Advice - please no hate!

Hideaway84

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hi,
So within the past few days we have aquired a new tortoise. He is around 20 years old and is a Hermanns tortoise. We purchased him from his previous owners who had him for about ten years, and in that time they had a small outdoor dog kennel, with a bucket in the ground full of substrate for him to hide in. Apparently, every year when he felt like going into hibernation he dug himself in, and eventually woke up when appropriate, living outside all year round with no heat or anything. We have got a similar set up now, a sort of rabbit hutch which we have filled with straw and bedding but there is no heat or anything, and he has a small fenced off area on the lawn so he can go in and out as he pleases. I guess what I am asking is if he has done so well for so many years simply living outside, whether it is worth changing his set up?
Thank you, and please be kind
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,574
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Hello and welcome to TFO.

I have kept a tortoise outdoors in the UK for over 40 years and I wrote up what I do in this thread

Knowledge on tortoise care has changed a lot over the years and we are all still learning.
Give my thread a read and hopefully it will answer many of your questions. :)
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,465
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome,
He's managed to survive but that doesn't mean he's thrived or had a good life to date.
Hibernating outside is very risky for them in our cliimte which has become more extreme in the last 20 years or more - wetter unseasonable weather and unstable temps etc. They could also be attackd by rats. If you google it you'll find quite a few stories about torts losing legs and having to have little wheels fitted. :(
Animal welfare for torts has vastly improved and there's a lot more known about their needs now.
This is the most up to date caresheet for your tort which may help you get things right.

www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide to tort safe foods.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,465
Location (City and/or State)
UK
P.S .you won't find any hate here.
Just a a community of people wanting to help others do their best for their torts. We've all made mistakes but thankfully there are members here who have kept torts for decades and are happy to share ther best methods with us all so we can put things right before any damage is done.
Please ask as many questions as you like, there's always someone around to help or explain about equipment etc.
 

Hideaway84

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
England
Those are amazing thank you guys! I feel a bit more educated now, i am going to look at some heat lamp options, for now he can stay in his hutch to settle in but as the weather draws in i think I will change it! I knew so little on a tortoises diet! Will get on to that too! Thanks guys
 
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