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Help With Weight Gain


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#1 jayne watkins

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:34 AM

good morning all, i have two hermanns, one is two yearsold to day,she weighs in at 200g and her lenght is 95mm the other is 3 years old this month he weighs in at290gms and is105mm, they are both active and enjoy running round the garden muncing thier way thru my lawn, also happy in  the run which is stone based ,

how do you know if they weigh the 'correct' amount and that you are not over/under feeding them??????

thanks xx :)



#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

Are you sure you have your weights/ages correct? That is huge for the ages. My little ones at two years old are around 60 grams and the three year olds are coming up to 100 grams. In the wild they take around 15 years to reach adult, but yours are likely to reach this stage at around 6 years, which is very quick on a normal diet regime. If you have not been feeding a high quality supplement containing D3 then shell growth may have suffered. What have they been fed over this time as hermanns do not do well on lawns generally as they do not digest grass fully? Pics will help us to see if they grown well over this short time.
Weight gain for a two year old should be no more than 4-5 grams a month max. Supplements MUST be given daily if growing over the normal rate.
Hope this helps ;)

#3 jayne watkins

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:16 PM

thank you Sue, i will check thier weights etc.. again tomorrow, tho the older one was two when i got him and weighed100gms then.  my lawn is made of clover and dandelions in amongst the grass and they look happy to be foraging for food there, i see them nibbling the roots and ripping up the  clover etc.. i thought that was good for them :wacko2: i do give them a supplement sprinkled on the leaves,they are always on the move and seem happy. however i want to look after them correctly and if i have to cut back on thier food then i will. :)



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

Free grazing is great, but clover is high in protein, so needs to be restricted a little. A varied diet is very important, so I would try throwing some dandelion and plantain seed into the lawn too ;)

#5 jayne watkins

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:05 PM

hi sue, i have double checked thier weights and realise they are over weight!!!!!! so i will start to restrict thier food supply a little each day :unsure2: they seem so happy and active i hadnt given them being over weight a thought til now. i had Ivor  (my last tortoise) 43 years and he just munched his way round my lawn, however he was about 20 when i first got him,hence not quite so greedy as these two ha ha.

 

if i put them on a diet will any harm that i may have caused them be undone? thier shells are smooth and they are very active, thanks for your help

jayne xxxxx



#6 Nathan Pittam

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:23 PM

I'm struggling with the opposite side of things. I have a two year old Hermanns who weighs in at a paltry 43g. I got him a year ago to the day and he weighed 31g. Any advice? I don't want him growing too quickly and risk a pyramided shell but he seems to be a slow grower.

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:42 PM

I'm struggling with the opposite side of things. I have a two year old Hermanns who weighs in at a paltry 43g. I got him a year ago to the day and he weighed 31g. Any advice? I don't want him growing too quickly and risk a pyramided shell but he seems to be a slow grower.


How are you keeping him Nathan - temps, substrate, food etc?

#8 Nathan Pittam

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:39 PM

He is currently outside in a run with a whole mix of substrates inc. woodchip, grass, sand, pebbles, rocks, coir. His diet is natural weeds every other day although he does pick out dandelions as his favourite. His run is south facing and his max min thermometer reads 34max and 15min (night). He doesn't have an outside lamp as the garden is so warm (he does gave shady areas too). He sleeps in a little cave built into his rockery. He is a sun avoider though. His coir and woodchip goes down to about 30cm so has plenty of depth to regulate temp. He also has two shallow (1cm) pools that he can bathe in one of which is in full sun and one in half sun. I'm trying really hard to make a happy home for him but the weight gain just seems not quite right. We live in Ipswich so have a much sunnier climate than most...

#9 Nathan Pittam

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:41 PM

He does also have an indoor run with UV and basking lamp. I'm not a 1950s style tortoise wrangler!

#10 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:58 PM

It's not really possible to keep Med species with no additional heat Nathan, even in Ipswich. He needs 30 degrees to digest his food, so if he is just eating and not getting sufficient heat, he will not grow unfortunately. If you are taking him in and out to suit the weather conditions, this will confuse him and he will not bask in the open when outdoors for fear of predators. It's amazing how strong the instincts are, so if he is not given supplementary heating outdoors, he will not thrive unfortunately. The smaller a tortoise is, the quicker it will heat up but the quicker it will cool down too. It's not quite so vital with adults, but they still need a back up heat source in this country, even in the south east.
I think there was someone on this forum last year with the same problem and when she changed to providing supplementary heating the tortoises started to grow properly. Maybe the lady will pop in with some advice if she reads this topic ;)
Hope this helps

#11 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:20 AM

Agreed, he needs some extra protection at least. he may well survive for some time, but we are aiming for a tortoises to thrive where possible. We should always remember that if the UK had enough suitable weather to keep a Mediterranean animal properly, then we would have a wild population of tortoises. This is why all those sliders in lakes etc are not really going to pose a threat to local wildlife as the weather is not sufficiently warm for long enough for them to breed ;)






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