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#1 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:26 AM

I've been reading the forum over the past week and finally decided to sign up and post. These questions have probably been answered many times before but thought I'd get reassurance and/or advice.

 

I purchased my tort, Edward, on Saturday. I haven't had her (I believe she's a girl, but I had already named her Edward! I'll attach a photo of her underneath so you can confirm or deny this) long so I appreciate she's still settling in! Attached File  2015-01-18 18.51.47.jpg   23.52KB   0 downloads She's currently 102g and 8cm long, and the paperwork I got with her said she hatched in 2012 (no month), is this healthy? She's still pretty shy at the moment, always pulling her head in if I move my hand in.

 

I have a tortoise table (see image) ... is this suitable? I've read on this forum not to have the separate hut, shall I remove this? Under the light is 32 degrees and in the corner by the plant is around 19 degrees, same with the bottom left corner. In the house it varies but tends to be around 16 degrees. Attached File  2015-01-19 16.10.10.jpg   24.03KB   0 downloads

 

Edward is fairly active wandering around and climbing, but she takes ages to wake up. He slept outside of the hut on two nights and despite being in eyesight of the lamp, she didn't really get moving until 12 one day. Today, and the days she's slept in the hut (where no light can get in), I've had to stroke her shell to wake her up. Around 1700-1800, she starts to slow down again despite the light being on still (on from 0800-2000). I've read, on here again, that maybe the light shouldn't be on for as long in winter months? 

 

I also read, when creating my care sheet that night temperature should be 18-21 degrees, minimum 15. I've seen a lot of posts disputing this. What is the best temperature? She's in my kitchen/diner so gets fairly cold and was reading 14 degrees on the thermostat this morning but her thermometer in her hut read 16 degrees.

 

Other things with Edward I'm worrying about are - food, bathing, and her legs. 

 

Food - she hasn't eaten a lot. On Sunday she ate nothing, Monday a very small amount of dandelion/grass, Tuesday a grape (I know they should be fed in moderation) along with a carrot bath which I think she had one gulp of and yesterday 2 dandelion leaves. I'm finding it really difficult to get weeds she can eat and she doesn't eat any shop bought leafy products I buy her. I don't want to continue feeding just dandelion as I think it's a diuretic and wouldn't be good for her?

 

Bathing - she tries to get out straight away. I don't think I've had her in there for longer than 5 minutes, shall I make it warmer? What's the ideal temperature for the bath? On the plus side, she has pooped in the bath twice.

 

Legs - I'm worried she has something wrong with her rear legs (I read about a bone deficiency and they drag their legs?) She sits like this Attached File  2015-01-22 09.29.12.jpg   51.82KB   0 downloads is this normal? When she walks, she seems to walk on her feet, but when she climbs, she sometimes does it in a similar position to this photo.

 

Sorry for the really long post, I just want to make sure Edward gets the best care. I'm probably over worrying and over thinking but better safe than sorry! Any answers to any of my questions will be greatly appreciated! 



#2 JerryMaffz

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 01:10 PM

Welcome..You will get all the info you need from the people here..I haven't been keeping tortoises for long but will give you my opinions, which may be amended by some of the more experienced keepers. Your table and temperatures seem fine..Hopefully your bulb is a UV/ Heat combo bulb..If this is not the case your tortoise will need a source of UV...Let us know how long the lamp is on and off for..There are differing views on this but mine is on a 12hr on /12hr off cycle.

 Your tortoise will still be getting used to his new surroundings and the colder night temperatures at this time of the year will mean that he takes a bit longer to get going in the morning..I personally think your night time temperatures are fine.

Don't worry too much about him not eating a lot.This is all part of the settling in procedure..I would give a daily 15 minute bath in lukewarm water in the morning to keep him hydrated and active, I've found that mine settles down in the bath if I trickle the warm water gently over his shell..I would keep offering the leaves, but I personally don't give mine carrot or grapes..Lambs Lettuce (or Florette Crispy Salad) from the supermarket is a good fall back food at this time of year but varied weeds are best, there is still plenty of Dandelion. Bristly Ox Tongue, Plantain, Mallow and Chickweed about.

