Pyramiding in young tortoises

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
User avatar
Lucre
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by Lucre » 31 Jul 2020, 22:26

Hi everyone (again).

So the new tortoises arrived! Yay!
The lady that bred them couldn’t take care of a “litter” of Hermann’s tortoises so she decided to hand some of them out. I got two of them (still waiting for Jeff to come back... ugh).

She said they were newborn, but when I picked them up they seemed a LOT older, like a year or probably more (I’m no expert, but there are several growth rings so they are not newborn for sure). Anyhow, it was too late to complain and I took them with me anyway.

Unfortunately, due to diet problems (I believe she fed them a lot of fruit and salad, especially tomatoes) the two tortoises, which I want to call Rigel for the darker one and Bamboo for the lighter one, developed a form of pyramiding on their shell.

I just wanted to know... as they grow with the proper diet, will the pyramiding fade away or will it still be visible when they reach max size?

I will link a picture of them...
Rigel on left. I think she has the worst pyramiding in the two of them.
Bamboo on right (I believe Bamboo is a male because he has a super long tail). As you can see he is kinda ok but the scutes are separate pretty good on the lower part of the body, last three scutes.

Thank in advance.

P.S.: I just bought an hibiscus plant. I tried feed them plantain, clover and other greens but the only thing they will go for are tomatoes due to their previous diet. I believe the red of the hibiscus flower will attract them more than dandelions leaves, even though they went for a dandelion flower. I still have to try the cucumber trick. I’ll let you know.

Lucre
Attachments
1FF3FC47-F949-4B4A-9F65-D23C515957E6.jpeg
Bamboo
9391D591-8C02-4997-BA78-D716DF6B7404.jpeg
Rigel
AD05C7DC-FFE0-4F2B-B51C-13EEB74B40B4.jpeg
Rigel left, Bamboo right

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1525
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by Nina » 01 Aug 2020, 10:06

Hi Lucre,

Yippee! I'm so glad that you've welcomed Rigel and Bamboo into your home (and Jeff -- wherever he is -- might get jealous and decide to come back).

That is very odd that the woman said the tortoises were newborn, because they don't look like that to me. How much do they weigh? Just for information, a 'litter' of tortoises, or a group of tortoises is called a 'creep' (odd word but sort of nice).

Fruit is not good at all for Hermanns (won't kill them but will play havoc with their digestive systems because they aren't designed to cope well with the natural sugars in fruit (and tomatoes count as a fruit).

Yes, with the proper diet (and the proper amount of food -- so not too much), that little bit of pyramiding that they have now won't be noticeable. When I got my Doris she was very bumpy indeed, but that was 15 years ago and her subsequent growth has been smooth so the bumps are much less obvious.

If they are very young it's probably too early to tell what sex they are, but you do need to know that if one is male and one is female then when they get older you might have to separate them. Male tortoises are absolutely relentless in their pursuit of females and bit and ram their shells continuously, so that the female gets very stressed. So it's usually recommended that you have at least two females for every male (so that one can have a bit of a rest while the other is being pursued), or they are kept separately. Having said that, I have heard of a male and a female from the same 'creep' being kept together since hatching and they god along fine, so you might be OK.

Regarding the tomatoes. You could try giving the good stuff, but squeezing a little juice from the tomato over it, to attract them, and gradually squeeze less and less until finally there is no trace of tomato on their food.

I am so happy that you finally have these lovely tortoises and they are very lucky to have found a home with you.

Nina

User avatar
Lucre
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Re: Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by Lucre » 01 Aug 2020, 11:22

Hi Nina it’s good to hear you!

So bamboo weights 94 g
While Rigel weights 74 g

I’m a bit more concerned about Rigel because she is very light to lift (I’ll use extreme caution when lifting them of course).

I tried to let her free in the garden watching her closely (since Jeff escaped while I wasn’t paying attention). She would nibble the clover but she soon loses interest and tries to head for the neighbour’s garden. I’m worried even because I offered the hibiscus, and she just ignored it by stomping the leaves and then walking away. It’s kinda funny but I guess I just need to keep trying until they will eat something that is good.

