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Newbie - Hamm Hermanns


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#1 Reajen01

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:28 PM

I have just joined the forum as I have just become a new owner to a baby Hermanns.


After spending the last four days researching and reading everything online that I can get my hands on, he (or she) is now settling in. He has a tort table 1.5ft by 3.5 ft, Arcadia D3 lamp, basking lamp at 32*c, sterilised top soil, play sand 50/50 substrate, different types of tort safe weeds each day, water dish with pebbles in it changed daily and plenty of rocks, pebbles and slate to explore. The cooler shelter end is 20*c. F10 to clean everything also. He is bathed daily in warm water for 10-15 minutes and he is 5cm and 30g. Work on the outdoor enclosure is underway.

So, to the story, an uncle of mine is a reptile enthusiast, two bedrooms of his house are reptile rooms, I avoid entering them as I find it distressing, I am no reptile expert but the conditions often seem sub standard. Him being a close relative, I have been able to mention this but it is met with the 'know it all attitude" and my concerns are ignored.

Anyhow, I have wanted a tortoise since I was a child but had simply never quite got around to buying one. I had a small scale breeder friend where I used to live down south but at the time I used to travel abroad a lot with work so never had the time to care for a pet.

So, my uncle went to Hamm, as he always does, and for my 30th birthday he brought me the tortoise back, with a kind heart and good intentions.

I personally would have never ever bought a tortoise from anywhere other than a UK breeder that I had formed a relationship with beforehand, I am in no way judging anyone who doesn't but I just feel uncomfortable with places like Hamm.

Aside from the stress implications of such a huge amount of travel for a baby, am I to expect a lot of health issues?

He seems to be behaving normally, clear eyes, healthy bowel movements and urine so far. He doesn't eat a great deal though, half a small plantain leaf this morning about 2cm worth but he did have a good few mouthfuls on his cuttlebone which is encouraging.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 09:04 AM

The travel for the baby, assuming it was done in cold dark conditions and deep solid substrate to cushion noise, road roll etc is not the biggest issue here, that would be the danger of cross contamination. If transported in warm conditions in light substrate though, this would be far more stressful to it. This is just one reason that I hate couriers, they rarely have the knowledge to transport tortoises. I think we can safely say the difference between people who buy from Hammand those who insist on UK bred is that one is a collector and one is a genuine carer. As you say, most people who have these 'dedicated' reptile rooms, use substandard conditions and convince themselves this is ok, purely by their knowledge of the species in general. It's a bit like most zoos, which will tell you that they are conserving the species, when in fact they are breeding in inadequate conditions and running into continual problems on the way. To my mind is better for a species to become extinct than suffer to preserve it, just look at the case of Lonesome George the Galapagos tortoise :( 2cm of leaf for a 5cm tortoise is fine, it's like a 20 cm bottle of milk to a 50cm human baby, so we would not expect it to eat more ;) hydration is far more important and giving it lots of places to roam to find the correct food. It's also a good idea to have a faecal pellet examined by a vet for parasites.

#3 Reajen01

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 09:52 AM

Many thanks for the reply. He was transported in a plastic container slightly deeper than the ones takeaway food comes in, with one hole in the lid and a single layer of wood chips , I knew this was incorrect as I had read about transporting tortoises years ago and that by keeping them cool and allowing them deep enough substrate to burrow into, they will sleep for the majority of the journey.

I am still investigating a good reptile vet so as soon as I have chosen one I will take him and a sample along for checks.

Thanks again

#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 10:39 AM

Very sad how people transport animals as though it doesn't matter, but good to hear he's landed in caring hands. I'd keep him well away from wood chips, to prevent impaction. This is how I keep mine http://www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm  Good luck



#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 02:35 PM

Hi welcome to the forum. :)

You might find a good vet on here near you, or if you let us know where your located we might know of a good one. :)   http://www.tortsmad.com/vets.htm



#6 Reajen01

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 05:43 PM

Thanks Karen, the veterinary surgery I use has an exotics expert but I have also been recommended another within travelling distance so I am going to check them both out.

A quick question, he has a covered area filled with deeper substrate which I am keeping humid, intended as a sleeping quarters, but he is burrowing near to his basking site once the lights have gone off. I am loathed to move him but wouldn't it be better he burrow and sleep in the hide and not in the drier conditions of the basking area?

#7 Reajen01

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 05:45 PM

Thanks Sue, love the website! The wood chips were quickly discarded

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 08:47 AM

Thanks for the compliment. If you can remove the hide end it would be better as tortoises rarely use them as you have found. It's more natural for them to dig down. If you put your lamps out around 4pm he will move away from the heat and dig down for the night.

#9 Reajen01

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 04:49 PM

Thanks, will do. He does appear to be digging down at about five pm each afternoon and then sleeping until about seven am. Would it be better to schedule the lights and heat to match his natural rhythm do you think?

#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 06:13 PM

I've always found that hatchlings go to bed around 4 but if lights are left on too long there's always a rogue which digs down in the heated area, which is not desirable as it contributes to dehydration.

#11 Reajen01

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 07:28 PM

Mine is definatley a rogue then hehe! I think I will adjust the timer, I suppose it's a trial and error exercise.




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