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Member Since 09 Mar 2016
Offline Last Active May 19 2016 06:39 PM

Topics I've Started

How Much Calcium And How Often?

08 April 2016 - 02:45 PM

Reading through other recent posts I was wondering what the 'rule of thumb' was for adding calcium to the diet?


I am lightly sprinkling calcium (with added Vit. D) on Goosefoot's food twice a week.  I have a cuttlebone available by her food dish as well.


I don't know what the symptoms of too much calcium are in tortoises, but in people it includes a host of symptoms.  Many of these symptoms, especially if taken individually might never be linked to a calcium overdose, because they are all rather 'vague' (and because calcium overdose is quite rare).  They include muscle weakness, drowsiness, confusion, bone density loss due to interference with manganese uptake and kidney stones.


I would think sprinkling it on their food daily (which forces them to consume it) might be too much?

Scrub And Oil?

23 March 2016 - 06:10 PM

I have been reading about people giving their tortoises a gentle scrub (with a soft toothbrush) and then oiling the shell, either with a commercial product or with coconut oil.


I can't see the harm (if you're gentle) - but is this something I should be doing?  Regularly?  Occasionally?  If so...how often?

Aged Tortoises - How Did 'they' Do It?

17 March 2016 - 10:03 PM

As I read through various care sheets, anecdotes, research papers, etc., I find myself wondering about certain things.
It seems that tortoise keeping has made some relatively recent headway - for the better - and I think there was probably a very bad period of tortoise-care guidelines offered in the late 1960s- 1970s...
Regardless - there are some OLD tortoises out there.
The current oldest is Jonathon (Seychelles giant tortoise) at 183:


A very old Hermann's died recently in Britain:

Thomas - aged 130 in 2012 (died of a rat bite)...


There's Tommy (aged 116 in 2014)



So my question is:  How much of this is due to instinctively good husbandry?  Pure luck?  Good tortoise genes?  I realise the animals I posted are examples of the exceptions...but still - given what we know now, compared to what we knew then - obviously some people were providing good conditions for the animals all along.


Which makes me wonder?  Is what we are doing now all good?  Are we overthinking care?  Bubble-wrapping?  Some of what I'm reading is running the gamut from appallingly poor care (did NO one Google anything ever?) to what I call OCD care (OMG!  My enclosure is 2" too narrow and 3" too short!  Is my tortoise going to die?).

Tiered Indoor Enclosures

13 March 2016 - 07:46 PM

Planning our long-term indoor enclosure for Goosefoot. :)


To save on the footprint and to make things easier for me to manage physically, I'm thinking of a two tiered enclosure.


Pros - bigger area to roam.


Cons - other than the tortoise could fall if the sides of the ramp weren't tall enough...I can't think of any other cons off the top of my head...


What would be the best use of the upper level?  Feeding?

Hello From Canada

10 March 2016 - 04:35 PM

Hello!  I have recently acquired a 3 month old Hermann's tortoise.  While I am not new to reptiles this is my first (and likely only) tortoise and I am hoping to start off right and develop a healthy routine (for both of us).


It's nice to find an active Hermann's forum!  I have been doing a lot of reading about tortoises in general, and am being introduced to many species, but would like more of a focus on the Hermann's.


I live in a rather harsh environment (as far as tortoises are concerned) so I would like to learn how I can best provide for my new addition!