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is she underweight
Posted: 17/08/2008 by shazzler

Hi all,

can anybody advise me as to whether this is ok

twiglet is only 8cms long and she only weighs 109g, when i got her she was 112g and fed on kale and spring greens, she has been wormed (twice) and even though the vet said she had lost weight from her previous visit he said she was a good weight and not to worry, i got her in may this yr so its been a gradual loss especially after worming but i am worried as i dont know what weight she should be.

she wont eat every day its more like every 2 days but then she will have a good munch, she bathes every other day(loves her baths) and is quite active at times but sleepy at others, she walks tall lifting her body right off the floor and has beautiful clear eyes all in all no obvious health issues, im not worried about her eating habits as i am aiming for slow growth and the vet said its ok if she ignores her food one day but eats another but i would just like some reassurance from you guys that her weight is within normal limits any responce will be great thanks

sharon xxxxx  

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 17/08/2008 by shazzler

sori

 i meant to add that i weigh her after her bath when shes done her business Click and drag me down to the editorand its always on the days when she doesnt eat much or niothing at all

sharon xxxx

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 17/08/2008 by tpgadmin

Hi Sharon

There isn't a standard size for a Russian tortoise, but just to reassure you that I have 2 Russians, 1 weighs in at 116 gr. and the other 117 gr.  and over the past 2 months the 1st has lost 4 gr. and the 2nd 5 gr.  I'm not worried as I know they are healthy and like yours they just aren't eating as much.  It's been a dreadful year for tortoises Click and drag me down to the editor .  These hatched in June 2006 and I have 1 other in with them which hatched a year later in 2007.  Unlike them she is eating everything put before her and although growth was really slow in this little tortoise she is starting to gain weight quite nicely.  She has put on 5 gr. in 2 months - just right.  I am anticipating that the 2 that aren't eating much will pick up and start eating properly once we get a good spell of several days of warm weather.

As long as Twiglet looks well I personally wouldn't worry just yet.

Helen

 

 

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 17/08/2008 by shazzler

thanks for the reassurance helen i can rest abit now and stop being an over protective mom,

Click and drag me down to the editor sharon xxxxx

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 18/08/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Sharon,

I've gone back over my scl/weight records for my horsfield, and when she was 80mm (8cm) she weighed between 119g-124g (she was 80mm for a while, so her weight increased over that time). There is something called the McIntyre Ratio that was developed for horsfields (there is one for adults and one for juveniles), but it is just based on keepers' statistics for a relatively small number of tortoises (so not statistically sound). You can find it in the Files section of the TortoiseFriends Yahoo forum: http://tinyurl.com/6as4zk
(sorry but I can't post live links on here), and on that your tort comes towards the bottom of the safe/average area. But as I said, that graph is based on a relatively small sampling, so I wouldn't let this worry you. As long as Twiglet is eating and putting on weight, I don't think you have anything to worry about. The other thing to check is that you are measuring her length in the correct way (I'm sure you are though), and I find that measuring in mm is more accurate than cm.

Nina

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 18/08/2008 by shazzler

Click and drag me down to the editor aww nina now im worried again, shes underweight isnt she and shes not eating much now due to lousy weather etc....

i will check her length again

thanks hun xxx

sharon xxxxxxx

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 19/08/2008 by TPGJo

Hi Sharon,

Please remember these graphs are ONLY a rough guide, particularly the russian one which is very new.  I personally stopped using the Jackson Ratio for my hermanns a while ago.  According to the ratio 3 of my hermanns were very underweight and had I been a new owner, would have been reluctant to hibernate them.  As I knew for a fact these tortoises had eaten every day since their last hibernation and that some months, they had put on MORE weight than I would have liked them too, I knew for a fact there was no reason why they shouldn't hibernate and they definately weren't underweight.

The Jackson Ratio was based on wild caught tortoises, and it works brilliantly with them but when it comes to CB torts it's all over the place, imho, anyway.

Tortoises don't eat every day when the weather is miserable, it does them no harm.  When you consider they don't eat for 3 months when they are hibernating, a few days without food during bad weather is perfectly normal.

One of the best guides, I think, is when you pick your tortoise up, if it feels 'empty' it is probably a bit underweight but if it feels like a little meat pie, it's doing ok.

This tortoise will give you grey hairs Sharon Click and drag me down to the editor

Jo

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 19/08/2008 by shazzler

Hi Jo,

grey hairs definately got a few extras since i got her lol Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 20/08/2008 by tortoise7

Hi Jo

What is the Russian measure system like?

Jane

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 20/08/2008 by tpgadmin

Jo will come back and explain it to you, but it isn't scientific.  Quite a few of the torts on there used for this guideline were mine and I have some rather large Russians.  I have one at about 1600 gr. so don't use the Ratio as tablets of stone.  It is as it says just guidelines.

Helen

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 20/08/2008 by tpgNina

Hi Jane,

The Russian measuring system is like the Jackson Ratio, but it compensates for the different body shape of the horsfields (their bodies are more round than oval). So you measure the SCL and the weight exactly the same and then look it up on the graph (link to graph given in my post above). Another system of checking horsfields weight/length is used by Joe Heinen, who runs the RussianTortoise site in the States. He uses the following formula: height (in cm) x width (in cm) x length (in cm) = weight in grams. I find it a little difficult to measure height, but you can sort of do it. Again, as Helen says, these are only very rough guides as to the weight you horsfield should be. Also, some horsfields have flattish carapaces, and some have very domed carapaces, and that can affect the formulas too. Jo's meat pie test is probably just as scientifically accurate as the formulas.

Nina

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 20/08/2008 by tpgNina

OOOps -- very sorry -- I typed Joe Heinen's formula incorrectly. It should be height (in cm) x width (in cm) x length (in cm) x .57 = weight in grams. The .57 is very important! {vbg}

Nina

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 20/08/2008 by tpgadmin

Here's a picture of my big girl.  BTW she's Ruby's mum.

Helen

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 08/09/2008 by unhindered

aw shes beautiful helen! how big is she?

Re: is she underweight
Posted: 13/09/2008 by tpgadmin

Aww thank you.  She's a big girl for a Russian with a lot of attirtude.  She weighs in at at 1635 gr.  Russian tortoises are usually a lot smaller than this tortoise.  I've yet to come across anyone with a larger female - so if any one knows differently I should be pleased to hear about it.

Helen

 

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