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Female Horsfields nipping each other
Posted: 03/01/2013 by Nay

Hi, as novice tortoise owner am looking for a little reassureance please. We have two females one approx 5-6 yrs and the newer tortoise approx 4-5yrs both from same breeder, we recently added the second tortoise a week ago and it seems the 1st girl is nipping the new girl sonetimes and barging her out ofthe way, is this normal? Perhaps a hierarchy issue that will settle? Any advice would be gratefully received. One of my daughter's thinks she's heard the older girl hiss ......?
Look forward to any guidance, Naomi

Re: Female Horsfields nipping each other
Posted: 03/01/2013 by wizzasmum

There are often some dominance issues, especially if put into a small area. Russians, like a fair amount of space and if confined will run into problems in this way. Sometimes it settles quickly, but often a larger enclosure is needed. If the depth of soil is not enough to dig tunnels, then the dominance issue is worse as the tortoise will feel threatened. They don't hiss as such, but if they are startled, then when the head is withdrawn quickly the resultant escape of air is heard as a hiss. It's nothing to do with mood or temperament, just the fact that the shell restricts movement of the lungs and air can be heard escaping.

Hope this helps



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