The Proper Way To Breed Healthy Tortoise Hatchlings

When you’re dealing with captive tortoises, it’s important to ensure healthy breeding practices because you will want the hatchling to get a safe start in life. This process all begins with choosing healthy parents for breeding and providing the most optimal environment for mating. You should avoid breeding any tortoises which have recently shown signs and symptoms of any disease, have been unwell in past days or suffer from anxiety.

tortoise hatchingMost novice breeders overlook the significance of selecting the best possible male tortoise for their female. The ideal male partner is able to produce healthy spermatozoa which will help fertilize mature ova. Once the parents have been selected, good husbandry practices are the next most important consideration.

Diet and Nutrition

To make certain that both your tortoises are prepared to mate, you want to pay attention to proper nutrition. Healthy turtles have to have a healthy phosphorous to calcium ratio. Each species of tortoise has different dietary needs, which is why you should pay attention to everything you feed them. A malnourished tortoise may lay fertile eggs, but the chances of embryonic death significantly increase.

The Optimum Temperature

You might or might not know, but tortoises are ectothermic, meaning they need constant usage of a warm environment. Warmth assists in keeping the digestive system operating in a tortoise, and you will probably also find that the proper temperature is also accountable for a robust immune system.

Natural or artificial lighting is important as well. While looking into artificial lighting, you will need UVB lights to make the optimal breeding environment.

Relaxing Surroundings

To lay her eggs, the female needs to be within a stress-free environment. Additionally, females may become easily traumatized or injured in case the male partner is too ‘amorous’. Sadly, this is a common problem as a horny male tortoise can be quite aggressive. The problem with a captive environment is the fact females often still feel stressed. Even is the breeder provides lots of hiding places, it isn’t always enough.  Male tortoises often make advances towards the females, this is why breeders often separate female and male tortoises until breeding time.

Adults Only

The sexual maturity of tortoises is determined by their size as well as their age. In the wild, tortoises might need anywhere from 15 to two decades until they reach breeding maturity. However, within captive environments where food is never scarce and danger is minimal, 4 to 5 years is more than sufficient. The Tortoise Protection Group believes breeding tortoises which are too young may eventually have unwanted effects. For this reason, it’s recommended that breeding should be delayed until the tortoises are older.

Pre-Mating Rituals

Males are usually small compared to female tortoises and it’s true that the pre-mating behavior differs from species-to-species. Mostly pre-mating rituals appear quite aggressive and can include vocalizations, aggression, biting in addition to shell butting.

When you are preparing to mate your tortoises, make sure both parties are healthy, old enough, and obtain the right nutritional vitamins. Healthy parents will give rise to healthiest possible hatchlings.

Most tortoise breeding videos are not particularly suitable for smaller eyes, but this one is child-friendly and features a range of tortoises and turtles.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Tortoise

A tortoise can be an fascinating and fun companion,  and with a little care and attention, it’s easy to keep them healthy and happy.  If you think a tortoise may be the perfect pet for you, these five key points will start you off down the right path

1. Understand The Difference Between A Tortoise And A Turtle

If you plan on welcoming a tortoise into your house, it’s important to understand the difference. While they both come from the same taxonomic order (Chelonia), a tortoise needs a totally different environment than a turtle. The webbed-foot turtle spends plenty of time in the water as well as loves swimming; however the land based tortoises have rounded feet, ideal for traversing landscapes comprised of sand or gravel. Both are reptiles with shells, varying in dimension as well as weight and also originate in many different countries around the world. Preferences for its environment are just what primarily differentiates a turtle from a tortoise.

2. Make Sure A Tortoise Is Right For You

Tortoises Get to Know You
Tortoises can be very sociable

:Along with the capability to maintain the habitat and also feed and also water your tortoise, his personality needs to be a good match for yours. You can not comfortably cuddle a tortoise, however if a quiet, interesting animal is what you’re searching for, you’ve found an excellent match.

