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Behaviour problems?
Posted: 17/09/2008 by imfromwales

Okay --I got a new tort today called Ed as some might know. Im not sure if these are actually behaviour problems or nothing for me to worry about:

Ed often trys to climb out of the table enclosiure he is in - at first i thought it was because he could see his reflection (temporary plastic under bed storage box), but then i put paper on the inside of the box so he could not see himself but he is still trying to climb out...constantly --usually trying to get out of the same corner!

He is neither eating or drinking both of which are fresh for him and easy for him to get at on a big flat stone.

Please put my mind at ease...

Thanks, Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi AntonioClick and drag me down to the editorto the TPG.  I have posted a reply in a different section to this query, but could you tell us what the temperatures are reading in the basking area and the cool end of your table, only if it is too hot he maybe trying to escape the heat.

Regards Vivienne

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by imfromwales

the temp in the cool part is 20.C and in the warm part it is 30.C. Today Ed is still trying to crawl out, as well as trying other parts of his house to get out --he is circling around the walls of his house scraping his hands on the walls trying to get out.

Could it be because the UV light is about 4" above him? Its quite hard for me to raise this as this is the depth of the temporary house for him when i have added the soil/sand for him to walk around on.

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Antonio,

It could be because of the UV light - or it could be that the enclosure is just a bit small for him and he wants to explore more. 4" sounds a bit close if it is a brand new UV light -- but it depends on what sort it is and how powerful it is. Can you tell me exactly what the light is (e.g. fluorescent tube reptiglo 10.0, or compact fluorescent lamp like Arcadia D3, or combined mercury vapour lamp (e.g. powersun 100W)? That would help a lot.

Nina

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by imfromwales

Yah certainly, its a repti glow 10.0. Perhaps it is too small for him but im in the process of making a larger one for him. He never goes in the middle of his house, just around the perimeter...

Il try raising the UV light.

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by tpgNina

Hi,

If it's a new reptiglo 10 - then it should be raised to about 12" away from him. At 4" with a new bulb, it could be irritating his eyes and could possibly cause damage. After about four or five months you can gradually lower it, and you will have to replace it after about 10-12 months, as at that point very little UVB will be emitted, even though there is still visible light. Does it have a reflector on it? You can buy these at most places that sell the lights -- they aren't expensive and just clip onto the light, and they protect your eyes -- plus they increase the amount of UVB reaching the tortoise.
I think you will see a change in his behaviour after you get him into the larger area too, but some tortoises just do like to walk round the perimeter a lot.
Have you thought of using a large rabbit/guinea pig cage. They are great because the tray is deep enough to get a good substrate in, plus the wire framework over the top is good for hanging lights from. Something like the ones that are 120cm on this site:
http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/rodents/cages/rabbit_cage
The Gallizzi Rodent Cage Mezzo is good because the tray rests on bars, so it doesn't matter how heavy it is.

Nina

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by imfromwales

ok, it cant be the size of his house as i have now moved him into a large bookcase measuring 50" x 28" x 11" and yet he is still only moving around the edges. Perhaps this may be because he is nearly 2 and he needs more shelters-- he has 2 but the house looks very bare, il try adding some stuff and see how it developes.

I have raised the uv light to 12" as now it is possible to do so.

Good news - he has finally taken a few chomps of lettuce, im going to go and get some dandelions and some hawkbit to see if he will eat those instead. I will also temp him with a small piece of tomoato or fruit to see if it is just the kind of food he does not like.

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by imfromwales

I have been out of the house for a while and when i came back he is still circling the permieter of the house - in the same direction! i picked him up and turned him around so he was still on the perimeter but he turned around and contined going.

I have gotten him some dandelions and some hawkbit but he is not interested and just walked over them. He is not drinking nor basking in the spot light which is at the correct temperature...

I think he is mentally ill would you aggree?

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by TPGJo

Not all all Antonio...............but he does sound stressed Click and drag me down to the editor

Tortoises don't like change very much, it makes them feel vunerable.  He is checking out the perimeters and it may take him a few days to get used to it.  Try not to make too much fuss of him, just let him settle and get used to it.  Keep offering him weeds and plenty of baths.

He will bask when he needs to warm up, as long as the heat source is there he will use it when he wants to.

Hope this helps

Jo

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by imfromwales

thanks for that but i cant udnestand why he is stressed as he has been with me for over a day and has pleanty food etc.

il see what he is like in a week and get back if i am still worried :)

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by TPGJo

A day is no time at all for a tortoise to settle.....it could take him weeks.  The best thing is to leave him to explore and feel safe in his surroundings (except when he needs a bath of course).

Hope that helps

Jo

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by TPGDarren

Hi Antonio,

 

What substrate are you using (depth etc) and is there anywhere he can hide at all?

Would it be possible to provide a photo of the set-up please as it would be easier for an over-all assessment.

