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quiet tortoise
Posted: 10/08/2009 by lorraine

my female tortoise as been very quiet lately and as been sleeping alot but she as also been mating with my other tortoise could she be pregnant.thanks

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 11/08/2009 by TPGDarren

Hi Lorraine,

Gravid females will mount other tortoises.

They often pace, seek higher ground, visibly sniff the ground, scratch with their front legs testing the soil and make sweeping movements with their rear legs, from inside out, when trying to dig a hole for laying. Are there any other signs she is displaying at all and what sex is/are your other tortoise(s) please?


Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 11/08/2009 by lorraine

hi darren she is digging quiet a lot and my other tortoise is a male but she is still eating and i have heard they go off there food when they are pregnant should i get a incubator just incase thanks for getting back to me.

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 11/08/2009 by tpgAli


They dont always go off their food when they are gravid, i have had females dig then stop for something to eat before they go back to their digging.

Yes i would get the incubator ready just in case.


Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 12/08/2009 by lorraine

the thing is she is only 3 do u think she is too young and she weighs 350g.

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 12/08/2009 by VivTPG

Hi, if that is her true age (ie that you were told the correct age when you bought her), then yes she is too young to lay, she is also too young to tell accurately is she is female or male!!  You say she is mounting other torts, perhaps she is a male practicing?!! lol

Have you a photo you could post of the torts plastron (underneath) in case there is early signs of the sex.  Is your tort still acting differently?

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 13/08/2009 by lorraine

hi vivienne her tail is very short and my other tortoise his tail his long and wide and it as been the mate that as been mounting her.i havent got any pics of er yet but im gonna take some and will put them on.yea she is still acting differently.

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 13/08/2009 by VivTPG

Hi Lorraine, could you tell me how you are keeping her, is she outside (what sort of enclosure) or inside on a table? What food do you feed, what are your substrates (eg. soil, hemp etc?), what lighting do you use and lastly how often do you bathe them?

Sorry for all the questions, its so that we can build up a picture and rule things out and try to figure out why she is quiet and 'acting differently'.

A photo would help when you can, regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 13/08/2009 by lorraine

hi vivien they are kept inside in a vivarium they have uv light and a heat bulb they are fed on cabbage,dandelions,tortoise pellets and they have a bath once a week and they have wood chippins in there viv thanks for getting back so soon vivienne.

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 13/08/2009 by VivTPG

Hi Lorraine, I cant remember if you told me what sort of torts you have, are they horsfields, hermanns or spur thigh etc?  I could then point you in the direction of the appropriate care sheet, these can be found under the heading 'The Tortoise' on the left hand side, then click on care sheets, and choose your tort from the list.

But firstly, a vivarium is not recommended for tortoises, they do not allow the tortoise to thermoregulate, that means to esacape from the heat when they are too hot.  The basking lamp will heat the whole viv there is no airflow to allow a cooler end to the viv, so that the tort can move out of the heat. Your tort could be quiet because she is too hot. A tortoise table would be better, here are some examples of members tables (see photo gallery to the left).

Regarding the food, its best to stop feeding the pellets and vegetables but feed only weeds, such as dandelions (leaves and flowers), plantain, sowthistle, pansies, petunia, chickweed etc. And always have fresh water available for them, and keep up the baths, you could perhaps bathe more often to keep up the hydration.

Dont forget they love to go outside, even if its a rabbit run (with wood round the sides so that they cannot see out and get stressed trying to get through the mesh).

Please let me know how you get on, and ask as many questions as you want, we want to get your little torty back on her feet again!!Click and drag me down to the editor

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor


Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 14/08/2009 by lorraine

hi vivienne thanks for givein me the information on the food this might sound daft but are they ok to eat grass and i think my partner is going to make me a tortoise table he made me a run a couple of months ago and they love it in there i have 2 hermans and a spurthigh i love them all they are my babies.would you change the wood chippins to a different substrate.and are emily seems a lot better today she seems a lot more awake and walking round.and my 2 males are called ronnie and reg.thanks

Re: quiet tortoise
Posted: 14/08/2009 by VivTPG

Hi Lorraine, glad the information helped! All of my torts have a nibble at the grass, after all it does cover most of the planet! but shouldnt be used as a high percentage of Hermanns and Spur Thigh's total diet, weeds are the absolute best and a wide variety as possible, have a look at this site it has a downloadable booklet to help you identify weeds .

Glad to hear you have an outdoor run, dont forget the Hermanns and Spur Thigh should be kept separate you cant mix these species.  It would be excellent if your partner could make an indoor tables for them, or there are some great rabbit indoor cages the larger the better and they dont cost too much, you could even ask on (look on the one for your area) if anyone is giving one away.

You ask about substrate, I would definitely change the wood chippings, its best to use top soil mixed with play sand, both can be obtained from B&Q, I believe the top soil from Homebase is quite sandy so could be used on its own.

Hope this helps, keep us informed, VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor


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