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#68298 Seed Mix: Tlady's Tortoise Mix - A Grass-Free Seed Mixture

Posted by babettebeau on 27 February 2018 - 05:19 PM

Here is the link for the seeds:




A grass-free seed mixture to produce palatable green food for tortoises


This wild plant mixture has been formulated for Herbiseed by Lin King (known to many as 'the Tlady'), from her observations of the plants eaten by wild tortoises in Mediterranean areas. It comprises a mixture of edible annual and perennial plants without grass. It is designed to allow tortoises to graze naturally and hence avoid the use of unsuitable shop-bought greens, whilst providing a wide range of nutrients for healthy growth.


#68287 Book: Naturalistic Keeping And Breeding Of Hermann's Tortoises

Posted by babettebeau on 23 February 2018 - 11:02 AM



A lot of us on the forum highly recommend this book on Hermann Tortoises. 


Book name: Naturalistic keeping and breeding of Hermann's Tortoises

By: Wolfgang Wegehaupt




It is bit on the high end on pricing, however the very valuable content makes it totally worth buying.


I have been learning so much with this book about the Hermann tortoises: physiology, senses, characteristics, young vs adults, hibernation, diet, habitat in the wild, and how to keep them in the most naturalistic way in captivity and so much else.


Website of Wolfgang Wegehaupt:



Facebook page of Wolfgang Wegehaupt:





#68253 Hello, I Am From Germany....

Posted by babettebeau on 18 February 2018 - 12:15 PM

Generally speaking in the UK the people who are successful in keeping their tortoises outdoors when they are not in hibernation are the ones who have adult tortoises and have a shed (garden house) with radiator and heat lamps, and with good insulation. Some shed have glass for light (greenhouses). In the UK young tortoises can't stay outdoors as long as the adults ones. The bigger in mass weight and size they are, the longer they keep heat so more sustainable for adults to manage a life outdoors.

#68252 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by babettebeau on 18 February 2018 - 11:53 AM

Hello Germanlady

My tortoises are still young (2.5 years old), still babies.

From May to September they live outdoors 24/7 in their enclosure. They choose where to sleep and the majority of the time the sleep in the cold frame under a cork bar a little digged in. The cold frame has heat lamp and timer. I can also switch on/off the lamp with my phone remotely.

In the outdoor enclosure there arr plants that are not poisoning and that they don't like to eat. I don't leave weeds growing in the enclosure that they can eat otherwise they will eat to much and grow too fast. In the UK weeds grow fast and in abundance.

Outside this time period and outside hibernation, they are in their indoor enclosure (2.2 meters by 1.4 meters, L shape) with soil substrate and also cococoir substrate and they dig in to sleep. But sometimes they don't dig and in that case I cover them with the humid substrate when they sleep.


#68143 Who Is The Owner Of This Outdoor Enclosure / Set-Up?

Posted by babettebeau on 25 January 2018 - 06:25 PM

Thanks very much for sharing Ben. That's great.


I have some questions, i am curious and your enclosure is very inspiring :-)



  • What is the base under your greenhouse? I can see there are bricks around the greenhouse and also I can see there is soil on the ground inside the greenhouse, but on what does the greenhouse sits?
  • What is the part of the greenhouse that has no glass and look like a shed? Is it where your tortoises sleep at night?
  • Did you add any insulation and / or heating in the shed part?



  • What are the dimensions of your cage (length, width, height)?
  • Is it a heavy duty fruit net that you put on the cage?
  • How do you enter inside the cage if you need to?
  • Where did you get cage frame from? I found similar steel ones but they are 2m+ high. 


Thanks again



#68082 Happy New Year.

Posted by babettebeau on 01 January 2018 - 06:31 PM

Happy new year to all as we enter the year of 2018. Wish you perfect health, great shape, happiness, awakening and greater consciousness, wiseness, wealth in all its meanings. Also the very best for another year to our beautiful planet, nature, and all living creatures.

#68075 Hibernation

Posted by babettebeau on 28 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

As this sounds scary for you and this is the first hibernation, I would play it very safe and aim for 8 weeks. it will still be very beneficial for the tortoise metabolism and better be safe than sorry.


Also when you keep your tortoise outdoors 24/7 in a secured enclosure from end of May to mid-September with a proper shelter (dry and also heated in the morning and heated when needed according to weather and your location) and with your control on food quantity and food quality, your tortoise will only grow very little outdoors.


