“On his back” advice!

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beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

“On his back” advice!

Post by beeclaire80 » 20 Oct 2020, 10:33

Hi all,

Floyd’s enclosure has had an upgrade and he’s loving it. Stomping round, climbing and so on!

However, he has ended up on his back a few times, once or twice was pretty close to the heat lamp/basking area!!

Luckily I am working from home so am able to check on him but am worried he will do it when I’m not around and then end up stuck or worse, poorly!

The main place he does it is from his cave, which I have now sunken into the soil (it was built up before, so had a bit of ramp!), I’m not sure if he’s falling off the front or it’s from when he’s trying to climb up the side of the enclosure.

I’ve added some pictures and if there are any suggestions or advice you have to help me keep him safe please let me know!

Thanks in advance
Claire.
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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by lin » 20 Oct 2020, 16:21

Hi Claire.
Love the new enclosure, so much to do in there and textures to explore.
Hope you dont mind me asking what the exact temps are under the heated area at the height of Floyd's shell. The thermometers you have stuck on the back are not giving out true readings and you will be surprised at how different the temps will be. A digital one like this will be much more accurate -- https://tinyurl.com/y686qkpd. I am thinking maybe it could be a bit to warm and he is trying to get away from the heat?

I think your right in saying it could be his climbing the cave or even the flower pot. The thing is like everything they do learn. As you have done with lowering it, do the same with the pot and when you have no tipping issues maybe you could raise them a little at a time making sure he is all good and not flipping before raising it again.

Lin

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by Nina » 20 Oct 2020, 16:40

Hi Claire,

I know it's worrying when they flip over, but 99% of the time they are able to right themselves. Have you given him a while to try and get upright again (it's agonizing to watch, but they can do it). Your table is a really good one for him to be able to get upright again, because the way they do it is to push against something (and they can wriggle around a bit until they find something to push against -- even a little mound of soil can be enough). Your table is looking really super, and has lots of things (walls, pebbles, bendy long thingy, water dish, cave, etc.) for him to push against. It doesn't hurt them to be on their back for a little while (it happens in the wild too), and the only danger is if they are under the light on their back for a while and they can dehydrate, so you don't want that to happen. The next time you find him on his back just give him a few minutes and see if he is trying to right himself.

I agree with Lin about getting a different thermometer. We once had someone with a tortoise in a viv, and a thermometer on a wall 4" or 5" from where the heat lamp was hanging down. Her tortoise was showing signs of being overheated, but she swore it was 30C and sent us a photo of the thermometer reading. We asked her to take it off the wall and hold it under the lamp at the height of the tortoise's shell, and it was 44C The one Lin sent you is fine, but for £1 more you could have one that does a lot more, which I think is important. Ones like this (and there are lots of different brands with the same features) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Freeze ... B071WKGTJL also have a Max/Min feature, so you can see how warm or how cool it got since you last re-set the function (very useful to see how cold it got overnight, etc.), and it also tells you the temperature in the room (if you sit the display unit outside the table with the cord hanging in) as well as in the table.

I do think your table is looking excellent!!

Nina
P.S. I just noticed that Lin's link was for 3 thermometers and mine was for just one, so hers is good value (but I still like having the Max/Min facility). I have seen offers of two with Max/Min for about £14, and if you look around you might be able to find other special offers on them.

beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by beeclaire80 » 20 Oct 2020, 16:58

Ahh I typed a reply and it disappeared!

I’ll try lowering the flower pot a bit as well and see how that goes.

I need to peel off the wall thermometers! My digital probe ones finally arrived but I can’t work out how to fix them in the the enclosure! When I left them on the floor he tried to eat them! Temps are around 21° at the cool end and between 29.4° and 30.6° directly under his lamp. The stick on ones are useless and give a completely wrong reading!

Do they like to be warm when they eat? He is reluctant to eat at the cool end and much prefers to eat right by his water bowl (I’ve been moving bits to him as he’s still not gained any weight- not hand feeding though!). If I leave it at the top he goes to it bit walks away after a few munches. I’ve sent his poo away for a work check as well.

Thanks
C x
Last edited by beeclaire80 on 20 Oct 2020, 17:24, edited 1 time in total.

beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by beeclaire80 » 20 Oct 2020, 16:59

Oh, I’ll try leaving him when he flips over as well! As agonising as that is!

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Nina
Posts: 1465
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by Nina » 20 Oct 2020, 17:39

Hi Claire,

I forgot you'd ordered some digital probe ones! Easy peasy -- sort of. I'll take some photos of mine. I couldn't remember how your lamp is hanging, but I see from another thread that it is clamped to the side (I was thinking if it was hanging from an arm you could sit the display unit on top of the arm and then hang the probe down next to the lamp until it's at the height of his shel)l. Once I taped a chopstick perpendicular to the side of the table (so that it was jutting out into the table, and I wound the cord of the thermometer around that a bit and then it hung down directly under the lamp (I don't have that any more though). Let me see if I can get some photos for you.

I think different tortoises have different habits as to where they like to eat, so you could just try several places. If he is eating at all then I wouldn't worry too much, and it's good that you're not getting him addicted to hand feeding -- but it's OK to try in an emergency to get him eating again.

Will be back in a minute with some photos.

Nina

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Nina
Posts: 1465
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by Nina » 20 Oct 2020, 17:50

OK, here I am again. Here are two photos. The one with the display unit showing has a wire coat hanger bent around the upright of the arm that holds the lights, and then a straight bit that goes out under the light. The cord of the thermometer is partly wound round that and then hangs down directly under the light (hard to see but I hope you get the idea. You could maybe wind some stiff wire round the base of lamp clamp on the side of the table.

The other photo (with the blue lampshade), is a hasty reconstruction of my very high tech chopstick mechanism. It's just a chopstick taped to the side of the table, jutting out towards the lamp and then the cord is wound round it and the probe hangs down to just above the tortoise's shell.

Lol, I'm sure someone else could think of a better way to do it, but this was easy.

Nina x
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beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by beeclaire80 » 20 Oct 2020, 18:25

Fab! Thank you!

Can totally do that as we bought a different fixing stand/bracket thing for the lamp. It’s the same Lamp but with the clamp removed cause we couldn’t get the temp right as it was too close on the clamp and temp was not coming below 37+.

This is what we have now (you can just see Floyd hiding!)
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Nina
Posts: 1465
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: “On his back” advice!

Post by Nina » 20 Oct 2020, 18:51

Aww, bless him -- he is so cute! I expect there will be a run on sales of chopsticks now -- get yours before the shelves empty after the panic buying!

Nina

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