I have inherited a hermann tortoise

ErnieEmma18

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Hi,I have inherited a 20plus year old hermann tortoise,A few things he's never had a heat lamp and has lived outside all year round and has lived of fruit and lettuce.How do I go about changing thing for him I.e heat etc or do I leave him be? He looks healthy and happy...I just don't want to shock him.Any help please
 

Ink

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Welcome to the forum. Do you have an enclosure setup yet? If so can you post pictures of it? @zolasmum is in the UK so she should help guide you
 

ErnieEmma18

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Welcome to the forum. Do you have an enclosure setup yet? If so can you post pictures of it? @zolasmum is in the UK so she should help guide you

Hi Thank you.Sorry yes in the UK.No not yet we have only had him 3 days and he came with a hutch for outside😔We are just so unsure what to do for the best as he has lived so long without anything like heat but I want to do what's best for him,He has just come put of hibernate and is in a new home and he hasn't eaten yet.I am currently keeping him in the house as it's still so cold outside.
 

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Ink

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No fruit, they can't process the sugar. Give him a long (30 minutes at least) shallow warm soak. Keep the water warm. Is his eyes okay? @Yvonne G or @Tom
 

zolasmum

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Welcome from Devon - we have a Hermanns tortoise who is 23 years old, so much the same as yours. Your one (what's his name, by the way?) looks very well, with a nice smooth shell, and he looks happy. Where abouts are you in the UK, and where has he been living ?
I haven't time to write properly now, but will do so tomorrow , but I certainly think you could gradually change his diet a bit, and you may want to think about hibernation, safety, and so on. If you have any dandelion leaves in your garden, he might be encouraged to eat them.
Angie
 

ErnieEmma18

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Welcome from Devon - we have a Hermanns tortoise who is 23 years old, so much the same as yours. Your one (what's his name, by the way?) looks very well, with a nice smooth shell, and he looks happy. Where abouts are you in the UK, and where has he been living ?
I haven't time to write properly now, but will do so tomorrow , but I certainly think you could gradually change his diet a bit, and you may want to think about hibernation, safety, and so on. If you have any dandelion leaves in your garden, he might be encouraged to eat them.
Angie
Thank you Angie.Hes come from the east coast of England and we are in west Wales so are warmer here only just.His name is Ernie.We are definitely going to slow change diet.Would be grateful of any help.
 

Tom

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Hi,I have inherited a 20plus year old hermann tortoise,A few things he's never had a heat lamp and has lived outside all year round and has lived of fruit and lettuce.How do I go about changing thing for him I.e heat etc or do I leave him be? He looks healthy and happy...I just don't want to shock him.Any help please
Here is the correct care info. There is a temperate species care sheet near the bottom:
 

zolasmum

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Hello Emma again - I expect the fact sheets will keep you busy for a while, but you can be sure that whatever problems might arise, or explanations needed, there are people here who will be able to help ypu.
Iam not very well informed about lighting and other technical stuff, but there are a few things I would like to mention.
Do you have an enclosed and escape-proof garden, or an area which can be enclosed for Ernie to be outside ?
As for food, it is pretty normal for tortoises not to want to eat straight out of hibernation, and also when they first are in a new environment - so two reasons. He is bound to be unsettled.
Today we have been on a longish car journey- over an hour each way, simply to fetch radicchio for Zola from a grrengrocery supply warehouse - he loves it, and if I get 2 or 3 heads of it each time, I can keep it well in the fridge, and just pull off leaves as needed. But I get salad stuff mainly from Morrisons and Waitrose - bags of watercress, rocket, pea shoots, lambs lettuce - and then dandelion leaves from the garden. The bags of salad keep several days in the fridge. I give him these daily, shredded up a bit and mixed together. Zola never gets fruit, though I used to give him a bit occasionally before I joined this forum and learned better. I sprinkle calcium and vitamin powder once a week - a very small amount - he has a cuttlefish bone , but hasn't used it for years. I also give him other things when I can, but that is his basic diet.
He is very friendly and absolutely wonderful, and my husband and I enjoy his company very much (well, most of the time, anyway !)
Angie
 

