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Member Since 07 May 2015
Offline Last Active Jul 01 2018 01:22 PM

#67795 Mr Burns Sore Eyes

Posted by wizzasmum on 29 July 2017 - 12:22 PM

It's not a good substrate for tortoises for many many reasons. Petshops shouldn't sell it to be honest. Can you change it to a natural soil substrate very soon please? Tortoises need humidity as part of their natural habitat, which they can't get with any pellet substrate. If you are using a pet shop, see if they have tortoise life substrate, failing this buy top soil from a diy store. You need to water substrates so that the base is damp for when they burrow down at night. Also, if you are feeding shop bought food, make a change to natural feeding. Bathe him daily in warm water and put a tiny blob of coconut oil on the surface of the water, this will also help to clear any irritation. Hope this helps.

#67793 Mr Burns Sore Eyes

Posted by wizzasmum on 29 July 2017 - 09:58 AM

That is not looking good, have you seen a vet yet? If not, meanwhile try putting a drop of codliver oil into the eyes to see if it will smooth and remove any foreign body, such as sand. If you are using sand, I'd recommend removing it as it's renowned for damaging torts eyes. With it being both eyes I'd say it's less likely to be a foreign body. Make sure you see a recommended qualified Reptile vet as some will not give correct treatment. Good luck ;)

#67781 Second Hermann Tortoise?

Posted by wizzasmum on 23 July 2017 - 01:08 PM

So long as she has given them to you and not sold them it's fine, but selling a hermanni without certs is illegal and carries heavy fines as they are a protected species. They only need certs and microchipping if you use them for breeding, which is what the original breeder should have done really. Without her tortoises having certs it's going to be difficult for you to obtain certs unless she has given you a gifting letter which sometimes helps. I'm surprised she gave you one of each, as at maturity you always need one male to several females to avoid stress and related illness.

#67759 Juvenile Male Marginated Tortoise

Posted by wizzasmum on 03 July 2017 - 10:23 PM

Sorry, not a hermanni, but looking for a good home for this lovely male marginated tortoise. Currently in Dartford, Kent, but the owner is willing to travel to find him the right home. Equipment other than tortoise table also comes with him. Please either reply here or to wizzasmum@aol.com Photographs available.

#67717 Cleaning Tortoises?

Posted by wizzasmum on 23 June 2017 - 10:38 PM

Agree with Karen. It's a bit like people who constantly wash dogs etc. Sooner or later they will have problems if nature is interfered with. I have a little male with no tail which obviously needs an eye keeping on his nether regions in case he gets a build up of faeces, but he's the only one who ever needs this attention.

#67673 Leopard Or Redfooted Tortoise ?

Posted by wizzasmum on 09 June 2017 - 04:48 PM

To see where they would live would be lovely, but it would be a much better idea not to breed from them. It's taken a long time for the trade in these large species to decline, due to the problems mentioned, so it would be a shame to just add to the numbers of rescues ;)

#67669 Leopard Or Redfooted Tortoise ?

Posted by wizzasmum on 09 June 2017 - 08:12 AM

You need to get used to keeping tortoises for several years until you go into breeding Lance. It's not just a matter of getting a couple of tortoises and away you go. You need to be very careful where they come from with the risks associated with cross contamination, you need several females to each male, large areas with suitable nesting places, good hibernation quarters if breeding a hibernating species and a hefty bank balance if none hibernating. To be brutally honest there is no money to be made from breeding tortoises in this country and definitely a huge loss from the larger species. It's best to regard tortoise breeding as a hobby. I've been keeping them for over thirty five years now and spend a lot of time and money on their care and housing etc. By the time the certificates from Animal Health are sorted for babies, plus the rearing, cost of equipment, lighting, heating etc I'd guess you just about break even if you're lucky. There are a few who do it on a budget but there are usually a lot of problems along the way and vets fees for exotics can be sky high. Hope this helps

#67662 Leopard Or Redfooted Tortoise ?

Posted by wizzasmum on 08 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

I have been wondering what species is more popular redfooted or leopard tortoise?
I have been thinking about breeding tortoises and have narrowed it down to these two,but would need to know which one is more popular so I can get the beast result and maybe try and expand. I have space for summer and winter pens and grass areas available so have all that's needed and have done research on both species. I also have food available as I have a border (area) of dandy lions and tortoise seed mix due to my current tortoises . I also have strawberries and melons growing during the sumer for redfooted tortoises as well as grass for leopard tortoises.
Thanks in advance lance

To be honest, in the uk, neither of these is a good idea. Neither are popular due to the difficulty of keeping them. Leopard tortoises are indigenous to South Africa and therefore it's not easy to give them a good habitat in uk without a great deal of expense. To breed them would definitely result in lots of tortoises eventually looking for new homes. They can't even be rehomed to zoos any more. Redfoots are also not easy to breed in this country due to the difficulty of creating large enough enclosures which need high levels of humidity amongst other problems. I think you need to research very carefully before going ahead with this project. It's a lot more involved than growing weeds, fruit and grass I'm afraid. Hope this helps.

#67634 New Outdoor Enclosure To Shanti And Namaste

Posted by wizzasmum on 03 June 2017 - 07:49 PM

Sabina, it's fantastic. Very lucky tortoise babies. When the blocks are planted up it's going to look even better. Love it :)

#67629 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 03 June 2017 - 10:08 AM

I'm a bit concerned that the outlet isn't giving this information with the tortoises to be honest. Maybe it would be possible for you to pass some links on to them :)

#67624 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:11 PM

Thanks Sue , i think it makes sense - so you would recommend a lamp for those cooler days with the age they are now? ie,2 yr.

