New Hermann juvenile in California

ErinInCA

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Hello, this is Oliver. He’s my first tortoise 🐢. He’s around 2 years old. I’ve had him about a month and he seems to be thriving. Still, I worry about doing the right thing. For example, I take him out in my enclosed back yard sometimes where there are only safe plants and watch him closely. He walks around for a few minutes then hides in a bush. So, I wonder if he likes getting out to explore or if this is terrifying for him? We plan to build an outdoor enclosure as soon as possible.

I’d love anyone’s expert advice on that, plus any feedback you have on his enclosure (Or any other advice for Herman’s). Note: since these photos, I added a UVB 10.0 to the other side of the enclosure, plus he has a ceramic bulb there that is on a thermostat to stay around 82F. The heat lamp is around 95F. There’s still lots of area around the enclosure that is ancient around 73F. The lamps are all on a timer for 13 hours on per day (7am-8am). Thanks!
 

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KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
3,581
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hello, Erin, and welcome to TFO!

You're doing great as a first-timer! You are most certainly on the correct path for a long happy relationship with Oliver!

Oliver likes going outside. Lots of stuff to see and smell. New surfaces to walk on. Leaves that he can yank off the plants. Life is good.

However, the world is a very big place for a 2 year old, and there are lots of dangers. Some of them come from overhead, swoop down, grab you, and fly away with you.

The only protection Oliver has is to hide. He can't run very fast, and parts of him are exposed when he goes into his shell. And depending on the threat, his shell is easy to puncture.

He is hardwired to hide. He will eventually grow a bit, and his confidence will improve. But keep taking him out. That sunshine and exercise are important.

I'm linking the care sheet for Hermann's. Read it, and compare it to your equipment and setup. You may find improvements that could be made. It is written for a hatchling, but also has care for a sub-adult. Then come back with any questions or concerns you may have. We're happy to explain why we recommend what we do.


 

ErinInCA

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Hi Karen, wow, thank you! This incredibly helpful and kind of you. I am so grateful for the advice. It’s also so nice to feel like I’m not alone in figuring this out, honestly. I really appreciate it. I’ll take your advice and continue taking him out, plus will also re-read the care sheet. It has been incredibly helpful, by the way!

Thank you,
Erin and Oliver
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Jan 9, 2010
Messages
50,917
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello and welcome. You are doing better than the vast majority of first timers. Most people get terrible advice from pet stores, vets, and other "experts", but it seems like you've done pretty well.

We are all here to talk tortoises, and we aren't trying to sell you anything, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want. And share lots of pics too! :)
 

ErinInCA

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Thank you Tom, that is beyond kind of you. It is really scary how much wrong advice is out there, and it’s hard to tell what’s correct as a newbie. I’m very thankful for the ability to seek reliable advice here. :)
 
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