3. Choose the Species of Your New Tortoise Wisely

Tortoises are available in different varieties and sizes, and the price difference between different species can be significant. Visit a trustworthy pet shop or tortoise dealer/breeder and quiz them about the requirements of your prospective new friend. Tortoises are sensitive to things like temperature and light and also call for a special diet. Look at the specific requirements of each of the species on offer and, take into consideration the size of animal you find desirable looking after. Also, consider any specific requirements of each particular species and how that fits in with your lifestyle.

4. He needs a special place to live

Tortoise Enclosure
A tortoises enclosure keeps your tortoises safe at night

If it’s in any way feasible, your tortoise would prefer living in an environment positioned outdoors. Failing that, a large enclosure that contains a layer of dirt and objects to scramble over and hide under would be suitable. Make sure, if your tortoise is enclosed, that he has access to fresh drinking water. If you live where the seasons change, consider keeping your shelled friend outside during the better months but bring him in before it gets chilly (or when any harsh weather conditions are predicted). Many people keep their tortoises indoors constantly, so if you cannot give a secure and protected location outdoors, set him up somewhere in the house that will be well out of range of the danger of toddlers, other pets, and moisture.

The room your shelled friend demands will depend on his size, however, you could move him to a larger space as he grows.

Leafy Greens for Dinner
Tortoises love leafy greens

Many tortoises enjoy eating leaves and other vegetation from their environment. You can additionally feed them on certain other veggies although some are known to be harmful to tortoises and must be avoided. It’s best to take advice from your breeder on the specific needs of your species. If you have a youngster, feed him softer foods till his mouth strengthens and he can chew on tougher foods. Some varieties enjoy what gardeners consider to be weeds such as fresh dandelions so you may be able to find treats for him in your backyard. It’s crucial, though, to know precisely what your species needs nutritionally, including potential supplements to encourage correct growth.

5. It’s a long term commitment

Are you aware that some species of tortoises can live for 100 years or more? For this reason, it’s good to be totally committed to these guys as pets. Set up an area carefully and thoughtfully in your house and be prepared to keep your tortoise as an energetic member of the family for many years to come.

Like any pet, your tortoise needs lots of TLC. They are extremely fulfilling to have in your life as well as a lot of fun, so see to it that you care for them properly by giving them the habitat, nourishment, and lifestyle they prefer.

All About Hermann’s Tortoises

Hermann’s tortoises are one of the most popular tortoises kept in Britain. The originate from the Mediteranean coasts, and are one of the three species which will happily live outside in our summer climate.

Hermann’s are one of the smaller varieties of tortoises, but they make up for their size with their personalities.  If you’re considering buying a tortoise, then they are definately a species to consider.

I was going to write a post specifically about Hermann’s tortoises, but then I found this video which explains all about Hermann’s and how to look after them. The video also demonstrates how to tell them apart from the Mediterranean Spur Thighed tortoises, which is easier to show than to write about, so I had to share it with you.

And if you watch all the way to the end, there’s a very cute little baby…

Why A Tortoise Is The Perfect Pet

Now the nights are drawing in, and winter will soon be upon us, our tortoises are starting to prepare themselves for hibernation.  And as I reflect on another summer enjoying my two reprobates, I’d like to share some of the reasons why I think tortoises make the perfect pet.

Tortoises Are Easy to Care For

All pets have their challenges and tortoises are no exception to this. However, tortoises will probably give you fewer headaches than other higher-maintenance pets.  They are easy to care for, don’t require exercising, and their preferred diet is easy to source.  With the correct diet and habitat, veterinary problems are rare.  It does help if you tortoise proof your garden, as they are master escapologists, but that does rather add to their charm!

