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My New Little Friend...


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#1 rach71

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 01:55 PM

Hi everyone

We have just taken charge of our first little shelled friend . She (?) is 13 months ( we were told she was a she due to the temperature she was incubated at?) and has been living outside until she came to us. She is now indoors as we are still constructing an outside enclosure. We have spent the last week searching for definitive answers and are just finding conflicting advice from everywhere. 

She was fed on a diet of cabbage and fruit which it would seem is not at all suitable for a Hermann's tortoise so we have been offering her clover from the garden, rose petals and washed bagged watercress from the supermarket until the seeds we have planted for her grow - my concern is she is not eating at all really. Should i just continue offering this food or add some of what she is used to?

Also - her shell isn't smooth, but bumpy looking like pyramids - should i be worried as I have read about pyramiding?

Sorry for the long post but don't really know which web site we should follow for advice?

 

 

Just thought to add  some pics!

 

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#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:59 PM

OMG, I've never heard of an actual breeder feeding babies on cabbage and fruit. Her previous owner gas caused a fair bit of damage by this diet and I do hope you've not had to pay for 'her'. Again, I have never heard of a breeder actually staying that a hatchling is any particular sex, as truth is there is no way of knowing for sure. You really MUST change the diet as continuing with the wrong duet will make her very sick. Fruit messes with the hut flora and immune system and cabbage stops them absorbing calcium, which has caused the deformities you are seeing. Feel free to say privately who the seller was as people will not want them on their recommended breeders list. If you are ever confused with websites, just look to who has written them, if a pet outlet or similar, then avoid. Always use websites made by long term keepers or breeders or by recognised chelonian organisations. Good luck

#3 rach71

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 06:19 PM

Hi wizzasmum, 

 

So we have done right by changing her diet even though she is eating next to nothing?

 

Also, I have seen that we should be giving her a bath every day - we tried today in tepid water that came to the bottom of her shell but within seconds she was trying to climb out  - should we just continue this evry day?

 

Thanks xx



#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 09:36 PM

Hi wizzasmum, 
 
So we have done right by changing her diet even though she is eating next to nothing?
 
Also, I have seen that we should be giving her a bath every day - we tried today in tepid water that came to the bottom of her shell but within seconds she was trying to climb out  - should we just continue this evry day?
 
Thanks xx

'She' needs hydration, but this can be given by watering the substrate. are you using sand with your soil? Was this a breeder or dealer that sold you the tortoise? Do you have papers? What does she weigh? Have a look here for care to make changes www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm

#5 rach71

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 05:57 AM

We did have a 50/50 sand top soil mix as that is what was recommended on the Tortoise Trust website - but have changed it now!

 

We are going to weigh and measure her today so we have a better idea of where she is at

 

The link you just gave us one of the sites we had already visited along with the Tortoise Trust and British Association of Tortoise Keepers but we were unsure of what age they change from hatchlings to juveniles, sub adult, adult etc 



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:29 PM




P

We did have a 50/50 sand top soil mix as that is what was recommended on the Tortoise Trust website - but have changed it now!
 
We are going to weigh and measure her today so we have a better idea of where she is at
 
The link you just gave us one of the sites we had already visited along with the Tortoise Trust and British Association of Tortoise Keepers but we were unsure of what age they change from hatchlings to juveniles, sub adult, adult etc


There is no given age as to when different terms are used as tortoises grow at different rates. Grown slowly as in the wild I call my torts hatchlings for the first two or three years, when they are the same size as the palm of my hand I call them juveniles and when they are as big as my hand at around ten years, I will call them sub-adult. Some tortoises though are power grown and can reach adult size at five or six years old, they usually have irreversible problems by then though, which is sad. Did you get your tort from a breeder. It's unusual for an outdoor tortoise to be so big at thirteen months.

#7 rach71

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:39 PM

Not really sure where she came from to be honest - a friend gave it to us as my daughter had said she wanted one. We were just told that she was  13 months, had been living outside and liked to eat cabbage, fruit and some weeds. I have measured her today  and she is 67mm and weighs approx 80g - but the scales I have aren't digital although i have ordered some precision scales today!

I have been looking at how I get a certificate? for her but can't seem to find any info other than they should have one!

 

On the plus side - today she has munched through some clover, dandelion and a rose petal! 



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 05:14 PM

Without knowing her origin it's unlikely DEFRA will give certs to be honest. It doesn't matter though so long as no money changes hands as this would be an illegal transaction. I would say she's never been an outdoor tortoise, you can tell this from the shell growth. She has a lot of over keratinised growth, consistent with over feeding and poor habitat, def not outdoors. She's probably about the right size for 18 months captive reared, but it won't harm to slow this down a bit now. Don't push the feeding too much, she will come round in time. Weigh her each month and aim for 3-4 grams a month, no more at this stage. Don't hibernate her this year, but I would aim to keep her weight static through November to February, to keep growth in line with hibernation ;)

#9 rach71

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 05:50 PM

Thanks so much for your help - we were very panicky when she arrived with all the conflicting advice from everywhere - i guess it's like any new addition in that you just have to get used to their ways!

 

Should we be worried that she doesn't seem to dig down at night like people have said they do - she just plods to a corner behind the Hebe that i planted in her table and sleeps there!






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