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Member Since 25 Jan 2014
Offline Last Active Oct 10 2016 11:56 AM

#63318 Newby Introduction

Posted by crotchetybear on 01 March 2015 - 02:18 AM

Welcome to the forum.
Like you, I too have a pair of oversized tortoises. Mine were hatched in October 2013 and both currently weigh in the region of 150g (which would be 6oz) so - although not quite as rapidly grown as yours - a lot bigger than they ought to be.
I also got mine from a breeder at approx 3 months of age, and they were already over 70g. Their breeder insists this growth rate is OK but seems to be a lone voice as most experienced keepers/breeders agree it is too fast, likely to lead to shell deformity and the risk of metabolic bone disease.
I've found this site really helpful and you'll get good advice here from experienced keepers.
You can't, of course, undo the growth so far - but you can do your best to ensure future growth is slow and steady. Aim for no more than 3-4g a month from now on and be careful not to overfeed. They will eat whatever you put in front of them. I currently give mine a small handful of leaves (mainly dandelion and plantain which are quite plentiful just now) daily. Once they've polished those off - which they do in very short order - they get no more until the following day. (Makes me feel quite mean but it's for their benefit in the long term.) Keep up the baths to make sure they're well hydrated.
Washed, and stored in an airtight container, I find weeds will keep for several days in the fridge.
Good luck,

#62747 Happy Birthday Beermat89

Posted by crotchetybear on 21 January 2015 - 08:29 AM

Unfortunate timing, after yesterday's events, but Happy Birthday anyway.


Chris x 

#62544 Gaping Mouth

Posted by crotchetybear on 10 January 2015 - 03:05 PM

Hi Samantha,


As JerryMaffz says, tortoises need to be able to regulate their own body temperature so, ideally, your enclosure should have a warmer end with the basking lamp at about 32 degrees during the day, and a cooler end at around 20 degrees. At night it is OK to let the background temperature drop lower and, as she is indoors, the normal background temperature of your house should be warm enough for her at night without additional heating.


What sort of enclosure are you keeping her in? (You might have posted this before but I can't find it.) If, when you have time, you could post some pictures of Elsie's accommodation we might be able to give you more advice.


All the best,


#62371 Help With Hermann I Have Had Since 2002

Posted by crotchetybear on 05 January 2015 - 12:55 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum. You will find lots of help and advice here.


I am no expert - there are many much more experienced than me and it's likely Matt or Sue will be along to provide help shortly - but, at 12 years old, it would be better if Tortilla was hibernated in future. This is natural for their normal development and helps to maintain good health. See the hibernation topic for advice and hopefully you will be more confident next winter.


If tortilla has slept since October until now, it sounds as if he has taken things into his own hands and hibernated himself. As he is now coming out and basking it is imperative that you get him rehydrated. Give him plenty of warm soaks to encourage him to drink and ensure he has water available all the time - preferably in a dish deep enough for him to sit in. You could also give him a warm shower from a watering can - I find this stimulates mine.


Continue to encourage him to eat by providing plenty of weeds for him and keeping daytime temps up, but drinking is more important in the first instance. Banana is not a good food for tortoises but I think kale is OK.


You say he feels really light. Do you know what weight he is now and what he weighed before he went to sleep? Weight loss during hibernation should be no more than 10% of total body weight.


More detail about how you keep him would also be helpful. Wandering around the lounge is not really a suitable environment for a tortoise - he needs a suitably sized enclosure with conditions close to what he would experience in the wild.


You may need to get him seen by a vet - make sure it is one experienced in reptile care. If he has hibernated himself with food in his gut this could potentially lead to problems. As could dehydration.


Hope this helps. And hopefully one of the very experienced members will be along shortly.