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#1 Jon&Rach

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 10:59 AM

Hi 

 

We got our first Hermann Tortoise, Sheldon, 2 days ago and are a little bit concerned about him. He is around 1 year old but all he seems to do is sleep most of the time. We haven't yet seen him eat anything.

 

We've given him a bath and he has had a drink this morning which is a relief. We have also put him some fresh Kale, parsley and sage into his enclosure but there is no sign he has had anything to eat since we got him!

 

We're hoping it's just that he's cautious of his new environment and will begin eating once he has settled in, but he doesn't seem very active and are hoping that he's not trying to hibernate due to the cold weather.

 

The setup of his enclosure is a substrate that contains a mixture of sand and soil (purchased from the pet store), and we have rigged up a UVA/B 125W solar bulb. This is keeping the surface temperature at around 32 degrees Celcius. He does have sheltered areas also. He isn't following the behaviours listed on various websites i.e. awakes in the morning and basks for a while before becoming more active and feeding. 

 

The pet store assistant advised that at the moment Sheldon is too small to hibernate, he's only around 4 inches long.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. We're probably worrying for no reason but just wanted to check from people with more experience with Tortoises.

 

Thanks

 

Jon



#2 JerryMaffz

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 11:49 AM

Don't worry too much. They can take a couple of weeks to settle in. He'll eat when he's hungry. Just keep up the baths daily to keep him hydrated. Offer him some fresh weeds daily..mine likes Dandelion, Bristly Ox tongue and Plantain..all still available to pick at this time of year..If you're wanting to get 'supermarket' food, the only one I'd suggest is Lambs Lettuce, but I know some suggest Florette Crispy salad..Fresh weeds are best though. My temps are 32 hot end, 22 cool end and I leave the lamp on for 12hrs during the day. I've only had my tortoise since September and it took him a while to settle in, but now he is active and mischievous..I have decided not to hibernate mine this year, but definitely will hereafter..Hope this helps.



#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 02:14 PM

Hi Jon&Rach, welcome to the forum. :)

Tortoises really don't like change, and can take some time to settle into a new enclosure, they can also not eat at first, this is fine as long as you give her regular baths to keep her hydrated, is the tort housed in a tortoise table, and are you turning all heat and lights off on a night, I would try and change the substrate if you can to just topsoil, as the sand in the mix can irritate her eyes, and cause problems.

Sheldon is not too small to hibernate, babies in the wild hibernate from there 1st year, Sue on the forum has been hibernating babies successfully for many years, this year though you just need to give her time to settle in, hibernation is maybe some thing you could think about next winter. :)



#4 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 02:30 PM

That's right, have some tiny babies of only thirty grams just gone down until early March. At four inches Sheldon is already several years old, around four or five given pet shop growth, so will be fine to hibernate next year. Once he starts feeding, keep weight gain to virtually nil for the winter and then get him outdoors where growth will be more natural for the summer months. Once you have changed the substrate, try not to change anything else until he is eating well as change stresses them, which leads to not eating, so the cycle of stress/not eating begins.
Hope tis helps ;)

#5 Jon&Rach

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 03:50 PM

Thank you all for your advice, that has certainly put our minds at ease! We were starting to worry that he might be ill.

 

We will look into changing the substrate, we just used what had been recommended by the Pet Shop but if it is likely to cause problems we will change it. The temperatures are 32 degrees C in the warm area and 21 degrees C in the cool area. Sheldon is in a tortoise table and the light is on a timer which comes on at 7am and goes off at 6pm. He seemed to enjoy his bath this morning which was very sweet! We are planning to hibernate him next winter once we have settled him in and made all the necessary preparations.

 

We presumed that he was just 1 year old as his paperwork says that he was hatched in 2013. 

 

Thanks again

 

Rach 



#6 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 04:42 PM

I'm afraid thepetshop has either given the wrong papers or they have bought from a dubious source. If he does or start to eat soon then get a decent vet to do a faecal sample to check for parasites etc. there is no way a Yearling would grow to that size, so thepet shop has probably given other bad advise too. I'd drop the temps a little in the cool end as he needs to be able to choose cool temps when needed too. I'd also reduce the length of time of basking at this time of year to around 8 hours. Does his paperwork give country of origin at all and the dealers details?

#7 Jon&Rach

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 04:56 PM

Is there anything in particular we could do to drop the temperature in the cool end? At the moment I think this is just room temperature.

 

The paperwork states that the original holder of the Article 10 certificate was Zoological International Ltd. It says that the hatch date was in 2013 and the country of origin was Croatia.

 

I'm afraid thepetshop has either given the wrong papers or they have bought from a dubious source. If he does or start to eat soon then get a decent vet to do a faecal sample to check for parasites etc. there is no way a Yearling would grow to that size, so thepet shop has probably given other bad advise too. I'd drop the temps a little in the cool end as he needs to be able to choose cool temps when needed too. I'd also reduce the length of time of basking at this time of year to around 8 hours. Does his paperwork give country of origin at all and the dealers details?






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