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#1 TortoiseDave

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:08 AM

Hi 👋🏼

I recently rehomed a tortoise, didn't know that know about them so I bought I tortoise book. In the book there is a weight chart which shows my Dave dangerously low weight for length ratio.
Dave weighed 480grams and was 150cm long on the 2nd of May. Is the book right? What does everyone else's tortoise weigh compared to the length.
If he is under weight how can I improve his weight?

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#2 TortoiseDave

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:30 AM

His shells seems to be curling around the bottom, is this due to his weight?

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#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:34 AM

I'm guessing you are talking about the Jackson ratio. First thing to remember is that this ratio was devised by Oliphant Jackson to help with his studies of wild tortoises. Not many of today's pet tortoises, having been grown far too fast on incorrect diets look anything like a wild tortoise. Some are far too flat, so would come in as underweight, while some gave thickened porous shells making them look big, but also coming in as underweight due the the porous type bone of the shell. Looking at your picture, Dave has been grown on as a pet from a baby, so the ratio is unsuitable. There are literally hundreds of books out there, but only a few really good ones. Tortoise Trust (carapace press) books generally give good info, but even they fail to mention in some places that the Jackson ratio is no use to anything but 'typical' looking tortoises. Hope this helps and welcome to tortoise keeping.

#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:40 AM

His shells seems to be curling around the bottom, is this due to his weight?


If you mean the bit at the back, over his back legs, like a vw beetle wheel arch, that is typical of a hermanni male. If you look at his shell, its grown fairly normally for several years and then something has changed. Looks as though it's a period of bad growth I've neglect or poor heat/lighting, which has caused a change of growth rate. He needs to be outdoors now, with somewhere he can retire to in bad weather, such as a greenhouse or cold frame, if possible with heat. What are you feeding him?

#5 TortoiseDave

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 03:16 PM

I mean more on his sides really, Dave only seems to like his mixed leaf salads. Tried dandelions, cauliflower and on occasions tomatoes and grapes but just seems to leave them

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 03:57 PM

I mean more on his sides really, Dave only seems to like his mixed leaf salads. Tried dandelions, cauliflower and on occasions tomatoes and grapes but just seems to leave them


If you look at him from above, the marginal scutes ( round the edges) should be hardly visible. Is he like that. Send an ariel pic if you like. Tortoises can be stubborn with foods. Remember that during hibernation they don't eat for months so he's not going to starve. So long as he's hydrated he will eat when he's had enough of trying to fool you. Never feed cauliflower, it's from the cabbage family and stops calcium being absorbed. All fruits, including tomatoes will upset the gut flora and make his poo loose, so best avoided too. What salad are you giving? The only one with a suitable tortoise mix is florette crispy, others usually contain spinach, beets etc

#7 mildredsmam

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:17 PM

I mean more on his sides really, Dave only seems to like his mixed leaf salads. Tried dandelions, cauliflower and on occasions tomatoes and grapes but just seems to leave them

Hi,

It's best to try and change his diet to a more natural one, as Sue has said he will eat it when he's hungry, but to do this you need to offer him weeds and flowers only daily till he eats them, there's loads of different weeds about at the minute that's good food for him, you might find this helpful  http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm and this is a really good book for ID as well  https://www.facebook...hc_location=ufi, no matter how old a tortoise is you can always change their life for the better, him been outside would also benefit him loads where he can eat plants himself. :)



#8 TortoiseDave

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:47 PM

Aerial picture of Dave

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#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:00 PM

Aerial picture of Dave


Yes, I can see what you mean. The skirt effect is due to incorrect diet and possibly humidity levels. If you can get him outdoors into some natural sunlight it will help regulate his growth too. Good luck :)




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