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Help With Weight Gain


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#1 den2908

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    Denise
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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:46 PM

Hi,
I have two, two year old hermanns hercegovinenisis. I weighed them today and am now a bit concerned about the amount of weight they have gained. I am feeding an all weed diet. They are given the amount of weeds to cover their shells ( maybe a little more) and they have a couple of plants in their outdoor enclosure which they browse on occasionally.

On 23rd July Daphne measured just over 7cm and weighed 87g and today she measures 7.5 and weighs 99g. Mabel weighed 67g on the 23rd July and measured just over 6.7 cm and now she is 7cm and weighs 83g!
I put the weights and measures into a jackson ratio calculator and they have come out as 0.23 and 0.24 respectively - which shows them to be overweight.

I'm sure I have read somewhere that the ideal weight gain per month is 3grams!

They spend most of the time outside. When the weather is very cold and wet I bring them into their table indoors as I dont have heating outside yet. (coming soon though). I am wondering if they are getting too cold and then not warming up enough to exercise. Could that be the cause of the weight gain.

What would be really helpful to know is how much others give their torts to eat and two years old.
I have attached a couple of pictures - do they look ok?
Any advice would be great.
Thanks
Denise

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#2 Hettie

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:51 PM

Hi Denise,
I 'fostered' a two year old Herc last year. :) He moved in to his new forever home a couple of months ago. He was 2 in July and still only weighs around 37g although I am not sure of his length. Please don't panic though, they all grow at different rates.
The recommended weight gain is 2-3g per month, although this is an average, the Hercs are smaller and in my opinion you really wouldn't want to be above this amount for this particular subspecies.
You could try a little less food and see what happens. Don't forget though they do have kind of growth spurts and so you really are doing the right thing, regular weighing and monitoring over time might just even things up a little.
Your torts do look absolutely gorgeous though so for now I wouldn't worry too much. Cut back a little if you can and weigh them regularly... a moment on the lips and all that!

Paula x

#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:03 PM

Hi,
I have two, two year old hermanns hercegovinenisis. I weighed them today and am now a bit concerned about the amount of weight they have gained. I am feeding an all weed diet. They are given the amount of weeds to cover their shells ( maybe a little more) and they have a couple of plants in their outdoor enclosure which they browse on occasionally.

On 23rd July Daphne measured just over 7cm and weighed 87g and today she measures 7.5 and weighs 99g. Mabel weighed 67g on the 23rd July and measured just over 6.7 cm and now she is 7cm and weighs 83g!
I put the weights and measures into a jackson ratio calculator and they have come out as 0.23 and 0.24 respectively - which shows them to be overweight.

I'm sure I have read somewhere that the ideal weight gain per month is 3grams!

They spend most of the time outside. When the weather is very cold and wet I bring them into their table indoors as I dont have heating outside yet. (coming soon though). I am wondering if they are getting too cold and then not warming up enough to exercise. Could that be the cause of the weight gain.

What would be really helpful to know is how much others give their torts to eat and two years old.
I have attached a couple of pictures - do they look ok?
Any advice would be great.
Thanks
Denise


The idea of feeding enough to cover the shell is a strange one, as different leaves can give different results. The best way to check is to do as you are doing and keep a check on weight gain and overall shell growth. If it is gaining a lot of weight and the outline of it's shell is not smooth then you may be feeding too much, but it may also be that the substrate is too dry, which prevents the shell from growing smoothly. The jackson ratio is nothing to do with the size of your tortoise, just a guide to whether or not they are heavy enough to hibernate and even then it can be a false reading, as the jackson ratio was make to check wild tortoises, which often have a different pattern of growth to a captive reared one. Hope this helps

#4 den2908

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:42 AM

Hi, Thank you Paula and Sue, Your information is very helpful. I will keep up the monthly weigh - ins and try not to worry too much. I didn't realise the Jackson ratio was for wild torts Sue, thanks for pointing that out.

I do water the topsoil in their indoor enclosure but they tend not to bury down in it. Do you agree with having hides in the indoor enclosure - they just seem to walk into the hide and settle down and I know that ideally they should be burying themselves.

Thanks again
Denise

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:36 PM

Hi, Thank you Paula and Sue, Your information is very helpful. I will keep up the monthly weigh - ins and try not to worry too much. I didn't realise the Jackson ratio was for wild torts Sue, thanks for pointing that out.

I do water the topsoil in their indoor enclosure but they tend not to bury down in it. Do you agree with having hides in the indoor enclosure - they just seem to walk into the hide and settle down and I know that ideally they should be burying themselves.

Thanks again
Denise



Hi Denise
If you remove the hide, then it should dig down, if not it could be that your overnight temps are too high. Hope this helps.

#6 den2908

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:01 PM

Hi - thanks Ozric,
A percentage of body weight would make sense. Thank you for saying that they look ok - I was starting to worry. I will just keep an eye on it and keep weighing ( but think of it in the long term rather than month by month)

Sue - good news. I removed the hide this evening and switched of the UV and heat. Daphne bedded down almost immediately, burying into the topsoil- (but she does seem to be the lazier one of the two! ;) ) but Mabel paced round and round looking for the hide for ages - a couple of hours! I felt rather sorry for her - because she really couldn't work out where it had gone! I decided not to give in though and turned off the dining room lights, leaving them in complete darkness. Checked again, about 30 mins later and she had buried herself right into the soil. Mabel has never done this before - always slept on the surface - am sure this will be better for their hydration and shell growth. - Thank you Sue! :D

Denise

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:00 PM

Oh bless, it does seem cruel sometimes, but just shows how lazy they can get in captivity, little monkeys ;)

#8 MeImNot

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:38 PM

Hi Denise I think yr torts look very good and agree with Ozric that the 3gr gain per month is a little vague ...when I tried doing it for mine she started eating stones! Just for an approx comparison my 2yo Herc is 7.6cms and weighs 100gr

#9 Kelly

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

Many keepers are now using the Hailey conditions calculator instead of the Jackson Ration.

http://www.ahailey.f9.co.uk/cond.htm


Thanks for this link. :thumbup:

#10 Greenslider

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:53 PM

I've almost given up on the 2-4g per month rule..Initially on of my girls took off in April...and the last month the other girl has joined her in the turbo growth business....just make sure they have to plod around for a few hours before you feed them. I've found that more rocks and scrambling, plenty of burrowing and climbing has really helped even out growth




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