HELP hinge back tortoise always sleeping

Reppy37

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Hi I'm Matt and I recently picked up a bells hinge back tortoise from repticon and shes always sleeping. I haven't seen her do anything but sleep and I'm always checking up on her she's not eating any food isn't drinking any water nothing, I really don't want her to die. I was told that she'd probably go into brumation but when I did research it said the only go into brumation from may to September. If anyone could help with tips or what to do that would be great. Have a great day and thank you if you try to help.
 

Ben02

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Hi, I'm not experienced in hinge backs, but perhaps she is still in dry season mode as hingebacks do nothing in those seasons. Someone with more experience will shed some light on it.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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So Bell's straddle the equator, in the wild, and have wet and dry season. I am also wondering if indeed it is a Bell's, like did it cost a few $K? An image would be super welcome.

Crank up the humidity and warmth. 85F and 85%RH, low light seem to be okay with all hingebacks and lets not assume we know the species yet.

A mushroom, strawberry, papaya, and some butternut squash for plant like matter, a few earthworms, pinkie mice, or broken leg crickets would probably spark most any reluctant hingeback to eat.

lets get that image so we know better what we are talking about.
 

Gabriel Mattei

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If you are saying that it is a Bell's hingeback tortoise it may not be wild caught. You may want to try and stimulate rainfall with long misting and high humidity as this always triggers a positive response in hingebacks. Feed all the foods Will mentioned, it could be possible that the hingeback is just taking it's time and that it is moving early morning. Even the Bells in this species will only really move in my case when it rains. Please show us a photo of your hingeback.
 

2turtletom

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Can you post a photo of the tortoise so that we can definitely identify it so that we may give you the best care advice? The name "bell's Hingeback" applies to several different species, so a photo would be awesome. Thanks!
 

Riverhorse

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Not sure if your tortoise is active yet but thought I would contribute what I know about my hinge back. Mine is a female and she becomes very still when she is getting ready to lay her eggs. Usually in October She becomes antsy and desperately tries to get out of her habitat, then over the next two months she becomes very quiet, not coming out or eating for 2-3 days. I make sure that there is at least 6 -8 inches deep of substrate at one end of her tank. One day in Jan or Feb she will be found sitting on this pile. Usually she has laid 3-4 eggs during the night and is exhausted. I wait until she heads back to her hide before digging them up. One year she laid twice in two months!! If you are really worried, you can put her in a luke warm bath filled with water half way up her side. ( I use an oversized Tupperware container ) This may prevent her from becoming dehydrated. If my tortoise does not remove herself from the bath, I will lift her out after 2-3 hours and place her under the heat lamp. Maybe yours is ready to lay? We adopted our toward us when she was 15 years old. The previous owner said that she had laid only one egg in her life. This I believe is due to the fact that she had only 1 inch of substrate in her tank, no hide, and no humidity. She has laid 3 to 4 eggs every year with us for 8 yrs. Sometimes you can tell if they are getting ready to lay by looking at their rear ends. Sometimes there are egg -shaped bulges pushing out on either side of the tail. Regarding diet, if you think she desperately needs nourishment, ours can not resist a strawberry. We only feed her a1/2 tsp portion otherwise she gets diarrhea. And we follow with an offer of slice mushroom. Also- we don’t give her cabbage (kale, collards, broccoli) because another thread warned against it (too much calcium and digestive track issues) We give her dandelion greens, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, and only occasionally a small amount of lettuce. We give her zucchini and mushrooms, very thinly sliced so easy to digest. We feed her one cup total of these foods a day, and sprinkle with calcium powder every 2 -3 days. We also give her moistened Forest tortoise grass pellets occasionally. Once a week we give her 1/2 tsp of dried meal worms. She was never interested in live worms with us. Hingebacks do not need animal protein, if I understand it correctly, because their systems convert the mushrooms into the protein source they require. Half of their daily food can be mushrooms! My hingeback actually likes 73 degrees and 83 degrees is a tad too hot for her. So I have both and she can choose. Usually it’s the 73 degrees! I think if she is female, and needs to lay, then 8” of substrate is the way to go! Mine lays her eggs 6” deep....Hope your tortoise is okay.
 

stephpw

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I have two speke's and one is always active and one is always sleeping. The active one is always in his water bowl and eats like a dog. The sleepy one burrows under the bridge. This is the smaller of the two. I have taken her (I assume she is a her) out and held her in warm water and she the ate some banana.
I was told one was male and one female. Are the males generally bigger or smaller than the females? I have aquatic turtles and my female is three times the size of the males. They are cooters and sliders. My big girl has laid eggs so I know she is female. This is why I am confused with my tortoises. The "male" is twice the size of the "female".
 

William Lee Kohler

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Could be the smaller one is just a younger tortoise and not all grown up yet.:<3: You didn't mention size or show a pic of them.
 

stephpw

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The picture in my profile is of Fred and Ginger. It is about a year old. They have since both grown proportionately.
One is still big and the other is still small. I think the smaller one is younger.
 

Yvonne G

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It might very well be the dreaded keeping-tortoises-in-pairs thing that we are always talking about. Two tortoises in the same small indoor enclosure hardly ever works out. You will eventually see one hiding/sleeping all the time, not growing as big as the other one, not eating, etc. I'd be willing to bet that if you make another enclosure, add a nice moist substrate with quite a few plantings, either real or fake, soft lighting and separate them, you'll soon see that smaller one grow and thrive.

Here's what I'm talking about:


rain forest.jpg
 

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