tortoise weighing

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Andy
Posts: 2
Joined: 04 Feb 2018, 18:57

tortoise weighing

Post by Andy » 16 Jul 2018, 06:49

good morning all,
my little Madge puzzle me at times, I have been concerned that she does not feed regularly or I don't see her,
she is two a two year old Herman and I weighed her two weeks ago weighing in at 118 grams and this week 120 grams so some thing must be working.
every so often she will have a good old munch on her food but then nothing for a couple of days.
does any one see any problems or is Madge doing fine with the little weight gain.

Regard Andy / Madge

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Nina
Posts: 512
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: tortoise weighing

Post by Nina » 16 Jul 2018, 08:22

Good morning Andy and Madge!

As you say, if she is gaining weight then she must be eating something, and 2g gain sounds fine (although if you weigh them just before or just after a poo it can make an amazing difference!). We usually aim for an average weight gain of between 1g - 4g per month, and that is just an average as some months they will gain a lot more and some less -- and of course when they are hibernating they aren't gaining any weight at all.

I remember the wonderful outdoor enclosure you built for Madge, but am having a senior moment, so I can't remember much about her indoor enclosure. With the terrible heatwave we are having it can get too warm in an indoor enclosure, and temperature has a huge effect on appetite and behaviour (and don't forget to measure the temperature directly below the heat source and at the height of the tortoise's shell, not on a nearby wall of the enclosure). When it is super hot like this, you will probably need to move your heat lamp further away from the floor of the table to keep temps from getting too high. Several times in the last week I have had to turn my lamp off altogether to keep it from getting too hot.

If it is too hot a tortoise will hide away and not eat, and the same thing happens if it is too cold. So you want to aim for a temperature of about 30C (not much higher) directly under the heat source, and a temperature of about 20C at the other end of the enclosure, but of course in a heatwave you can never get it down to 20C. In the wild torts tend to come out in the morning to feed, then they hide away most of the day to get out of excessive heat, and then they come out again early evening. Mine are doing exactly that when they are outdoors, and they hide away in the shade for most of the middle of the day -- so I wonder if Madge is having a nice nibble in the mornings and then a nice kip in the heat. It's more important to keep her hydrated in this weather, so regular baths will help a lot.

Also, what are you feeding Madge? Sometimes just tweaking the diet with something that they really like can do the trick.

Sorry for so many questions, but sometimes just a bit of information can lead to an easy solution.

Cheers,
Nina

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