Adopted Tortoise - General Advice

Use this forum to discuss general questions about any aspects of tortoise care.
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Nina
Posts: 805
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Adopted Tortoise - General Advice

Post by Nina » 13 Apr 2019, 22:58

Aww, he is lovely. What is his name by the way (sorry if you've told us and I've forgot). I just wrote a long response and lost it, so I am starting over and hope I remember what I wrote before!

You are making really good progress with him, and I'm sure he will go from strength to strength now! But I can see from the photos that with his previous owner he was either fed way too much and grew too quickly, or he was fed the wrong food (perhaps too high in protein) and that has caused his shell to be bumpy (slightly deformed). Horsfields are very prone to this, as in the wild they come from areas where they have long cold winters (and they hibernate) and long, hot summers (when they aestivate, which is like hibernation but in the heat). Studies have shown that in the wild they're only awake for about 3 months a year, and during that time they eat for less than 20 hours. So they are sort of programmed to 'eat for England' in the short time available to them. But of course with us they are presented daily with lovely meals and they just pig out.

I was in exactly the same position as you when I got my Doris in 2005. She had a very bumpy shell, and this can lead to serious medical problems (particularly metabolic bone disease) later on, so I was very careful with the portions I fed her and her subsequent growth produced a smoother shell, so the original bumps are hardly noticeable now. So you want to aim for really slow and steady growth (we usually recommend an average of about 1g - 4g per month (that's just an average and some months he will grow more and some less). Just aim for slow and steady. Here is my Doris in a couple of years ago (eating a flower).
[attachment=1]Boris June 2005 00007 (Copy).JPG[/attachment]

and here is a photo of her when I got her in 2005. I hope you can see that the bulk of her shell is much smoother now, and so those original bumps didn't disappear, but they appear to comprise a much smaller percentage of her shell.

[attachment=1]Boris June 2005 00007 (Copy).JPG[/attachment]

Your little fellow does look like a lovely little fellow with lots of personality, and well done for trying to give him a better life!

Nina
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Boris June 2005 00007 (Copy).JPG

TortMum
Posts: 17
Joined: 28 Mar 2019, 22:27

Re: Adopted Tortoise - General Advice

Post by TortMum » 14 Apr 2019, 11:01

Morning Nina,

Thank you for your email. You are so lovely :D

What a handsome chappy Boris is! We havent named our tort yet. My 2 boys are arguing over his name but I have my heart set on Vic - Victoria if a girl and Victor if a boy after Victor Mildrew from 'One foot in the grave.
I hadn't realised his shell bumps were that bad, however I have been reading up on this previous so will be careful not to make it any worst.
I cant seem to find an accurate chart to measure his weight/size. Can you recommend anywhere?

I am following the Norfolk groups on social media to get some tips.

We are day 7 post vets and I've just arrived home to witness him away from his hidey hole, eating his breakfast all on his own. This makes me so happy.

E x

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Nina
Posts: 805
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Adopted Tortoise - General Advice

Post by Nina » 14 Apr 2019, 11:36

Thanks for the compliments -- Doris (the tortoise formerly known as Boris) is blushing with pride as we speak!
Love the Vic/Victoria choices - perfect (except that he doesn't look as grumpy as Victor Meldrew :D

Here is a link to an article on our website that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about weighing and measuring.
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... LML26R7m9s
For weighing you just need digital kitchen scales (and remember that a poo can make a big difference in weight!), but measuring a tortoise's length is done in a very specific way. And you'll be able to keep those records in the booklet I'm sending you.

Yippee -- he really is going from strength to strength, isn't he? Eating on his own now -- there will be no stopping him.

Nina

TortMum
Posts: 17
Joined: 28 Mar 2019, 22:27

Re: Adopted Tortoise - General Advice

Post by TortMum » 14 Apr 2019, 11:54

:o Ohhh Doris!! Sorry I was looking at the Boris next to the photo :lol:

I have digital scales up to 5kg. I weighed him before he had that poop yesterday so it could be why he was so heavy lol.

He sniffed my finger and tried to eat me a moment ago. I'm guessing this might be because I've been feeding him by hand. Now he's independent and wandering I shall cut that out.

I love him so much and so happy that he's recovered.

My next project is to sort out my garden this week ready for the spring. I have to demolish and relocate my veggie patch in preparation for his outside home.

E x

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