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Tortoise Newbie... Hope We Are Doing It Right!


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#1 Scutchings789

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 10:42 AM

Hello!

We have a gorgeous little tortoise called Nigel... We have only had him 3weeks but he is part of the family & my 2 daughters love him!

He is two years old, weighs 82g & is 3.5" long...

He lives in a tortoise table with beech chips and straw bedding...

We are feeding him fruit & flower pellets as recommended & fresh greens every other day with nutrobal sprinkled on top, he also has cuttlefish but doesn't seem bothered by that. He seems to quite like tomato as well but only give him a small amount.

He loves having a bath, we have been giving him one per week and he sits in his own water tray at least twice a day...

He seems happy enough!

I would like some advice about his eating habits as he doesn't seem to eat very much... Is that due to his size/age? How much should he be eating? We were also told not to wet his pellets but have been reading about spraying them?

Thank you for any advice...

We love him to bits!!!

#2 JerryMaffz

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 11:45 AM

Hello.. Congratulations on your new addition..I'm pretty new around here and am a relative novice. You have done the right thing by joinig and asking for advice.

 As I've said, I'm a newbie but I have done lots of research..Pelleted food is high in protein and is not really good as it promotes fast growth, with tortoises you are aiming for slow growth..I only feed mine with weeds such as Dandelion, Bristly Ox tongue, Plantain, Lambs Lettuce..Today he had Mallow, Buddleia and Chickweed..just very small amounts of each...Weeds are also free, you just need to wash them.

Nutrabol is good and will give your Nigel essential calcium and vitamins. You'll probably find that he will ignore his cuttle bone for a while, then suddenly have a binge on it..It will help keep his beak trimmed.

Beech chips can cause problems if ingested and straw serves no purpose really..I use a 50/50 topsoil/play sand substrate but I know that some suggest Topsoil only, this will allow your tortoise to thermoregulate better by digging down.. I bath my tortoise daily, but he is only a few months old.

 You don't say what species your tortoise is, mine is a Hermann and doesn't eat tomato.

 Also, you don't mention Lighting and temperatures, what are you using?

 Hope this info helps, someone with far more knowledge than me will be along soon with more info for you..Enjoy Nigel  :)



#3 Scutchings789

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 02:25 PM

The food is Komodo fruit and flower, it was recommended to us when we bought Nigel, aswell as the bedding and beech chips. All of which were being used before we bought him home...

We also did research but finding it very difficult to get decisive answer and every website etc says something different!

Nigel is a Hermann tortoise.

Arcadia 100w d3 uv basking light...

Hoping to get lots more info...

Thanks so much for replying.x.

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 03:08 PM

Hello!

We have a gorgeous little tortoise called Nigel... We have only had him 3weeks but he is part of the family & my 2 daughters love him!

He is two years old, weighs 82g & is 3.5" long...

He lives in a tortoise table with beech chips and straw bedding...

We are feeding him fruit & flower pellets as recommended & fresh greens every other day with nutrobal sprinkled on top, he also has cuttlefish but doesn't seem bothered by that. He seems to quite like tomato as well but only give him a small amount.

He loves having a bath, we have been giving him one per week and he sits in his own water tray at least twice a day...

He seems happy enough!

I would like some advice about his eating habits as he doesn't seem to eat very much... Is that due to his size/age? How much should he be eating? We were also told not to wet his pellets but have been reading about spraying them?

Thank you for any advice...

We love him to bits!!!

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

His/her diet will be a lot better if you feed a more natural diet of weeds, plants and flowers, the pellets are really no good for him/her it's also best to feed no fruit or veg either, have a look on here you might find it helpful regarding diet, it tells you what's good to feed and what's not  http://www.thetortoi...e/plants_19.asp.

Also this is a really good care sheet that might help http://www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm. :)  



#5 Scutchings789

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 12:47 AM

Thank you Karen... Very helpful information!

#6 mildredsmam

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 05:44 AM

Hi sorry I didn't have a lot of time yesterday to answer your questions. :)

Did you have a read through the care sheet I gave you the link too, there can be a lot of rubbish information out there regarding tortoise care and also a lot of good information, this care sheet will give you a good guide as to what's good, the best way to start thinking of tortoise care is what they would have in nature, and try to replace this in this best way we can, you will have a lot happier tortoise with making just a few changes, as already said the diet needs to be natural no dried food at all, and your tort would do a lot better on a soil substrate, you just need topsoil which you can get from any garden centre, the beech chip substrate is no good for them and they don't need any form of straw bedding as this will do more harm than good. :)

You might also want to start thinking about an outside enclosure for him/her as this will be very beneficial for you tort through the warmer months, hope that helps a little. :)

I also look forward to seeing pictures of your new addition. :)



#7 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 12:04 PM

I agree with What Karen has told you. Always try to think of a natural habitat and try to replicate this. We humans cannot improve on what nature has given them for millions of years. Good luck ;)

#8 Scutchings789

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 05:51 PM

Hi Karen...

