Poem for tortoises .

28/08/2012 15:08

Here is a poem I have written for my friend who recently lost  her Daisy and for all those who have lost a beloved tortoise...



You started life within an egg

and then you pushed out free.

You looked so tiny soft and new

Twas then you came to me.... 


I fed you well with lots of food

and you grew big and strong.

I never knew you'd have to go

and things would all go wrong....


I wish that you were here with me

and we'd grow old together.

But fates cruel hand had other plans

and I would see you never....


I loved you then, I love  you still

and even though you're gone.

I'll always have you in my heart  

where your bright light has shone.....                         

Tortoises and Breeders

28/08/2012 14:56

Hi everyone, after the last couple of days it was nice to speak to another breeder about this years eggs etc. She got in touch to ask how my hatchlings were going  as hers were down about  50%!!  as was another  breeder she knows. I told her about  Bertha and Gertie and she breeds the same.  We don't know what has happened this year but  whatever it is it's happening to alot of breeders !! So, lets hope next year the girls will have something to show for all the hard work they put in laying their wonderful eggs....

Amazing Cake !!!!

28/08/2012 14:02

Hi everyone, I want you to go to the photo gallery and have a look at the most AMAZING birthday cake I think I have ever seen!!  One of my friends who has tortoises from me thought I may like to see it .It was given to her for her Birthday because guess  what ? she is mad on tortoises !! Love it.........


27/08/2012 17:36

Hi everyone, I am so sorry if I have been quiet today but I would just like to say a BIG THANKYOU  to all those of you who have been emailing me with your kind thoughts about what has happened over the last couple of days.  It was nice today as  a lovely lady came from Coventry to pick up her babies. She too lost a beautiful  boy tortoise very tragically and only now is ready to start again . what better way than with a pair of tiny, beautifully formed amazing Hermanns tortoises. She left with a wonderful smile on her face and  couldn't wait to get home to show her lovely Grandson. I look forward to another wonderful  friendship. Again, I thankyou for your kind thoughts and it is so lovely to know there are people who really care. Tomorrow, I will once again be writing so keep watching...x


26/08/2012 19:23

Today has been the worst day ever and I cannot believe I am again putting something sad on here but......  I had a  very upsetting phone call from some good friends who had Daisy and have just got Maisy. They had left them both outside in their outdoor pen which has a top to it. When they got home they found one of their little dogs had got the lid up and taken Daisy out.. proceded to play with her and chewed her shell!!!! They rushed her to me but I could do nothing as the skin had also been punctured so they took her to the vet.  Unfortunately, although the shell could have been glued the dog had punctured a lung so poor little Daisy who was just a year old   had to be put to sleep !!!!  Again  I have been crying but I want to say to all of you who have dogs ,cats PLEASE PLEASE make sure when you are not at home that your tortoise or tortoise's  are safely away in pens etc with lids or in another room that you know your dog cannot get into because although  my friends little dog was not trying to kill Daisy  it ended that way....... My poor friends are so distraught but it is not their fault they had a lid on the pen ,it was just a horrible  tragic accident.......

Bertha's Eggs

26/08/2012 19:14

After I had candled Gertie's eggs I decided to do Bertha's and I am so sorry to say they are also no good!!!!!   I do not know why but Bertha has obviously just expelled this year as well. They were in the same incubator as the Hermanns that all hatched so it was not the incubator. So, after laying so well this year and taking the time to dig a large hole nothing!. I have cried most of this weekend already over Gertrude but as my hubby  said it is not an exact science and these things happen. They do but as this has never happened to me before in all these  years it has hit me very hard. I am sorry to put bad news but  that is life and it has to go with the good times. ...I cannot  bring myself to turn the incubators off yet , I suppose I am hoping for a miracle......

Gertie's eggs

26/08/2012 19:06

Hi everyone, I know you have all been waiting to hear about Gertie's eggs, well, it has been a horrid weekend so far!!  I candled her eggs and NOTHING  !!!  so I think she just expelled them. I did have a good cry but in the end I know  she is fine and thats all that matters. I just can't help thinking how wonderful it would have been to have  one of her babies but there you are. I went into the garden gave her some strawberries and a cuddle and told her  how much I loved her!!!

Egg candling and Mini me !!

25/08/2012 10:01

I thought I would tell you  about Mini Me. Many years ago all my eggs had hatched except one.Now, I try very hard not to interfere with the eggs during incubation but this one lone egg refused to hatch so finally I decided to candle it.By that I mean you hold a candle underneath the egg and if there is a baby it will show up.Well, I don't use a candle I use a small torch in a dark cupboard.Anyway, I put the light under the egg and low and behold it was there !! very full and dense.After much thought I decided to pierce the shell very very carefully so as not to injure the tortoise. This imediately let air in and I saw the little one move so I knew it was alive. I put it under the lamp and watched for over an hour when all of a sudden the egg just opened right up!!  and there was Mini Me BUT  still attached to him was his twin who had sadly passed away.... Well, I had never seen this before, I had heard of it but it is very rare. So, I put clean towels in the open housing under the lamp , thoroughly cleaned my hands and a pair of nail scissors and very carefully cut the umbilical cord attaching both twins.!! I then put Mini Me under the lamp and waited...  He very soon started to move around and the umbilical shrivelled . Within a few hours the area had almost closed. He began eating the next day and  hasn't stopped since !! He is very small for his age due his difficult time in the egg and although his twin sadly died I am so pleased I opened his egg.....This leads me to Gertrudes and Bertha's eggs. Tomorrow I have decided to candle them !!  I will let you know..

Indoor Housing

24/08/2012 15:04

Over the years when hatchlings have gone to new owners I have always tried my best to help with indoor housing.Some I have rescued have been in Vivariums which are no good at all because for one thing they don't get any fresh air which can cause respiritory problems and also the heat is far too hot for our climate and when the tortoise is then put into the garden it will either try and hibernate imediately because it thinks winter has arrived or it won't come out of its outdoor enclosure and will slowly die through lack of food etc.I have always advocated an OPEN   indoor enclosure so that there is fresh air and the torotise will get used to the English climate that goes up and down daily. This means that when your tortoise goes into the garden full time year 5 it is hardened off completely to the climate  and will settle well into its new enclosure. So, for indoors I recommend an indoor rabbit hutch ( about 3 1/2 feet long )that is plastic so it  is easy to clean and transport from house to garden on a hot day.Because it has a metal mesh lid this can be removed indoors and clipped on for the garden for peace of mind.This way should you want to go out you know your baby tortoise is safe.It also has a tunnel at one end which is good for shade and bedtime.  To go with this you need an  Exo Terra Sola Glo bulb 160watt ,this is heat ,light and most importantly Uva/Uvb for calcium absorbtion.  You put  the bulb in a large clamp lamp  holder by Exo Terra  and suspend this  AT LEAST   12" from the base of the housing and by this I mean the bottom of the bulb not the bulb holder. If done this way should your tortoise turn itself over it will not burn!! You turn this on in the morning and off again at night about 10-12 hours is fine. Of course if the tortoise has been in the garden for the day you obviously switch the lamp off. Other than that you need Lime stone flour which I have  already talked about, a water dish ,floor substrate which can be top soil, Herbifloor or even  a roll of turf which if kept sprayed works really well too. Some pebbles or slate to put around the water dish so it is easy to get in and out and some cutlle fish. That is about it, the bulb is not cheap but is guarenteed  for 6 months so keep the box .This is THE most important thing for good growth of the Carapace.I have tried many things on the floor over the years and have found good old top soil works well or even your own soil as they will be walking on this when they go into your garden. Please do not use hay or straw indoors as it can get into their little eyes. I do use hay for when they hibernate in their out door housing but by then they are so much bigger. Of course if you like them you can have the indoor tortoise tables which are lovely but as they are made of wood can be heavy and hard to move. They can also rot at  the base if not lined. This is all up to the individual and all I have tried to do is make it easy and not too expensive to get started. A lot of people do it this way first and then get  handy Husband, Granfather etc to build amazing indoor palaces for their little ones,  with swimming pools and basking areas and sheltered areas with tunnels etc the choice is yours.

Limestone Pebbles

24/08/2012 14:53

 Today I have found an amazing way to make Limestone Pebbles from loose Limestone flour!!  First put about 6 tablespoons of limestone flour in a bowl. Next add  5-6 tablespoons of water; mix to a stiff paste .Then mould into rocks and stones.Not too small as when dry they will just crumble back to dust. Once you have moulded the rocks etc put on a tray or plate and leave to dry for about 8 hours. It's amazing you get rocks that your tortoise will love to gnaw on  just like they would in the wild.It is very good for keeping their beaks down and it's a great way for them to get their calcium naturally. Don't stop sprinkling it on their food  though as they can't get too much of it. I put some out today and my girls and boys came to have a look and then some of them took bites out of it !! Success. Obviously if it rains they will just melt into powder again but thats ok because it will go down into the soil. I had great fun making my stones I even moulded one in the shape of a tortoise!! It reminded me of when I used to make  play dough for my children except I didn't add any food colouring! Have fun...

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