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propsective new owner
Posted: 01/09/2015 by Dle400

HI all

I am considering getting a tortoise, its a friends Daughters (bought for kids who are no longer interested). The history is that its around 4 years old (was taken on by current family when a couple spilt up 2 years ago and they had "it" for 2 years. I am unsure of the sex at the moment. Its coming in an avarium which we know we will have to replace very quickly with a wooden table. (Hubby's starting to make this week). Have picked up loads of information from this page - but wondered about certificates etc. if there are none how do I stand? Is it legal to take the tortoise on? no cash is being exchanged for the tortoise but have been asked to contribute 40 to the cost of the avarium (which we will sell on ebay once the table is constructed). Already have an outdoor area scoped which can be expanded however initially putting in a triple raised bed as majority of garden is stoned/slabs with flower beds - will this be suitable for a growing tortoise or do we need to put back in some lawn coverage?

would appreciate any advise, so want to make it a happy and healthy home.

Debbie

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 01/09/2015 by Tom

Hello Debbie,


First of all which species is it ? 

Regards,
Tom


Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 03/09/2015 by Dle400

Hi

we believe he is a Horsfield (has 4 claws on each foot and is an yellow/ochre colour with dark black/brown spots (picture uploaded)

His avarium is about 4 ft by 2 ft with 2 sliding glass doors to front and wooden rest. Inside is very bare with a clump of plastic greenery, a stone (he likes to hump so we are fairly sure he male) and some tortoise pot ornaments! Its covered on base with beech wood chips! They have been feeding him cucumber, toms and baby sweetcorn. They have let him in the garden in the summer and he readily eats dandelions. He makes it quite clear when he wants to come out for a walk by trying to climb the back wall or knocking on the glass. We want to change his environment asap but are wondering if we should introduce things slowly within his avarium first? what advice do you give on this! We are also unsure of his age - believe it is somewhere between 5 and 10. Also should his claws be clipped - if so how long should they be?

so many questions - sorry! we do know the lights in his avarium have not been changed in 3 years so off to get replacements at lunch (we got him last night).

any advice greatly appreciated

Debbie

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 04/09/2015 by Dle400

We have now changed the UVB light (we can re-use it in new enclosure) and added some bits. Also starting to feed him weeds with nutrient supplement sprinkled (nutradol one) Still giving him baby sweetcorn as he seems to really like those - but will ween him off slowly. He did seem to enjoy the dandelion leaves. He's happy to come out and wonder but after about 20 mins he settles down and goes to sleep! we then put him back in viarium (set to 30 C). We now believe him to have hatched in the January and that he is 11 jan 2016. He weighs 434g - not sure how to measure him was going to check for info on this in the fact sheets. Still not sure whether to just switch his environment to a table top in one go or introduce the soil into his vivarium first?

also managed to get a cuttlefish which he seemed to head straight too and has already attacked it quite strenuously!

Debbie

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 04/09/2015 by Tom

Thank you for your reply Debbie,


You can prepare him for the 'table' by leaving the door open by about 15cm at the cool end. 
Replace the wood chip with topsoil from the garden, sterilise at 200C in an oven if necessary.
If you post a few photos of him, I can confirm the species.
You can print off a Caresheet by first clicking on "The Tortoise".

I'll now move to your next post,
Tom

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 04/09/2015 by Tom

If you mean "wander" round the house, it's not good for them.


You state "born Jan 11th" - does this mean that the owners have found  his paperwork ? 
"2016" is a typo I think.
Measure his carapace in a straight line.
Keep weight records every 2 weeks.

He will need a 15sqm outside enclosure outside for next Summer, with a waterproof wooden house. If it is a Horsfields, you will need to read up on how to construct the area.

As it's your 1st time, hibernate for only 3 months this year, again you can read up on this site.

Tom


Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Dle400

Sport easy to mis read we believe he is 11yrs old in jam 2016. He's never been hibernated by his previous owners! 


I have printed off lots of info and digesting this, have read hibernating stuff but cautions around how healthy and fit he is to hibernate! I'll measure his carapace this am and load up some more pics. He does have a weird claw on hind which points up! 

You say letting out in house is not good for him but it's something he's always done! Concerned his enclosure too small inside for him to exercise in. Should I let him outside for small amounts of time instead? 

He's enjoying the change in diet but still concerned about amount to give him? Will he self regulate or is there a guide to how much? Read somewhere that a pile of weeds about size of shell is appropriate? 

Thanks for you patience 

Debbie 

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Dle400

Sport easy to mis read we believe he is 11yrs old in jam 2016. He's never been hibernated by his previous owners! 


I have printed off lots of info and digesting this, have read hibernating stuff but cautions around how healthy and fit he is to hibernate! I'll measure his carapace this am and load up some more pics. He does have a weird claw on hind which points up! 

You say letting out in house is not good for him but it's something he's always done! Concerned his enclosure too small inside for him to exercise in. Should I let him outside for small amounts of time instead? 

He's enjoying the change in diet but still concerned about amount to give him? Will he self regulate or is there a guide to how much? Read somewhere that a pile of weeds about size of shell is appropriate? 

Thanks for you patience 

Debbie 

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Dle400

Sorry easy to mis read we believe he is 11yrs old in jam 2016. He's never been hibernated by his previous owners! 


I have printed off lots of info and digesting this, have read hibernating stuff but cautions around how healthy and fit he is to hibernate! I'll measure his carapace this am and load up some more pics. He does have a weird claw on hind which points up! 

You say letting out in house is not good for him but it's something he's always done! Concerned his enclosure too small inside for him to exercise in. Should I let him outside for small amounts of time instead? or is that strictly for summer only?

He's enjoying the change in diet but still concerned about amount to give him? Will he self regulate or is there a guide to how much? Read somewhere that a pile of weeds about size of shell is appropriate? 

Thanks for your patience and apols loaded this by phone and it did it 3 times will load pics on computer. 

Debbie 

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Dle400

he measures 4 and 3/4 inch from front to back

Debbie

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Tom

Thank you for the info Debbie,


Ages are usually given in the "now" rather than in the future, you had my brain (such as it is) spinning.

 Outside is ok in September, but they are escape artists & can tunnel, so be cautious.

Provided the temp. is raised for no more than 10 hours a day, it won't overfeed.

Thanks for the pics., it is as you thought a horsfields.

I suggest that you have it wormed by a vet, who will clip any overgrown claws.
You will find a list of reptile vets in the boxes, although any vet should deal with the above. Ask reception b4 visiting.

Also his beak is overgrown, you can spend a few moments daily sand papering it back. Discuss with the vet first.

Start keeping weight records. He can be hibernated this year, but follow the hibe instructions carefully.

Best wishes,
Tom

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 05/09/2015 by Dle400

Thanks for info 


Just some clarity on "temp raised" no more than 10 hours a day! His heat lamp is on all the time in vivarium set to 30c. I have opened one side of the glass door to start acclimatising him for table enclosure. Should we be turning temp down or heat off! His uvb light is on from around 7/8am till 8/9pm at night 

Debbie 

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 06/09/2015 by Tom

Re: propsective new owner
Posted: 06/09/2015 by Tom

Turn all off overnight, (at least 12hrs).


The sooner it's in a 'table' the better. Use a 100W Megaray bulb, in a Dome fitting, place towards one end to create a temp. gradient.

 

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