Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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Lucre
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Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 19 Dec 2019, 07:56

Hi everyone,
I have a Herman’s tortoise born in September.
It was a pretty good eater but since a couple of weeks now it started behaving really weird.
I October I gave it the leaves they suggested me to give it, and it ate them straight away. I use to vary it’s diet a lot, and he would eat anything from my hands.
But in the last weeks it decided he would just eat the pet food for tortoises.
I first gave this to it when I did not have any fresh greens and I was afraid it would be hungry. Since then it did not touch anything else.
No greens, no lettuce, no cauliflowers, nothing but tortoise pet food soaked in water.
I gave it a bath 4 times a week or at least 3 times per week.
I have a UVB light, a 35W heating lamp (Mercury vapor)

Any ideas on what should I do?

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lin
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by lin » 19 Dec 2019, 11:43

Hi Lucre and it’s nice to hear from you.
Can you say what country you are in and the temperature of that country?

No tortoises should be offered a diet of things like the lettuce, cauliflower and greens but rather natural weeds and flowers like they would fine if they were still in the wild, and you are right that the commercial tortoise for that is soaked is not any good and it is also very addictive.
Is he ok in all other ways? Can you send in a photo of him.
And can you take the temperature right under the heat so we know what that is.
And finally is he in a closed in setup or an open topped setup?
By answering those questions it will allow us to answer you better.
Lin

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Lucre
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 19 Dec 2019, 12:45

Hi
I am from Italy.
I already know that the vivarium it’s in is not good for it, because it is a snakes vivarium, but was the only enclosure the reptile pet shop had and they told me it was completely fine for a tortoise -which I discover was just a lie to make me buy that one and not on other from another shop- but I had no other option. I just took away the sliding doors to make air come inside the vivarium.

In spring when there will be a little bit more sun and the temperature are not that low, I want to make a den for it. We have a really big garden, and I wanted to keep it outside. We have wild dandelions growing in the garden, so it can eat it by itself.

The temperatures under the basking areas are around 30-33 °C while the resting area is 22-24 degrees.

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lin
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by lin » 19 Dec 2019, 21:38

Hi Lucra.
The shop had no right to sell you something that is proven to be not good for tortoises to live in. You can return it to the shop and get a refund if you like. It is very easy to make a ‘tortoise table’ so if you want to make one let me know and I will try and find something that might suit you.

It may be the temperature is. A little high. I would bring it down to no higher than 30*C and the cool end to 20 or less. This could be why it is reluctant to eat. It can also be the time of year. Although it is very young hibernation would still happen in the wild, so it could be a strong pull for it to sleep.

Removing the doors of the viv will make a huge difference, for the better so hopefully that might do the trick. Let us know what happens if the temps are lowered a bit and we really would love to see a photo of it.

It will love spending time outside in spring and summer - natural UV is a million times better than we try and copy with our lamps. I bet you can’t wait for that to happen.
Let me know how it goes once the temps are lowered a bit. What thermometer are you using?

Lin

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Lucre
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 19 Dec 2019, 22:54

The one I had on was the 75 watts, not the 35. Tomorrow morning I’ll try the 35 watts and see if it eats something that is not tortoise pet food.

Here’s some pictures of him/her.
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Lucre
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 19 Dec 2019, 23:00

But what if the 35w lamp is too cold? Will it sleep more? I live in the countryside so the outside temperature is very cold now, like 7-9 °C at night and 10-12°C in the morning.

My Tort is near a window so the temperature is a bit cooler than it would be if it was in the middle of the house (which is set to 20-21 °C).

What do you think?

Ps I’m using a digital cooking thermometer, the one you have to touch the ground to see what temp is. Is the one we have home and it works ok for the measurements we have to do. It can be used from a range of -50 °C up to 300°C.

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Lucre
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 20 Dec 2019, 09:48

Morning update

The 35W lamp is set. I waited until the ground became warm and I measure it.

The hotspot is 27.0°C while the cool zone is 18.0-18.5 °C.
Are those better temperatures for the Tort?

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lin
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Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by lin » 20 Dec 2019, 10:37

Hit the right temp and things should be fine Lucre. How low is the bulb. It might be if you measure the temps a little off of the ground they are slightly higher (that’s confusing :lol: ) meaning the temperature may rise a little to about 28-29C under the lamp. Inside a viv it is difficult to get accurate readings, but because you have removed the doors it should be easier.
See how she is today. We have to try and maintain a nice balance so she wants to stay awake and not go to sleep for hibernation so we need bright light too.
Keep me posted during the day to see if she is more active and eating.

Lin

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Lucre
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Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Re: Tortoise would eat nothing but tortoise pet food

Post by Lucre » 20 Dec 2019, 11:47

The bulb is halfway down. I believe this vov is 40 cm high so about 20 cm from ground.

Another question: is it normal that it slept sooooo much in this week? I had to wake it up to put it to soak a bit.
It would just sleep like he didn’t need to drink or eat. Then when he was up he would walk around a bit and then, after an hour or so it would just fall asleep again.
He/She is still a baby... I read they are supposed to sleep a lot (19-22h/day) but I just wanted to know if that’s true.

Thanks.
Lucre

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