An over-sized/overgrown tort won't get smaller/slimmer even after hibernations each year, the shell and bones have grown, and they cannot shrink.


With no criticism and looking at the weight of your tort, it is currently about 60gr bigger than it should be, so almost double of the normal weight for a two years old who weights about 70gr . However there is still great hope and you can slowly realign the weight/growth of your tort closer to the normal range over the next few years with food quality (nutritionally adequate, fibrous and varied), and control on food quantity (sufficient, absolutely no extra), hibernations (which will be longer as it gets older), and with outdoors living during warm months. Does it makes sense?



#68072 Hibernation Plan For My Two Years Old Hermann Torts

Posted by babettebeau on 28 December 2017 - 05:46 PM

Hi there, I thought I would put this hibernation plan on the forum as it could be helpful for other keepers of young Hermann tortoises.



·         Windown duration: 2 weeks.

·         Hibernation duration: 8 weeks, may be 9-10 weeks if they are doing very well.

·         Boxes where babies will hibernate: deep plastic boxes with lid. Lid with plenty of holes or one big hole in the center of the lid. One box for each baby.

·         Substrate in the plastic boxes: compacted damp oil at the bottom and sides to suppress thermic bridges. Then above that a deep layer of damp coco coir and a layer of dried oak leaves (from the forest, non treated and cleaned by me).

·         A container with water will be in the fridge for humidity.

·         Fridge: larder fridge, I cleaned it, optimal temp 5 degrees Celsius, tolerable temp range 4-6 degrees Celsius.

·         Digital thermometers with probes. Probes put in several places in the fridge and in the plastic boxes. The thermometers are set up with an alarm outside the fridge when the temp goes out of range.

·         I will set up one of my netcams in front of the digital thermometers to monitor temps when I am at work.




Weight babies on day 1, 3, 5 and day 7. Weight loss should be due to passing poop and urates, not loss of reserves.

Watch how much they poop and pass urates.


Keep usual temps ie:

Temps under Megaray lamps: 30-32 degrees Celsius

Temps away from lamps: about 18-20 degrees Celsius


Keep usual lights for this time of year:

Megaray: 7am to 3pm

UV strip: 6:45am to 3:15pm


No food

No vitamin/mineral supplement (for example no Netkon MSA)

Remove grass plants and cactus plants as the babies can potentially reach them and nibble on them

Remove any young plant shoots growing opportunistically in the soil in the enclosure

Remove chalk


Soak babies daily for 30 minutes in the morning in tepid water, soaking will be from 7:30am to 8am before I go to work. When not in the office I will give them a second bath.


Dampen substrate as usual

Let dry the soil a little longer due to lower ambient temps in the winter.


Cover babies with substrate at night if they don’t dig in.


Watch for anything unusual/abnormal: sneezing, wet nostril, eye irritation etc.




Weight babies on day 1, 3, 5 and day 7.

Still no food etc.

Watch poop and urates

Watch for anything unusual/abnormal: sneezing, wet nostril, eye irritation etc.


Reduce gradually Megaray temps/light daily over 7 days, until no heat, no light.

Reduce gradually UV light daily over 7 days, until no light.

Reduce gradually over 7 days the ambient temp in their room to the coolest possible.


Soak babies daily for 30 minutes in the morning in water, temp of water should be at ambient temp, soaking will be from 7:30am to 8am before I go to work. 


Dampen substrate as usual

Let dry the soil a little longer due to lower ambient temps in the winter.


Cover babies with substrate at night if they don’t dig in.


On evening of day 7, make physical inspection (eyes, nostrils, tail etc.), weight babies, put babies in their respective boxes, and put them in the coolest area for the night (ideally between 5-10 degrees). It will most likely be in my cellar, I will make sure they are safe in the cellar for the night.


In the early morning of the next day, weight the babies accurately first and write down their weights (weight on that morning should be same as weight of previous evening, make one last physical inspection (eyes, nostrils, tail etc.), check there is no trace of urination, urates or poop in the boxes, and put them back in their boxes and put in the fridge.



·         Every day open and close quickly the door to renew air.

·         Let babies settle on the first two weeks, no need to touch them or weight them during these two weeks.

·         From week 3, weight accurately the babies weekly and write down weight on spreadsheet. Weight should be stable at optimal temp of 5 degrees Celsius. If loss of weight it should be a linear decrease and below 10% in total over the whole hibernation period.

·         Any sudden drop of weight could be urination or a last poop expelled at the end of the colon.

·         If urination happens, the tortoise must come out of hibernation.

