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Should I cut my Greek torts' nails? + Other Questions

Discussion in 'Greek tortoises' started by lemonbrains, Dec 30, 2018.

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  1. lemonbrains

    lemonbrains Member

    Dec 19, 2018
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    Hi y'all. I have two baby Greek tortoises (Fred and Jemma) around 5-7 months old. I got them two weeks from this guy who were mistreating them. I've never owned reptiles before so I new to this whole thing. So, I have some questions.

    Before I ask questions, I need you to know these tortoises' history.

    Both torts belonged to a man who were selling them for literally $1. He kept these two on display at a tourist attraction place, which meant that hundreds of people were holding these guys everyday. They have only eaten lettuce their whole lives. I know that Greeks do not like being held and I know they should not only eat lettuce. But these torts were held EVERYDAY of their lives and fed lettuce. I'VE COME TO FIND OUT (from the past two weeks of experience) that Fred and Jemma love human touch and only eat lettuce. (The complete opposite of what they're supposed to do lol)

    Anyway..... lets proceed to the questions.

    Question 1: Should I cut their nails? Their nails are very long and they have penetrated my skin more than once. (Pictures attached). I feel like it hurts them when they walk.
    Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 8.48.57 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 8.48.46 PM.png

    Question 2: I soak them daily in warm water for a few minutes (until they get out of the water dish by themselves). I've noticed that BOTH Fred and Jemma fall asleep as soon as I put them in warm water. The first time this happened, I freaked out because I thought they might drown but they had their heads out of the water. Is this normal though??? Aren't they supposed to become active when introduced to warmth? And the water isn't too hot either. But is sleeping in water normal? They usually sleep for 5 minutes, wake up, and then come out of the water.

    Question 3: Their enclosure is made such that they cannot see out. However, Jemma flips over on her shell at least 20 times a day!!!!!! She super active and is always running around. Every time I look at their enclosure, she is flipped over and can't get back up :(. I don't want her to get stressed while flipped. What can I do to help her?

    Question 4: I know for a fact that Greek torts in general do not like being held. My case is different. Jemma and Fred run towards my hand like there's no tomorrow lol. They find comfort in my hand and I can tell because they extend their necks for me to scratch + they usually fall asleep in my hand! They love it! They run towards my hand when I put it in each of their enclosures. I'm guessing this behavior occurs due to the fact that they were held by so many people everyday of their lives, before I adopted them. So my question is - should I limit human contact with them? Should I stop picking them up when they run towards my hands?

    Question 4: I've been feeding them for a two weeks now and I've noticed that both of them ALWAYS miss their bite. What I mean is, they bite in the air instead of the leaves infront of them. I have to pHYSICALLY put the leaves in their mouths. This happens about 50% of the time. Are they maybe blind? Or is this normal for baby tortoises?

    Sorry for this superrrrr long thread. I'm a new mother and I'm dying to give these torts the best quality of life they're living. They had a horrible past and I'm trying to make them thrive. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you for reading this lol. I don't even think anyone got this far in reading this - but if you did, thank you :)

    P.S: I've got the "only eating lettuce" situation figured out - if any of you were wondering lol.
  2. daniellenc

    daniellenc Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2017
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    Welcome! You’ve gotten some bad info but no worries give these a read: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...ise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/

    As far as those nails they need a trim. You can file them, use dog clippers, or a human nail clipper careful to avoid the quick like a dog. Post pics of their set up, temps, and lighting.
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin

    Jan 23, 2008
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    No. Baby tortoises do not need their nails clipped. They come out of the egg long and wear down naturally.
  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Oct 26, 2011
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    No. Babies have long nails to get themselves out of the egg. They will wear down quickly.
    Some just love to lay back and relax in warm water. It's normal. The water should only be deep enough to come just over the join between the shell and the plastron.
    What size is the enclosure? What obstacles are there? Photos of the enclosure and lighting will help us to help you.

    In any case these two should be in separate enclosures. They are territorial, not social, and don't need or want company. Another tortoise is simply a rival for food and space regardless of gender or relationship. When they're kept as a pair there is always a dominant tortoise and the subordinate one will constantly be given the message to leave. You will have a sick tortoise sooner or later of they aren't separated.
    If they're happy being scratched that is fine. Some are more responsive than others. They are always less stressed with all 4 feet on the floor and in a familiar enclosure. Don't let them roam the floors of your home and leave them on the ground rather than pick them up every time.
    Let them feed themselves off the floor rather than hand feeding. Tortoises can come to see the human hand as the food and start refusing to eat unless hand fed; they aren't very bright. You are building a rod for your own back if you hand feed them regularly. Let them behave naturally and browse food from their plate when they're ready for it.
    lemonbrains likes this.
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