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#1 Taraskye

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 11:58 PM

Hi everyone - introducing myself a proud owner of 2 hermann tortoises - sisters hatched in June 2014.
My girls amuse me so much = as they stomp about their environment.
Last week one of the girls decided to climb on the tunnel and consequently fell off and landed on her back
I have removed the tunnel but in an hour I had to turn her over twice more.
Should I intervene and flip her over or leave her to right herself.
The other girl which is smaller is quite often chasing the other and tries to mount her - looking at some other forums they suggest a bigger environment but these 2 ladies are in a 4 ft long home
I have recently tried them on tortoise pellets they love the dandelion flavour - but they manage to pick only the pink ones out of the fruit and flower flavour has anyone else exerienced this??

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 03:48 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

Did you get your torts from a breeder or pet shop, is it a tortoise table that they are in, tortoises do climb a lot, it's best not to have any thing near the edge that they can climb on and use as an escape route.

I've had no experience with the pellets as it's not some thing that I would ever feed any of my torts, it's best to feed your torts on a natural diet of weeds, plants and flowers, if I were you I would stop feeding the pellets, and go for a natural diet you might find these helpful. :)

http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm

http://www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm

Do you have any pictures of them. :)



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Posted 26 February 2015 - 07:59 PM

I agree fully re the pellets, they will do a lot more harm than good. Baby tortoises need to grow very slowly with very high levels of hydration. Pellets will do just the opposite, causing deformities which are irreversible. Tipping over is a normal part of a hatchlings learning experience. As Karen says, make sure climbing areas are away from dangerous areas such as lamps and water bowls.

#4 Taraskye

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 08:45 PM

Thanks for the advice.
firstly my tortoises were from a breeder
Only recently tried them on the dried food up until a few weeks ago they were on fresh weeds pansies romaine lettuce etc and as a treat occasional fruit.
I weigh them weekly and they are growing nicely.
I bathe them twice weekly too.
I bought the dried food and they loved it and started to ignore their fresh food I am trying to wean them off the dried food but is proving a challenge as I don't want them to go hungry shall I stop it all together and go cold turkey

#5 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:11 PM

Yes, just stop the dried food. It's addictive and they will still know if it is in the fresh food. They will not starve themselves, but you will probably need to bathe them daily. Keep the substrate damp to also assist with dehydration and slightly higher temps will encourage them to eat too. If they are gaining weight each week, it's likely too much, monthly weighing is usually adequate. Treats are really a human concept, so instead of giving fruit, why not try a different tortoise good such as cactus or aloe, they will love this and it will give added calcium too :)

#6 Taraskye

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:40 PM

Brilliant
When you say cactus do you mean the types available from garden centres - with the spikes???
Any suggestions where I might be able to get the aloe Vera from

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 10:12 PM

Opuntia or prickly pear, yes with spikes, although I do burn off the spikes before feeding. Both opuntia and aloe Vera are available at garden centres and some supermarkets. You will need to grow new leaves for feeding though to avoid contamination from chemicals.

#8 Taraskye

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 09:01 AM

ai was wrong about the tortoises hatch date my 2 were hatched in June.
I collected them in September from the breeder and they weighed approximately 3 ounce each.
As they are approaching their first birthday what would the ideal weight be - they weigh about 7 ounce each.
I have stopped the dried food which they were only on for about 4 weeks and they are back on fresh lettuce broccoli and dandelion weeds when I can collect them with a light dusting of calcium and vitamins.

#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 09:37 AM

At three months of age they should have weighed around 20 grams max, so less than an ounce. At a year old they would be around 50 grams so still less than two ounces. I find it really hard to believe that they could reach 7 ounces in a year, which is around 200 gms or around the size of a four or five year old. Are you sure you are weighing correctly? Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family which will stop calcium from being absorbed by the bones, so I would not feed this, just the most fibrous weeds you can find and a good variety of lettuce, never ice berg. Pics will help to show if they are growing well.