 I don't think there is a problem with the legs if he's walking fine, looks like normal resting tortoise pose to me....Hope this helps, and like I said, the more experienced keepers will add to and edit my thoughts.



#3 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 01:20 PM

Thanks for the reply.

 

The lamp is a UV/heat combo. It runs from 0800 until 2000 at the moment, so 12 hours. Like I said though, Edward seems to want to go to sleep before the light finishes though! 

 

I put her in lukewarm water but she seems to hate it! Maybe she's just getting use to it..



#4 JerryMaffz

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 01:25 PM

My Jerry usually beds down some time before his lamp goes off.This is quite normal.

What are you bathing Edward in? I used to bathe Jerry in a stainless steel specially made bath (the one in the picture below) but he didn't like it, I think it was a bit too low sided, plus he was getting freaked out by his own reflection!! I now use something with higher sides and dark coloured and he loves it.



#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 01:41 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

As already said tortoises don't really like change and can take some time to settle into a new enclosure, with this they can be less active and sleep more and also not eat a great deal, all this is fine give him/ her time to settle, your tort will be fine only eating a little just make sure you keep him/her hydrated by offering baths and keeping the substrate moist and not too dry, are you using and supplements on your torts food.

Your tort is too young to sex just yet they do need to be a lot bigger than this to be 100% sure, your table could just do with maybe some extra light as it looks quite dark but that could be the picture, torts need a lot of light for them to be active, your temps sound fine they need a drop in temperature at night, with my hatchlings if they all go to sleep I just turn all their lights off as there's no need to be running them when the torts asleep also the lower temps will be better for him/ her while sleeping. :)



#6 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 02:01 PM

I use a white ceramic dish to bathe Edward in. It's about 1.5-2 inches deep.

 

I think it's just the picture for the light issue - the whole outside bit is subject to light except a few natural shaded areas. I water the substrate every evening once the light has gone out and it's still moist in the morning when Edward wakes up. I use nutrobel every day on his food and calci-dust every other day. 

 

Does Edwards size and weight sound normal for a Tort that has hatched in 2012? Would you recommend removing the hut area of his enclosure.

 

He's also always trying to climb up the corner of his enclosure! Crazy tort! 

 

Also, is anyone able to help me identify these plants/weeds? I've had a go at identifying myself but this is my first time! 

 

These two are the same plant, just closer up. I was thinking chickweed Attached File  2015-01-22 13.42.00.jpg   74.91KB   1 downloads Attached File  2015-01-22 13.42.11.jpg   46.82KB   1 downloads

 

Bristley ox tongue? Attached File  2015-01-22 13.42.39.jpg   51.33KB   0 downloads

 

Then this grows in my neighbours lawn, no idea. Attached File  2015-01-22 13.45.00.jpg   52.84KB   0 downloads

 

And this grows in a plant pot at mine, again no idea. Attached File  2015-01-22 13.45.25.jpg   46.75KB   0 downloads



#7 JerryMaffz

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 02:39 PM

All tortoises grow at different rates so I wouldn't worry too much about her weight, just her future development..She looks in good shape to me.

1..Don't know..Not Chickweed

2. Not Bristly Ox Tongue..may be Cats Ear..though the stuff behind with the stripes running through looks like Plantain.

3. Looks like Mallow

4. Not sure..possibly a type of Geranium!?

 

Here is the best site to look for ID....http://www.thetortoi...oise_home_1.asp



#8 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 02:50 PM

Is Geranium edible for a tort?



#9 JerryMaffz

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 03:01 PM

It is...but if in doubt, don't feed.



#10 Guest_Dolly_*

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 04:22 PM

Hi selwin and welcome !

Your tortoise looks very cute

I can't help you at all because I am new to tortoise keeping .

#11 Kelly

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 04:34 PM

Wild geraniums.... yes..... apart from Herb Robert which is a moderate feed. I find that mine automatically avoid eating too much anyway because it's quite strong smelling.

 

What we think of as Geranium, which is often grown in pots at garden centres can also be fed in moderation  (make sure only new growth or a well weathered plant is offered because of pesticides). Again I find that my two only nibble at this  (it's the only thing ever left standing in their enclosure after the summer).