Definitely, from hatching to old age. In the uk there's not enough natural warmth to keep tortoises outdoor without heated coldframes or greenhouses. The tortoises would eat at lower temps, but would not digest properly if they couldn't reach a core temp of 30C

#67623 A Little Advice Needed Please

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:03 PM

As you say Claire there's a lot of conflicting advise about, ranging from commercial outlets that want to sell you stuff, to new keepers passing on second hand knowledge, to long term breeders and researchers. I'd say always think of what the tortoise has in the wild, plus how it behaves and try to mimic that as best you can. Pyramiding is most often caused by husbandry and rarely the amount fed, although constant feeding as much as it can eat isn't a good idea anyway. They look very big for two year olds, although pics can be deceiving. A two year old would generally be less than 70 - 80 grams and even less in the wild. In nature they also spend a lot of time hidden in very humid areas, especially overnight, so this needs to be copied too by watering the enclosure so that when they dig down they will remain hydrated. I don't use sand as it's not like their natural habitat sand and can cause eye problems. Looking at your pics I'd say the problem is mainly humidity related. I'd remove the covered area as that encourages them to sleep on the surface rather than below the surface, also make the substrate double the present depth at least. You also need to supplement with calcium/d3 daily, especially when the tortoise is growing too fast. Tiny hatchlings need to be growing at 2-3 grams a month max for healthy growth. Hope that's not too harsh :)

#67620 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 08:52 PM

Thanks Sue that's brilliant help. I will do all you suggest. I will remove the hay and replace the soil sand mix with soil only. Totally understand the growth on pellets concept. They are heavier (80g)! Although the reptile place wasn't sure exactly how old and said almost 2 years , thinks they were born august 2015. So very frustrating. Do you mean remove the covered sleep area? Hopefully by doing this they will wake up naturally with the daylight and come out. The enclosure has a wired lid cage to which we added a section of Perspex to create a cloche environment so they have both basking warm and normal no cover. I will measure the temp under there to check in sunlight its warm enough. It has been warm this week though so im guessing on a normal spring summer day it may not reach 30 if the sun isn't out. Would this matter and would i need to consider a heat lamp? Presume the night time temp is less an issue as it rarely goes below 12 c at night. Ok so daily baths and keep offering the fresh food and keep handling to a minimum. Sorry for all the questions! I hope we haven't made a mistake. I would hate to lose the little things from rubbish husbandry before us.

Yes sorry, covered area (iPad had a blip). The total temp doesn't need to be 30, just the basking spot. Under normal sunny day conditions they can reach a core temperature of 30 just by basking. This is the difference between natural sunlight and artificial lamps. It's called thermoregulation. When I pick my torts up in the garden they are often quite warm, even though other objects around are not. The shell is 'designed' to take in heat this way. Cloudy days will still produce uvb, but not enough heat, which is where the lamps come in and why the tortoises need to make their own choice. It's impossible to grow young tortoises in the uk without added heat, otherwise we would have a wild population of tortoises. 12 degrees and even lower over night is fine. Ground level in the Med is still quite cold overnight, so this is part of their natural habitat. Hope this makes sense.

#67613 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 06:18 PM

In the channel isles you don't need certificates, assumed you were in the uk. I don't know the centre you are dealing with obviously, but wouldn't trust the one I know of in Jersey. I'm afraid Reptile centres only want your money and the fact they are keeping them the way they are only goes to show they don't have the animals best interests at heart. Tortoises will naturally go into hide areas if that is their only option, but digging down as they would in the wild is much better for them. 35 degrees is actually a bit hot for them, so they will hide away, their optimum core temp is 30 degrees. Did the shop give you a care sheet from the breeder? This should have mentioned, feeding, habitat, depth of soil, behaviour etc. I'd not use playsand as it's not like the sand in their natural area and cause eye problems. Hay too is quite dangerous and can cause respiratory problems. I know of no genuine breeders who would use pellets, but again the problem you have there is that as certs are not needed, they could have come from anywhere and I do know that on Jersey there are imported tortoises being sold. The tortoises in the pics look to have been grown very fast, which they would on pellets. I'm just guessing they are much heavier than 50 grams. I would dig the little one up each day, keep giving warm baths before feeding and remove the co feed area, so they can see correct light levels each morning. A healthy tortoise won't starve itself, so keep the temps to 30-32 degrees in the basking area and lower everywhere else. So long as they are taking water on board, they will be fine. If there are signs of illness in the little one then get him to a specialist Reptile vet, but otherwise give him a few weeks to settle.

#67611 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 12:48 PM

Did the centre tell you who the breeder was? They should always do this if they advertise them as uk bred, as if there is a problem, the breeder can often help. To be honest there are very few genuine breeders who sell to commercial outlets due to the incorrect care advise they usually give. You don't need an enclosed sleep area, this is just wasted space as tortoises prefer to dig under the substrate which also encourages good shell growth. If the centre kept them in tanks, this is another sign their origin might not be as stated, your cert should give you an idea. Please don't offer pellets food, a good centre will not sell you this. Long term they can cause kidney damage and even add to dehydration issues. So long as your tortoises are healthy they will accept decent food eventually. Keep hydrated by bathing to prevent dehydration. It could be that they are just settling in, but it could also be a problem with previous husbandry. Just to give you an idea, an 18 month old would weigh less than 50 grams. Tortoises are not generally a good pet for children, as they dontreally need human interaction, so too much attention would certainly see them hiding away initially. Do you have pictures of them?