My Tortoise sometimes digs or moves in his sleep...

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Jan 28, 2017
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So i come back home and I go check on Terry, he was scratching/digging and I picked him up to say hello but it turns out he had his eyes closed and was asleep... Another time he was just wriggling and moving in his sleep... what does this mean?? Thanks and Good afternoon to you all.
 

Gillian M

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Torts tend to scratch when they are restless or when the enclosure is not large enough. I for one realize that space is an issue, but at the same time, please keep in mind that the are used to roam around in the wild wherever and whenever they like. ;)

Please do not pick up your tort unless necessary. Torts do not like to be picked up or cuddled. :(
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
34
Torts tend to scratch when they are restless or when the enclosure is not large enough. I for one realize that space is an issue, but at the same time, please keep in mind that the are used to roam around in the wild wherever and whenever they like. ;)

Please do not pick up your tort unless necessary. Torts do not like to be picked up or cuddled. :(
Thanks and oh I did not know :(
 

Yvonne G

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It's quite ok. In the wild they are in a burrow, or at least under a bush in dirt. They scratch the dirt and dig a bit to make it more to their liking as they sleep. Nothing to worry about.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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Sorry Gillian don't mean any disrespect but in my opinion it is necessary to hold chelonia and get them used to being held and 'inspected'. It makes a Vet exam a lot easier if the animal is used to being held and touched. Some species need their beaks trimmed and it sure is easier if the animal is used to his head being touched.And I can tell you from personal experience that it's much easier for a Vet to examine a 125 pound tortoise if the animal is used to being handled etc. I make sure any animal that I rehome is socialized and easy to handle.
I realize that size does make a difference, and it is more important to control a large tort then a small one, but I personally believe it is very important to socialize our turtles and tortoises, otherwise, what's the point of having them if there's no interaction?
Bob was very social and every year he would get a special invitation to sit with Santa at Petco at Christmas. He was always invited to OSU Pet Days. Bob would really attract a crowd and I believe it's because he was so social. I have 4 Sulcata right now and they are put thru a handling routine daily. All the box turtles are used to being handled and will even have a nap on my lap.
Like I said, I don't mean any disrespect but maybe I've given you a different way of seeing things......
 

Tidgy's Dad

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I agree, I let Tidgy have a lot of time on her own , she must feel that she has her own space and a place where she is largely undisturbed and can call her own, so to speak.
But I do both enjoy holding her and stoking her sometimes and i find it useful to have her tolerant of this so that visitors may gently stroke her, that I can teach people how to hold, pick up and stroke tortoises and show them physical features for educational purposes and so that those who do have tortoises can learn and so that children can gently touch her, much to their delight and Tidgy seems to be calm; happy and enjoy it. (or at least when she's in the mood:rolleyes: )
I can't say she likes being picked up, but she is now used to it and calm and tolerant when it happens.
 

MPRC

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If you would like It's okay to handle your tortoise if you aren't causing it undue stress. All of my tortoises tolerate a lot of handling. I pick them up every day. I touch their feet, their mouths, necks, tails, heads, chins, etc to acclimate them to being handled. 4 of my 6 never startle anymore and will even let me open their mouths to look inside for a brief moment. I am a bit less hands on with the other 2, but they still get picked up, moved, held and I touch their feet and heads to show them I'm not going to eat them.

Some people prefer a hands off approach letting tortoises be tortoises and not bothering them. To each his own.

Vern really doesn't seem to mind us silly humans poking at him....



Oh, and @TerryTheTortoise2016 - Mine will move around and scratch in their sleep. I equate it to the tossing and turning that I do all night.
 
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