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weighing and measuring
Posted: 21/04/2010 by winnie

Hi Guys,

Just a quick question. How often does everyone weigh and measure their torts. I've been weighing once a month, trying to stick to same day each one and measuring every 3 months. Is this ok?. Also I'm having trouble getting Steve to put on just a few grams at a time. He's getting less then the covering of his shell and because his new enclosure is quite long I've split his feeding flag in two and put one each end so he has to walk and climb to get to his grub and I'm down to just one ornamental grass in his pen as he's scoffed the rest. I was thinking of feeding him every other day to see if that helps but am unsure as to whether this is ok. In all other aspects he is doing great,he's bright, alert, peeing and pooing and getting his baths 3 times a week. Any suggestions?. Steve is a Horsefield 7+ years.

Re: weighing and measuring
Posted: 21/04/2010 by TPGDave

Your weighing and measuring routine sounds fine for an older tortoise. With little one's I'd measure every week or two because rapid weight loss is an earlier indicator of illness.

I personally think that the "few grams a month" weight gain goes out of the window once the tortoise reaches a couple of years old. A larger tortoise during the active months of the year should be gaining weight through growth and muscle building. I find that keeping the tortoise within the safe levels of either the Jackson ratio (Hermanns, Ibera) or the McIntyre ratio (Horsfields) is a good guide but don't despair if you see a larger weight increase or fluctuations at this time of the year. Not a lot is converted into fat with a growing tortoise, the energy produced goes into growth. As long as it's smooth growth within the bounderies of the guides I mentioned, I think its ok. If you start seeing signs of extreme weight gain, you can tailor the feeding to suit. It all takes a bit of time to get spot on.

This is just my opinion of course :)

Dave.

Re: weighing and measuring
Posted: 21/04/2010 by winnie

I got him last May as a rescue tort weighing around the 320g. From May-October he gained 32g. He went into hibernation weighing 347g after his wind down and came out of hibernation 16 Feb weighing 330g and his weight today was 371g. To me it seems he's put on a lot at 41g and it can't be my scales as I bought them brand new a month after getting him, obviously I must be feeding him way to much but when I put his feed down it looks like hardly anything. Were am I going wrong?. His length on 17 March was 12.5cm. There are pics of him in the gallery and some of them are of his shell but they're not brill. His shell wasn't either when I got him so it's not like I started with a nice smooth shell. Sorry to be a pain but I don't want him turning out like some of the terrible pics I've seen of wrong diet shells as I know it would be me that caused it.

Re: weighing and measuring
Posted: 21/04/2010 by TPGDave

Hi winnie,

I'll put together a fuller answer this evening but I'm a bit tied up at the moment. Just wanted to say to discount the 17 grams lost and regained during and post hibernation that's possibly rehydration rather than fat deposits. That almost halves the weight gain since Feb.

 

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