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New Tortoise Owner Looking For Advice!?x


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#1 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:19 AM

hi everyone .. i recently (sunday) purchased a Hermanns tortoise as a new family addition. I really would just like some advice on the settling period. So far i have gave him a little bath everyday for 10 mins as advised and he seems to be bossing about his tortoise table quite the thing! He's pooed everyday so far and has been going to get water .. the set up is good, temps are great, substrate is deep enough to dig, got two hides as advised, he's eating bits and pieces now after gorging himself the first two days .. the only thing he seems to do that worries me is try and climb out of the tortoise table constantly ! he was in a tortoise table with 5 other hermann's when we bought him .. could he be lonely? i have not handled him much at all apart from the baths but whenever i approach his enclosure he comes right over and never seems to shy away! Does anyone's tortoises do the same thing? ie, trying to constantly get out the enclosure? please note i know i am a very new owner but i do not get the sense that he is unhappy or distressed .. just purely wanting to wander!

#2 gizmosmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:53 AM

Hi, I'm new too but picked up quite a bit of knowledge from this site. How big is your table? Apparently they are solitary in the wild so probably not lonely. Presume he's on soil substrate and eating weeds. Someone with more knowledge will be on in a bit to help more.

#3 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:24 AM

hi ! he is in a 90x45x21cm table hes had his first weeds the other day.. his substrate is tortoise life ..the hay substrate ..no one mentioned anything about soil? would you recommend ? yeah i understand they are solitairy in the wild but he seems to be quite inquisitive and personable!

#4 gizmosmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:40 AM

I've been advised soil without chemicals, I think hay is bad for their respiratory system. How old/ big is tortoise. My 8 year old is outside so different from yours but she only tries to get out when she is confined to a smaller area. Your table sounds quite small but Sue or Karen will probably come on today to advise you more. Look at tortoisetable site for good weeds to feed.
http://m.thetortoise...database_14.asp

#5 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 09:02 AM

according to his papers he is 6months old and hes only 3inchs long and 2 and a half inchs wide !x hes soo tiny x

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 09:05 AM

hi everyone .. i recently (sunday) purchased a Hermanns tortoise as a new family addition. I really would just like some advice on the settling period. So far i have gave him a little bath everyday for 10 mins as advised and he seems to be bossing about his tortoise table quite the thing! He's pooed everyday so far and has been going to get water .. the set up is good, temps are great, substrate is deep enough to dig, got two hides as advised, he's eating bits and pieces now after gorging himself the first two days .. the only thing he seems to do that worries me is try and climb out of the tortoise table constantly ! he was in a tortoise table with 5 other hermann's when we bought him .. could he be lonely? i have not handled him much at all apart from the baths but whenever i approach his enclosure he comes right over and never seems to shy away! Does anyone's tortoises do the same thing? ie, trying to constantly get out the enclosure? please note i know i am a very new owner but i do not get the sense that he is unhappy or distressed .. just purely wanting to wander!


The setup is on the small side and will need to be enlarged very soon, this is why he is constantly trying to escape. He may also be looking for his siblings which happens when they move home. If you buy a second one you will have to quarantine it unless from the same place. It would be helpful to know the sex though, how big/old is he? Hides are not necessary as its best for them to disappear under the soil as in nature, especially at this age, which encourages good shell growth. Rocks and parts of plant pots are better as he dig under them into the soil. Home bred tortoises do appear to be very personable, they quickly learn that a human might mean food is coming. Never use gay or straw, it's not necessary as he is cold blooded and can cause respiratory problems as well as being a fire hazard.

#7 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 09:09 AM

what other substrate can you recommend?x

#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 09:58 AM

according to his papers he is 6months old and hes only 3inchs long and 2 and a half inchs wide !x hes soo tiny x


Is he microchipped? 3 inches long is much older than six months. What does he weigh? Should be around 20 grams if grown properly.

