Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Help... Tortoise Weight Advice Needed


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Vicmurg

Vicmurg

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Interests:Exotic gardening, tropical fish keeping and of course my Hermann Tortoise (Darwin)

Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:14 AM

​Hi, please can anyone advise me...

 

​I have a 6 year old male Hermann tortoise called Darwin, he appears to me to be very healthy and fairly active given the time of year with no signs of illness.

​I have been reluctant to hibernate him since owning him (3 years) and have always overwintered him indoors, however, I have this year decided it is the right thing to do and have spent a long time reading up and getting prepared for hibernating him this year using the fridge method.

​I stopped feeding him 2 days ago as per the wind down plan, I always weigh him regularly and he is bathed every morning where he regularly wees and sometimes poos, he has always continued to grow and gain weight slowly but surely since owning him. as I said he looks well, has a really great shell with no signs of pyramiding etc.

​My problem is I have never actually looked his condition up on the Jacksons ratio as I never thought there was an issue, however I thought this morning (for some reason, probably due to my nervousness around hibernating him for the first time!) to check he was okay ready for hibernation and he is coming out VERY low and not suitable for hibernation due to being underweight.

​I have double and triple checked his measurement and weight which are as follows... shell length = 16cm exactly and weight = 648 grams. Ratio result comes out as 0.15 I think??? unless I am doing something wrong.

​My other issue is that I don't know where I am going wrong in the first place and why he is so underweight.

​Please help



#2 Vicmurg

Vicmurg

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Interests:Exotic gardening, tropical fish keeping and of course my Hermann Tortoise (Darwin)

Posted 29 October 2016 - 12:11 PM

Oh my days!!!! SORRY... Panic over,

I have just had someone to help and hold Darwin still whilst I remeasured him and I was out by a whole cm, he is actually 15 cm and the perfect weight for hibernation, can't tell you how relieved I am!

Not sure how to remove my post so I don't waste people's valuable time?

It does go to prove though that accurate measuring is very important, Sorry again guys, hibernation plan can continue as planned!
PHEW!

I will however make a new post in hibernation as my only other query is how long to hibernate for seeing as it is probably his first time!

#3 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:19 PM

Worth bearing in mind that most captive reared tortoises have different density shells, so the Jackson ratio is worthless. It was formulated for wild tortoises.

#4 Vicmurg

Vicmurg

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Interests:Exotic gardening, tropical fish keeping and of course my Hermann Tortoise (Darwin)

Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for the reply, I had wondered about that from reading other posts but just got a bit stressed as I wasn't sure if the shell density thing of captive vs wild would make captive heavier or lighter.
Is there any tool out there for checking safe weights for captive tortoises prior to hibernating? Or do we just need to trust our judgements on them appearing healthy?
Thanks again,
Vic

#5 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 30 October 2016 - 04:50 AM

Thanks for the reply, I had wondered about that from reading other posts but just got a bit stressed as I wasn't sure if the shell density thing of captive vs wild would make captive heavier or lighter.
Is there any tool out there for checking safe weights for captive tortoises prior to hibernating? Or do we just need to trust our judgements on them appearing healthy?
Thanks again,
Vic

Hi Vic,

I've never used any chart with my tortoises I think over time you get to know your tortoise and keep your own records through the year also through hibernation, I've never had a problem with hibernation, but if there ever was a time I thought one of them was unwell through the year at any point then I wouldn't hibernate. x



#6 Vicmurg

Vicmurg

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Interests:Exotic gardening, tropical fish keeping and of course my Hermann Tortoise (Darwin)

Posted 30 October 2016 - 06:54 PM

Thanks.... I will go with my gut then as he is perfectly fine and well to me.

#7 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:20 PM

Thanks for the reply, I had wondered about that from reading other posts but just got a bit stressed as I wasn't sure if the shell density thing of captive vs wild would make captive heavier or lighter.
Is there any tool out there for checking safe weights for captive tortoises prior to hibernating? Or do we just need to trust our judgements on them appearing healthy?
Thanks again,
Vic


It would normally make them lighter, because although they often look thicker, they are usually less dense. There is of course the possibility of them not being as domed as wild tortoises, so again a ratio would not work. I don't use a ratio, but compare to previous years weights which is only 100% effective if already adult. Another way of knowing is by going by the feel. If he feels like a hollow shell, then overwinter him, if he feels like an overstuffed pie, then providing there are no health issues, all should be fine.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users