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1 Yr Old Hermann - Checking In For Any Advice Available : )

Health Diet Pyramiding

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#1 LauraClaira

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 06:43 PM

Hello !! We are the very proud owners of 'Watson' our 1 year old Hermann : )

As new tortoise owners we are always worrying about offering the best possible care - We were hoping we could give a quick overview of Watson's growth / health / daily routine / feeding plan for your 'assessment' - we're anxious to know we're doing everything right !

We are really worried about pyramiding - and concerned that her diet may not be ideal ... Pictures are attached

 

Watson weights 99grams She is fed daily - variety of organic greens (dandelion, radicchio, endive, cilantro, lambs lettuce, baby romain) and occasionally soaked mizuno pellet

Vitamins (given once a week) - exo terra 'multi Vitamin' powder supplement, and Rep Cal phosphorus-free Calcium with Vit D ultra fine powder

Her table is 4 ft x 2 ft - She has water in her space, and is bathed / soaked at least every other day Her bowel / bladder function seems good - goes regularly - often with bath time

Lighting - 10hrs / day lamp 'exo terra solar glow' 125w mercury vapor bulb

Temp variance ranges from 18 degrees to 39 degrees

Substrate is mixed coconut coir & organic top soil

There are a variety of 'surfaces' for her - slate rock, etc. No humidity monitoring (?)

 

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated : ) Watson thanks you in advance !

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#2 LauraClaira

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 06:54 PM

A few more pics ...

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#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 07:46 PM

Hi there. Pleased to help. Firstly I'm assuming your little one is from a commercial outlet. Her weight is approximately that of a three or four year old and combined with incorrect diet and habitat is the cause of her pyramiding. Again, I'm assuming this is what was recommended by a pet shop etc. You should really only give one supplement in order to give the correct balance. Mazuri pellets should not be fed as these are very high protein and will cause exaggerated growth. In the wild they will walk for miles to get a tiny morsel, so feeding ad lib is not really a good idea. Tortoises take 10-15 years to become adult, so when they are fed to excess, they become full size at around 5 years, which brings many problems and often shorten lives considerably. It's not too late to do something as it's still very young and this will stop the pyramiding getting worse. Her habitat looks very dry, again part of the cause of poor shell growth. I would water it daily to help with the underneath holding moisture, which she can dig down into overnight. Your table is a good size fora little one, do you have outdoor accommodation for summer use? You need to raise your lamps height as 39 degrees is too hot for basking and can be another cause of the shell drying out. 125 watt is better for larger outdoor accommodation, 100 watt should be fine for yours. Any slates, water dishes etc need to be out of the lamps beam.
Hope this helps ;)

#4 LauraClaira

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 08:40 PM

Hi Sue ! Oh thank you SO much for replying - we've been so concerned that there is in fact pyramiding : (

Unfortunately no - we actually got her from a 'reputable breeder' one of very few in Canada - she was 4 months old and on a diet of roughage pellets and mazuri pellets - thx to advice from you earlier this year we weaned her off that - but we've convinced ourselves that our lack of suitable & varied greens meant she should get a little mazuri as well as greens (further - our 'specialist vet' told us that the mazuri pellets are a 'new kind of pelleted food' that IS ok for tortoises - very disappointed we took her advice! The Vet actually sells the mazuri pellets : (
Poor Watson : (

Was our list of greens ok ? Anything else that's a good staple for Hermanns ?

Yes, her substrate is pretty dry - we will address that ...
We will readjust her lamps to cool off her basking spots for sure ...

#5 wizzasmum

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 10:52 PM

Oh sorry, only just realised you are in Canada. We won't know the breeder then, although do know of a Scottish keeper who took her torts to Canada and they will be breeding size by now. Very unlikely though it will be the as me person lol. Wow, a vet selling tortoise pellets, bet she's not too clued up on their physiology. If it was me, I would be looking to hibernate her to check the growth and attempt to set a new growth pattern. Your 'green' diet list is fine, but with everything, too much is just as harmful as giving the wrong food. Weigh your tortoise each month and at this age aim for no more than 3-4 grams a month increase. I think if you decrease temps and food and increase humidity you should see a change. It will take a while as the pattern is set, but hibernation will help sort this. This is how I keep mine www.tortsmad.com and this is my food list www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm Good luck.

#6 LauraClaira

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 11:38 AM

Thank you again Sue - you're replies have been SO helpful : )

we were ALSO told that one wouldn't EVER hibernate a young tortoise under the age of 5 - sigh - sounds like we've been getting all sorts of poor advice

Admittedly, the hibernation protocol REALLY scares us ( we were told we have to put her in the fridge !? good lord...) but we will do our homework and make an educated plan for her... Thank you for your websites ! great to have other reputable sources for quick reference etc.

Please let us know if there are any hibernation protocol tips that you'd recommend that may not be listed elsewhere ?



#7 LauraClaira

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 12:29 PM

(apologies for the poor grammar ! I was typing on my phone and it 'auto-corrects' to it's preferences ! )



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 01:03 PM

Lol, the person telling you not to hibernate babies, must be the person taking in all those Med hatchlings and taking them back home in spring. If the info not hibernate babies was correct, tortoises would die out. Seriously I hibernate babies of thirty grams upwards and not lost one yet. I don't use a fridge, but if reliable it's a good option. Hibernation needs to be done between 3 and 7 degrees and the tortoise doesn't care if he's in a fridge or below ground to be honest. Some places have such widely fluctuating temps that the tortoise is at risk, so a fridge is much safer ;) you need to empty the tortoise completely before hibernation and then keep at low temps until spring. Here is how I do mine www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm





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