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My First Tortiose


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#1 Harry

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 07:12 PM

Hi guys and girls thought I would just post saying hello, me and my girlfriend bought a tortiose maybe 1 month ago and haven't really had any problems, she is four years old and has never been hibernated, I want to next year after reading about it but I think it is too late in the year now.

The only real reason for coming on here was to find out if anyone else has a lazy tortiose but did find other information too which has changed my mind about certain things, we bought her from a local pet shop which were really helpful, they told us dandilion and other salad leaves are good but not to give her any spinach so we have followed this diet, we bath her once or twice week and she always poo's, what has got me a little concerned is reading through the different feeding guides and seeing such variation in how much and what too feed we do give her a calcium powder everyother day and only a pinch.

We also have a heat mat which I will now remove after hearing they are not good, the heat mat is laying flat and is under 2 or 3 inches of sand so isn't too hot but the risk of her digging and burning her self isn't worth the risk, I am also probably going to replace the sand and pellets we have in the encloser with top soil tomorrow after hearing it can a get in her eyes.

Other than that if you guys see anything out of place in the pictures please tell me and I will rectify it straight away.

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#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 08:08 PM

Hi Harry, welcome to the forum. :)

Your doing the best thing by removing that substrate and heat mat your tortoise will thank you for it, I would also move the hide from near the heat they really want to be sleeping were it's cooler, they don't need any additional heat at night, the only other thing the clear panel at the front of the table I would cover that so the tort can't see through, you might find this helpful  http://www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm

And these for diet. http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm

 http://www.thetortoi...e/plants_19.asp  :)



#3 Harry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 01:19 PM

Thanks for the reply, I was also wondering if it is normal for my tort to hide a lot? I figured it was just this time of year or something but even yesterday when it was hot she didn't really come out, she stays out for a little while if you bring her out but if you don't she will spend days in the hide hole.

Thanks in advance :)

#4 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 02:43 PM

It's prob still stressed. Pet shop torts are imports, so they have gone through quite a lot to reach the pet trade and it takes some time for them to settle. Imagine living out in the open, then being moved to holding pens, then stuck in boxes at airports, then driven to dealers, pet shops and stuck in tanks and it gives an idea of the stress levels. The ambient temps don't make a lot of difference to torts as it is basking that warms them. Even on very hot summer days, in the shade they will feel quite cold to the touch. Make sure hydration is good, by offering regular warm baths and making water available until it starts eating.

#5 Harry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 03:20 PM

OK will do :) she does prefer to be hand fed as well which is a bad habit I am trying to work her out of but my girlfriend can't help her self.

She weights around 510g is that about normal? I can't find any size charts or comparisons for a tortiose of 4 years old.

#6 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 04:05 PM

Hand feeding just means that you are forcing her to eat more than is natural. I have a ten year old around that weight. Given that it takes 15 years to be fully grown you really need to be feeding far less and to make her look for the food. Her internal organs will be suffering if she is gaining weight so fast to be honest. At four years old she should be around 100 grams :( Are you sure this is her age, it will say on the papers? Have a look here for a good size comparison, based on finger sizes www.tortoises.net

#7 Harry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 04:49 PM

OK I will look when I get home, I'm working currently, she has only put on 5 grams since we have owned her so we aren't over feeding her right? But I will tell my girl friend to stop.

#8 Harry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:41 PM

OK so I have had a look at the papers she is 4 years old and from Macedonia. She is definitely 510 grams, what's the best next stage, get her to the vets and have a check over?

#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:50 PM

She is probably much older, imports can be any age really due to unscrupulous dealers :(

#10 Harry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:01 PM

Ok, well thats a relief for me, atleast she might not have been miss treated before and fed wrongly, I will still take her to the vets tomorrow and get a check over done just to be sure and maybe they can tell me more about her age then :)



#11 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:38 PM

It's your choice obviously, but vets doing visual checks on torts is money for old rope. There is nothing they can tell you that you can't see for yourself unless they do bloods, swabs etc. even if they are a reptile specialist. Normal small animal vets will know even less :( tort would be stressed too and at risk of cross contamination ;)

#12 Harry

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 03:06 AM

OK well thanks for the help, I won't take hee to the vet just yet, she does seem happy in her enclosure but won't eat anything, I will just have to be patient and hope she knows what she is doing haha

#13 mildredsmam

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 03:58 AM

Hi Harry,

I agree with Sue regarding the vets, and a vet would only be guessing the age as it depends on how fast there grown really,  just give her more time, she will settle in time and start eating, what you could be thinking about now for her is a more permanent outside enclosure for the warmer months she will do a lot better been outside than in a table at her size. :)



#14 Harry

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:05 PM

Yeah I have started building one, its roughly 8 foot long by 3 foot wide, and will have a little shed at the end with a heater and stiff, I am trying to plant some weeds in there for her so she has some food to graze on instead of me feeding her.

#15 mildredsmam

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 12:43 PM

Yeah I have started building one, its roughly 8 foot long by 3 foot wide, and will have a little shed at the end with a heater and stiff, I am trying to plant some weeds in there for her so she has some food to graze on instead of me feeding her.

That's great, we look forward to seeing pictures. :)






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