Water and drinking

23/08/2012 15:02

You may think your tortoise does not drink and doesn't need water as it gets all the fluid it needs from its food. Well, years ago that is what was said but over time it has been observed they do indeed drink from time to time. My boys and girls outside ike a nice rain shower as explained in a previous blog and they also drink when they go into their swimming pools. So, whether you have a tortoise inside in an open enclosure or outside in the garden or even both; make sure there is fresh water available at all times and change it frequently as you or I would not want to drink a glass of water that had sat around for over a day would we !! You will find sometimes they will poo in the water and pass the uric acid (White chalky stuff) but that's good too because you will know everthing is working properly. Indoors you can buy different sizes in shallow water dishes for reptiles and you can put little pebbles around the outside so that it is easy for them to get in and out .  I also bath mine regularly as this  keeps the shell hydrated  and then you can brush it with a baby toothbrush; mine love it....... use warm water and they usually poo soon after . You can then change the water and put them back in for a while. NEVER EVER  add anything to the water.Years ago a lady asked me if it would be ok to add some bubble bath!!!!!! NO !  was my answer obviously. They only need water........


23/08/2012 14:03

Naming your  baby  tortoise is as important as naming  your child and over the years my children have helped me name mine and if I get a new one i will look at it for days sometimes before i decide what to call him or her. So, when you get your new Tortoise have some names written down but don't choose one until you have picked your baby up and looked at it and a name will fit. I have heard some lovely names over the years and here are a few....  shelby, sheldon, maisy, Daisy, speedy, Yoda, Molly, Milly, Mable, flash, Romeo, Angel, Clover, Lancelot, shelly, Bubbles, Egbert, Delores  Ozzy,Shylo, Pebbles, Curtis, Willow, Telula, Rapunzel, Lilo, Lionel, Strider, Mystic, Digger, Lottie dakota, dreamer, Layla, Mitzi, Sidney, Wilma and percy to name but a few. Go on the net and type in names and you will get thousands of names for all sorts of animals. Look at name books for children. Think of old names of long gone relatives sometimes they are really interesting. Let the children think of their favourite tv person etc etc  The ideas are endless, I used alot of shakespeare names ie Romeo and Juliet.The  name   you choose will be with them for a very very long time so take your time and have fun... Email me and let me know if you think of any unusual names to add to the list.......

Letting the babies go !!

22/08/2012 19:56

I have been asked  many times over the last few days how do I let the babies go ? Well, it is hard especially after I watch my girls lay the eggs then I incubate them very carefully and then I look after them once they have hatched. I love every single one of them and only let them go to the most  amazing tortoise lovers who I  know will care for them as much as I do. Over the years I have  made so many friends  and each year  the list of  grows ever longer.To all of you who read this ;you know who you are  if you have one or more of my babies, THANKYOU for giving  fabulous forever homes and I look forward to many  more years  of friendship !! 

Lilly photo

22/08/2012 19:52

Hi everyone, just to update you on Lilly; she ate really well today so I am sure the sight in her one eye is good.  She also had her first poo !!  so tiny you could almost miss it ! More updates soon. look at the photo gallery I have put a photo of her on there ...

Baby Book

22/08/2012 09:44

Let's talk baby books!! Over the years I have always said to tortoise owners especially the ones who buy hatchlings from me to keep a record of weight etc etc. Well , I came up with an idea a few  years ago and it has gone mad!! I said why not buy a baby book because then you can add the first walk in the garden, the first taste of strawberry, the first bath !!!! and so on.Well it's been amazing. I have seen some fantastic baby books recently when my buyers have come to pick up their next baby. Fabulous pictures in the bath, sun bathing, weight ,length height etc. So , new buyers ,owners of tortoise's already go spoil yourself get a baby book  and have some fun; You will always know in  future where you have written down the latest weight etc.......

