Rearing baby tortoises

Val

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Mar 14, 2014
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Hi, I'm in the UK (Hertfordshire) & have owned 3 Mediterranean Spur Thighed torts for 20 yrs (given to us by a friend who'd had them for 60yrs!) Our vet (reptiles are her passion) puts each of them at 90+ or more probably over 100. 1 is male the others female. He has shown no interest in the girls until 5yrs ago, when suddenly he sprang into action & the girls couldn't get any respite!! 2 yrs ago one of them laid 6 eggs - I luckily saw her digging, knew someone with an incubator & managed to get them in the warm within 30 mins of them being laid. Not expecting success, I nonetheless nurtured them carefully, keeping the temperature stable etc & was most surprised when 11 months later 4 hatched!! The size of grapes, they were beautiful, so cute! I kept them in a tortoise table, then after 2 yrs, gave 2 to a friend. Now aged 3and a half! they are real characters. One of the adults sadly died last year, leaving the babies' parents, who have the run of our large, escape proof, south facing garden and hibernate in the shed in the winter. I put the babies out on sunny warm days in a pen and back under the lamp indoors by late afternoon.
My question: How much longer, before I can dispense with the indoor enclosure and lamps? They are really growing too big for it and I have neither the room nor the money to invest in a much larger one
 

Yvonne G

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I would build something with a framed wire lid on it outside in the garden. Wild critters and birds carry baby tortoises off. Your babies are probably big enough to go outside now, but still need to be protected from whatever kind of wild creatures roam your neighborhood at night and birds during the day. Take a look through out enclosure section for ideas.
 

Val

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Mar 14, 2014
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Thanks for quick reply! I have a wire mesh cover on the outside pen, as we have plenty of herons around here, foxes too sometimes. Do you think they are old enough to get enough heat and light from the British summer? Or will they still need bringing inside under the basking lamp and UVB lamp? Through the winter, I followed the Tortoise Trust advice not to hibernate them yet and they had about 8 hours a day with the lamps on. By next winter, they'll be 4 yrs old & I plan to hibernate them then.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Why are you thinking about hibernation ? You only have to hibernate if you plan on breeding them other wise you don't have to hibernate torts .
 

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