Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Desperate New Owner- Herman Won't Eat Weeds!


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 20 October 2015 - 08:44 AM

Hi, I hope you can help me. I've got a Dalmatian Hermann tortoise, male who is aprox. 12 years old. My neighbours had him in their garden and decided they don't want him so we adopted him in July. He's been living in our spacy garden ans now is in a terarium in my room. I bought him a UVB lamp 10.0 and temperature is around 26 C.I'm planning to get him a heat lamp, too. The PROBLEM is...he won't eat weeds on daily basis that I ofer him like dandelions, hibiscus, grass etc. Last time he ate them was Saturday. But when/of if ofer him tomato he always eats some. What to do? I love him very much and he seems in good shape, walking around and climbing. P.S. His shell is 14 cm long and 645 g.

#2 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:06 PM

While his temps are too low he won't eat. He needs to warm up to 30 degrees to have an appetite, also to digest properly. They don't eat grass and any taken in by mistake will be passed undigested. He can only become fussy if you give him the choice. It's really not worth doing this as fruits including tomato will upset his gut flora and give you much bigger problems. It's early days yet for a change, so keep him well hydrated and refuse to give in to him, he will eat eventually and might hold out for up to a month. This won't do any harm so long as he is hydrated. Good Luck.

#3 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 21 October 2015 - 08:25 AM

Thank you! I'm buying a basking lamp today. Is soaking him in warm water ok for hydration? Because I've seen him drink only once.

#4 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:04 AM

Yes, soaks are helpful. They also take water on board via the cloaca, which helps with hydration.

#5 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:06 AM

Just checking and you say you have him in a terrarium. This could well be the reason for not eating too. If it's totally enclosed you need to change it to open topped.

#6 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:16 AM

It is a wooden self made terrarium opened on top. Quite spacy, too. But I let him walk in my bedroom, it is well heated (25 c) and clean. This is only when i'm studying in my room because he keeps climbing on the walls and is always trying to get out. Maybe because he is outdoors all summer in our garden so he is used to a large walking space?

#7 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:37 AM

Also about this diet thing...Is it possible that his previous owners were feeding him the wrong way (tomafo cauliflower salads) so he is attached to that type of food rather than weeds? His shell is nice, I don't see signs of pyramiding. And he was active all summer, walking around, climbing, basking under the sun. So I think he is healthy, maybe a little less active but maybe that is because of natural pre hybernation?

#8 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 21 October 2015 - 11:12 PM

It is a wooden self made terrarium opened on top. Quite spacy, too. But I let him walk in my bedroom, it is well heated (25 c) and clean. This is only when i'm studying in my room because he keeps climbing on the walls and is always trying to get out. Maybe because he is outdoors all summer in our garden so he is used to a large walking space?


The climbing thing is a sign of being too hot or not having enough room. Walking in the room is not a good idea

#9 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 21 October 2015 - 11:15 PM

Also about this diet thing...Is it possible that his previous owners were feeding him the wrong way (tomafo cauliflower salads) so he is attached to that type of food rather than weeds? His shell is nice, I don't see signs of pyramiding. And he was active all summer, walking around, climbing, basking under the sun. So I think he is healthy, maybe a little less active but maybe that is because of natural pre hybernation?



Yes, that diet was pretty dire. As you say it's natural to have less appetite at this time of year, so changing it will make things slightly different. He won't starve, so just keep up the tough love.

#10 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 22 October 2015 - 07:58 AM

I bought a basking lamp for him, 50w. He drank a little water yesterday and today. I hope the right heat will make his apetite better, will update you :)

#11 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:22 AM

I doubt 50 watt will reach correct temps, he needs 100 watt. 50 watts are more suitable for enclosed areas for lizards etc. A normal DIY shop spot bulb will be fine, no need to spend money on a fancy cardboard pic

#12 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 22 October 2015 - 05:26 PM

It's a Sylvania Hi spot reflector and my lamp is adjustible so I can lover or highten it depending on the heat.I measured the temperature directly under and it was 31 C. Should I lover the lamp if it is too cold?