I’ll try to put some tomato juice on the hibiscus next time.

Bamboo is ok. He tries new thing at least. He nibbles some hibiscus but he soon lost interest. He is eating the garden’s plantain and clover. That’s good.

Lucre

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by lin » 01 Aug 2020, 11:46

Hi Lucre.
Rigel and Bamboo are very healthy looking tortoises and very handsome.
Can I add to what Nina has said regarding the diet.
If it were me I would go cold turkey and because they are new it could work out better than you imagine. Withold all food for a couple of days and then just offer a nice fresh juicy Sow Thistle leaf, just the one, and walk out of the room closing the door behind you. No peeking for an hour and then see if its gone. If not remove it and only one leaf between the two in two days time. They will eat and it shouldnt take long. I know it sounds expreem but as I say they are young, healthy tortoises and they can go a long time without food so a few days will not harm them. Once they eat just one leaf of a natural diet there will be no need to ever offer any bought produce. It does not take long for a tortoise to forget what a bad diet was and there will be no looking back for you. Just a straight transfer from bad to good.
Worth a try and good luck.

I have just seen your message regarding the weights and loss of interest. The reason is probably because they are taking in new sights and smells and that is a lot more interesting than eating for now :lol: . They will have a settling in period and I feel they will start eating a brand new healthy diet.
Lin



Lucre wrote:
> Hi everyone (again).
>
> So the new tortoises arrived! Yay!
> The lady that bred them couldn’t take care of a “litter” of Hermann’s
> tortoises so she decided to hand some of them out. I got two of them (still
> waiting for Jeff to come back... ugh).
>
> She said they were newborn, but when I picked them up they seemed a LOT
> older, like a year or probably more (I’m no expert, but there are several
> growth rings so they are not newborn for sure). Anyhow, it was too late to
> complain and I took them with me anyway.
>
> Unfortunately, due to diet problems (I believe she fed them a lot of fruit
> and salad, especially tomatoes) the two tortoises, which I want to call
> Rigel for the darker one and Bamboo for the lighter one, developed a form
> of pyramiding on their shell.
>
> I just wanted to know... as they grow with the proper diet, will the
> pyramiding fade away or will it still be visible when they reach max size?
>
> I will link a picture of them...
> Rigel on left. I think she has the worst pyramiding in the two of them.
> Bamboo on right (I believe Bamboo is a male because he has a super long
> tail). As you can see he is kinda ok but the scutes are separate pretty
> good on the lower part of the body, last three scutes.
>
> Thank in advance.
>
> P.S.: I just bought an hibiscus plant. I tried feed them plantain, clover
> and other greens but the only thing they will go for are tomatoes due to
> their previous diet. I believe the red of the hibiscus flower will attract
> them more than dandelions leaves, even though they went for a dandelion
> flower. I still have to try the cucumber trick. I’ll let you know.
>
> Lucre

User avatar
Lucre
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 Oct 2019, 22:12

Re: Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by Lucre » 01 Aug 2020, 13:11

Oh man...
But can I let them in the garden nibbling on clover and dandelions? Or do I just have to starve them for a couple of days?

What if they won’t eat the leaf I offer them after two tries?
Do you think that they will be so hungry that they’ll go with anything?

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1525
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Pyramiding in young tortoises

Post by Nina » 13 Aug 2020, 13:20

Hi Lucre,
I’m so sorry that neither Lin nor I responded to your email! For some reason we didn’t get notified when you posted it.

How are they doing now? Letting them nibble on clover and dandelion in the garden is absolutely fine, and no need to starve them if they are eating themselves. Most tortoises will not starve themselves so if they have been deprived of their bad food (fruit, etc.) then they will eventually eat the good stuff. But it sounds like they are eating now if they are nibbling things in the garden.

Hope all is going well!

Nina

Lucre wrote:
> Oh man...
> But can I let them in the garden nibbling on clover and dandelions? Or do I
> just have to starve them for a couple of days?
>
> What if they won’t eat the leaf I offer them after two tries?
> Do you think that they will be so hungry that they’ll go with anything?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest