Looking to become a tortoise owner

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.
Post Reply
Summerills
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Summerills » 28 May 2020, 17:33

Hi All
I am looking at getting my first tortoise and have been doing lots of research etc to try and untangle the complexities.
I was planning on yearling and my husband is in the process of building a smallish first home for it- any recommendations in terms of age for first ownership would be appreciated, am I nuts to think about a yearling or a hatchling first? should I be going older?

I thought I had settled on a Hermanns and located a local reputable breeder from the Tortoise Protection Group. On emailing though they have said they only have Ibera Spur Thighs for sale currently but that the care is roughly the same.
Can anyone explain the differences for me beyond physical appearance- what would be the specific requirements of each? Do they both hibernate etc...

Feels like a minefield of information out there.

Thanks in advance

Nic

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1144
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Nina » 28 May 2020, 18:54

Hi Nic, and welcome to The Tortoise Table! First of all, well done for doing your research before you get your tortoise -- so many people don't and they then run into big problems. It's also great that you are getting your tortoise from a breeder -- you should get good after-sale advice, and you might even get to meet your tortoise's parents.

Regarding a yearliing -- I think it is fine, and the care will be pretty much the same as for older tortoises, except being a smaller size they will cool down more quickly in cool weather and warm up more quickly in hot weather. I think you should go for it.
Regarding the two species -- yes, the care is very similar and they are both hibernating species, although if you are only getting him now, I wouldn't hibernate him this year. It's best to wait until you get to know him/her really well. Iberas will get larger than Hermanns as adults, but not a huge difference.

If you are making a tortoise table, we have some guidance on our website for housing for young and hatchlings here:
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... s_4kMB7m9s
As long as you are going to the trouble of making it yourself, I would aim for the biggest possible enclosure that will fit in your available space. It's well known that tortoises get bored if they are in small tables and consequently sleep more and become a bit lethargic. You can increase space without imcreasing the overall dimensions of the table by putting in a ramp that goes up to a second level -- they like that and it gives them more exercies (we can show you examples if you're interested).

Two important points are to get a good source of UVB light (either a combined mercury vapour bulb or a fluorescent strip light) and a good thermometer that enables you to measure the temperature directly underthe heat source, at the height of the tortoise's shell (a thermometer affixed to a wall nearby won't give an accurate temperature (they aren't expensive and I can give you links if you are interested.. Also, it's good to be able to raise or lower your heat source to ncrease or decrease the temperature, as that can vary greatly, depending on the ambient temperature in the room.

Here are links to two care sheets (one for each species), so you can have a look and I hope this helps you to make our decision.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

It would be great to hear how you get on (and see a photo when you get him), but in the meantime, please don't hesitate to any questions that come to mind -- that's what we're here for.

Best,
Nina

User avatar
lin
Posts: 692
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by lin » 28 May 2020, 21:10

Hi Nic.
Can I just say we do have a Hermann for rehoming on our rehoming page and our FB page. Why dont you pop on there and have a look at Brokkr and get in touch if he is suitable.
https://www.facebook.com/TheTortoiseTab ... =3&theater
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1987

Lin


Summerills wrote:
> Hi All
> I am looking at getting my first tortoise and have been doing lots of
> research etc to try and untangle the complexities.
> I was planning on yearling and my husband is in the process of building a
> smallish first home for it- any recommendations in terms of age for first
> ownership would be appreciated, am I nuts to think about a yearling or a
> hatchling first? should I be going older?
>
> I thought I had settled on a Hermanns and located a local reputable breeder
> from the Tortoise Protection Group. On emailing though they have said they
> only have Ibera Spur Thighs for sale currently but that the care is roughly
> the same.
> Can anyone explain the differences for me beyond physical appearance- what
> would be the specific requirements of each? Do they both hibernate etc...
>
> Feels like a minefield of information out there.
>
> Thanks in advance
>
> Nic

Summerills
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Summerills » 30 May 2020, 21:52

Thank you both, some helpful information, but looks like Bokkr may have found a home. We are also keen to start with a younger tortoise
It seems that breeders generally sell their babies as hatchlings as I have been unable to find a yearling anywhere. Everyone seems to have eggs hibernating.
Will just have to keep looking.

User avatar
lin
Posts: 692
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by lin » 31 May 2020, 01:22

Hi Nic.
Yes, keep waych both here and the FB page and I am sure something will turn up for you soon.
The thing I find is there are not many people want to rehome a little one but as they get older the novelty seems to wear off. Another factor to concider is that a tortoise that is a bit older is also a bit more robust.

Lin

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Kimberley » 31 May 2020, 08:27

Hi Nic,

My five year old Horsfield Timmie was a rescue tortoise. He's had a really bad life and the care and enclosure lacked everything you could imagine.
I absolutely love him to bits, he's a great little dude. He's very friendly, he's interested, he eats out of my hand and he's not afraid of me at all. He never hisses at me, never bitten me and when I show him I'm going to pick him up, he knows what's coming and he stays out completely, head and limbs. So this shows you can bond with them and it's great that I'm able to give him a great life after 4, 5 years of horror!
Attachments
IMG-20200127-WA0007.jpg

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1144
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Nina » 31 May 2020, 12:42

Hi Nic,
Wise words from Kimberley. She has given her little Timmie a great home. You could have a look at her original thread and scroll down to see the great tortoise table that she made for Timmie -- it's briliant viewtopic.php?t=1908
and might give you some good ideas.

Nina

Summerills
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Summerills » 02 Jun 2020, 17:12

Can I ask another question? You guys have been so helpful so far, I really appreciate everything.

We are going to start making our indoor enclosure this week and want to factor in the light rig even though I’m not sure how easy it will be to get hold of.
I am confused by what would be best between separate heat bulb and UV strip or combined- I am sure there are pros and cons to both but will we be ok with a combined one?

Thanks
Nic

User avatar
lin
Posts: 692
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by lin » 02 Jun 2020, 20:30

Hi Nic.
Just my quick opinion on the lights for you to ponder and I am sure Nina and possible Kimberly will be along to give their views.
If you get a combined and the heat goes then you looke the UVB too.
With a strip UVB, although they do last less time (some have longer lasting UVB output though) and the heat bulb goes I find they are much cheaper to replace and you still have the UVB woorking and the same the other way, if the UVB goes the heat is still there!
You can scroll down to section 2 (Full spectrum UVB fluorescent tube plus basking bulb), its towards the bottom in this article as you could find it helpful. https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... r-housing/

Lin

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by Kimberley » 03 Jun 2020, 13:31

Hi,

I agree with Lin!
I've used both, started with mvb(combined) and now I have 24 inch uvb arcadia 12% tube and a separate 75 watt flood bulb for basking.

The mvb was super expensive (40€) and the thing quit on me after 3 months. What also seems to happen is that the light still works but the uvb stops and you don't know when unless you measure that and a device is incredibly expensive.

I'm much happier with a simple flood bulb and a separate uvb tube that will last you a year!

Kimberley

User avatar
lin
Posts: 692
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by lin » 04 Jun 2020, 14:21

Thanks Kimberley.

Lin

User avatar
lin
Posts: 692
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Looking to become a tortoise owner

Post by lin » 04 Jun 2020, 15:19

Hi Nic.
I have just sent you a PM about rehoming.
Can you have a look to see if you have got it and contact me.

Lin




Summerills wrote:
> Hi All
> I am looking at getting my first tortoise and have been doing lots of
> research etc to try and untangle the complexities.
> I was planning on yearling and my husband is in the process of building a
> smallish first home for it- any recommendations in terms of age for first
> ownership would be appreciated, am I nuts to think about a yearling or a
> hatchling first? should I be going older?
>
> I thought I had settled on a Hermanns and located a local reputable breeder
> from the Tortoise Protection Group. On emailing though they have said they
> only have Ibera Spur Thighs for sale currently but that the care is roughly
> the same.
> Can anyone explain the differences for me beyond physical appearance- what
> would be the specific requirements of each? Do they both hibernate etc...
>
> Feels like a minefield of information out there.
>
> Thanks in advance
>
> Nic

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest