tortoise owners - can I join your gang?

(8 Posts)
gussiegrips Thu 11-Oct-12 21:52:55

So, this happened

I offered to rehome him if he wasn't claimed (well, a celebrity tortoise, how awesome is that?)..but his rightful owner tracked him down and We Are All Being Glad About That.

However, the SSPCA called to say they have three Hermann's tortoises needing homes...so, we are going to get one tomorrow. Squee!

We've got a makeshift tortoise table (it's a big plastic tray thing with 50:50 compost and sand that's been drying out and warming up in the house for a week) and will get the lights tomorrow en route to choose a tortie.

We've got a big, enclosed garden with lots of weeds grass, and will get a run to keep him safe from the visiting sparrowhawk. I saw a very clever tortie house for outside with a perspex roof so he can use the sun to warm up if outside. Clever.

I'm so excited. Anyone that's a child of Blue Peter will understand.

Now. Our nearly-nine-naturalist is getting way ahead of herself and would like to breed tortoises - anyone know how old a hermann's tortoise needs to be? There's one two year old male and two one year old males - I'm guessing htey don't become sexually mature utnil they are about 5?

I know we'd need an incubator and whatnot. Actually, we'd need a female hermann's too, come to think of it.

Nearly-Nine will content herself with breeding our budgies in the spring. She's quite the little animal husbandry obsessive.

Tortoise.

Squeeeeeeeeee!

thewhistler Thu 11-Oct-12 22:49:33

Gussie, envy envy envy.

We had tortoises when I was little. Ds and I really want one. Or two. Or three.

I no longer know anything about them save what I read in Gerald Durrell but wanted to pass on envy and good luck.

lazydog Fri 12-Oct-12 04:31:46

Of course you can join us. smile

I've 7 Hermann's at the moment and previously (pre-emigration to Canada) also kept and bred Tunisian and Russian torts. My breeding adult pair of hermann's are 12 years old and have been breeding for a couple of years.

Male torts become sexually mature earlier than female torts should be allowed to breed (due to greatly increased risk of egg binding in small females, which is potentially fatal) so I wouldn't recommend allowing them to breed before around 8 years old.

Also you shouldn't keep a lone female with a male as she'd be horrendously harassed. You either need to have two or three females per male (and even then, check that one isn't getting all the attention) or keep a pair housed separately the majority of the time, with just occasional conjugal visits to a shared enclosure grin

lazydog Fri 12-Oct-12 20:38:59

Did you get him today??? smile

gussiegrips Sat 13-Oct-12 10:34:53

Well, we went yesterday to the SSPCA - I stupidly didn't realise they'd need to do a home check befroe we can take him home...

Kids delighted, DD chosen a 1 year old. Really lovely wee thing. The parents were there too, they had some fairly bad pyrimding of their shells, which was good for the kids to see so they are aware of the importance of good feeding.

Anyway, home visit early next week and then he's ours.

Am glad it's delayed actually - it's a good lesson for the kids that you don't just rush out and buy a pet, things need to be done in the best interests of the creature itself.

We've planted some dandelion heads, pansy seeds and petunia seeds. Goannie be great!

damppatchnot Sun 03-Mar-13 12:02:26

We got a 5 year old male and female last week who are currently lapping up sun on the patio whilst eating curly
kale and strawberries

PipkinsPal Mon 11-Mar-13 15:22:43

My parents still have our childhood tortoise. We've had her 40 years this year. Bought to keep my sister company when I started school. How a tortoise could keep a 3 year old company and for only 6 months of a year beats me but we love her. And we love my sister too!

siiiiiiiiigh Sat 06-Apr-13 20:12:23

Our wee Toto has settled in fine. He's a fussy eater, in that he prefers fruit and veg rather than the actual weeds. And, he rather likes beign hand fed. Roll on the better weather so we can get him outside.

Have signed up for the tortoise protection league so we can "rescue" another one. We luffs him.

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