New uk owner of shelly. 20 year old Herman female.

pippin

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Oh and hay is not a good substrate.
Orchid or fir bark or coconut coir. Most just you a rubber mat to keep the urine and poop off the wood. You could use leaf litter to.
We have orchid bark laid over soil as substrate. We only have Hay in her nightbox at the moment with a protective mat underneath.The temp in her night box at the moment is about 70, prob dropping to about 60/65 is this OK? What do I need to measure her humidity? I have fine mist sprayed her shell and the bedding before closing her in for the night. What sort of leaf litter is suitable?
 

pippin

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I have 2 shallow trays that cover 90% of 4' x 4' floor. It makes it nice to just remove the tray and clean. 1 tray has cypress mulch and the other is bare. In the winter a Kane mat is on the bare tray. The trays generally catch all the pee and poo.
What is Cyprus mulch? We also have those shallow trays available so I will see if they fit her bed tomorrow. Good idea! T.Y.
 

wellington

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We have orchid bark laid over soil as substrate. We only have Hay in her nightbox at the moment with a protective mat underneath.The temp in her night box at the moment is about 70, prob dropping to about 60/65 is this OK? What do I need to measure her humidity? I have fine mist sprayed her shell and the bedding before closing her in for the night. What sort of leaf litter is suitable?
I wouldn't spray the bed or her for night. Spray her and her outdoor area. She only needs 30-50% on hot days you can spray her yard.
Hay molds and us not good to get wet as it molds fast even before you notice it. Bark over soil is fine.
Usually you can find a digital temp/humidity gauge cheap.
Leaf litter is just tortoise safe fall leaves. Not sure if you can find it in spring and summer.
But the bark you are using is fine for inside the hide too.
 

Ray--Opo

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We have orchid bark laid over soil as substrate. We only have Hay in her nightbox at the moment with a protective mat underneath.The temp in her night box at the moment is about 70, prob dropping to about 60/65 is this OK? What do I need to measure her humidity? I have fine mist sprayed her shell and the bedding before closing her in for the night. What sort of leaf litter is suitable?
You can get a digital thermometer/ hydrometer at home depot/ Lowe's. Cheaper than a pet store most of the time or order online. You can also use Reptibark for the substrate.
Screenshot_20221015-195115_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20230426_225331_Chrome.jpg
 

Ray--Opo

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What is Cyprus mulch? We also have those shallow trays available so I will see if they fit her bed tomorrow. Good idea! T.Y.
You can get cypress mulch at a landscaping store or again at home depot or Lowe's. Not sure if you have those stores in the UK.
 

Ray--Opo

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Here is one of the trays I use. The lip is about 1" high. I had to search the internet. Until I found the size that would work. Wish I could remember the site. You can see I need to clean. The wood chips you see there is cypress mulch.
20240521_161843.jpg
 

pippin

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Here is one of the trays I use. The lip is about 1" high. I had to search the internet. Until I found the size that would work. Wish I could remember the site. You can see I need to clean. The wood chips you see there is cypress mulch.
View attachment 370940
I
Luckily I have two of these I used on my potting Bench. Will see if they fit tomorrow. If they do I will wash them and replace hay with bark. T.Y. unfortunately we don't have those stores in the UK. If anyone can advice best place to buy reasonably priced substrate in UK I would be very grateful.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Luckily I have two of these I used on my potting Bench. Will see if they fit tomorrow. If they do I will wash them and replace hay with bark. T.Y. unfortunately we don't have those stores in the UK. If anyone can advice best place to buy reasonably priced substrate in UK I would be very grateful.
SwellReptile online shop has substrates under their own branding including orchid bark It's cheaper than ReptiBark but still more expensive than buying in bulk from plant nurseries. Unfortunately, no UK members were able to found cheap suitable substrate in gardening centers and nurseries (bark sold there is a pine bark which is a no-go).
 

Ray--Opo

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SwellReptile online shop has substrates under their own branding including orchid bark It's cheaper than ReptiBark but still more expensive than buying in bulk from plant nurseries. Unfortunately, no UK members were able to found cheap suitable substrate in gardening centers and nurseries (bark sold there is a pine bark which is a no-go).
@MaNaAk , @Lyn do either of you have a good source for substrate?
 

MaNaAk

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@MaNaAk , @Lyn do either of you have a good source for substrate?
I don't use substrate myself because Jacky is now spending more time outside but what I have been using in Jacky's enclosure is newspaper covered by pet carpet strips. I am a member of the Essex Tortoise Group which local to me and I will start a thread to see what they use.

Natrah
 

Lyn W

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Shelly taking a morning bath in the sun. As you can see she is quite pyramidal. Can't do a ything about that but can prevent further damage. What is best to feed her on?
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide for tort safe plants for food and enclosures. The care sheet should recommend foods. In the winter, and to bulk out weeds in the summer, I use Aldi crispy salad bags which have a better mix of leaves than things like iceberg lettuce etc., then for variety I add lamb's lettuce, pak choi leaves, romaine lettuce (with the darker leaves rather than hearts), carrot and beetroot leaves, kale, spring greens. But safe weeds like dandelions, sow thistle, clover, ribwort and broadleaf plantain etc should be main food in the summer - the tort table will help you ID more.
 

pippin

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I don't use substrate myself because Jacky is now spending more time outside but what I have been using in Jacky's enclosure is newspaper covered by pet carpet strips. I am a member of the Essex Tortoise Group which local to me and I will start a thread to see what they use.

Natrah
Thank you. I intend to to have Shelly outside most of the time too in summer. Am I right in thinking that she would be OK on just the soil then? What do you all put inside their bed/night box? I realise it's personal preference when it comes to these things but just want to get it right for her and not make a mistake. At the moment it's been cold and rainy so she's inside until I can get her outdoor enclosure rain proof!
 

pippin

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Location (City and/or State)
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www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide for tort safe plants for food and enclosures. The care sheet should recommend foods. In the winter, and to bulk out weeds in the summer, I use Aldi crispy salad bags which have a better mix of leaves than things like iceberg lettuce etc., then for variety I add lamb's lettuce, pak choi leaves, romaine lettuce (with the darker leaves rather than hearts), carrot and beetroot leaves, kale, spring greens. But safe weeds like dandelions, sow thistle, clover, ribwort and broadleaf plantain etc should be main food in the summer - the tort table will help you ID more.
Thank you. I have read the tortoisetable.org.uk plant table and have been giving shelly a mix of sow thistle, mallow ground elder, dandelion, mixed salad leaves and a little kale. It's certainly a massive learning curve becoming a tortoise parent! We just want to get it right for her as she's not had the best first 20 years, bless her.
 

MaNaAk

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Good morning @pippin,

I've scrolled back to your first post and Shelly is beautiful ❤️. How old is she? Here are some pictures of Jacky in her enclosure but as it is getting warmer she will be sleeping in her pet carrier which she used to share with her former partner Daisy (1942 - 2022).

The first picture is of Jacky in bed covered by polystyrene and rope tiles that used to adorn her old tortoise house and the second one was taken just before I put her out. This was after lunch when we had a lot of rain.

Natrah IMG20240524082901.jpgIMG20240516135935.jpgIMG20240524082901.jpg
 

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