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Eating more now it is winter!!
Posted: 01/12/2010 by Mozla


My 2 year old male Hermans tort is not being hibernated due to us only having him for a few months. We will do it next year.

I half expected him to be grumpy, off his food and generally slowing down a bit but he has done the opposite. He is full of energy and eating probably twice the amount that he did in the autumn. Is this normal?

I noticed that a couple of the panels on his shell look slightly lumpy, not bad yet but we are keeping an eye on them. He doesn't have a protein rich diet, if anything we have blanded it down a bit in an effort to slow things down, but as I say he has quite some appetite at the moment!

Would encouraging him to walk around a bit more to use some extra energy help, we don't want his growth rate to go on like this, he has gained a significant amount in a short time.

Please help,



Re: Eating more now it is winter!!
Posted: 02/12/2010 by Don

Tortoises are opportunistic feeders, they will often eat everything which is available, so you need to regulate the amount of food offered.


....."I noticed that a couple of the panels on his shell look slightly lumpy"......

Pyramiding of the scutes, which is what you are describing here, can be caused by protein, but that is not the only cause. It can also be a lack of calcium in the diet. Correct this with a calcium supplement. You will find this inyour reptile pet shop, usually under the name of 'Cricket Dust' or from a horse feed supplier as 'flowers of calcium' or you can give cuttlefish.

Another cause can be calcium blocking foods, such as Spinach and the Brassicas (kale, brocolli, cabage, sprouts etc.) Also a lack of UV light can be a cause of bone and shell problems. Ensure you are providing UV light with a 5% UVB lamp. Tubes and energy saver bulbs should be changed after 6 months as they become ineffective after this time.

Re: Eating more now it is winter!!
Posted: 02/12/2010 by Mozla

Thanks for the advice.

We do use the supplemented dusts but were feeding kale quite regularly. I didn't realise this was a problem food until I read the posts and have now stopped.

Our UV is due to be changed in January so will get that done. In the summer we put him outside to get as much natural sunlight as possible. Hope he will be ok!

Thanks again

Re: Eating more now it is winter!!
Posted: 03/12/2010 by Don

BTW, I forgot to mention, a good vitamin supplement is also a good idea in addaition to the calcium.

'Nutrabol' is good as a daily supplement.

Others, such as 'Reptivite' are ok, but use less frequently, say twice a week.


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