FLIPPING OVER SOLVED ?

S

SuIcata

Guest
I'm constantly reading posts about tortoises who flip over in there enclosure. Since this never happened to my hatchlings and juveniles I wondered why this seems so common.
As in several posts already explained it is cause something is just not right.
May it be the wrong temperatures, the lack of security or maybe the lack of entertainment for the tort?

I really wanted to know whats the exact reason why tortoises flip over...

I personally think there are 2 things
1. Stuff they can climb
2. Something is off

I started some experiment's

FIRST I set up a small enclosure just bare nothing in it but with fine orchid bark as substrate and the right temperatures + humidity. Then I put a hatchling sulcata inside. After only 20 Minutes he tried climbing the walls at 26 Minutes he flipped himself over.

Then I switched to another hatchling and set him in the same enclosure after 30 Minutes again trying to climb the walls then flipping himself over.

SECOND Same enclosure setup but without proper lighting, heat and humidity.
Again they try to climb the walls what causes them to flip over.

THIRD same as #FIRST but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. RIGHT TEMPERATURES Hatchling 1 after 4 hours no signs of wanting to climb walls and no flipping.
Hatchling 2 same.

FOURTH same as #SECOND but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers.
WRONG TEMPERATURES
Hatchling 1 after 45 Minutes trying to climb walls then flipping over Hatchling 2 after 27 Minutes.

Right now it seemed to me that the flipping over had to do with Wrong temperatures
And no feel of security.

Then I placed a piece of wood (easy to climb) in the enclosure with the hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE RIGHT TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 2 hours: climbs wood flips himself over.
Hatchling 2 after 1 hour 5 Minutes trys climbing wood flips himself over.

Now same piece of wood same spot but with hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE WRONG TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 26 Minutes trying to climb flipping over.
Hatchling 2 same after 13 Minutes.

Now this brings me to the conclusion that

THE FLIPPING OVER HAS TO DO WITH
1. Lack of security for the tortoise
2. Wrong Temperature setup
3. Easy to climb stuff

What was especially interesting for me to see is that the hatchlings in the setup with proper lighting and temperatures + humidity + hides and sight barriers took way longer to actually flip over with the piece of wood.

Maybe u guys can tell me what u think about this and if u made different observations.

Thx for reading!
 

Reptilony

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
945
Location (City and/or State)
QC, CAN
Thats a very well made experiment you made here. I can totally relate to your results. My hatchling would climb walls so I tought I had to build it a bigger enclosure but ended up fixing the problem just with a few visual barrier and hides.
 
S

SuIcata

Guest
I'm constantly reading posts about tortoises who flip over in there enclosure. Since this never happened to my hatchlings and juveniles I wondered why this seems so common.
As in several posts already explained it is cause something is just not right.
May it be the wrong temperatures, the lack of security or maybe the lack of entertainment for the tort?

I really wanted to know whats the exact reason why tortoises flip over...

I personally think there are 2 things
1. Stuff they can climb
2. Something is off

I started some experiment's

FIRST I set up a small enclosure just bare nothing in it but with fine orchid bark as substrate and the right temperatures + humidity. Then I put a hatchling sulcata inside. After only 20 Minutes he tried climbing the walls at 26 Minutes he flipped himself over.

Then I switched to another hatchling and set him in the same enclosure after 30 Minutes again trying to climb the walls then flipping himself over.

SECOND Same enclosure setup but without proper lighting, heat and humidity.
Again they try to climb the walls what causes them to flip over.

THIRD same as #FIRST but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. RIGHT TEMPERATURES Hatchling 1 after 4 hours no signs of wanting to climb walls and no flipping.
Hatchling 2 same.

FOURTH same as #SECOND but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers.
WRONG TEMPERATURES
Hatchling 1 after 45 Minutes trying to climb walls then flipping over Hatchling 2 after 27 Minutes.

Right now it seemed to me that the flipping over had to do with Wrong temperatures
And no feel of security.

Then I placed a piece of wood (easy to climb) in the enclosure with the hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE RIGHT TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 2 hours: climbs wood flips himself over.
Hatchling 2 after 1 hour 5 Minutes trys climbing wood flips himself over.

Now same piece of wood same spot but with hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE WRONG TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 26 Minutes trying to climb flipping over.
Hatchling 2 same after 13 Minutes.

Now this brings me to the conclusion that

THE FLIPPING OVER HAS TO DO WITH
1. Lack of security for the tortoise
2. Wrong Temperature setup
3. Easy to climb stuff

What was especially interesting for me to see is that the hatchlings in the setup with proper lighting and temperatures + humidity + hides and sight barriers took way longer to actually flip over with the piece of wood.

Maybe u guys can tell me what u think about this and if u made different observations.

