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New Hatchlings


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#1 Geraldine

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 02:09 PM

Hi I am very new to having tortoises. I have had my two hatchlings for 4 weeks now, they are 4 months old. I am concerned that they are too big for their age. I weighed and measured them this morning. Beryl is 41g & 550mm and Doris is 38g & 510mm. I am feeding them on Florette Crispy salad with the occasional dandelion & plantain leaves. Are these sizes ok?

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:00 PM

They are rather large for their age Geraldine, but luckily still small enough to change things. I have some hatchlings here that were hatched beginning of September and they weigh between 18 and 25 grams. A lot depends on what size they were on hatching and when you had them too ;)

#3 Geraldine

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 07:15 PM

I do not know how much they weighed when they hatched, but when I collected them on the 30th November they were 35g & 34g. What do you suggest I do to reduce their growth rate. I currently feed them once a day and generally the food has all gone within half an hour.

#4 wizzasmum

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 01:56 AM

The only way to control growth is to weigh them each month. At this stage, if they are gaining more than 2-3 grams, then they need to be fed less, especially over winter. Food should be spread around so they have to look for it, the same as they would in the wild and never chopped up. This provides more exercise and helps their jaws and limbs develop properly too. Given that the average weight on hatching is around 14-15 grams, they were already a bit hefty when you got them.

#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 05:05 AM

Hi Geraldine,

I would just like to say welcome to the forum, we look forward to seeing pictures of your new hatchlings. :) 



#6 Geraldine

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:20 PM

Thank you Sue for your advice. I will reduce the amount of food I am giving them. I don't chop their food up but I do put the food on a couple of tiles that I have at one end of the table, the opposite end to where the heat/UVB lamp is.

Something else that I am unsure about is whether I need to water their substrate. I have them on Tortoise Life. I have read conflicting advise whether Hermann Tortoises need a humid environment or not. Thanks for you help.

#7 Geraldine

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:28 PM

Hi Karen here are a couple of photos of my hatchlings. They are not very good quality I'm afraid. I will try and get some better ones soon.

Attached Files



#8 wizzasmum

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:01 AM

Thank you Sue for your advice. I will reduce the amount of food I am giving them. I don't chop their food up but I do put the food on a couple of tiles that I have at one end of the table, the opposite end to where the heat/UVB lamp is.
Something else that I am unsure about is whether I need to water their substrate. I have them on Tortoise Life. I have read conflicting advise whether Hermann Tortoises need a humid environment or not. Thanks for you help.


Yes you must water the substrate when indoors Geraldine, otherwise they will become dehydrated and develop deformities, along with kidney/bladder issues. What people don't always realise is that outdoors, even in the Med, humidity can reach 100% at ground level overnight, which does not happen indoors. Tortoiselife is very drying, so you must have a damp area they can dig down to, especially overnight to conserve moisture, which is what they would do I nature. Hope this helps.

#9 Geraldine

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:08 AM

I have been spraying the top everyday but this soon evaporates. I was concerned that the soil was very dry. Would you recommend that I use something different than the Tortoiselife? How damp should it be? Sorry for the questions but I so want to get the correct environment for them.

#10 babettebeau

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:12 AM

Hi Geraldine

You can use either plain top soil or coconut coir. I use coconut coir for my two babies simply because I find it lighter in weight when i need to move the enclosure, and it is a good suitable option after soil for moisture and thermoregulation.

If you opt for soil, what i understand is that you need to water the soil along the edges of the tortoise table, the soil should be damp underneath and dry on top like in a pot of plant.

If you opt for coconut coir, it needs to be damp (not wet, not soggy) every day or every couple of days depending how quickly it dries indoors, basically you need to re-hydrate it before it gets back to the color of when you bought it. Typically i make sure the coconut coir it sightly damp (not soggy) everyday, especially in the areas when they have the habit to sleep.

 

Coconut coir comes in compact dry blocks.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Sabina






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