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Odd Behaviour
Posted: 06/09/2011 by tortoisesarego


One of my tortoises is behaving strangly and I am not sure if all is well. I have discovered this year that I have a boy and a girl! So Georgina has had alot of attention from Humphrey. But I don't think they are old enough to have properly mated and have never seen the deed actually done. Just alot of very manly squeaks of Humphrey.

In the last two weeks Georgina has started digging. She has never done this before so I thought that maybe she might be laying eggs. So I have her somewhere to dig incase but she just burried herself for the rest of the day, only coming up the next day in the morning. Now she does it all the time. Also come rain or shine she is out in the outside run. Pooring with rain and she is out. Again, never done this before.

Should I be worried? Is she thinking about hibernation but confused? Might she be laying eggs?

Any help greatly recieved.



Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 06/09/2011 by krissander

Hmm I am no expert but it sounds suspiciously like nesting type behaviour rather than hibernating.

Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 06/09/2011 by tortoisesarego



Thanks for the reply,  I thought that until she completely buried herself very deep down and stayed there. I thought from what I had read that if she was going to lay eggs she would dig a ditch, turn around and lay them.BUT I am no expert.

I have since brought them both in as it is blowing a gale here and raining very hard. Both are wondering around the floor in the lounge,

Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 06/09/2011 by tortoise7

How old are your torts? when you say digging, do you mean trying to bury themselves or digging a hole?
Have a look at the link below on Gravid tortoises (Torts carrying eggs) and see if there are similarities in the behaviour.
It does depend on the age really whether this is possible, if it is then an X-ray would show up if she is carrying eggs, as you don't want to have this doubt when they go in to hibernation.
On the other hand it could well be with this weather that she wants to hibernate. It is still too early for that, so you will need to let both the torts have access to heat.
Look forward to your reply

Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 07/09/2011 by tortoisesarego

I think she is confused with the weather recently. I think she is thinking about hibernating. She is definetly burying herself completely, so much so that I have to move about 2 inches of soil off of her to get her in at night. I'm sure this is not gravid behaviour.

She hibernated last year of her own choosing and stayed asleep for 4 months and only lost a few grams in weight.


Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 07/09/2011 by tortoisesarego

I've checked out your link, thank you very much. I think she is about 6 years old so too young really to have babies. Humphrey is a similar age which makes me think he was just practicing!

I gave her a nesting site in their run about 10 days ago. I made an area out of bricks and filled it with soil. The ground in their run is very hard and stony. All she has done so far with it is sit on it or bury herself completely in it. I'm sure this is not gravid behaviour.


Re: Odd Behaviour
Posted: 21/09/2011 by horsefeild123

if she is a horsefeild/russian tortoise then digging is completely normal :)


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