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Shell Growth - First 2 Years


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#1 pompeypoole

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 05:38 PM

Hi, just seeking some feedback on shell growth from those of you that have managed to hatch and grow their tortoises on into adulthood.

To say that I am obsessed with slow smooth growth is an understatement.

The first photo is of one of my eldest hatchlings. 3 years 1 month and 104grams. This is the smooth growth I am looking for.

The next 5 photos are of a 2 year 3 month old hatchling. From hatching (June 2014) through to now. Nov14 21g, Apr15 26g, Oct15 38g, Jan16 40g, Sep16 61g.

The last of these photo's, when compared to the others, now shows a slight depression on some of the costal scutes, where the original growth occurred (almost as if the original growth has been affected by something).

Hopefully you can see what I am trying to depict. There is no difference in husbandry. Any suggestions?

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#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 02:47 AM

Hi,

Your hatchlings are gorgeous, hopefully Sue will see this and be able to help as she has had tortoises from hatchlings up to adults, mine are only two at the minute x



#3 terrypin

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 10:12 AM

Can't say I see what you mean regarding the coastal scutes. As for what you are achieving in terms of smooth growth well done. I have been like yourself trying grow my own hatchlings as well as I can
I have been trying this for many years and have found the difficulty arises when they become large enough to live outdoors 24/7. Once you lose control over feeding and they have access to graze and can choose which wild plants to supplement their diet or if you have the space exist on graze alone. Now you will see how a group can grow at different rates. I assume this would happen in the wild except our gardens tend to be a little more lush and watered during the summer months. I am and have been for a number of years breeding second generation CB . Good luck with what you are doing.

#4 pompeypoole

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I am planning on building a permanent larger outside pen for my older hatchlings (3 year olds) as opposed to a table top that I move in and out of my garage during good weather. We include a heated cold frame etc. I take note of your comment about access to feeding 24/7.

Do you have a growing on area for your younger ones or do they go in with your adults.

#5 terrypin

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 08:33 PM

I have tried putting Juveniles in with my adults but since tortoises seem to share similar tastes in sleeping areas they invariably end up getting slept on. My concern was it affecting their shape while still growing. So in the end I have given them their own separate section of the Hermanns greenhouse and access to their own outdoor run. The ones I have in there are up to 5 year old and the larger of these may move in with the adults next year unless they are sold on.

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#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 09:18 AM

Hi, just seeking some feedback on shell growth from those of you that have managed to hatch and grow their tortoises on into adulthood.
To say that I am obsessed with slow smooth growth is an understatement.
The first photo is of one of my eldest hatchlings. 3 years 1 month and 104grams. This is the smooth growth I am looking for.
The next 5 photos are of a 2 year 3 month old hatchling. From hatching (June 2014) through to now. Nov14 21g, Apr15 26g, Oct15 38g, Jan16 40g, Sep16 61g.
The last of these photo's, when compared to the others, now shows a slight depression on some of the costal scutes, where the original growth occurred (almost as if the original growth has been affected by something).
Hopefully you can see what I am trying to depict. There is no difference in husbandry. Any suggestions?


I've had similar growth differences with hermans. Oddly enough the one that grew fastest had the best growth, whereas the smaller one didn't. The mother of the two is a wild caught individual, also with some uneven growth, so there has to be some genetic cause too. Usually, depressions are linked to dry conditions, especially overnight, so worth thinking about. They are doing really well though ;)




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