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Advice For Prospective New Owner


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#1 stevekvm

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 12:53 PM

Hi all,

 

I have received/read lots of conflicting information today on being a tortoise owner, I wonder if anyone can help?

 

We are considering purchasing two Hermann Tortoises but would like to know-

 

1) Any recommendations for an outside house/run...obviously large enough for two, it would be laid on grass.

 

2) Will they always hibernate?

 

3) Should we have an indoor house for the winter, is a large shed ok?

 

4) Do they require a heat lamp for the winter.....read yes and no to this question?

 

I hope that someone can help, we don't want to purchase them until we know what they require.

 

Regards

 

Steve



#2 Kori5

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:07 PM

I am a new owner as well but read a lot of information so hope I can help. 1. We live in the Mediterranean so my Kori is free to gaze during the summer in our spacy garden because temperatures are 30-35 C. We take him inside during the night because of wild animals. You have to have a safe garden because they climb and dig. 2.

#3 Kori5

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:12 PM

I am a new owner as well but read a lot of information so hope I can help. 1. We live in the Mediterranean so my Kori is free to gaze during the summer in our spacy garden because temperatures are 30-35 C. We take him inside during the night because of wild animals. You have to have a safe garden because they climb and dig. 2. I was told not to buy him a female because when she sexually matures he will try to mate her all the time and she'll become ill. So one or 1+3 females. 3.Hibernation is natural for them, you don't have to hibernate them the first year or if they are ill or underweight. Hibernation sheet is here on forum. Of you choose not to, they need a big indoor enclousure with uvb bulb and heat lamp. The room temperature should be 25 C and under the lamp 33. They need a cool spot and a hiding place. Humidity should be kept 40 % I think.

#4 Kori5

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:13 PM

Hope someone more experienced will correct me and fill up :)

#5 Kori5

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:17 PM

For outdoor/indoor table I would recommend something you can move depending on the season. We made him a table from Obs wooden pieces ( don't know the english word) that are 35 cm height. It was done in one afternoon and is great. You can use an old closet or bookshell and place it horizontally :). It depends on the tortoise size.

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 03:10 PM

Hi all,
 
I have received/read lots of conflicting information today on being a tortoise owner, I wonder if anyone can help?
 
We are considering purchasing two Hermann Tortoises but would like to know-
 
1) Any recommendations for an outside house/run...obviously large enough for two, it would be laid on grass.
 
2) Will they always hibernate?
 
3) Should we have an indoor house for the winter, is a large shed ok?
 
4) Do they require a heat lamp for the winter.....read yes and no to this question?
 
I hope that someone can help, we don't want to purchase them until we know what they require.
 
Regards
 
Steve


Hi, there is lots of conflicting advice out there. You will find new keepers who start Facebook pages and give advice, so it's hard to know who is and who isn't reliable. I would say as a rough guide, avoid advice from commercial outlets as most of these will be offering second hand info that they have picked up from the net or other dealers. Advice given via long term respected sites such as Tortoise Trust are reliable and from long term keepers and breeders. New breeders can be unreliable as they need more experience than just breeding a couple of clutches; there are many pitfalls along the way. Unfortunately there is no control on who can and can not build a website. Always think of what they would have in the wild, so websites advising dried food, tanks, fruit and veg etc should make you suspicious right away.
In answer to you questions, this is what I would do.
1. Rabbit type runs never work as a tortoise needs to dig at times, so solid secure sides are needed and are best sunk into the ground. If a tortoise can see out then that barrier is effectively not there to them. Never place a habitat on grass, tortoises are never found on grassy areas except large African type species which feed on grass. Grass is not digested by Hermanns and the constant wetness of it in this country will lead to shell rot.
2. You might find it hard to stop them hibernating as this is what they have evolved to do. Hibernation checks rapid growth and ensures a better chance of a smooth shell.
3. If you decide not to hibernate then they must be kept warm indoors. A shed would work for older ones, but must be well insulated to maintain heat and high light levels are required to prevent hibernation. This can be very costly.
4. Yes, if you are keeping a tortoise awake over winter it MUST Have a heat lamp otherwise it will die :( if hibernating temps of 5 degrees are essential.
Hope this helps a little.

#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 03:13 PM

Hi all,
 
I have received/read lots of conflicting information today on being a tortoise owner, I wonder if anyone can help?
 
We are considering purchasing two Hermann Tortoises but would like to know-
 
1) Any recommendations for an outside house/run...obviously large enough for two, it would be laid on grass.
 
2) Will they always hibernate?
 
3) Should we have an indoor house for the winter, is a large shed ok?
 
4) Do they require a heat lamp for the winter.....read yes and no to this question?
 
I hope that someone can help, we don't want to purchase them until we know what they require.
 
Regards
 
Steve


I would also say, find yourself a well known breeder in your area and never buy from pet outlets or so called reptile centres as these will be imports with an increase in parasites or infectious diseases and therefore have a much lower chance of survival. There are lists of breeders on reputable websites or someone here aye well know of one in your area.

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 03:16 PM

[quote name="Kori5" post="65084" timestamp="1446469932". Humidity should be kept 40 % I think.[/quote]

Humidity should be variable. It needs to be low in basking areas, but overnight in the wild it can approach 100% around hatchling hiding areas.

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 04:34 PM

Hi Steve,

I would just like to say welcome to the forum, you'll get great advice here. :)






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