Yes I have read through the attachments thank you very much.

It seems most if what we were told by the 'expert' wasn't quite right! Slightly frustrating!

Anyway we have made some changes to Nigel's tortoise table so he now has soil... We have also got some seeds to grow for him to eventually eat...

Yes we will look into an enclosure for the warmer months...

Appreciate any help/advice

#9 Scutchings789

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:02 PM

Here is Nigel taking a bath...

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#10 Scutchings789

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 01:09 PM

Attached File  image.jpg   61.39KB   2 downloads

#11 Guest_Dolly_*

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 04:37 PM

Aww he is very sweet

#12 Scutchings789

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 05:05 PM

Hi!

We have just built Nigel an outdoor enclosure...
Looking good so far but just wanted some advice on plants to put in?
Also is there a link to temperatures etc?
I'm worrying about him being outside but I know he will love it!

Thanks very much!

#13 Scutchings789

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 05:24 PM

Nigel's new home!!

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#14 Beermat89

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:36 PM

Good job :)

#15 JerryMaffz

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:49 PM

Looks like you've been hard at work. :)  There really is no substitute for natural UV. My Jerry was out in his new enclosure at the weekend. It's so good to see them out. 

I was going to suggest a predator proof mesh lid for Nigel's home but it looks like he may have one in the background.

I can tell you what plants I put in mine...Lavender, Rosemary, Carex, Hebe, Heather,Thyme, Campanula and Sedum..Most of these are for shelter, so I've also sprinkled a few weed seeds around.

 Your enclosure may benefit from a small coldframe..I made my own but you can buy them cheaply. This one comes highly recommended..http://www.greenfing...4&pf_id=LS6554D

 

I found that on Sunday late afternoon, the temperature was 12degrees warmer in my coldframe than in the rest of the enclosure!

Hope this info is helpful. :)



#16 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 08:44 PM

Hi, Nigel's new home looks good. I have a slate and a piece of paving stone in my outdoor enclosure for feeding off. It will help keep Nigel's beak from getting overlong. Like Keith said, the best plants are really those he has listed and being used for shelter and shade rather than for eating purposes. If Nigel is anything like my creep then he will eat and eat and eat........ And that probably won't be too good for him. I once planted a lot of edible plants only to find within a few days they were gone beyond recovery!!!
I am sure you have seen Nigel climbing. Logs, ramps, piles of pebbles, tunnels, can be designed to keep him active, just keep them away from the edges as I am sure he will see this as an opportunity to escape. It is so much fun watching what tort does and designing and re designing obstacles and adventures for them.
It has been a beautiful day today.....I hope you and Nigel has made the most of it x x x xhugs x x x

#17 Scutchings789

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 12:01 AM

Thank you all for replying!

Yes he has a predator proof lid.

I will get plants in there for shelter... He has a good supply of weeds that I grow in the green house so can pop them in as needed!

We will look into the cold frame and get that sorted...

He does like to climb! My daughters painted him some mini plant pots to put in, they are just growing weeds in them, he likes climbing on them! And while we were building the frame my eldest (8) built the tunnel in the photo, she's very proud of it!

Really appreciate your feedback!

Any info/links on temperatures would be fab.x.

#18 JerryMaffz

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 07:25 AM

A general rule of thumb is, if it's warm enough to go outside in a T-shirt, then it's warm enough for a tortoise to be outside,  but it is really down to the amount of sun there is . The tunnel is a great idea, it's all about giving your tortoise choices. He can get too hot as well as too cold, so the tunnel will be a nice shady place to cool down if necessary.



#19 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:15 PM

A general rule of thumb is, if it's warm enough to go outside in a T-shirt, then it's warm enough for a tortoise to be outside,  but it is really down to the amount of sun there is . The tunnel is a great idea, it's all about giving your tortoise choices. He can get too hot as well as too cold, so the tunnel will be a nice shady place to cool down if necessary.


So sorry to sound negative, but I'd love to hear where this saying came from. The ambient temps have nothing to do with the suitability of tortoise weather. Even cold days, when we would be wearing a coat can be good for torts so long as the sun is out as they can still achieve high core temps due to how the shell takes in and holds heat. Just the same, a really hot day when we might be sitting on the patio for lunch, would be no good for torts if the sun wasn't shining. Their shells work to warm them up by basking, not the overall temps. Hope this makes sense. Providing substrate is deep enough to dig into most tortoises will be fine.

#20 JerryMaffz

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:26 PM

Which is why I wrote,"but it's really down to amount of sun there is" Sue.

I think saying that ambient temps have 'nothing' to do with suitability of tortoise weather might be a bit misleading.






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