Outdoor Housing

21/08/2012 22:38

I thought I would talk about outdoor housing today. Firstly whilst you have a baby tortoise, it will  live indoors in an open top tortoise table or I reccomend an indoor rabbit hutch which is light ;  made of plastic so it is very easy to clean  and has a metal  mesh clip on lid that can be removed indoors but easily put on when you want your little one to spend time in the garden. They come with a tunnel area at one end which is useful as well because your tortoise will go into this at night.You can also have an out door run so you know where your tortoise is and you won,t lose it on the lawn! Trust me they can run. Year 4 is when they go into the garden from Spring to the early Winter .This is when they need a safe garden and by that I mean one that you know there are no holes where they can get into other peoples gardens !  You will  need an outdoor home for them to use. Now, you could get a rabbit hutch which is wooden and can rot  or I use large garden plastic boxes made by "Keter" or similar. I think they say its used for cushions. Anyway, put it somewhere in the garden that is safe and not in complete shade. Next cut a hole into the front and fix a wooden drop down door which you can close for the Winter. You can cover this with sticky back plastic to stop it getting too wet, I bought a roll from the pound shop.During the Summer this remains open so that the tortoise can get in and out when it feels like it . Put bark chippings on the floor inside and a little hay. Because it has a top opening lid it is easy to look inside at the tortoise and also it is easy to clean. This will be their home ,they will get used to it immediately and will come and go when they want. As Winter approaches they will come out less and less until finally they bed down for the winter; you then cover with hay , blow them a kiss, thank them for a lovely summer and wish them a lovely sleep !!!  Fill with hay ,close the lid and the drop down door and leave them for the winter. You can check now and again if you want by just opening the top lid. When spring arrives you will hear them scratching, so take them out  give them a warm bath wash their eyes  and mouth and then put them back into their enclosure. So there you are, I have posted a picture of  the outdoor plastic box housing so take a look .

more hatchlings

21/08/2012 15:41

More hatchlings arrived today, it is looking quite busy in the nursery!! They are all fine and will be off to new homes very soon. It's amazing, just a few hours after hatching they are off. In the wild they would have to go forage for food and water pretty quickly because of the intense heat. Obviously here they don't have to but it is inbred and the first thing they will do once hatched is go hide. It's so sweet, sometimes they will hide underneath the egg they have just left or go burrow somewhere .You have to careful with the underside of their shell for a couple of days or so as the umbilical area is closing and is soft but after that they are really hardy little things. These babies have had a little lettuce with mashed strawberry; just to get them going and to make sure they eat. The strawberry is good for the colour they love red and the lettuce (Not a staple diet) is good for fluid. They all ate some  so I know they are fine.The next clutch of eggs due are Bertha's my Spur Thighed girl, most of these eggs are already booked  out so here's hoping. Until they hatch you never know and it is a tense time. I will update  when they hatch....

hatchling photo

20/08/2012 20:33

I have put a picture in the photo gallery of a hatchling emerging  !! have a look if you look at a 50p piece  it is smaller than that !!

Lilly picture

20/08/2012 20:26

Hi , if you go to the picture gallery you will see a picture of little lilly  aka  who only has one eye. she seems to be doing well, has eaten today so I am keeping my fingers crossed . 


20/08/2012 20:05

I thought today I would tell you about Gertrude; well actually Gertrude and Ermintrude ! They were given to me in the 1970s  by an elderly friend of my aunts who was going into a home.  She was 97!! and Gertie and Ermintrude were aquired by her parents before she was born  . Now,I still have Gertrude; Ermintrude sadly passed away a few years ago but Gertie is still going strong; and that makes her  at least 135 !!!!!!! Yes really. Every year I worry about whether she will wake up from hibernation and also has she eaten enough to see her through the winter months.  She is really wonderful, a proper lady, very quiet and  well mannered. Now, the other day I put Grumpy in  with Bertha to do the business  but he made a beeline for Gertie. I was just about to move him away  when she  danced from side to side, showing she was happy..... So..  they did  and a couple of weeks later  I went out to check on them all  because it was raining and there's Gertie  digging a hole !!  Well, I shouted for hubby Steve  who came running thinking I had hurt myself. After explaining he got me a table to cover her and a blanket to put over the back so she could lay in peace... She laid me  9 eggs !!  I don't think they will hatch but you never know. At least if they don't hatch I know she  has expelled them so  thats good. They are due in a couple of weeks  so I will let you all know. So there you have it,  with love, care and the right diet etc your tortoise could live a very very long life ........ There is a picture of her in the photo gallery , there is a pink swimming pool behind her in the photo..

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