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Hatchling or Yearling

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Cymmie, Aug 6, 2013.

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  1. Cymmie

    Cymmie Member

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    Do you guys think I should get a hatchling or yearling? This will probably be my only tort, and it will be my first one... so I kind of want the joy of seeing him grow up from a baby. But also I kind of am not sure if I'm ready to take care of a hatchling.... So what's the requirements for taking care of a hatchling?
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What species? Where are you? How do you intend to house it?
  3. Cymmie

    Cymmie Member

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    I intend to get a Greek or Hermanns, Live in central California in San Luis Obispo, and I intend to have it in a 4'x22"x12"(for the bottom section) two tiered tortoise table for inside and some outside enclosure that I haven't decided how big I want it yet.

    Sorry about not saying that before... totally got too excited >.>
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I don't have experience with either of those species but I am raising a bunch of Russians right now. Let me tell you, they are the easiest thing ever.

    Set them up on damp coco coir. Give them a humid hide, a shallow water bowl, and a 100 degree basking spot for 12 hours a day, and that's it. So easy. You don't have to worry about night temps or humidity. At least not in comparison to some of the tropical species. I give them clean water and fresh food every day. Sun and soak them periodically, and they just thrive and grow and grow. I'm in love with them!

    Anyhow, I think most here will tell you that a yearling is better, more established, and allows more room for error. I won't disagree, but with a decent set up hatchlings do just fine too. Personally I think hatchlings are more adaptable. Whenever I get an older tortoise, they always take longer to settle in and thrive. Hatchlings just seem to roll with it most of the time. If you give a hatchling the proper environmental parameters, they are hardy and do just fine. Especially the Testudo genus. If you give them the wrong stuff, they will likely die sooner than a larger tortoise with more body mass.

    So...... Long story short: I prefer hatchlings, but there is nothing wrong with getting a yearling either. Oh, and I like hermanni better than gracea, but that's just personal preference. :)
  5. Cymmie

    Cymmie Member

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    I like the hermanni a lot too, I wanted a Russian originally but I hear they need more space then a lot of the smaller species do. Like more than 4 feet long tables and that's all I have room for right now. >.< But I don't want to get one and then it be unhappy D8 I care more about the happiness of my tortoise than getting a species that I desperately want, otherwise I'd be shelling out hundreds for an Indian Star or a Cherry XD
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I think that any of the Testudo will need a larger table as an adult. Russian roam a lot, but hermanni are slightly larger and they walk a lot too. I wouldn't keep an adult Testudo in anything less than 4x8' indoors. The Testudo work very well for most outdoor climates, so small space is not a concern for many people. I'm starting my Russian hatchlings in 40 gallon and 100 gallon tanks, with 4x8' outdoor enclosures during the day. Eventually they will move into their permanent outdoor homes which are 13x28'.
  7. Cymmie

    Cymmie Member

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    Would hatchlings need a terrarium in the beginning? the bigger table I probably couldn't do until I moved out... because I have a dog and I don't want to house them outside with him in the yard >.< plus my yard is rather small at the moment ... I figured I could make a two tiered one and add to it that way and then make a bigger one when I moved out? Would that work? I plan on moving out in the next 1-2 years.

    If this isn't a good idea, is there a tortoise that would do well in my enclosure size?
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I don't have enough experience raising Testudo hatchlings to tell you that it should be one way or the other. I prefer tanks for two reasons. 1. It's what I have. 2. It is VERY dry where I live and even though Testudo need only moderate humidity in comparison to some species, I have a heck of a time maintaining ANY humidity in an open table.

    The beauty of Testudo is that they are more forgiving than some and can tolerate and thrive in a wider variety of conditions than some species. If your table is open and humidity is a bit low, just make sure there is a humid hide, and keep them good and hydrated.
  9. FLINTUS

    FLINTUS Well-Known Member

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    Providing you don't live in very dry conditions, a table would definitely be the better option. Ambient high humidity can be fatal to them, but a humid hide can be beneficial. They are very cold hardy, and night temps should be below 20 really.
  10. Baoh

    Baoh Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you are choosing a Hermann's, you can go with a hatchling from a decent source to get the full experience. The "fragility" of a hatchling is more often a reflection of the keeper than the animal. A yearling can simply withstand mistakes for a bit longer. If no grave mistakes are made, it matters very little. A table or vivarium will work. You can upgrade the enclosure as it grows (which usually takes years). I prefer moistened (not soaked) soil substrate, an island of robust edible plants in the center, a humid (not sopping wet) hide, an MVB for a combined light and heat source on the end opposite the dark hide, a water/soak dish, a piece of feeding slate or an upturned lid for feeding, and a sprinkling of various seeds once every week or so about the soil so as to provide random nutritious sprouts for the youngling to browse upon throughout the day in addition to its regular feedings (and I would advise a relatively varied diet to cover your bases). Tortoise care is *usually* (exceptions exist) really not too complicated. I find most folks who would try to claim it is are either trying to sell people something or want to be seen as possessors/authorities of "secret" knowledge (which is a very commonly employed confidence man marketing trick).

    I would go with that Hermann's hatchling and get ready for a life along with it that is enriched by its presence.
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Do you have first hand experience with this? I don't. I've seen lots of Testudo housed in relatively high humidity and they were most definitely alive and well.
  12. FLINTUS

    FLINTUS Well-Known Member

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    Not first hand Tom, but many people on other forums and a few I know have found these guys do not cope well with ambient high humidity. I can understand the need for something to keep up the humidity a bit though in a place as dry as South California though. The difference here is I was talking about Russians, where as you are talking about a whole genus, and through that genus there are even a few species that favour relatively high humidity, but not Russians from what I have heard.
  13. Cymmie

    Cymmie Member

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    I am thinking I will go with a tortoise table. But I'm going to keep the sides high I think so that it will keep the humidity a little higher. Maybe around 55% or 60% so it's not too bad. I love the thought of sprinkling random seeds about every now and then. Gives them something good to eat. I have already started collecting herbs and hibiscus plants to feed to my tortoise. Got some clover seeds as well ^^ so I'm slowly getting there. I think I'll probably end up going with a hermann's definitely going with a hatchling now ^^
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