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Hello meet Bob, my baby Eastern Hermann Tortoise hatchling

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by jenbear, Dec 13, 2017.

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  1. jenbear

    jenbear New Member

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    I received Bob Nov 2 from Backwater Reptiles. The only thing I didn't like about the transaction is that they didn't know his birth date. It would have been nice to know for documentation purposes. He was 1.5" and weighed 19 grams when I got him. As of yesterday, he was 1.75" and weighs 21 grams. Does that sound right? He arrived in seemingly great condition and looked very healthy and adorable with big clear eyes. I let him acclimate to room temp for half an hour on a towel on the table then soaked him in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. I fed him spring mix first, but he was not interested so I tried some T-rex tortoise pellets that I had on hand after having read it was the only thing someone's new hatchling would eat at first. He loves that stuff, and that's how I got him to eat. I figured if he would at least eat something then he would eventually move on to leafy greens which he did the very next day. He doesn't much care for kale, but he eats spring mix, dandelion greens, cilantro, mustard and collard greens. I also buried some wheat grass directly into the substrate, and that is his absolute favorite. He munches on that throughout the day. It's cute how he pulls the blades down and chomps on them. I read some people have concerns with the grass getting trampled when buried directly in the substrate, but he's so small right now, he doesn't do much damage yet, and even if it gets worse when he's bigger I don't care because he likes it. I'll just plant some more. I feed him twice a day and usually he'll eat something at both feedings, but occasionally he climbs off and wanders away. I noticed he will pick at it throughout the day though so I just leave it until the next feeding, then he gets fresh. He's never eaten it all(close if I don't give him too much) which surprises me as everyone says they will eat everything you give them. Is it because he's still so small? He doesn't eat as much as I thought he would. At first he only ate a few bites. He has gradually eaten more, but I think he prefers to eat a little bit all day long when he feels like it rather than at one sitting. Plus he is always munching on the wheat grass. I always give him different greens every day, and Mazuri or T-rex tortoise diet pellets in addition to greens every other day. I just soak them in warm water about 4 or 5 pellets and mash them on his plate. I sprinkle his food with Repti Calcium twice per week. I also have a cuttle bone in his house that I've seen him much on.

    I had already purchased the ZooMed Tortoise house when I ordered Bob, then read how hard it is to keep humidity in one so I improvised and lined it with thick poly. I got it wide enough so I could just tuck it in and fold it into the corners, added the substrate to hold it down and cut the excess off the top. It doesn't go anywhere. I have about 3" of eco earth covered with a layer of cypress mulch. It maintains humidity pretty well, but I religiously spray it down(8 oz) and pour water(4 oz.) over the entire heated area twice per day, once in the morning when the light comes on and once at night before it goes out. The open area ranges from 80 to 100. On the far left under the closed part of the hood, it's 70. I made it downhill, and he'll mozy up and down that hill every day investigating. After spraying my bottle, I also pour an extra 4 oz. around the basking area as that's where he buries himself to sleep at night as well. He usually goes to the bathroom in his bath water so I don't use that. I spray down the area from the humid hide to the basking rock(i bought a heated rock and cut off the chord because I liked the rock and couldn't find one like it.) He doesn't bask on it, but right next to it where it's about 98 degrees. I also mist his shell when I'm spraying his home.

    I don't shut it in because I don't think I need to. I have a probe hygrometer that I checked the humidity first thing in the morning where he buries himself and it was 65. The mulch and getting it wet enough under the heat source works. First thing in the morning when his light comes on I bathe him for 30 minutes in water temp of 88-94. I don't know if he does it on purpose or if it just takes that long, but he doesn't poop until right at the end of his 30 minutes, and he usually poops every day. It took him about a week and a half before he pooped the first time. He usually urinates in there, although it's hard to tell because his urine is really pale, also a good sign he's not dehydrated. Anyway during his bath I rub water on his head with my finger(yes he lets me) and over his shell when I first put him in. Contrary to what I've read I put the container right under the basking lamp and it keeps the water from getting cold, but it does not heat up over the initial temp as verified by my heat gun. Then I pat him dry with a paper towel and feed him/give him fresh water. When he's done eating that's when I spray/wet his area. It's pretty easy, but methodical to be sure.

    Does Bob look OK to you guys? Any sign of pyramiding?
    Jenny


    bob 4.jpg bob 3.jpg bob 2.jpg bob 6.jpg bob 1.jpg
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  2. Alex Z

    Alex Z Well-Known Member

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    Bob looks great and you motivate me to get one of my own. How was the process with backwater reptiles? How is the enclosure? You should cover the top. Babies need an enclosed chamber for good humidity. You are doing well! And congrats on the shelled friend!
  3. jenbear

    jenbear New Member

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    Thanks Alex Z. The process with backwater reptiles was fine, although I wish I would've bought him from Chris Leone at Hermanni Haven or one of the other reputable breeders on here if only to know what his actual birthday is. I like the enclosure, but it takes a bit more work since I do choose to leave it open. I lined the entire enclosure with thick poly so it retains the moisture. I spray/wet it down twice per day. I have about 7" total substrate now, bottom 4" is coco coir and the top is 100% cypress mulch. I soak Bob for 30-45 minutes twice per day, then spray his table down only on the 2/3 section that is covered by the heat and uvb lamps. I also pour some more water around the area, about 8-12 oz. When Bob's light goes out for the night, I put him to bed in his humid hide and cover him(tuck him in) with warm dampened sorghum moss. He stays in there all night(as far as i know). Usually In the morning, his little face and arms are peeking out of the moss in the door of the hide waiting for me. It's so cute.
    Jen
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  4. Lisanne Allen

    Lisanne Allen Member

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    What a cutie!!! We have a baby too! Got our nov 2nd but he thought he was about 4 months when i got him....birthday dates are important to us so we made his July 4th

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  5. Alex Z

    Alex Z Well-Known Member

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    Quite detailed you are. You are doing great work. Can I see your setup? This is how I will design its home.

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  6. Alex Z

    Alex Z Well-Known Member

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    Congrats!! Can you show off the enclosure?
  7. jenbear

    jenbear New Member

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    He's cute too, love his shell. what's your baby's name?
  8. jenbear

    jenbear New Member

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    I'll get some recent pics. I planted some newly sprouted greens so he can graze when he wants. I'll send them tomorrow if I remember to get the pics tonight!
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