Thx for reading!
The juvenile group was almost exactly the same besides a slightly more will to climb the borders if no food was available. The juveniles tested were between 2-4 years old.
 

kthomas

New Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
24
Location (City and/or State)
AZ
My hatchlings have never tried to climb out of their enclosure/tortoise table. However, they seem to be very curious and will climb over any obstacle/structure in the enclosure. They will climb over rocks, climb over their pools/water dishes, climb through any food and calcium dishes, over their hides, they will attempt to climb the temp/humidity gauges.

All 4 of them seem like very curious creatures, it's really fun to watch them. They can inadvertently flip themselves over, but they are all fairly proficient at flipping themselves back up right. I do notice that they have a harder time flipping back upright in finer substrates, such as fine grade orchid bark, over bigger substrate pieces such as cypress mulch.

I'm sure if the climate is pretty undesirable, they will try and seek a more comfortable climate, which may cause them to attempt to leave their enclosures. However, I think their unbridled curiosity also can get them into trouble.
 

Ketta

Active Member
Joined
May 7, 2019
Messages
224
Location (City and/or State)
Venezuela
Wow interesting Keto hasn't tried to climb at all. Reading this post makes me happy cause it means I got the right temperature. And that his enclosure is well equipped! Only time was the night I got him he tried to climb a piece of wood I placed where he decided to hide the first 3 days...
 
Last edited:

IAmGroot

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Pennsylvania
My baby sulcata has only flipped himself once in like a month. But he doesn't try to climb his enclosure he just tries to dig through the corner of it. I don't have any visual barriers or plant because 1 I don't know what to use as a barrier and 2 he just eats the plants.
 

Sarah2020

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
483
Location (City and/or State)
London, UK
I'm constantly reading posts about tortoises who flip over in there enclosure. Since this never happened to my hatchlings and juveniles I wondered why this seems so common.
As in several posts already explained it is cause something is just not right.
May it be the wrong temperatures, the lack of security or maybe the lack of entertainment for the tort?

I really wanted to know whats the exact reason why tortoises flip over...

I personally think there are 2 things
1. Stuff they can climb
2. Something is off

I started some experiment's

FIRST I set up a small enclosure just bare nothing in it but with fine orchid bark as substrate and the right temperatures + humidity. Then I put a hatchling sulcata inside. After only 20 Minutes he tried climbing the walls at 26 Minutes he flipped himself over.

Then I switched to another hatchling and set him in the same enclosure after 30 Minutes again trying to climb the walls then flipping himself over.

SECOND Same enclosure setup but without proper lighting, heat and humidity.
Again they try to climb the walls what causes them to flip over.

THIRD same as #FIRST but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. RIGHT TEMPERATURES Hatchling 1 after 4 hours no signs of wanting to climb walls and no flipping.
Hatchling 2 same.

FOURTH same as #SECOND but with a hide water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers.
WRONG TEMPERATURES
Hatchling 1 after 45 Minutes trying to climb walls then flipping over Hatchling 2 after 27 Minutes.

Right now it seemed to me that the flipping over had to do with Wrong temperatures
And no feel of security.

Then I placed a piece of wood (easy to climb) in the enclosure with the hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE RIGHT TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 2 hours: climbs wood flips himself over.
Hatchling 2 after 1 hour 5 Minutes trys climbing wood flips himself over.

Now same piece of wood same spot but with hide, water dish and lots of plants strategically placed to build sight barriers. AND THE WRONG TEMPERATURES.
Hatchling 1 after 26 Minutes trying to climb flipping over.
Hatchling 2 same after 13 Minutes.

Now this brings me to the conclusion that

THE FLIPPING OVER HAS TO DO WITH
1. Lack of security for the tortoise
2. Wrong Temperature setup
3. Easy to climb stuff

What was especially interesting for me to see is that the hatchlings in the setup with proper lighting and temperatures + humidity + hides and sight barriers took way longer to actually flip over with the piece of wood.

Maybe u guys can tell me what u think about this and if u made different observations.

Thx for reading!
I faced the same constant climb, loose their grip/ slip and flip. It became a pain!. I removed climing material and as they grew heavier and older gravity took over and now they try to climb but can not lift themselves up. Not 100 % resolved but better.
 

Agathaade

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
128
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
This is interesting.
My baby flipped a few times when I first got her over a piece of driftwood, so I half buried it and now she can get over it safely. Fortunately she was able to right herself every time, even though our loose substrates aren’t great for that.
I saw her not so much climbing the blank walls but staring at them sort of longingly and I added fake leaves for hidding as well as leaf litter in the corners for burying and that solved that wall obsession.
I think there is something there. When I see barren enclosures I feel a little bit sad for the tortoises. They seem to love hiding and exploring under leaves and shrubbery so much!
 

AgataP

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
607
Location (City and/or State)
Seattle, WA
I made a little “ramp” from wood so the ledge became a balcony 😂🤣
He climbs up and walks around he just slides down. Fun to watch.
 
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