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Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 08/04/2010 by pen-li

Hi, I'm new to the site and not sure if anyone can help.

I have an 18 month old Herman's tort', which I bought last October. Unfortunately he had an accident a few months back and broke off his right front claws. Will they re-grow? We've had to remove his rocks etc. as he likes to climb and this caused him to bleed a little, but he's ok now.

Also, how do I know if my tort is stressed? He usually spends a lot of time pacing up and down the glass at the front of his viv / trying to get out and once he is out of his viv, will happily rome around for an hour or so, before finding a corner to sleep in once he's had enough. However, he's been very lethargic over the last few days, basking under the spot lamp all day and hasn't moved at night. The only time I've seen him move is to look for food and have a quick wade in his water. He's usually much more active and sociable. He generally hangs out by his water, sits on top of his hide soaking up the UV and as soon as he sees me near the glass, he comes across to see me / try to get out. He usually likes being stroked, but when I've started to stroke him over the last few days, he walks away or retreats into his hide. Is he stressed?

I'm hoping to move him into a tort table this weekend, do you think that will help?

Sorry to go on, just a bit worried incase I'm doing something wrong

Penny

Re: Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 08/04/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Penny,

Firstly Click and drag me down to the editorto our friendly forum where there are lots of new and experienced keepers.

Providing there isn'y any long-term damage they should regrow OK:-)

Tortoises will become extremely stressed in a vivarium. Firstly they cannot perceive glass, it is merely an invisible barrier and the tempserature in your vivarium will be constant, due to it's poor ventillation. Tortoises require a range of temperatures. It may well be trying to escape the heat as it cannot cool down properly or it may not be warm enough to enable proper digestion of food. Moving your tortoise out of the vivarium into a tortoise table will undoubtedly benefit your tortoise.

There is a link to out Hermanns care sheets which will hopefully help:-

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/88.asp

May I ask what you are feeding your tortoise please?

Here is a very good website that breaks down good/bad and occasional foods:-

http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/tortoise_home_1.asp

 

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you wish

 

HTH
Kindest Regards

Darren

 

 

 

 

Re: Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 08/04/2010 by pen-li

Hi Darren,

Thank you for your reply.

My tort's a lot happier than he was when we first got him, as the breeder sold me a viv set up with 60w red bulb, which resulted in him not eating for over a week and constantly burying himself. He then developed an eye infection, which the vet was able to treat and now that he has a 40w white bulb, he's been fine until recently.

I agree that the tort table will be a lot better for him, as it won't be long before we can start to build him an outdoor enclosure. However, my hubby is concerned that our son will lift him in and out all the time, so he's reluctant to make the move. I've suggested fitting a mesh lid to the table to prevent this, what do you think?

Timmy is mainly fed on a diet of weeds and grass, although he rarely eats the grass, sprinkled with supplement. He's had a mixture of salad leaves throughout the winter, when weeds have been frozen. I started to overfeed him, which I no longer do, only feeding him enough to cover his shell, once a day (mid morning), when he searches for food. I'm planning to grow herbiseed tort mix in his outdoor enclosure, which once established should provide ample food for him.

Whilst he's still in his viv, would it be advisable to bring him out to rome more frequently?

Penny

Re: Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 09/04/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Penny

Wire mesh over the top of the enclosure will be fine.

May I ask what UVB source he has please?

When the weather is warm tortoises should go out as much as possible, but when small be wary of predators (birds will take away a small tortoise - eg Magpies)

Here are some ideas for enclosures:-

http://www.tortoise-protection-group.org.uk/site/58.asp

HTH
Darren

Re: Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 11/04/2010 by pen-li

Hi Darren,

Timmy moved into a 4ft x 2ft tortoise table on Friday and is much happier and more active.

He has a 40w white spot bulb to bask under, producing a temp' of around 30 degrees Celsius. He also has a .5 UV strip light, along the back.

At the moment his substrate is 50% top soil and 50% repti-turf pellets, but next time he's cleaned out, the repti-turf will be replaced by play sand. I'm just using the last of the pellets.


I bought Timmy last October, as a 1 year old, does that make him a hatchling or a juvenile? I ask this because I've read that hatchlings need to be soaked a few times a day and I didn't know that, so how often should I soak him?

Timmy seems a little fussy to feed, is there a reason for this do you think? He refuses to eat grass, but loves clover. He's not keen on dandelion either :0) He seems to be growing ok though. He was 59g when I got him and was 70g last week and he's around 7cm long.

I'm hoping to start building his outdoor enclosure soon. How warm does it need to be before he can go out, is it 20dC?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but there's so much conflicting advice on tort care, I'm a bit confused.

Thanks for your time though.
Penny

Re: Tort nails & general advice please
Posted: 16/04/2010 by TPGDarren

Hi Penny,

Sorry I've missed your last post. You should bathe him daily to ensure he remains well hydrated as tortoises in captivity are prone to bladder stones. My lot are out at 20deg, after warming up, though keep an eye out for unactivity. Cold frames are used in some enclosures as a hot area for a tortoise to raise it's body temperature with (preferably) or without a basking lamp/UVB source.

Timmy's weight gain is about spot on, 1-2 grams a month gain is sufficient for a hatchling tortoise.

Please feel ree to ask as many questions as you feel necessary:-)

HTH
Darren

 

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