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Help with inherited Tortoise

Discussion in 'Turtles and Tortoises' started by Luisa_Andy, May 30, 2018.

  1. Luisa_Andy

    Luisa_Andy PetForums Newbie

    May 30, 2018
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    Hello, looking for some advice please.

    We've inherited a Tortoise from my partners Dad as he's had to move. We know it's a she and that she's approximately 49 but that's about it. I think she may be Hermann but not too sure. I've uploaded some pics of her so any advice welcome.

    From all accounts with his Dad she was quite self sufficient, he threw a bit of lettuce and tomato out for her daily and she was fine.
    IMG_0350.jpg IMG_0350.jpg IMG_0350.jpg IMG_0364.jpg
    Today she has not eaten at all as far as I can tell (i've been home most of the day) and not moved. She has a hide-away hutch in the garden that we bring in on colder nights but she's been very in-active. Over the weekend, while it was sunny, she was super charged! Racing around the garden and eating a lot. Is it normal for them to have days like this.

    We don't have a heat lamp or anything inside for her but his Dad previously just left it out all spring (post hibernation and summer).

    We've been to a local aquatics centre but they weren't much help. Just tried to sell us an indoor tortoise unit that would be far too small for her as she's always had free garden road.

    Thanks ever so much in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Jan 19, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I have no expertise in tortoises at all but I do know that they need a variety of foods and those which are high calcium. I don't think tomato and lettuce are recommended foods. If the tortoise is allowed to free range in the garden then make sure you have sufficient nutritious plants available and obviously don't use weed killer she and insect sprays. It's possible that dad's garden had a good range of natural plants. The plants on your garden may differ so you may need to supplement with foraged or bought foods.

    I found this website that may help...


    PS is the tortoise micro chipped and have the ownership details been changed to you ?
    Teddy-dog likes this.
  3. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2017
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    I'm not an expert. But it would be worth identifying the type of tortoise you have just in case they have different requirements.

    Yours could be a horsefield? I believe they only have four claws/toes on the front feet whereas hermanns have five. Hermanns and Horsefields have similar care. Hermanns handle damp conditions slightly better than Horsefields (but no tort really likes damp). Horsefields like to create burrows more so you have to be careful where you're keeping them is secure.

    Might be worth reading this leaflet from the tortoise trust: http://www.tortoisetrust.org/Downloads/Taking_care_of_pet_tortoises_web.pdf

    Correct diet is really important for tortoises. There's also this information on diet here:
    I think his shell shows an improper diet unfortunately, a shell should be smooth and round. So I would definitely look into that. Diet shouldn't consist of tomatoes or lettuce but should be mostly made up of weeds and leafy greens.

    I also found this you might find useful:
    kittih likes this.
  4. Katrina Corby

    Katrina Corby PetForums Newbie

    Nov 24, 2018
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    I also inherited a tortoise, 12 years ago! I only have her in the garden on really hot days...
    I used to have a pen indoors but it took up a lot of space. I'm lucky to have a big shed with power and plastic roof so she has a pen in there - an old sideboard or bookcase with shelving removed is fine. I put in substrate that you can buy.
    I have a daylight heat lamp, uv strip and a night time ceramic heat bulb for her.
    The daylight lamp and ceramic bulbs are thermostatically regulated.
    She likes a shallow bath to climb in and out of, they puddle drink as have no diaphragm...i found an old serving platter from a charity shop is great for this.
    The UV is on a timer which i reduce down on hours towards hibernation
    I have a separate fridge for hibernating her (she's in there now - end Oct to mid february at 4degrees, just open and close the door each day and check her once a week - i have a fridge thermometer so i can check it doesnt fall below 4)
    Hope this helps....it takes a while to pick up information but once you have the set up with heat its all fine.
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