#10 mildredsmam

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 09:39 AM

Hi, I always weigh my hatchlings in grams, I have some here that hatched June last year they average about 27/ 33g at the minute, I would say at a year old they want to be about 50g or less. :)

Sorry but did your breeder not give you any advice on feeding at all, no fruit or veg should be fed at all, Broccoli shouldn't be fed, I would stick to things like romaine lettuce and floret crispy salad with as much weeds added as you can find, you can find some weeds about at the minute and before long they will be plenty about, you might find this helpful regarding what's good food and what's not. :)   http://www.thetortoi...e/plants_19.asp



#11 crotchetybear

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 02:18 AM

Hi,
Welcome to the forum.
Like you, I too have a pair of oversized tortoises. Mine were hatched in October 2013 and both currently weigh in the region of 150g (which would be 6oz) so - although not quite as rapidly grown as yours - a lot bigger than they ought to be.
I also got mine from a breeder at approx 3 months of age, and they were already over 70g. Their breeder insists this growth rate is OK but seems to be a lone voice as most experienced keepers/breeders agree it is too fast, likely to lead to shell deformity and the risk of metabolic bone disease.
I've found this site really helpful and you'll get good advice here from experienced keepers.
You can't, of course, undo the growth so far - but you can do your best to ensure future growth is slow and steady. Aim for no more than 3-4g a month from now on and be careful not to overfeed. They will eat whatever you put in front of them. I currently give mine a small handful of leaves (mainly dandelion and plantain which are quite plentiful just now) daily. Once they've polished those off - which they do in very short order - they get no more until the following day. (Makes me feel quite mean but it's for their benefit in the long term.) Keep up the baths to make sure they're well hydrated.
Washed, and stored in an airtight container, I find weeds will keep for several days in the fridge.
Good luck,
Chris

#12 crotchetybear

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 02:42 AM

PS Just noticed your initial comments re tipping over (see my recent thread on this topic). If your weighing is accurate and your torts are as big as you say, then your four foot enclosure may be too small. Mine are in a 4ft x 2ft enclosure at the moment but, following a trip to the DIY store today, will shortly have a new home 2 ft 6" x 6 ft.

#13 Taraskye

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:41 AM

Thanks Chris for your positive reply I don't feel quite so bad now
I have contacted the breeder who I purchased them from to confirm their date of hatch she is going to check her defra forms for me.
And then I can relax a little

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:48 AM

The DEFRA certs should be back with DEFRA now Taraskye, as we have to return them when sold.

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 07:48 PM

At three months of age they should have weighed around 20 grams max, so less than an ounce. At a year old they would be around 50 grams so still less than two ounces. I find it really hard to believe that they could reach 7 ounces in a year, which is around 200 gms or around the size of a four or five year old. Are you sure you are weighing correctly? Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family which will stop calcium from being absorbed by the bones, so I would not feed this, just the most fibrous weeds you can find and a good variety of lettuce, never ice berg. Pics will help to show if they are growing well.


Some of my hatchlings weighed in at 18gms when first hatched so I think a weight of 20 gms at three months has to be a generalisation, and weight gain needs to be gauged on a certain amount per month, rather than ' this tort is whatever age and needs to be a certain weight'. Surely there has to be some leaway for a heavy hatchling. My babes that hatched at 10 grms in August now weigh 23gms which I think complies with your guidelines. X x xhugs x x x

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:44 PM

Some of my hatchlings weighed in at 18gms when first hatched so I think a weight of 20 gms at three months has to be a generalisation, and weight gain needs to be gauged on a certain amount per month, rather than ' this tort is whatever age and needs to be a certain weight'. Surely there has to be some leaway for a heavy hatchling. My babes that hatched at 10 grms in August now weigh 23gms which I think complies with your guidelines. X x xhugs x x x


Obviously a huge hatch weight baby will be slightly heavier in its first couple of months, but this evens out by around six months. It's a bit like human babies. My cousin and I had babies around the same time, hers were 4lbs 6 oz and 5 lbs, whereas mine were 8lbs 13 oz and 9lbs 3oz. When they started school, they were all normal,size, in fact the 5 lb one was quite chunky lol.
Heavy hatchlings don't necessarily make huge torts by an earlier age as these hatch weight variations happen in the wild too.




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