Dawns 2 of the same age and one is twice size of other!! (really hoping I got that right now!!) my 2 are same age and have exactly the same conditions but are really diff shapes and really diff personalities.

So happy new year folks... I am late for everything lol xx

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