#13 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 22 October 2015 - 07:49 PM

It depends on how big an area is overed by that temp. The lower you have to lower it, the smaller the area it covers obviously.

#14 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 26 October 2015 - 02:33 PM

I wanted to update you. He eat a lot 2 saturdays ago and again last friday. I gavs him dandelions clover radicchio baby lettuce with calcium on top. Under his basking spot is 33 C. Maybe my mistake was letting him roam around my bedroom. He is now in his terarrium which is probaly too small for him 100*40 cm. Should I keep him inside although he is constantly trying to escape or let him walk in my bedroom? My main focus is his diet and eathing more so concider that :). You are very kind and helpful.

#15 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 26 October 2015 - 03:20 PM

The problem with letting them roam is basically that people think they are having a good time, poking around, whereas they are more likely stressed and looking for a place to hide or somewhere to dig in. They are essentially a wild animal with very strong instincts and need a reasonable area to live and roam in. The area you describe is smaller than I would recommend for a hatchling really. I think this could be your problem to be honest, as an adult tortoise needs several metres squared to be comfortable. Could you not hibernate him?

#16 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 28 October 2015 - 01:27 PM

We're building him a much bigger enclousure this week, something like 250*150. But the feeding problem was there even in summer when he was outside in our garden under real sun. We have very hot summers. Honestly he was roaming around my bedroom, only sleeping in his enclousure until I read your post this weekend. He doesn't look ill and is active, has clear eyes and nose. And I know he would eat tomatoes apples cucumber if I gave him :/. I bought raddichio endive baby lettuce dandelions cactus opuntia etc.and give him everyday. He seems to love buttercups althought I gave them only once because I read they are toxic. What do you think about them?

#17 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 28 October 2015 - 01:30 PM

I would not hibernate him this year because I'm a new scared owner and need to prepare myself. And I'm not sure if he has enough stored fat. He is 14.5 cm and 640g. What do you think would be an ideal weight for a 14.5 cm animal? Sorry if I'm boring you :)

#18 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,106 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 28 October 2015 - 03:52 PM

We're building him a much bigger enclousure this week, something like 250*150. But the feeding problem was there even in summer when he was outside in our garden under real sun. We have very hot summers. Honestly he was roaming around my bedroom, only sleeping in his enclousure until I read your post this weekend. He doesn't look ill and is active, has clear eyes and nose. And I know he would eat tomatoes apples cucumber if I gave him :/. I bought raddichio endive baby lettuce dandelions cactus opuntia etc.and give him everyday. He seems to love buttercups althought I gave them only once because I read they are toxic. What do you think about them?


Really he needs much more room than this and will be stressed having lived outdoors for so long. Tortoises never look ill until it is too late. They take months to get ill and even longer to get better. Did you give him supplementary heat while outdoors as if you are in the UK, even the Sout East doesn't get enough sun for them to thrive. If UK was hot enough, we would have a wild population of tortoises. In the wild tortoises do eat buttercups, but they eat young ones at the beginning of the season, before the toxins are present. Toxins are in the older leaves. There is no way of saying what an ideal weight would be for size as in captivity they are all shapes and sizes, some being higher domed and some much flatter. Do you have pics? Not bored at all, that's why we are here :)

#19 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:17 PM

I live in Zagreb, Croatia and our summers start in may and last until October with temperatures from 30-35 C so it is their natural enviromenlt. Days are sunny and very very hot. Even nights during summer are very hot, 25 C and up. But we did bring him inside at the end of August, just in case. I will post pictures of him and link you a video of him walking so you can see :)

#20 Kori5

Kori5

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 26 posts

Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:29 PM

I did a test and offered him cherry tomato and apple and he did want to take a bite. I think it is a food addiction case. I read a topic about a hermann addicted to pellets and their fear of losing 10 g in 10 days. You commented how they wont starve themselves and that it takes sometimes a month of them not wanting to eat healthy food. I'm such a paranoid new mummy and never had reptiles, only dogs and when a dog doesn't want to eat you know hes ill. So I' m really worried and soak him keep his coconut coir wet-ish and I'm working on his bigger enclousure :).




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users