 

Regards

Darren

 

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 18/09/2008 by ElaineTPG

Hi Antonio, Like Jo said 'a day' is nothing in a tortoises life. Have you had a look in our photo gallery?T here are good examples of tortoise set ups and you may get a few ideas of how to make his day a bit more exciting by adding a few things of interest like hides and rocks ect Hopefully he will calm down once he realises this is now home.

HTH

Elaine

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

Yeah i will add some more stuff into his house today, at the moment i have 2 hides for him made from stiff cardboard covered with the substrate he is on - sand/soil.

the substrate is about 2" deep, i cant make it any deeper at the moment as i dont have any left!

I have uploaded the image so just copy and paste the link - http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/6772/dsc00960fg3.jpg

Il get some more things of interest for Ed today so hopefully he is more interested in life.

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Antonio, thanks for adding a picture, its great that you have made a large table for him it will last him for some time. 


As you say, it definitely needs more interest adding to it.  Try adding stones/pebbles/rocks and logs to give him different surfaces to explore, also some plants, real ones or plastic so he can hide, and some wooden hides or ceramic plant pots broken in half. Please let us see the table when you can as this will also help other new people.


Thanks Vivienne

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

I think he has settled in his home now, when i came in he was just chilling out in the spot light. I added some more things for him and he does not seem bothered by them yet which is a good sign :)

His (unfinished) house:
http://i35.tinypic.com/war7g4.jpg

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi, well done you're slowly getting there, if you have some large rocks or stones in the garden (or I know Morrisons had some bags of pebbles for 99p and they were buy one get one free), you could add them to the far end as a 'mountainous' type area!!  And if you carefully dig up a dandelion or plantain including the roots you could plant them in the table.


Well done though, I'm sure Ed will soon settle down.Click and drag me down to the editor


Vivienne


 

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

Yeah il get some of those, i was planning on going to Morrisons tomorrow anyways (24 Fosters for 10!) so i might as well pick some up.

How do you mean about the dandelion? The soil/sand is too shallow to plant anything in, and the Dandelion would just die surley?

thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi, how deep is the sand/soil? It needs to be a few inches deep, or make the one end deeper by adding a slope in the soil, plants could be planted there or put them in small pots and lay them on there side? Ed will also like to bury himself down in the soil. 


I agree dandelions do have a long root system and would need deep soil, however, it should be deep enough for plantain or perhaps Pansies from Morrisons?


Keep up the good work! Vivienne


 

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

god thinking about the plants in the platpot, i did not know torts could eat pansies, but il buy some of those also tomorrow :)

The soil is about 2 inch deep, il increase it in one part as you said, would you say the plants should be in hot or cold part?

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi, the plants would be best in the deeper end to add interest and you can water them there and the soil will soak up the water.   


If you do get some from the supermarket, let them grow on for a week and just rinse the leaves incase they have any chemicals on them!!  Have a look in your garden you may see some chick weed or small dandelion just ease it out and plant and water it, although they wont usually last long when Ed sees it!! 


Here is a link to the tlady site it shows some of the common weeds edible to torts http://www.tlady.clara.net/TortGuide/Diet.htm#plantlist


Regards Vivienne

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Antonio, I have just found this link of 'growing your own weed garden', this has only been added to our site this week, hopefully it may be of help to you

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/148.asp

Vivienne

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

Thanks a lot il look at it and try my luck with a small bit of gardening.

How come Ed has 2 shelters but he does not choose to go in either...ever --not even to go to sleep, he prefers going into the corner of his mansion...any ideas?

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Its because its all new to him, you have only had him a day or two, he is finding his way around, he will be scared to venture too far, let him take his time and get used to his new surroundings.Click and drag me down to the editor

Vivienne

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by imfromwales

ok i know i am being a bit worrying, il relax a little :)

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 19/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

No problem, we all worry to death about them, believe me they are worse than having children to worry about!!!Click and drag me down to the editor  Thats what we are here for, to help you through those worrying times

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 20/09/2008 by imfromwales

He seems to be ok now, I moved the big log for him so that sent him a bit wandering around the perimeter of the hosue but now he is basking in the heat :)

Ive added some photo's under the members gallery called 'Ed'.

Thanks,
Antonio

Re: Behaviour problems?
Posted: 20/09/2008 by TPGDarren

Hi Antonio,

He's a beauty & that looks a lovely sized enclosure for him:-). It's good to give them as much space as possible.

The only thing I'd be inclined to do is to vary the substrate a bit, broken slate, stones etc. Ensure nothing is placed near the lamp that might add to the possibility of him turning over under the lamp. You might consider putting some broken slate, or the likes, directly under the lamp to aid them righting themselves if this does happen. It helps to put stones or slate around the water bowl too, this will assist in keeping out the sand/soil from going into the water-dish when he walks through it. Perhaps a bit of cuttlefish might be added - for extra calcium when needed, it's not as easily digested as limestone flour, but it does give them the opportunity to take on extra calcium when needed.

This looks like the makings of a lovely indoor enclosure.

HTH
Darren


 

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