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I've fallen in love with a tortoise! Does anyone have one?

(20 Posts)
zephyrcat Mon 04-Aug-08 21:54:02

Just to ask a few questions! He's gorgeous and I want him!

happyfaceschildcare Tue 05-Aug-08 08:32:52

Hi I have a horsfield tortoise what breed is the one you are looking at ?
I've had mine for 4 years he is wicked wouldn't be without him x

zephyrcat Tue 05-Aug-08 10:51:23

Hi! The one they've got is a Hermann and is 2 years old. He's just the cutest thing I've ever seen! My problem is we don't have a garden where we are just now, they do a tortoise beginner kit thing which is a huge tank with lights, hiding place, moss, food etc, but I wonder how big they get and how long that would be suitable for?

It's all quite expensive too so going to have to do some fast saving up!

happyfaceschildcare Tue 05-Aug-08 16:32:45

They recommend tortoises don't actually live outside so you'd be ok there, I have a run for mine and let him outside if it's really hot but otherwise he stays indoors, a friend of mine has a hermann and the fancy tank I just have a wooden box it has sides but no top and a little wooden box built into the corner for him to hide himself in hemp bedding and a heat lamp which is alot cheaper than the other way, and he lives really happy in there, well I've had him since bubba and he is 4 now but not sure whether this is suitable for a Hermann maybe it's just mine being a horsfield it's different, they're really easy to feed lettuce mainly cabbage anything green and leafy and dandilions they love so it doesn't cost much to feed them it is pretty much just an initial outlay cos they keep themselves mine is well handled and so friendly he loves a cuddle he's a cutey

zephyrcat Mon 11-Aug-08 21:51:51

We're still going in to see him most days! The lady looking after the pet shop while the boys are on hols took him out for us today and let DD stroke him. He's so cute!!

Are they happy being being handled? Do they nip little annoying fingers or get stressed? I must look it all up really but having had many animals know that the don't all go 'by the book'!

HotTrouserCough Mon 11-Aug-08 21:52:43

Yes i have had one since i was a child(it lives at my parents)

SomeLikeItHot Tue 12-Aug-08 11:04:11

I'd love to get a tortoise too but hubby still moaning about how much they cost and that we dont need any more pets (got 2 dogs and a cat already).

Threadwworm Tue 12-Aug-08 11:18:15

Oh I'd love to have a tortoise. We had one when I was a child, in the days when it was a wicked, wicked trade (not true anymore) and I loved him dearly.

christywhisty Tue 12-Aug-08 16:37:52

We have a lovely old tortoise who lives in the garden. He is a spur thighed and is about 10inches long. I do miss him when he is in hibernation.
I must admit I would love a little one, but we haven't got the room for the set up, and if we did DH and Ds want a Bearded Dragon.

zephyrcat Wed 13-Aug-08 21:13:05

I love the dragons too, and chameleons, geckos, anything like that! I worry about the hibernation part - hear stories of people putting them in the fridge and allsorts! Not sure I could do that!!

Evenstar Sat 16-Aug-08 12:32:16

I had one as a present for passing my 11 plus, I had him for ten years but then he froze to death in the garage during a very severe winter when he was hibernating. He was very tame and would eat from your hand, he was surprisingly fast too. I think the modern way is to have them indoors in the winter in a heated tank. Mine didn't nip and the only health problem he had was a chest infection one very damp spring, but again probably avoided by keeping indoors.

Mamazon Sat 16-Aug-08 12:35:48

My grandad had a tortoise that he rescued from a bin when he was a caretaker.
my aunt keeps him now that grandad has passed.

he must be at least 30-40 years old.

gscrym Sat 16-Aug-08 12:42:27

I would love one. DS fell in love with one at the zoo. I just can't justify spending £100 plus all the stuff they need.

frisbyrat Sat 16-Aug-08 12:47:12

You do realise he'll probably (if you look after him) outlive you? 60+ years, I believe. It's quite a commitment. smile

Mamazon Sat 16-Aug-08 12:49:39

maybe Ben was a bit special. he lived in teh garden...we would sometimes not see him for a week at a time. when winter came he had a big wooden box in the garage that we would stuff full of hay and shredded old clothes.
we would leave the garage door open (it had a side door that connected to the garden) he would just toddle in there when the time came and then come back out when it had warmed up a bit.

easy peasy really. he would eat from the garden and we would leave cabbage's, lettuce and he loved cucumber out for him. sometimes in the summer he would waddle in doors.

We al loved him and all of us would feed him from our hand. he never nipped anyone and was perfectly healthy.

surreylady Sat 16-Aug-08 13:37:00

Zephyrcat - Have been where you are - I have wanted a Trotoise for ages - we have a reptile centre in a garden centre nearby and are now the owners of a 2 Year old Hermann which we have had since May. She is very sweet - the children do handle her and she has never nipped or been agressive - although they need to know how to hold her as she has sharp claws. We have a LARGE guinea pig type cage with the heat and UV lamps and she has a large log that she sleeps in - she is quite lazy and has set her own routine for her day. We were told that it was our choice to hibernate her or not - however even during the summer when it is cold(most days it seems) she prefers to stay in the log - so for Her, we think it is what she will prefer. Have been told not to put her outside other than in the cage until she is at the very least 4. She is quite sociable if you talk to her (yes I know - but I do).

zephyrcat Sat 16-Aug-08 19:42:34

We went to say hello and someone has bought him

The guys in the pet shop say they can always get another. It's strange really - never something I've thought of having before but he was such a cutie!!

Your comments are all really leaning me more and more towards getting one, I like that they may not have to hibernate if they have their lamps etc.

Surreylady she sounds adorable! And I can totally understand the sociable thing - we were going into the pet shop to talk to this one through the glass and he would wake up and come over to say hello!

SomeLikeItHot Tue 19-Aug-08 11:28:04

aww zephyrcat, sorry someone has beat you to him sad

This has really made me want to get one too, it was the hibernation thing that was putting me off too.

Few questions for you tortoise owners:
Are they quite easy pets to keep? how often do they need cleaned out? do they smell? and what is the difference between a horsfield and a hermann?

christywhisty Tue 19-Aug-08 16:46:13

Our is very easy to keep, but he has free roam of the garden. He has a hut but doesn't use it, just finds a nice bush to sleep under.
When it's warm he will come striding over to see us when we go out in the garden. He is so determined when he wants to get somewhere and even took the push chair for a walk when ds was little. He walked under the pushchair and the bar caught on the top of his shell and he just kept going taking the push chair with him.

He has escaped a few times as well and been found a 2 gardens away. Every time I thought I had tortoise proofed the fence, he would find another gap to get through.
If you keep them indoors you don't need to hibernate them or outdoor ones can be bought in the winter which was what a vet advised one year when he didn't seem to want to hibernate.
We haven't got room for him indoors so we just wait until he starts burying himself into the ground, then we put him in a cardboard box in the garage, until it warms up again or we hear him moving around.
i know some people think tortoises are boring but we are all very fond of him and I miss not seeing him in the garden in the winter.

LIZS Tue 19-Aug-08 16:47:41

I had one as a child and he only died 7 years ago . They're great pets

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