Hermann tortoise , Information, Care , Hibernation, Hatchlings for sale
FOOD AND FEEDING
Tortoises are natural grazers and during the summer months will obtain most of their food by grazing provided that their enclosure has sufficient weeds, plants and flowers. There is a great list of suitable weeds, plants and flowers on the forum. Also there is a special TLADYS tortoise seed mix which can be grown in trays indoors or pots outside (see links page for where to buy). Additional weeds and plants can be given daily until the plants in their enclosure have established. Their food can lightly dusted with calcium carbonate every day. Also Nutrobal (a calcium vitamin supplement) can be dusted onto their food three times a week. A piece of cuttle fish should be placed in the enclosure and be made available at all times, some tortoises will have the odd nibble but some don’t. You can scrape some of the cuttle fish onto their food. In summer months it is essential young tortoises are outside. Direct or indirect sunlight is necessary for proper growth and no artificial lights can beat natural Sunlight.
In bad weather hatchlings should be brought in to their indoor enclosure where wild food can be offered when the tortoises are at optimum temperature. Remove the left over food once the tortoise has finished eating. Do not be afraid to put hatchlings out in summer showers, they enjoy light rain. Try and put your tortoise hatchlings outside in spring and autumn to obtain sunlight. They will not necessary feed outside if the temperature is below optimum, but food can be offered in the evening in the indoor set up.
During colder months, continue to feed with wild food. Dandelions and other weeds can be found in sheltered areas for most of the year. It is sensible to cultivate (by seed or transplantation) your own dandelions and other weeds and plants. See the main plants list on the Forum. It is important that any food given to your tortoise is free of pollution and pesticides.
Tortoises will eat many foods which are not good for them. Do not offer canned pet food or domestic vegetables or fruit, this includes lettuce and tomatoes these foods will lead to shell deformities and other problems, consider the natural habitat and feed only wild plants.
Water should always be available. You may not see your tortoise drink but tortoises can absorb water through their skin and tail. Use a shallow container. To avoid Dehydration it is advisable to bath your hatchlings at least every other day. Place active hatchlings in sufficient warm water such that they can submerge their heads under it, but not so deep that they cannot lift their heads above the water level. They will urinate, defecate or pass uric acid (a white substance) in the water this is quite normal. Keep them in the water, under observation for several minutes. Remove them after a bowel movement or when they try to escape from the container.
It has been noted that even wild tortoises that have very little water can develop bumpy shells and wild tortoises that have access to a water supply have smooth shells. So water is very important to a developing hatchling. You should get into a habit of just placing them into their water dishes every day.
You will need electronic weighing scales, or non electric scales which are accurate to the nearest gram. Hatchlings and young tortoises should be weighed accurately, weekly. A life long record should be kept. It is then possible to check how the tortoise is progressing. As they get older, a monthly record is sufficient. It will be possible to check their weight in any given month with that of the previous year. Tortoises in a hibernation cycle will normally peak in weight in mid August.
Try to handle your tortoise as little as possible. When you handle them hold them between the thumb and first finger, across the midriff (not the top and bottom).