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My First Hermann Today


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#21 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for the help guys I think I will collect some leaves when walking the dog (but double check the data base before he has a munch on something bad) ill also not give him carrot - didn't realise this was a no go. Ill see what I can gather - the dog will think im crazy picking weeds haha. 



#22 Hellymack

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:57 PM

Make sure you give them a good wash - try not to pick ones where they have been wee'd on by dogs! and don't pick anyway near the main roads due to car fumes.

 

Basically think about if you would want to eat it, also consider if you picking near a crop field - it may have been treated with fertilizers etc.

 

This is why I grow my own, george like's hebe too.

 

Have fun foraging for tort dinner  :P



#23 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

Just reference the set up!! He is currently still in the vivarium awaiting the delivery of his tortoise table which should be tomorrow.  There are a few questions I have.. I know people say the heat mat is a no go but in the new table set up I am going to have a uv light and a heat lamp which will be turned off at night - if I get rid of it the heat mat will he not freeze over night. Should I really use soil instead of pellets..? I just want to get this right to save any disasters! ! Thanks



#24 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:01 PM

I live in the center of plymouth,  devon so I don't have many fields near by but I will make sure I wash them when I get them from the woods and steer clear of picking near the road! :-) thank you!!



#25 Hellymack

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:06 PM

I bought a really cheap thermometer, that measures the highest and lowest temps, cost about £6 - in my house the night temps are about 15 degrees and this is fine for torts, they need cooler nights otherwise they don't settle to sleep very well.

 

Soil is definitely the best as they like to snuggle down in it - in fact my hibernation was excellent because we used soil - it helps to keep the temperatures stable and the moisture - torts absorb water through their bodies not just through drinking, pellets can draw their water out and make them dehydrate - plus soil is free!!

 

Heat mat is really not necessary at all I promise.



#26 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:07 PM

Hi Laura, Sherman won't freeze in your house, he is cold blooded so needs the heat lamp to warm up in the mornings so he can get moving, eat his weeds and digest them. Once temps start to drop he will slow down and rest for the night. If he is too cold he will dig down into his soil for his sleep. It is quite natural for torts to do this and is beneficial as it helps to keep torts hydrated x x x hugs x x

#27 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

Ok no problem - I will get some pond liner and look into getting some soil ( I have a new build house/garden and the soil is awful) so best getting some soil from garden centre. How deep should I make the soil as like you say they like to dig.. thankyou!



#28 Freddy

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:53 PM

Hi Laura,

Just make the soil as deep as your tortoise is long. Also make sure you ask for topsoil at the Garden Centre as other types contain chemicals and additives which can be harmful to torts. Wickes or B&Q are always a good bet.

The guys have given you some excellent advice. Be sure to follow it and you won't go wrong.

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself we were all beginners once upon a time.

Best of luck. ;)

Kind Regards

Freddy :)



#29 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:04 PM

Dandelion stalks are fine Stella, they can eat the whole plant quite safely, but as part of a varied diet as they are slightly diuretic.



#30 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:10 PM

Be very careful with daisy leaves, they are not too good and sticky buds contain a toxic glycogen type compound, so I would avoid this altogether. I am aware that some sites sell the seeds as tortoise food, but the particular site does not have any qualifications in tortoise nutrition ;) Florette crispy salad has quite a high nutritional quality, it's just not as fibrous as weeds grown outdoors. The Mediterranean is very lush in spring when tortoises fill up at the beginning of the season, it's not desert lol



#31 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:13 PM

Heat mats are actually dangerous for tortoises. They don't freeze in the wild and they certainly won't freeze in a house, even in winter as they dig down to thermoregulate. They have evolved over millions of years to live this way, since the dinosaurs were around, so I think they must have got it right by now :D



#32 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:30 PM

Thanks Freddy, I will make sure I get top soil with no rubbish * no additives or chemicals there etc *.. yeah there are definitely some good advise given. I will be removing the heat matt to ensure the torte gets heat and uv from above like the sun instead of from below - to ensure there are no burns. What times would you recommend I put the heat lamp and uv bulb on for? I have an automatic timer so this wont be an issue. Thanks :-)



#33 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:33 PM

With the pond liner under the soil how have you guys held it in place? 



#34 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:39 PM

Sherman after his first munch of dinner in his new home :-D

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#35 Laura-1992

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:41 PM

Ps.. the carrots are now a thing of the past as I was updated today that these were no good. - this is an old picture. and the substrate will be changed to soil tomo! :-) 



#36 mildredsmam

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:53 AM

Hi Laura, with the pond liner you can just tack it to the table or the weight of the soil will just hold it in place. :)

also another good tip when you do your new set up try feeding him off a piece of slate or stone instead of the bowl as this will help keep his beak nice and trim.

have a look on here it tells you what's good to feed and what's not  http://www.thetortoi...e/plants_19.asp.

also you might want to think about growing your own tort food, these seeds are great and you can feed every thing that grows http://www.tlady.cla...t/herbiseed.htm  ;)



#37 Becca

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:55 AM

I'm glad to hear you decided to keep sherman, he looks great!

I'm sure one of the experts will confirm but I think you should have your lights on for 12hours per day, I've heard it recommended to try and roughly follow sunrise and sunset.

#38 Graham

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

Hi, Laura,

I'm really glad, too, that you decided to keep Sherman; you're obviously dedicated, and want the best for him, he's a lucky little tort to have you for his mum.

Once you've got your new table set up he'll be as happy as a pig in the proverbial, and give you much enjoyment. Just keep asking questions on this forum if you have any concerns; there are many senior members here who have been raising hatchlings for years, and know exactly what they're talking about.

We're always here to help you.



#39 Laura-1992

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

Thank you Karen,  ive had a quick look at that website and it looks very interesting I will definitely be using that to identify what I can and cannot feed him. Just a quick one.. obviously everyone does a weekly shop at tesco or wherever,  is it worth while picking up a bag of mixed leaf salad?? And putting some calcium powder on it for his everyday meals? Thanks :-)



#40 Graham

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:36 AM

In my mind, there's only one food you can buy from the shops that is perfectly ok for torts, and that's Lamb's Lettuce (also known as corn salad); you'll find it in the larger Tesco's and Sainsbury's stores. 

Romaine lettuce is ok in moderation, but only really when weeds are in very short supply.






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