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Member Since 06 Mar 2016
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#68495 Living Outdoors Permantly - Eek!

Posted by babettebeau on 30 May 2018 - 06:08 AM


You can make the ground level of the hot house higher than the ground level of the enclosure by adding more soil in the hot house. For example I made it about 10cm higher in the hot house of my babies. This will create a slope at the entrance of the hot house.

Also do you have a heat lamp in the hot house, because that will help to dry the soil and a heat lamp is a necessity for a tort outdoors.

Do you have pictures of the enclosure, the hot house and inside the hot house?

Thank you


#68446 Thinking Of Putting Squirt In A Oustside Enclosure

Posted by babettebeau on 10 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

Yes sure there has been a lot of info provided recently on the recent topics posted. Also today Karen posted a link with great information.

What is the age of your tortoise again and its specie please?

I assume your tortoise lives in the UK, doesn't it?

Thank you

#68436 Introducing A New Tortoise To Another

Posted by babettebeau on 04 May 2018 - 08:43 PM

The reality is that there is no paternal or maternal instincts in tortoises. That was not part of reptiles's evolution for survival.

#68402 Living Outdoors Permantly - Eek!

Posted by babettebeau on 20 April 2018 - 09:45 AM

There is also this smaller model of aluminium cold frame on amazon. 




#68338 Great Indoor Enclosure Seen Youtube

Posted by babettebeau on 24 March 2018 - 07:49 PM

Hi Sue, yes I have to agree.

#68325 Slide Show - Emerging From Hibernation

Posted by babettebeau on 17 March 2018 - 03:53 PM

Thank you Sue, yes i am very grateful to have the little monsters back on the ground, as this was the first hibernation they had with me :-)  And thanks again for all your advices!!

Yes good idea to put the post in the naturalistic section. Karen do you mind transferring the post?



#68323 Slide Show - Emerging From Hibernation

Posted by babettebeau on 17 March 2018 - 01:25 PM


Here is a slide show of my two 30 months old Hermann babies emerging this morning from hibernation after 9 weeks in the fridge.

All went well. They were soaked, fed with fresh weeds and now they are napping and basking.



Attached Files

#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.