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Adopted a Marginated Tortoise

JoesMum

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Hi, I rescued a 9yr old Male marginated tortoise from a friend due to him not getting on with the other tortoise. I am worried he is not in the right type of enclosure and worries with hibernation. Reading online and visiting reptile centres I am getting very conflicting information and I dont know what to do. We do not have space indoors as we live in a 2 bed bunaglow so he is housed outdoors. He has a hutch at night if it rains and a run in the garden with a shelter. His run is half on slate and slabes and half grass...is this ok? Please help.
Hi @SamanthaLouise

I have copied your message to me and started a thread with it. I am just going in to work, but will come back this evening.

In the meantime, would you be able to add some photos of what you have as it will help us to help you [emoji4]
 

SamanthaLouise

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Jul 18, 2019
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Rothwell
Hi, sorry I have only just seen the message. I am to this so trying to figure out how to send the pictures.


Hi @SamanthaLouise

I have copied your message to me and started a thread with it. I am just going in to work, but will come back this evening.

In the meantime, would you be able to add some photos of what you have as it will help us to help you [emoji4]
 

JoesMum

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Rain isn’t a problem. They’re waterproof. Cold is. Joe loved a good humid thunderstorm.

I can’t see inside the run or tell the size compared with the tortoise. Stanley looks like he’s been around a while and will need plenty of space.

He also needs shelter in his run. Tortoises are at the bottom of the food chain so, as well as being able to get direct sun to bask, they need cover to hide under when they feel frightened or to escape the heat when it is too hot. Can you enlarge what you have to include some of the neighbouring undergrowth?
 

JoesMum

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He has shelter. That’s good. If you can make the grassy bit even bigger - like double what it is now then that would be even better
 

SamanthaLouise

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Rothwell
We do let him roam the garden when we are home to supervise as he heads for the plants and hides on the heather.
Sorry to keep bombarding u with all the questions, just want to make sure he is ok. So he is ok in his run and goes in hutch occasionally at night weather dependent. On miserable days like today is he ok out in his run?
Also does he need a heat lamp?
 

TammyJ

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Jamaica
We do let him roam the garden when we are home to supervise as he heads for the plants and hides on the heather.
Sorry to keep bombarding u with all the questions, just want to make sure he is ok. So he is ok in his run and goes in hutch occasionally at night weather dependent. On miserable days like today is he ok out in his run?
Also does he need a heat lamp?
He is adorable. Where is Rothwell? What's the temps and humidity levels there now? Also what is he eating?
 

JoesMum

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You’re in Lincolnshire? A bit further north than me in Kent.

Even where you are I think Stanley is going to have a ball with next week’s heatwave forecast. Don’t be surprised if he finds it too hot in the middle of the day. He is going to need deep shade and lots of water next week. 30C in the weather forecast will translate into temperatures of 40-50C at ground level in full sun!

I am in Norfolk this weekend, not so far from you and the temperatures aren’t too bad, but it’s not been sunny enough for basking. Basking is essential for a tortoise to raise its core temperature so it can eat, digest food and be active. A couple of days like this will do no harm, but prolonged for a week your tort will lose weight. You can use a basking lamp indoors to give Stanley a morning “jump start” or you could install one in a kennel as I did for him to use freely.

Have you read my thread about outdoor accommodation?
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
 

SamanthaLouise

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Rothwell
I'm in rothwell, Northamptonshire. Moved Stanley's house yesterday, hes been out and about but been sat under his tunnel for a while. Hes got shaded areas so guess he will go in when he feels it's necessary. Thinking of getting a lamp to put in his hutch outside. Can you recommend a lamp? I may need some advise nearer the time regarding hibernation. Your attachment was really useful, thank you. We've planted some parsley and nasturtiums and has access to fresh water buy doesnt seem to drink much.
 

JoesMum

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I'm in rothwell, Northamptonshire. Moved Stanley's house yesterday, hes been out and about but been sat under his tunnel for a while. Hes got shaded areas so guess he will go in when he feels it's necessary. Thinking of getting a lamp to put in his hutch outside. Can you recommend a lamp? I may need some advise nearer the time regarding hibernation. Your attachment was really useful, thank you. We've planted some parsley and nasturtiums and has access to fresh water buy doesnt seem to drink much.
I just had a standard basking lamp holder, hanging from a lamp stand with a slate coloured paver on top of the lamp base to stop it tipping over. The dark colour heated up quickly which Joe liked.

No need for and UVB. Just a standard reflector basking bulb.
 

SamanthaLouise

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Rothwell
Sorry for all the questions. I really do appreciate your help and advice. So I will just buy a basking lamp. Got some slate from b&m. Where do you recommend to buy the lamps and what watt should the baskinf bulb be?
 

JoesMum

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I used a 100W basking spot bulb (not the intense ones they’ll burn the shell) and adjust temperature by raising and lowering it. Pets at Home will have them.

Shop around for a lamp stand. You need something like this
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Komodo-Adjustable-Height-tortoise-tables/dp/B00PX4AYDQ/

Put a the paving slab on top of the flat bit to stop it tipping over

You need a bulb holder that hangs like this (again shop around)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heating-Lampshade-Terrarium-Chickens-Included/dp/B07L5P1VB8/

Obviously all this needs to be in a dry place. Rain mustn’t be able to get into anything including any extension lead you use.
 

SamanthaLouise

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Rothwell
On days like today, over cast temp lower is he ok out in the run or should he and put in his hutch. Moved hutch into shed....is this ok? His run still outside. Got cover and plenty of hay in it. Does he need a 100w or is 50w ok? He will have to go inside house for basking as currently dont have electric outside. Basking only required on overcast lower temp days? How many hours should he be under lamp for?
 

JoesMum

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Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
On days like today, over cast temp lower is he ok out in the run or should he and put in his hutch. Moved hutch into shed....is this ok? His run still outside. Got cover and plenty of hay in it. Does he need a 100w or is 50w ok? He will have to go inside house for basking as currently dont have electric outside. Basking only required on overcast lower temp days? How many hours should he be under lamp for?
Absolutely fine outside in our neck of the woods. Lamp only if he can’t bask ... ie if the sun isn’t out. Leave him under it until he walks off. He’ll tell you when he’s ready! That’s why mine was in a dog kennel. Joe could be stuck under it first thing and them go do his thing when he was ready.
 

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