My Russian Tortoise Broke his beak..

KatyshaB

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I have a pair of Russian torts (male and female), and several times a year I put them together to mate. I came back home one day. Separated my pair, I looked at him and saw that part of his beak was broken! Not the bottom bit (thankfully) but the area where his nostrils are..

I wondered what happened. I'm guessing when he was biting the his beak snapped under the pressure of her shell.. I really don't know.

I gave him some food to see if he can eat. He can (THANKFULLY) so I'm not worried to much. It has healed nicely over the weeks. But I'm keeping an eye on it. I will post a pic. But does anybody have any idea what happened.
 

KatyshaB

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See how it healed? I don't think there is too much to worry about. But out of curiosity. I want to have an idea of what happened.
 

dmmj

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male Russians are very vigorous shall we say in their Amorous attempts. more than likely he chipped it and broke it while he was biting the female. there's always an underlying possibility that is a calcium problem & he may not have a correct diet
 

KatyshaB

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I try to feed him calcium. The problem is he IS SO PICKY. I have some powdered calcium I put on his food today. He looked at me like: "What the heck did you do to my food" and walked away from it. I'm trying very hard. I have found ways of giving him the calcium. But he probably broke his beak on her. I just want to know how you can do that.
 

leigti

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Put very little calcium on the food. Or try scraping a little cuttlebone on top of the food. When I had a tortoise who really needed calcium I sprinkled it on some cut up a cucumber. He loved the cucumber so ate it fine.
 

JoesMum

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Calcium powder should only be fed a couple of times a week. I suggest you put a tiny sprinkle in something he finds irresistible to eat.

As for how he broke it: If the beak was a little overgrown in any case, chances are that it was probably just broken while he ate.

It could also have been while he tried to bite the other tort - it's love making as far as male torts are concerned.

You have probably been told already that Russians should not be kept as pairs even when they are the same gender. Bullying, either mental or physical, is frequent and often leads to physical injury, decline and/or the death of the subordinate tortoise.

In the wild, Russians roam huge distances. They meet up to mate and move on. They don't get lonely and don't want or need company. They are very territorial especially in the confines of an enclosure in captivity.

Assuming he is biting the female, you need to separate them now and only put them together if you want them to mate.
 

KatyshaB

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They are separated. And they won't meet each other again till next spring. I only put them together a few times a year. And if there is any serious injury, I call it off. I don't think he broke it by eating. He usually eats all sorts of lettuce. (He won't eat anything else! I tried) So his beak would have a less chance of being broken. Also he broke it at his nostril area. (As seen in the picture) so how would he brake his beak around the nostrils by eating?
 

JoesMum

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If there's already damage there from when he last met her, it could just be there was a weakness. The beak is a bit like your finger nails sometimes you can see a nail will break, but just don't know when. Sometimes a nail breaks without you knowing how or why.

If your tort is otherwise healthy then it's probably time for some tough love with his diet.

A hungry tort will eat. Like a child, he'll hold out for the candy he loves, but hunger does take over eventually. A tort can go for a few days without eating as long as he's soaked frequently to prevent dehydration while he's protesting.

It's you that has to be the strong parent and insist there's no candy until after dinner.
 

KatyshaB

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It's you that has to be the strong parent and insist there's no candy until after dinner.
Alright. But it's also not good to starve the picky child. I will try to keep an eye on him. But starving the picky child isn't what I want to happen. I will give him some tough love. But I'm also keeping him healthy.
 

Yvonne G

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His beak is slightly overgrown. This makes it easier for it to break when he rams the female or bumps it.
 

KatyshaB

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His beak is slightly overgrown.
Should I trim his beak? I don't know how long is should be so how much should I wear is down? Also, he hisses every time I touch his face and hides. Is there anyway I can get him to like it?
 

JoesMum

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Tip your tort so his head is lower than his tail and his head will appear. You can use a nail file to to file the beak gently.

The hiss is just a rapid exhalation caused by him pulling his head in. Nothing to worry about.
 

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