Can a male and female live together in harmony, can it be seasonal?

Clover&Chicker

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Hi all!
We have two beautiful tortoises, Horsefields. They were bought together from the same vivarium on the same day, have lived with us since 7th July 2013 - born in 2012. But this summer our male has started to 'mount' the female. In fairness the male is the timid one, the female has always seemed to dominate him - but now his head bobs and he is biting her leg and then climbing on..... The vet has sexed them even though they are only 3 years old, and he is sure they are male and female

We have a tortoise table and a vivarium (From when we bought them) so separate them now - but only one outside hutch, so they have to take it in turns now. Do we need to buy another full set up of tortoise table (we will, we love them) or is this a seasonal thing and they can then be together in the winter (they dont yet hibernate, vet has advised against it till they are 5). They seemed to be everywhere together, huddled asleep etc - we assumed getting on well.

There is so much conflicting advice out there - that they are loners and dont need company etc, but they always appeared to be together - perhaps just ensuring they each had the best spot. not sure. Dont want to separate if they are friends, but dont want either getting hurt or upset

Advice please soooo welcome

Thanks in anticipation
 

dmmj

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its not seasonal for male its 24/7.as time goes on males tend to get more aggressive not less.more than likely sooner or later he will start drawing blood I've seen it before. you must separate
 

Tom

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Tortoises should not be housed in pairs. They should not have been housed that way when they were babies, and it gets worse as they age.

I'm not so sure they can be sexed at 3 years old, but since I have not seen them, I'll leave that one alone.

I also don't share your vets opinion on hibernation, but that's another issue too.

These might help convince you:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/bad-day-for-baby.114328/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...together-a-lesson-learned-the-hard-way.94114/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/pairs.34837/
 

Alaskamike

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There is another thing with male tortoises , and I've seen this

Their sex drive is powerful and often untiring when they are around females. They can and will trap and breed a females till they tear them.

In the wild the female has a window of time to run away. In an enclosure she can't disappear.

One male needs ( IMO ) at least 3 females to bother. At least that way they get a break.

You may be seeing shear aggression , or it could be breeding , either way. Together is no longer okay.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

I agree with what's already been said. Russian males are relentless. It isn't unheard of to see females with no eyelids and bloody front legs.
 

dmmj

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three females to one male? that sounds like my kind of world. sign me up
 

Clover&Chicker

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Wow. This is not good then! But far too late. I have two children and my parents bought them one each to pass onto their grandchildren eventually. I thought a lovely gesture and heirloom! Especially as dad was terminally ill at the time. We've had them two years. The female has been ill both years and Iv tube fed her. She's the best she's ever been at the moment. The male he's continued to grow and appeared the scared one! Perhaps we've missed the bullying??!! When do they become sexually active?? Ours are 3 years old. How can they be sold in pairs of this is the case?? Shouldn't that be stopped??
I guess our answer is we buy another table. We all love them now and the children adore them When they leave home theyl take their own with them then! Rehoming one is not an option! Feel fullish learning as we go along. Just didn't know any of this and on purchasing definitely wasn't advised Plus as hatchlings you can't determine their sex, but reading here that's irrelevant anyway!
Oh dear. Such a shame Thanks for the advice everyone
 

wellington

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No,worries, most of us have made big mistakes until we found this forum. Set them both up in their own enclosures inside and out. They will be much happier and your female probably healthier for it.
As for not selling them in pairs. Mostly it's about the money, not what's best for the animal. And some, still think pairs are fine to do. And if you had endless room for them to roam and hide it probably would be, but usually that's not the situation and you would never see them in that big of an environment anyway.
 

Oxalis

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I agree with what's already been said. Russian males are relentless. It isn't unheard of to see females with no eyelids and bloody front legs.
"No eyelids"? SCARY! :(
 

Clover&Chicker

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Second tortoise table ordered. Just waiting delivery. One each for them!! At least know they will be happier apart. Never view it like that originally and for first 2 years they've got on well. Always together. You think it's because they want to be not because they are after best place each!! Anyway sorted now. Just need floor space and another outside hutch!! Good job we love em!! Thanks for all help and advice. Very much appreciated. Don't know how you can ever control for this as buy them age 1 no idea of sex. Guess you buy one to share for each child not one each!! But live and learn!! They would have been separated eventually I guess when kids leave home. Just happened eleven years earlier than planned!! Hopefully two happy tortoise now x
 

Tom

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Tom

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Never view it like that originally and for first 2 years they've got on well. Always together.

This is called crowding. Its the tortoise equivalent of screaming "GET OUT OF MY TERRITORY!!!"

We humans sometimes call it "mad-dogging" someone.
 

Tom

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Second tortoise table ordered. Just waiting delivery. One each for them!!

Just trying to help you head off problems before they occur…

There is no commercially made tortoise table that is suitable for tortoises. Sounds funny, I know, but its true. The only one I know of are the Zoo Med tortoise houses and they are too small, too open, and they leak and rot if the substrate is kept damp, which is how the substrate needs to be kept.
 

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