#12 Kelly

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 04:35 PM

The tortoise table is a great link to check what is safe and what isn't if you are a newby.http://www.thetortoi...oise_home_1.asp



#13 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:04 PM

I use a white ceramic dish to bathe Edward in. It's about 1.5-2 inches deep.
 
I think it's just the picture for the light issue - the whole outside bit is subject to light except a few natural shaded areas. I water the substrate every evening once the light has gone out and it's still moist in the morning when Edward wakes up. I use nutrobel every day on his food and calci-dust every other day. 
 
Does Edwards size and weight sound normal for a Tort that has hatched in 2012? Would you recommend removing the hut area of his enclosure.
 
He's also always trying to climb up the corner of his enclosure! Crazy tort! 
 
Also, is anyone able to help me identify these plants/weeds? I've had a go at identifying myself but this is my first time! 
 
These two are the same plant, just closer up. I was thinking chickweed attachicon.gif2015-01-22 13.42.00.jpg attachicon.gif2015-01-22 13.42.11.jpg
 
Bristley ox tongue? attachicon.gif2015-01-22 13.42.39.jpg
 
Then this grows in my neighbours lawn, no idea. attachicon.gif2015-01-22 13.45.00.jpg
 
And this grows in a plant pot at mine, again no idea. attachicon.gif2015-01-22 13.45.25.jpg

My torts lights go out around 4pm to coincide with natural bedding down times.
His size is around the size of a four or five year old, just keep growth slow and steady from now on and aim for very little weight gain in winter to aid smooth growth.
Climbing usually means too small enclosure or too high temps or simply just stressed at the move. He's quite big for a pet shop tort, is he a private buy?
I'd not feed grass, it's usually taken in by accident with other plants. Hermanns cannot digest grass, so best avoided really.
Yes, I'd remove yhe hut and let him dig down ;)
Plants:
First one is buttercup. Younger leaves are fine, but this is old stuff so they prob won't eat it anyway.
Second is plantain.
Third is Mallow
Fourth is Herb Robert. All fine as part of a mixed diet.

#14 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:16 PM

Ah good news about all the weeds/plants then! 

 

I'll try to dismantle the side of the hut tomorrow now! He was a pet shop buy, like I said the paper work said hatched 2012 but whether that's correct or not remains to be seen! How much weight gain should I be looking at until the end of the winter and what would that mean re meals (one a day, once every other day etc.)



#15 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:22 PM

Also, I thought I read somewhere that at about 3 years old, 8cm is average size for a Hermanns and the Jackson scale indicates the weight is average for a tort of that size? 



#16 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:22 PM

He's probably of wild origin, when they just guess at age. It's very unlikely it's reached that size in two years unless kept captive. I'd look at no more than a couple of grams a month tops for that size and even better if it's less. Keep well hydrated by watering substrate and offering baths. I tend not to refer to meals, but just scatter a very small amount so he has to look for it. Only feed once a day, in the wild it would take all day to find enough to eat in summer. No point in missing days though.

#17 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:26 PM

The Jackson ratio is only of use to wild torts really as the shell structure of most captive reared ones is so different as to make it too variable. It doesn't give a size to age ratio. A good guide to size relates to the average adult hand. Small finger equates to a yearling and a palm is roughly a five year old.

#18 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:30 PM

He's about the length of my middle finger - that said, he fits in the palm of my hand. 

He hasn't actually eaten anything I've left for him yet. The only time he's eaten has been when I've offered it to him. 

 

What's a suitable temperature for at night. At the moment, he's settled in for the night, but just on the top of the soil - and if he does this and gets cold, will he just bury himself?



#19 sellwin90

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:33 PM

I can attach the paperwork I got with Edward if that helps also? 



#20 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 07:56 PM

If he's staying on top of the soil then he's not too cold, but being an import (I'm guessing it says Slovenia or Macedonia as country of origin) you will need to keep an eye on him anyway as lots of them do carry parasites, which can flourish if they are stressed such as when they have a move. Might be a good idea to have a faecal sample done at the vets to be sure. Often with imports the paperwork doesn't mean a lot as it's rare for them to be thorough enough to use the correct ones. Some German imports have photos for ID too, which is a much better idea.




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