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Herman tortoise; is this normal?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by RebeccaEirian, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    i have a Herman tort who was two when I was given him in December 2013. He's anti social and stubborn! If I give him a little bit of strawberry (very rarely as a treat!) He walks off... but he'll come back in half hour to eat it because I'm not giving it to him same with food, if I fill the bowl and put him in it, he leaves and comes back once I've closed the vivarium (I know I need to get a tortoise table).

    He wants no help from me. He hides if I bring him oit- I have no idea if he SHOULD be out to exercise or not? He's terrified of the garden, and pretty much walks straight into the first corner he can find.

    Is this normal? For a tortoise to be antisocial?

    He is absolutely tiny so I wonder if it's just because everythings so big for him? But I'm also worried something might be wrong
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Pictures of the enclosure would help. Anything over head is perceived as an enemy that wants to eat him. Make sure there are plants that will help to make him feel more secure, as he can hide and walk under them.
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  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Hi, Rebecca, and welcome to the forum!

    Your tortoise isn't being stubborn, he's afraid. Baby tortoises are prey and you are a great big monster that is going to eat him. They stay hidden until they think its safe to come out. So place the food by the mouth of the hiding place and get out of his sight. Leave him alone. He will eventually start to feel safe and come out while you're around.

    [​IMG]
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  4. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    Hi guys, thanks for your thoughts. Plants sound like a good idea- do you have any suggestions that i could get?

    Also, how regularly should I be bathing him? Is it better for him to be brought out for a wader or left in his vivarium? I keep hearing so many mixed reviews I have.no idea if stressing him out by letting him walk around or not.

    Thanks for your help! Pictures of his enclosure are below

    Attached Files:

  5. THBfriend

    THBfriend Active Member

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    Are you sure that's a Hermann's tortoise? Looks more like a Horsfield's / Russian to me. Also, that one lamp is not sufficient.
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Yes, that's a russian tortoise.

    I soak my babies every day until they're about a year old, then two or three times a week. Once they graduate to living outside, I provide a waterer in the habitat and they get their own hydration.

    That's a nice habitat, but it would help to have some plants in there - either fake or real.

    [​IMG]
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  7. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    Oops I meant horsefI eld sorry! There are two lamps nit one; one is heat one is uv. There's one by the rock and ome across the back.

    I will look at getting him some plants:) any idea what type would be able to get under that.kinda heat? I tried looking down my local garden centre but couldn't find any that looked like they would weather it?

    If not I will look at getting him some fake ones:)
  8. THBfriend

    THBfriend Active Member

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    Yes, I saw the UV tube in the back too late. Still, does that one bulb at that height warm up the ground enough?

    As for plants, you can use edible ones, but they probably won't last very long, depending on your tortoise's appetite. Here's a photo of my hatchling table, for example. There's chickweed, ribwort plantain, greater plantain, and dandelion. All popular food plants for the tortoises. Or you could get some Mediterranean herbs (basil, sage, thyme, etc.). They won't get eaten, except for a few nibbles, but I don't know how well they'd grow in your vivarium.
  9. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    I notice you have at least two, should I get him a little buddy? And the floor feels really warm to touch. It's 90 - 100 on the hottest side and 75 - 85 on the cooler side, where the ground isn't warm to touch (where he always seems to want to be!) We were told he's 2 but have recently read a lot about how unreliable some pet stores can be with tortoises, should we take him to a vet for a once over? Thanks again for all the help.
  10. tinkerbell1189

    tinkerbell1189 Active Member

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    How warm are the temps when you take him outside? I'm just wondering if he's not warm enough if he just tries to hide outside. I live in the UK, and can only put my horsfield out on warm days, otherwise if it's too cold he will just hide and not be active
  11. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    He went out about March time, it wouldn't have been as warm as it is recently (I live in the UK too!), but it was sunny at the time is all I remember sorry!

    He didnt try to hide, he just didn't move. He barely poked his head out and refused to do anything. I tried putting him by the plants so he wasn't out in the open, but he didn't move then either. I put it down to everything maybe being too big for him, hence he hasn't been back out yet. But maybe it was just the weather then?

    Is yours more active now?
  12. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member

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    No, don't get him a buddy. It doesn't work that way, more like bully and victem.
  13. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I was only wondering because the other pictures I've seen on here have more than one living together.

    Happy with just one though:)
  14. josh shultis

    josh shultis Active Member

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    mine could be hand fed from the day they were brought home an never ever hide or been shy! Guess I got lucky!
  15. josh shultis

    josh shultis Active Member

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    Infact id maybe suggest try hand feeding so he associates you with tastey food not a threat
  16. RebeccaEirian

    RebeccaEirian New Member

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    Mine used to when I first had him, but I went to finland for a week in January and ever since he refused to accept food from me.

    But im back on track now! Haha I'm jealous yours aren't shy!
  17. Dipa

    Dipa Well-Known Member

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    Mine herman is not eating for 2 days after getting injection from vet because of sneezing. What should i do?
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