Mealtime Is Easy

Weeds like this clover are the healthiest diet for a tortoise
Weeds, like this clover, are the healthiest diet for a tortoise

Tortoises are herbivorous and, with the exception of the odd snail, will graze happily on weeds, leafy greens, salad and perhaps a couple of strawberries as a treat.  This means weedkillers and slug pellets should be locked up as they have as distressing an effect on tortoises as they would on you and me.  You can even buy special seed mixes so you can grow a wide variety of plants which tortoises especially enjoy.

Easy to Keep in The Garden

In temperate climates, adult tortoises are quite easy to keep in your garden.  Once again I’ll mention the need for tortoise proofing as they can, and will, climb up or burrow under to escape.  Outdoor pens are another option if you don’t want to tortoise proof the whole garden, just make sure they have somewhere to shelter from birds and the rain.

Indoor tortoises require, more equipment, but it’s still easy to source a tortoise table and UV lamp to simulate the sun. Please remember that whatever your pet shop says, reptile vivariums are not suitable for tortoises.

One of the Family

A tortoise can become one of the family
A tortoise can become one of the family

If you are familiar with all those small traits that make our family dog quite endearing, then you might be surprised to learn that tortoises have them too. Tortoises have unique personalities and these vary between species, but there are also variations within the species’ itself. Some tortoises are friendly and will run towards you when they see you while others are a bit reclusive and will prefer to hide when observed. Some like being picked up while some do not. Most of them will, however, eat directly from hands when you are feeding them.

Tortoises can even hang around with the family in the house so long as there is a safe habitat that they can return to when you are not supervising them. Most tortoises become part of the family and can freely roam around the garden just like other pets such as dogs and cats. Even though their vegetarian diets might make you believe that they might eat all your flowers, the reality is they prefer weeds like clover and sow thistle and leave ornamental plants alone.

Teaching Old Tortoises New Tricks

Obviously, you are not going to be playing fetch with your tortoise but that does not mean that they are unteachable. In ancient Turkey, people taught tortoises to ‘dance’ to music, and you can teach most pet tortoises to come if you call them. However, rolling over is not something you can teach them to do.

 

Friends For Life

If you decide to add a tortoise to your family, you need to understand that they outlive most pets. They truly can be friends for a lifetime. Some tortoises have a long life span, and most species can live for up to 50 years or more with proper care.

A tortoise can be a lifelong commitment but if you think your family would enjoy looking after a tortoise, then the enjoyment that these fascinating creatures can bring is worth the commitment.

A hungry tortoise is not to be trifled with!

Tortoise Feeding Time

I love this video, talk about up close and personal. It’s great when a tortoise becomes part of the family – even if it means you have to stop the dog from eating the tortoises’ dinner!

Most outdoor tortoises in Britain will live happily on all sorts of weeds and garden plants, so it’s a good excuse to leave the garden a bit unkempt (making sure to lock up the weedkiller and slug pellets!).  However, when it’s dry – or even just for a change – they do enjoy munching on a bit of juicy salad. And if you have strawberries, you’d better build a wall around them as almost nothing will stop a resourceful rampaging tortoise when she smells a nice ripe strawberry!

Tortoises don’t tend to drink much but get most of their water from their food which may be one reason Torty is tucking into her meal with such enthusiasm.

It’s not that easy nowadays to find adult tortoises for sale.  In the wild, they’re an endangered species, so imports are very restricted. This means that unless you can find one which needs rehoming, the easiest, and cutest, way to have one of your own is to buy a baby from a breeder.  They may need more looking after, but it’s always fun to have a new baby in the house. When you buy it, you must make sure that it has the correct Article 10 paperwork so that you know it’s been breed in captivity in this country.

They make interesting and if not cuddly, at least quirky pets.  You don’t have to exercise them, in fact, the hard part is keeping track of them if you have a large garden as they’re not as slow as a well-known fable would have you believe.

I’m told by one tortoise owner that, like other reptiles, they do like a bit of warmth. So if you’re thinking of having a bonfire, make sure your shelled friend is kept well away, preferably locked up, until the fire is well and truly out!