ErnieEmma18

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Hello Emma again - I expect the fact sheets will keep you busy for a while, but you can be sure that whatever problems might arise, or explanations needed, there are people here who will be able to help ypu.
Iam not very well informed about lighting and other technical stuff, but there are a few things I would like to mention.
Do you have an enclosed and escape-proof garden, or an area which can be enclosed for Ernie to be outside ?
As for food, it is pretty normal for tortoises not to want to eat straight out of hibernation, and also when they first are in a new environment - so two reasons. He is bound to be unsettled.
Today we have been on a longish car journey- over an hour each way, simply to fetch radicchio for Zola from a grrengrocery supply warehouse - he loves it, and if I get 2 or 3 heads of it each time, I can keep it well in the fridge, and just pull off leaves as needed. But I get salad stuff mainly from Morrisons and Waitrose - bags of watercress, rocket, pea shoots, lambs lettuce - and then dandelion leaves from the garden. The bags of salad keep several days in the fridge. I give him these daily, shredded up a bit and mixed together. Zola never gets fruit, though I used to give him a bit occasionally before I joined this forum and learned better. I sprinkle calcium and vitamin powder once a week - a very small amount - he has a cuttlefish bone , but hasn't used it for years. I also give him other things when I can, but that is his basic diet.
He is very friendly and absolutely wonderful, and my husband and I enjoy his company very much (well, most of the time, anyway !)
Angie
Thank you very much for all the advice,Greatly appreciated.We have a tortoise proof garden I hope as it was rabbit proof for a long time.So he can have the run of the garden in the summer.Ernie has been to the toilet today and Has eaten some lettuce as well so I'm over the moon happy tonight
Thanks Emma
 

pippin

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Hi ErnieEmma. It seems we are on the same journey! We also have just inherited a 20 year old female Hermans tortoise! Shelly. She has never had a lamp or heat and kept in the house to roam free! She is slightly pyramidal unfortunately and her back legs slightly splayed. Her diet was also poor and we are keen to try and give her a better life.She is eating well and we bathe her every other day (she's not used to it but seems to enjoy it?) We would ideally like her to live outdoors as much as possible as we have a large garden. We have built her an enclosed run in the hottest part of the garden (with some shade too) measuring 8ft x8ft with only safe plants in and a basking slate and terracotta water tray. She has a very sturdy cosy bed which we fasten her in at night. It's currently lined with Hay, is this OK? We live in the North of england , and although the weather has been quite warm lately we have still been bringing her in at night. What do we need to do to make it OK to leave her out as much as possible? And is this achievable all year round? Are we doing things right thus far ? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Hi ErnieEmma. It seems we are on the same journey! We also have just inherited a 20 year old female Hermans tortoise! Shelly. She has never had a lamp or heat and kept in the house to roam free! She is slightly pyramidal unfortunately and her back legs slightly splayed. Her diet was also poor and we are keen to try and give her a better life.She is eating well and we bathe her every other day (she's not used to it but seems to enjoy it?) We would ideally like her to live outdoors as much as possible as we have a large garden. We have built her an enclosed run in the hottest part of the garden (with some shade too) measuring 8ft x8ft with only safe plants in and a basking slate and terracotta water tray. She has a very sturdy cosy bed which we fasten her in at night. It's currently lined with Hay, is this OK? We live in the North of england , and although the weather has been quite warm lately we have still been bringing her in at night. What do we need to do to make it OK to leave her out as much as possible? And is this achievable all year round? Are we doing things right thus far ? Any help would be much appreciated.
You have come to the right place for information about your tortoise!

As you are new to the forum, I recommend you read this: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/

This is the care sheet for Hermanns: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/

When it comes to the winter, you have two choices, either keeping your tortoise up in a proper indoor enclousure or brumate your tortoise. Here is a thread to start your research on brumation: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/toms-brumation-thread.201823/ Remember that brumating outdoors is always a risk.

If you read all these carefully and return back to them as needed you will find most of your answers there. But any questions you have are welcome! I hope you will make you own thread to the introductions section to introduce your tortoise and set up in detail :)
 
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