Hatching behaving very differently. Is this normal?

Jodie

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I have two hatchlings, Pepe,about 7 months and Pensee, about 3 months. Pepe behaves the way I expect. He spend a lot of the day in the hot humid side of his enclosure and sleeps on the cool side in the hide. Pensee though is almost always on the hot side. I have a humid hide, 95F and 80% or higher humidity, which neither of them use. The hot side is 50% humidity and kept about 90F. She sleeps here. Is this normal? They eat the same things. I grow a grassland tortoise mix and add dandelions, Xmas cactus, Hollychokss and rose petals sometimes. I soak them daily and they are outside most days for several hours. I have watched for bullying and do not see any problems. Any input is welcome. Thanks
 

Tom

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There is a whole lot that you are doing that I would do differently. Any one of those things could be your issue. I would call them mistakes based on my experience, but I don't wish to sound offensive. Rather than type for an hour try reading these and see if you see your problem in there:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/pairs.34837/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

Jodie

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Well, I had read all except the Hatchling fail before. I reread them all n increase my temps and humidity some by partially covering their enclosure and adding a CHE. I have been watching my night temp n making sure it doesn't go below 80. It is a challenge because of the temp swing where I live, so it is as low as 78 sometimes. I am soaking her 2x per day for about 15 min in morning n 20-30 in afternoon. She is my only one who seems to enjoy it much, so I assume she needs it. They have a water dish always available big enough to soak in.
Other than the debatable opinion that they should be separated, I am not sure what else I can do. I watch them closely and have 2 food places. She is not shy around him and does not avoid him. They are together sometimes. I have the stuff to separate them, but do not believe this is the problem. I am soaking them separately to ensure she gets hydrated. She eats good n poos regularly. Her eyes look good when she is awake. As far as the hatchling fail goes, if that is what is going on, the article does not say what to do about it. They have a nice outdoor enclosure they are in several hours a day when it is warm most days right now. Their indoor enclosure is a little small maybe at 2x3 feet. I will fix that by winter when they will have to be inside all the time. It does have 3 micro climates though.
 

Jodie

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So I would really appreciate specific advice, if you have any. I do add calcium to their food. I am confident their diet is good.
 

Levi the Leopard

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Honestly, I'm not a fan of housing in pairs. I've seen first hand the differences in behaviors when Leopard hatchlings are housed alone, in pairs or in 3 or more. Alone was fine, groups were fine but in a pair there was always a noticeable difference in behavior.

I wouldn't be surprised if you noticed a difference if they were separated
 

Levi the Leopard

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May I ask, what do you think bullying would look like?

It's not always shell ramming, mounting or chasing.

I may not know the "why" behind it or exactly what's going on but in my experience when 2 were housed together, 1 acted normal and the other didn't. It sat most of the time, or slept/hid etc. then when either separated or added more torts, that same "inactive" tort would become lively and normal.
 

Jodie

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I will try it. How long should it take to notice a difference in her?
 

Levi the Leopard

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Keep the inactive one in the current set up and move the outgoing one into the new set up.

The time it takes will vary. It's based on the individual tort. Could be a week, 2, possibly longer. I'd say assess the difference in 3 months. By then the results should be noticeable :)
 

Jodie

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I moved Pepe out of the enclosure 3 days ago. She seems to be getting worse. She is eating very little. I do not think she ate this morning at all. I do not know what to do. I soak her 2-3 times a day. In the morning, about 4 in the afternoon, and again an hour or 2 later if I put her outside. Each soak is 15-20 minutes. This is the only time she wakes up at all. The last couple of days she falls asleep in the water as well. I have covered most of her enclosure and watch the temp and humidity closely. It does not go below 80 and is maintaining a 50% humidity, higher on the hot side. She does not use the humid hide at all. It is 85% or better there. The warm basking area is 95 or better during the day. I have a good UV bulb and she does go outside. She just hides in the shade there though. I am afraid she is slipping away. Should I put something in her water to keep her eating? She does drink. Please help. Is there anything else I can do?
 

Tom

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Where are you and what are the outside temps and conditions? I would not leave small tortoises outside more than an hour or two, regardless of temps and weather. When they are growing and getting bigger, then I leave them out more and more. By the time they are 5-6" long, I leave them outside all day, weather permitting, but babies do better for me inside with just short outdoor excursions for UV, grazing and exercise, followed by a soak on the way in.

What sort of UV bulb are you using? Mercury Vapor bulb? Coil type cfl?

If this baby was started in the typical dry fashion, and HFS is your issue, there is nothing you can do about it except to keep offering the best temps and conditions you can. If there was organ damage done from chronic dehydration at the breeders place, there is nothing you can do about it. Some will live, and sadly, some won't. No amount of money spent at the best tortoise vet in the world can reverse the damage done to those organs from early dehydration. Just do your best and hope. Then try to educate the breeder and or seller, so this doesn't keep happening.
 

Jodie

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I am in Spokane WA. I only put them out for an hour or 2 in the evening. My back yard, where the enclosure is, is west facing so it has been 90-100 for the last couple of weeks. I have the tube bulb. I recently switched out the coil I had. The information on this sight has been amazing. Should I try baby food in her water? What kind? There has to be something I can do. She is so tiny.
 

Tom

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Baby food soaks will not hurt, and they might help. I prefer to use carrot or yam. The orange types are high in vitamin A and this sometimes helps.

Please don't feel like you have, or are failing this poor tortoise. If the damage was done at the breeders, there is nothing you can do but offer good conditions and hope. Your only mistake here, if you have even made a mistake, might have been getting a tortoise from the wrong source. Can you check with the breeder and find out how the baby was started? What substrate? How often was it soaked? Was it in a brooder box or left in the incubator after hatching? These things will give you some clues about what is going on.
 

Jodie

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I got her from Backwater Reptiles. I have learned since, here, that was a poor choice. Pepe is from there to. I have had him longer n he is doing well. She did eat this afternoon a little. She really likes dandelions. I soaked her again. That wakes her up some n got her to eat. I will add the baby food n hope for the best. Thanks for your help and encouragement.
 

Jodie

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Update on Pensee. She is not eating. She drinks still and I have continued the baby food soaks, but it does not seem to be helping. She barely woke up this morning to drink anything. She hasn't moved more than a few inches on her own for days. I do not think she will survive much longer. Breaks my heart to see her so miserable. Really wish there was something else I could do for her. :-(
 

Levi the Leopard

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This is the new, younger one right?
I'm sorry. If it's HFS/the result of an improper start in life than there won't be anything you can do.
 

Kirin

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I'm sorry about your little one. It is hard to watch them suffer. I had a little one that passed and it wasn't my fault. The breeder was at fault. So just do what you can and hopefully she willl be ok. Good luck.
 

Kim444

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Can you get this little one to a herp vet?
 

Jodie

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This is the new, younger one right?
I'm sorry. If it's HFS/the result of an improper start in life than there won't be anything you can do.
Yes, the poor baby is only about 4 months old. So tiny. I have/ am doing everything I can think of.
 

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