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38 Year Old Adopted Tort


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#1 Ponge69

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

Hi everyone,
Great forum, so much help, advice and friendly support.

I have just adopted a 38 year old Hermann Tort called Fred. He is still in his hibernation box so we are listening everyday for signs he may be waking.

Fred has lived in a large garden all his life and has wintered in his box in the garage. The family that owned him are moving to Australia so we have adopted him. They had him long before owners certificates came out so we don't have one either. Problem?

We have created a large enclosure in our garden with different edible plants, tunnel and bridge, and have his summerhouse tucked under the bushes.

When he wakes I have read that he will need an oil bath, is that as soon as he wakes?
How soon do I feed him?

I'm so concerned that he is going to wake up not knowing where he is that he will become stressed. Do torts suffer with stress??

Sorry to blather on, but the family who owned Fred were very basic on their instructions. "He just eats all summer and sleeps all winter" is pretty much all the info we got. Oh, that and he likes to have sex with concrete??? So have added a terracotta tort to his garden.

Thank you all.

Angie

#2 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:38 AM

Hello Angie, welcome to the forum, and congratulations on becoming proud owners of Fred. There are a few owners taking on older torts kept as you are describing in a garden defending for themselves and surviving.
However, knowledge of these wonderful reptiles has moved on and we know there is so much more we can do to enhance their lives.
There will be so much you will find you need to know, but initially I would check how long Fred has been hibernating, as the general feeling us it should be between 12 and 16 weeks. Also if you have his hibernation box somewhere above 5 degrees he may well be stirring.
When you get him out he needs to be somewhere warm to 'come round' for about an hour, and then given a nice warm bath. No oil.... Just water.. He may want to drink, but don't worry if he doesn't.
Once bathed for 20 mins or so he needs placing under a heat lamp to warm up properly. He may want to eat, he may not.... He needs weeds to eat, dandion, plantain are available now, or if you are struggling florrett mixed lettuce leaves. I hope this helps.... I am sure someone will be along to fill in the gaps!! X x x hugs x x

#3 Graham

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

Hi, Angie,

Great to hear you've become the proud owners of Fred; you sound very dedicated, and I'm sure he's going to enjoy a long and happy life with you.

Tortoise keeping has progressed immensely over the last two decades, and is now quite a specialized subject in its own right. As a new keeper, there is lots to learn; don't worry there's ample information available on the net, and we're always here to help if you have any questions.

The first two links I would recommend to you are these:

 

http://www.tortoisetrust.org     This site has lots of caresheets to guide you in the keeping business.

 

http://www.thetortoi...oise_home_1.asp    An excellent site dedicated to the correct diet and feeding of tortoises.

 

 

If you have any questions or concerns, just post them here, we will endeavour to help.

 

Incidentally, male torts are very partial to flashing their privates at times, I had a fit when Harry first did it, I thought something was drastically wrong; but it appears to be a natural urge (bit like us guys LOL!).

 

 



#4 jay

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

Angie

Hello and welcome to this friendly forum,dont hesitate to ask if you need any advice there's always someone who can help,i bet your looking forward to Fred waking from hibernation,you have already been given some great advice from Stella and Graham,will look forward to seeing pictures of Fred when he wakes.

Jaynex



#5 Freddy

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 07:48 PM

Hi Angie,
Welcome to the forum. Glad you found us. We are a friendly, helpful bunch. I would have little to add to the excellent advice already given by the others. Should you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to hearing more about 'Fred' and wish you the best of luck with him. Hope you enjoy your stay. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:22 AM

hi angie ill just add :welcome:  to the forum.

looking forward to hearing more about fred. :)



#7 Ponge69

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:40 PM

Thanks everyone,

I'm really looking forward to Fred waking up but since the weather is still so cold I think he's better off staying tucked up.

If he wakes up while I'm at work, will he be ok if he's left in his box for a few hours?

Paranoid new parent syndrome, sorry.

#8 Graham

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

Hi, Angie,

Yes, no problem at all; it takes quite a while for torts to emerge so if Fred wakes up while you're at work he'll simply rummage around a bit.

Be prepared, though, for the waking-up procedure; ie. a warm bath, heating etc. 

It takes a couple of days for tortoises to fully come round from hibernation, so don't be surprised if he's a bit slow to get started, just follow the procedure and everything will be fine.

 

Post back if you have any concerns.



#9 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:07 PM


Paranoid new parent syndrome, sorry.

Angie..... The feeling is always there!!! There is always so much to learn and always some new research to make us think x x hugs x x

#10 Ponge69

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

I'm looking forward to posting some pictures of Fred on here too. I haven't even seen him yet as he arrived in his hibernation box and is still in there.
Completely mad when you think of all the work that has gone into the garden for a small wooden box.!
Still, if you are going to share your life with an animal, you should give them the best life possible. I'm already thing I should rescue or adopt another tort for Fred in the future. I need to calm down and go listen to my box a bit more. X

#11 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:41 PM

You do need to check he is Ok in the box and that he is in a suitable place and temperature. If he wakes, it's not good to let him go back to sleep as he will be using important energy ;)



#12 Ponge69

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:42 AM

Thank you all.

What should I feed him when he wakes? His old family said he lives on iceberg lettuce and the odd slice of strawberry. Is there anything that I need to offer him to support his waking?

Funny, I've been leaning with my ear against the box as I didn't want to disturb the straw in case I woke him. Durrrrrr

#13 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:34 PM

Do as said earlier on in the thread... Warm up and then bath etc.... Weeds will be fine...there are some in the hedgerows, if you can't find weeds or you get snowed in like we are threatened this weekend get some florrett mixed leaves, not iceberg. The important thing is to keep hydrated, so make sure there is water available as well as the baths X x x hugs x x

#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

Agreed and please do not feed iceberg lettuce or strawberries, both are pretty bad for torts to be honest.



#15 jessyprice

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

My tilly loves asda herb salad bag when no weeds available as now under our foot of snow x



#16 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:35 PM

Grr don't talk about snow. I have dug my car out three days on the run and now it's frozen solid. I have no idea what bit of my garden is what any more and the dogs are totally bewildered byt it :(



#17 mildredsmam

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

we,ve been lucky this time the snows missed us, its still really cold though.

whens it going to change. :rolleyes:



#18 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

I am down to feeding mixed salad leaves now, we have been under snow since Friday, and although most of it seems to be going the ground is frozen and it feels bitter cold. All torts nice and snug in Tort Lodge and the conservatory extension .. X x. Hugs x x

#19 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:54 AM

we,ve been lucky this time the snows missed us, its still really cold though.

whens it going to change. :rolleyes:

dunno but it's going to take a while to get rid of this lot :(



#20 jessyprice

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

Snow still here, mostly gone but fare bit still in my garden




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