should i give away my tortoise?

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little-lion

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I've had my tortoise for a year and a half, and I love him to death, but I feel like I'm not giving him a proper home. He used to live in a glass enclosure, with a heat lamp, then he switched to a metal bar enclosure, and now hes in a little turtle shaped plastic tub children use for swimming. (It's fairly sized I don't think he minds)

Anyway, I work 11 hours every night, and when I'm not working I'm always asleep or really busy. I don't take him outside anymore to play, and I can't always find time to hold him (He runs away anyway). I used to think that he thought I was his mommy, (I got him when he was only a few months or something) and he used to fall asleep on me. Now he runs whenever I hold him or try giving him affection. My mom says it's because he's being "rebellious" because he wants to find a mate, but I don't know.

Recently, I've noticed that my tortoise has begin "croaking." Making noises that sound like a frog or a duck, and I looked it up and I'm worried. I'm not giving him any kind of calcium or anything. I don't even know for sure if he likes his enclosure. The only thing he'll ACTUALLY eat is iceberg lettuce. I know it's really bad for him and has no nutrient value but he won't even touch romaine lettuce, or spinach or anything. I've tried other types of food that are like pellets for tortoises but he wont do that either. His enclosure is nothing but hay, a little hut, and his water dish. (which he hardly touches)


I love my tortoise, I love him a lot. It would be hard to give him up.. But I just want him to be happy. I worry about him and I'm not too sure what to do... Would it be responsible of me to give him to a better home? How would I go about FINDING another home, preferably with a professional who can provide him with all the kinds of love, and proper health requirements that he needs? :tort:
 
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Maggie Cummings

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He needs a better diet. He probably is not lonely but he flat out needs a better diet. Put the food in his tank in the same spot everyday. Leave it there until the next meal. You need to show him some tough love and change his diet for the better. Spring Mix and dandelion leave turnip greens collards. Add dark green leafy veggies to the spring mix then I chop it all up and mix it all around. If you are tired of caring for him you might think about finding a better home for him. But if you love him then keep him and feed him better...
 

little-lion

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I've tried giving him dandelions before, and he's shown that he hates them. I've hidden them inside a big lettuce leaf before and fed it to him, and he looked at me like, "WHY."
 

dmmj

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Tortoises get used to tasty food that may not be the best choice for them, He does not hate dandelions, he loves lettuce. My russians get a varied diet, because they can develop a taste for a certain food and then hold out for it.
 

sibi

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It takes a great deal of love and courage to admit that you may not be giving your best to your tort. His diet is certainly a concern, and he's only responding to what he's been use to eating. Babies don't know what's good for them, and moms always have to kinda force the nutrients they need into them one way or another. If you don't have the time to devote to this and other areas of his care, you know what's the right thing to do. Perhaps you can find someone locally, or someone in this forum that lives within driving distance from you to give him to so that you can visit him from time to time. That way it will be easier to give him to someone who has the time, energy, and resources to devote to your lil one. Now, that's real love.
 

mainey34

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Well, you have taken the first step. You have admitted that you don't have the time. Its unfortunate, but your little guy needs attention. There are many people here that have lots of knowledge on specific species. If it was me, cause I love my sully like a child. I would trust a member here to take good care of my baby. And it could be someone close to you, where you could go visit once in a while, maybe. Just think about it. Mean time try to get some kale, weeds, collard greens, turnip greens, something green..
 

Laura

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they dont 'play' so dont worry about spending that kind of time.. they arent social animals, so they sont need a lot of interacting.. but a better diet is needed.. Dont feed him iceberg and he cant eat it.. tough love.
if you really want to find it a new home.. then do.. plenty of people probably willing to help.
its up to you.
 

ascott

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He needs a better diet. He probably is not lonely but he flat out needs a better diet. Put the food in his tank in the same spot everyday. Leave it there until the next meal. You need to show him some tough love and change his diet for the better. Spring Mix and dandelion leave turnip greens collards. Add dark green leafy veggies to the spring mix then I chop it all up and mix it all around. If you are tired of caring for him you might think about finding a better home for him. But if you love him then keep him and feed him better...

they dont 'play' so dont worry about spending that kind of time.. they arent social animals, so they sont need a lot of interacting.. but a better diet is needed.. Dont feed him iceberg and he cant eat it.. tough love.

I agree totally with both here....torts are not at all like a dog ---they do not need, nor usually want that type of attention and fussing over....improve his diet and I would change the substrate out from hay to a more soil like material (coco coir, pet moss or some good ole fashion clean dirt....put a plant island kinda in the middle and leave his uva/uvb and heat lamp for him and I am certain you will have a content little one---later on you may even be in a position to set up a secure outdoor environment for summer months---don't be so hard on yourself--and really really change up the diet--it is not hard especially if you take Maggies advise for items...:D
 

little-lion

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jtrux said:
A concern of mine is what kind of lighting does he/she have?

He has one of those reptile "uv?" lamps that usually hangs above him during the day, and his nighttime light recently broke so I need to replace that. How do I know if he has enough humidity?
 

shellysmom

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Hi, I might of missed it, but what species of tortoise are we talking about here? The specifics regarding humidity and such will vary depending on that. Also, if you can include a photo of his living space, we might be able to make some simple suggestions to spice things up a bit. If you really love him, and the main reason you are thinking of finding him a new home is because you don't have "time" for him, you should consider keeping him, as he probably doesn't mind much that you are busy. Also, they live a really long time, so if you love him and want to keep him, consider this as just a little rough patch and when your schedule changes at some point in your future, you can spend more time hanging out with him, taking him outside, enjoying him, etc.

Also, have you tried Mazuri Tortoise Diet? It's healthier than iceberg lettuce, and most tortoises seem to love it and eat it readily. There are some commercial brands of food that a lot of torts won't touch, such as ZooMed. If you send me a PM with your mailing address, I'll send you a little bag of Mazuri. I'm up to my ears in the stuff. Also, I think I have an extra night bulb that I never ended up using, so I can send that as well. I say give it one more shot, since you seem to be really attached to him, and then if you are still feeling bad after making a few changes, you can find a home for him. You obviously really love him, and that's fantastic.
 

Yvonne G

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Since your steppe tortoise is in one of those plastic kiddy pools, does that mean he's outside?

Tortoises are solitary in the wild, so all he's looking for from you is food and shelter. He doesn't need to be entertained.

Buy some turnip greens or a bag of Spring Mix and chop it all up with the lettuce that he eats, mixing it all together. Like Maggie said, just leave it in the habitat all day and don't worry if he eats it or not. Clean it out the next day and add fresh. Just keep doing this and he will eventually eat.
 

Tom

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To answer your original question, yes, I think you should.

Where are you? Maybe there is a member near you that would love to have him.
 

Angi

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If after reading all this great advice you still don't feel like you can give him good care ( the right food, temp and outside time) then do not feel that you can't rehome him. I just found great homes for two sullys that a lady could not keep. All I had to do was let the TFO members know they needed homes and plenty of members were willing to take them. They got amazing new homes. If you can make it work that is wonderful, but if not don't feel bad rehoming him. And by rehomeing I mean GIVE him to the BEST home.
 
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