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Hermann Eating Gravel/ Small Stones


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#1 Jadol87

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 07:22 PM

Hello!

Im the new owner of a 1 yr old baby Hermann. Ive never had a tortoise before but have been reading up a lot since I got him (this is a guess until its sexed)!

We had a small corner of fine gravel in his table as something different to dig/ walk in. Although recently i have seen a lot of this come out in his poo! Very worried this may impact him so have taken it out and replaced with sand.

However when out in the garden today i noticed him picking up quite large pieces of gravel and trying to eat these! I have prised them out of his mouth but wondering why he is doing this??

He has calcium powder on food and a cuttle fish (which he doesnt touch)

#2 Beermat89

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:09 PM

Hi Jadol87
I have a young female that does this on occasions,it's never done her any harm as she has been able to pass them but if they can't then that's a problem,don't ask me why they do it as my others don't.each tort is different in their behaviour and what they do!it could be down to the fact that it's keeping it beak trim by doing this or just curious but hope some1 will be along soon too give you great advice.i wouldn't of changed the gravel to sand as it can irritate eyes and can be come digested easily causing inpaction,good old topsoil is just fine
Regards matt

#3 Jadol87

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for the info matt!

So this may just be one of their strange habits then! I did read somewhere its because they are lacking in something but he has calcium and the cuttlefiah if he wants so wanted some other views.

Oh no hope the sand will be okay. A pet shop said to go for childrens play sand as its sterile and very fine so should pass through fine if eaten. I will keep an eye on his toilets over the next few days to make sure! The gravel was worrying me too much, and I cant imagine its very nice to pass through! lol

Thanks Again, looking forward to some more views =)

#4 Beermat89

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:54 PM

Yes exactly right!my female has calcium suppliment regulary as well as my others and shes the only one that does it! Its just a habbit i think,you did right in taking the gravel out to reduce this risk but play sand is the worst sand you could use really as very fine particles to be honest!
No probs we are all here to help :)

#5 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:15 PM

Again, perfectly normal. Once they are used to it they should leave it alone, although some will always do it, I have an adult hermanns that has done this since being a baby. Changing substrates sometimes makes it worse and they are apt to taste anything new. Playsand is awful stuff. The petshop needs to be asked who sterilises all that stuff in their natural habitat :D Sterilised substrates prevent the tortoise from building up a decent immunity - not necessary at all ;)



#6 Freddy

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:18 PM

Although I agree that natural substrate like topsoil is the best option, sometimes sterilised topsoil can be safer especially when used in hibernation boxes. Its use may help prevent the growth of mildew or other fungi which can cause shell or respiratory infections.

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards

Freddy



#7 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:33 PM

Never had that problem with a hibernating tortoise Freddy but might give it a try this time, just as an observation.



#8 Freddy

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:08 PM

Hi Sue,

I'm not saying it happens all the time. But we have had it happen on a number of occasions here on the forum.

Humidity seems to be a factor. I have suggested sterilised topsoil. Maybe it will work. Maybe it will not. :wacko2:

I'm sure we'll know soon enough. Hope you're keeping well? Take care. :)

Kind Regards

Freddy :D



#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:19 PM

I think you are right in that humidity plays a part - good airflow is imperative of course too.

All's well here thanks Freddy, could just do with winning the lottery lol



#10 Freddy

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:22 PM

Couldn't we all, Sue! lol! :laugh:

Best wishes

Freddy :D






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