#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 10:00 AM

what other substrate can you recommend?x



The best substrate is soil, but you can use coir or a coir/soil mix. Avoid anything pelleted (usually high protein), wood chips, aspen etc

#10 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 11:13 AM

yeah hes microchipped and i am just going on the yellow certificate i was given when bought !x it says it was registered on the 25/8/15 i just assumed that was his birthdate (clearly wrong) x we weighed him yest and he is 46.4g x

#11 MrsHxx

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 11:14 AM

thanks guys for the information i really do appreciate your knowledge

#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 05:52 PM

yeah hes microchipped and i am just going on the yellow certificate i was given when bought !x it says it was registered on the 25/8/15 i just assumed that was his birthdate (clearly wrong) x we weighed him yest and he is 46.4g x


I'm guessing he's an imported tortoise then. My vet actually refuses to chip hatchlings as there is a risk of death. Imports are a bit of lottery, the age could be anyone's guess ;) he's not too big though, but def to small to be chipped humanely in my humble opinion.

#13 mildredsmam

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 04:32 AM

I'm guessing he's an imported tortoise then. My vet actually refuses to chip hatchlings as there is a risk of death. Imports are a bit of lottery, the age could be anyone's guess ;) he's not too big though, but def to small to be chipped humanely in my humble opinion.

I have to agree with this, their so tiny to be micro-chipped god knows why they changed the rules :angry2: I seen a post last week on one of the face book groups where the chip was coming back out the hatchlings leg it's crazy. :wink:



#14 mildredsmam

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 04:42 AM

hi everyone .. i recently (sunday) purchased a Hermanns tortoise as a new family addition. I really would just like some advice on the settling period. So far i have gave him a little bath everyday for 10 mins as advised and he seems to be bossing about his tortoise table quite the thing! He's pooed everyday so far and has been going to get water .. the set up is good, temps are great, substrate is deep enough to dig, got two hides as advised, he's eating bits and pieces now after gorging himself the first two days .. the only thing he seems to do that worries me is try and climb out of the tortoise table constantly ! he was in a tortoise table with 5 other hermann's when we bought him .. could he be lonely? i have not handled him much at all apart from the baths but whenever i approach his enclosure he comes right over and never seems to shy away! Does anyone's tortoises do the same thing? ie, trying to constantly get out the enclosure? please note i know i am a very new owner but i do not get the sense that he is unhappy or distressed .. just purely wanting to wander!

Hi, welcome to the forum. :)

Tortoises don't like change at all and can some times take a bit to settle into their new enclosure :)  you might want think about a bigger enclosure sooner rather than later, hatchlings do a lot better when they have plenty of space with plenty of rocks and plants for them to climb over, just some thing to think about in case you ever thought of getting another is would you have space for two set ups if needed in time, if you did and ended up with a male and female they would need to be keep apart at all times. :)

We would love to see some pictures of your new hatchling. :)



#15 MrsHxx

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:22 AM

thanks everyone ... x i have already changed the substrate and im really struggling to get my hands on pesticide free weeds .. will i have to grow my own?xx

#16 wizzasmum

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:13 AM

I have to agree with this, their so tiny to be micro-chipped god knows why they changed the rules :angry2: I seen a post last week on one of the face book groups where the chip was coming back out the hatchlings leg it's crazy. :wink:


I've seen this a few times. I'd really like to grow my tortoises on a couple of years before selling, but the new rules have made it very difficult for genuine uk breeders and much easier for those importing vast numbers of commercially farmed tortoises :( yet another reason to leave the EU lol

#17 mildredsmam

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:43 AM

thanks everyone ... x i have already changed the substrate and im really struggling to get my hands on pesticide free weeds .. will i have to grow my own?xx

Hi, I go out for a walk and pick weeds, I've been this morning and found quite a few, you just have to look a little more this time of year. :)



#18 wizzasmum

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 02:05 PM

Yes they are coming through now thankfully. Roll on Spring :)

#19 gizmosmum

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:01 PM

Plenty of weeds today, didn't even have to look hard. Dandelion flowers in abundance, sticky weed, geranium, dead nettle, stinging nettles( ouch). All ready for wake up tomorrow.

#20 MrsHxx

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 08:29 AM

thank you so much guys you have been such a good source of help for me! absolutely in love with my little guy and want to give him the best start x




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