Tortoise Sanctuary > Blog
Well, although the tortoise houses outside were fine,my Hubby decieded to buy and alter new ones for me. So, last weekend Steve made fab new doors with porches above and laid slabs to stand the houses on. He bought the same sort of thing I had before (Keter boxes with top opening lids). He also sealed all the joints and painted the doors. He put little rungs on the door so that the tortoises can walk up and down on it without slipping. I now have bags of bark drying on all the radiators to use as a base substrate inside the houses; I will then put hay in . They are brilliant, the boys have two because there are 17 of them now!!! I will put pictures in the gallery once it is all finished...
Hi all, things have been rather hectic these past few days as all the Hermann eggs have hatched and some have already gone to their new homes.So, thats it for this year no more eggs to stress about. It has been both wonderful with the Hermann eggs and very sad with the Spur Thighed , I hope next year will be a better one for my Spur girl Bertha. To those of you who have had bought a hatchling I would like to say a big Thankyou and wish you all the most amazing time with your new babies..x...
Hi everyone, well at last the pens are finished; my poor hubby was out side in the rain yesterday putting the finishing touches on them. I have posted a couple of pictures to show you. They have roofs as well and a good lock on the door. He has welded it all too for extra security. The cameras are pointed on them and next week I will have lights as well. So, it is nice not to have to worry after hearing about the breeders who have had theirs stolen this year and also my poor friend who is very unwell at the moment since hers were taken....
Hi everyone, today I thought I would talk about Autumn arriving and the affects it has on outside tortoises. Firstly , as the weather gets colder it slows the tortoise down. It takes longer in the morning to warm up so don't be suprised if your tortoise doesn't come out of its house until mid morning. I have found over the years it is best to put their house in an area where the sun will catch it early in the morning ,that way they will warm up faster. When they come out make sure their food is near the entrance to their house so that they don't have to go very far to eat. During the Summer I put it all over the pen but as Winter approaches I want them to eat without using too much energy. If they want to wander thats fine but this works well. Now is the time to weigh them every week to make sure they are not losing weight; although its ok not to put it on . You are watching for stability with no major fluctuations. If your tortoise doesn't come out during the day and you are worried about it not eating, bring it out and put it next to the food. If it does not eat don't worry. All of mine do different things at different times so I let them do what comes naturally. Even though some were bred here they still do what is inbred; they know when and what to do so we must let them as much as possible. What I would say is don't bring them in because you think it is too cold, don't put them in a new place , ie the conservatory because it is warmer , just let them slow down and do what they have to do. I always put food out for them even when they stop eating because it is a good indication that they are emptying their stomachs ready for hibernation. As I said I have so many outside they all do things at different times so if I stopped putting food out for all of them I could be doing damage to a few . It is easier if you have one or two because if you put the limestone flour on their food you will easily see who has eaten because the residue of flour will be round their beak area. It is only September, so as the seasons have changed dramatically over the last ten years I don,t see mine hibernating until November!! One year it was the first week of December! So, we have maybe 6-8 weeks still to go and it can be a worrying time, if anyone is worried about ANYTHING please ring me or email me or post a question......I will help all I can......
Hi everyone, well ,I am awaiting this years final hatchlings ! they are due in the next 2 weeks so it's an exciting but worrying time. It has been quite a season with the hatchlings.. The Spur Thighed eggs just weren't viable and from talking to other Spur breeders it seems to have happened to alot of us this year. Natural culling ? I don't know but sad... The Hermanns on the other hand have been brilliant again, I am so proud of all my girls; and boys of course because without them there would not be any babies at all.I have finally turned off Gerties eggs, how horrible was that. I had a good long cry then went out and gave her some rasberries..The new pens will be finished this weekend ,I will post some pictures when finished.So, keep all fingers and toes crossed as I have alot of expectant mums waiting!!!
Hi everyone; well it has been a very sad weekend for a friend of mine who has had 4 tortoises STOLEN ! It would have been 5 if it wasn't for the fact one of them was basking under a bush! The sad thing is it must be some one known to her because it was not a break in , they just got into the garden and took the tortoises! I have said on many occasions it is hard not to talk about ones tortosies and you can't help it because you love them so much. If you have children they will talk about them it is only natural but some where along the line the information passes on until one day a very nasty person hears and there you are ... You will probably never find out unless over time someone slips up. My friends tortoises were micro chipped and she has photo's but if someone has gone to this much trouble they are probably not going to be sold. So , what I want to say is, take photo's top and bottom ,of the face close up and any marks. Micro chipping is recomended but I am not really sure it will get you tortoise back . Put up a camera in your garden if you can to monitor the tortoise area. Also ,a light that comes on automatically if something or someone walks by it. Put stones around the perimeter of your garden and by gates as these make a noise under foot and if you have a dog they will definitely hear it, so would you. I feel so upset for my friend ,it's not like you can just go and get some more tortoises off the shelf the same age and personality.. Please do all you can to safe guard your tortoise/s, if someone you don't know asks what are the pens for in your garden tell them you have rabbits. Do tell people you have camera's so that anyone listening will think twice. This weekend my Hubby was really busy building me closed in tortise pen's! they have a roof and a lockable door so NOTHING is going to get in ! What with the camera's night vision and everything else I have done all I can. I appologise if this worries anyone but I think it is important to tell you all.
Hi everyone, today I saw a wonderful sight ! I went to the tortoise pens to check all was well and saw one of my chickens was merrily having a dust bath while another Molly was sitting quite proud in one of the dips in the pen. The chickens and the tortoises get on well and often sit together. This time however on closer inspection Molly was actually sitting on two of the tortoises who were quite happily basking out of the wind!! I went indoors to get my camera but Molly got up when I went back because she thought I had some corn for her. Oh! I did laugh because Bo and Margo followed her!! Isn't nature wonderful.........
As winter approaches now is a good time to give your torties the once over. If you weigh them regularly which is a good idea then you will know if it is putting on weight. I keep a diary and scales together and weigh mine once a month. So, bring in one at a time if you have a few ; I have 26 outside so it takes me quite a while. Have a good look at the shell ,it should be nice and firm no soft areas which could be a sign of rot.Check for anything unusual. Check the face and eyes they should be nice and bright. Check the nostrils, they should be dry with no mucas present. Look at the mouth;if you can get your tortie to open it by offering a treat then all the better. The inside of the mouth should be pink and not dry.Look at the claws and all four legs. Any grazes found can be helped by germolene or antibiotic ointment. Check the back end and make sure it is clean as Very Very rarely flies can lay eggs on the male because he swings it to the side and if not clean can close it with a fly attached. If left the egg hatches and the maggot can eat into the flesh of the tortoise. I have known this happen once in 36 years so please don't panic.Now weigh and bathe....Check every week now until hibernation. It doesn't take long and when they hibernate you will know all is well. Also stock up with good quality hay to use in their housing for hibernation. Please look at past blogs about hibernation, it is very important to do this as naturally as possible....