#67993 Photo Comparison: Size On 11/11/2016 Vs. Size On 11/11/ 2017

Posted by babettebeau on 11 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

They are lovely! I have 2 babies also that are 3 years old. One has a short curled round stumpy tail the other a long tail so think I could have one male one female. They aren't doing well together so had to seperate them. Im hoping that after the bog one hibernates that they will go back together but haven't had any luck so far

Thank you and yes I read your thread and I really hope things settle between your two young torts.

Mine grew up together since they hatched. This is Sue (Wizzasmum) who reared them. I got them in August 2016.

So far there has not been any competition for food, basking spots and or living space, so they have been living peacefully. Their indoor and outdoor spaces are quite big and I hide pieces of leaves in different spots in the enclosure, so that they search for it, so both have the equal chance to find the food without having the other one close around.

I hope they will continue to live peacefully, finger crossed!

#67744 Will This Hurt His Eyes?

Posted by babettebeau on 28 June 2017 - 03:38 PM

Arcadia is a very good brand, and the eyes of reptiles are different from the eyes of humans. We have evolved differently :)))

My babies have never shown any signs of discomfort and avoidance of these 12% UV lights. In fact, they circulate happily under the 12% UV and often stay under it for a while.

If you put the reflector, it will avoid the UV to glare in the room and therefore in your eyes. The reflector will also maximise the UV exposure in the enclosure for the benefit of your tortoise.



#67707 Babies Outdoors

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

I guess an animal will always survive as long as it can in a given environment because it has a survival instinct, and we have to be conscious of the life conditons they are given and which can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

#67706 Lost Hermann Tortoise In The News - 20 June 2017 - Found On Severn Bridge

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 01:51 PM

On 20 June 2017, an article was published on a Hermann tortoise found by a motorist on Severn Bridge, and handed to a vet practice.




The vet is trying to reunite the tortoise with its owners.


If any of you know anything please contact Mrs Caroline Marlow at the Marlow vet practice in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.


Thank you


#67705 Is This Normal?

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 01:09 PM



Here are a few points below. May be you are aware of all this already though.


- When they pass urine, it looks like water.


- When they pass urates, it looks like a white liquid with a creamy texture, this is the normal texture. They don't pass urates on every single day. However, when they pass the urates it must have at least a creamy texture, the more liquid the texture is the better for the health of the tortoise. Otherwise if the urates does not look that that, you must soak your tortoise daily in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes until you notice that it passes urates with right texture and thereafter continue to soak frequently for good maintenance of hydration, you must also offer fresh water everyday in shallow dishes and make sure the substrate it lives on has the suitable dampness beneath the surface.


- Urates with abnormal texture (ie not creamy but thick, gritty, solid) can lead to serious and even fatal consequences for the tortoise.


- When a tortoise is extremely well hydrated, the urates might not be noticable.


- They pass both urine and urates and also poop through the same orifice which is on their tail.


Do you have some pictures of your tortoise?

Where does it live and which substrate is it on?

Do you know how old it is?

How long have you had your tortoise for?


The video shows a Sulcata tortoise i think, it is a very big specie. So they pass bigger quantity than a Hermann for example.


Thank you and i hope this helps.



#67701 Great App For Hourly Weather Forecast

Posted by babettebeau on 21 June 2017 - 04:01 PM


I would like to share a great app for weather forecast.

It is called Dark Sky premium

$2.99 per year.

Forecasts hour per hour for the exact location you choose.

You might find it useful if you have very young tortoises outdoors.



#67699 Babies Outdoors

Posted by babettebeau on 20 June 2017 - 04:58 PM

Hi everyone


I have to say that it is very rewarding to see my two Hermann babies living outdoors 24/7 until the end of the summer.


They have a very different behavior which I would describe as “they have gone wilder” than when they were indoors, or I would say they are back to how they should naturally be...very interesting to see that actually.


Now outdoors they exhibit much stronger instinct. For example, they are more prudent/alert in case of danger and possible predators from above.


They are not interested in my fingers anymore when they see my hands. They walk a lot, smell weeds and nibble bits of them and carry on walking and climbing around, they choose where they want to bask under the sun and cool in the shade, they feel the wind, the changing temps, the shade of clouds, the sun moving during the day, the natural humidity, they have the insects (aunts, spiders etc.) and they are all dirty etc. I love all that!


It makes so much difference for them. It was so worth it setting an outdoors space for them.


Hope all your Mediterranean torts have a chance to enjoy the nice weather.