Aggression?

oacason

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I recently purchased another young hermann's tortoise. I was told by a breeder (not the breeder I bought this new one from) that you can keep hermann's together in groups. So I put my new little one with my other one to see what they would do. (I still plan on quarantining, it was more just to see how they would react to each other) The older one started trying to bite him on the legs and head. I separated them immediately, but is this normal young tortoise behavior? I thought that was adult males fighting over females behavior. My other one is maybe a year old if that. I'm willing to have them in separate enclosures, but this came really as a shock to me.
 

Minority2

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I recently purchased another young hermann's tortoise. I was told by a breeder (not the breeder I bought this new one from) that you can keep hermann's together in groups. So I put my new little one with my other one to see what they would do. (I still plan on quarantining, it was more just to see how they would react to each other) The older one started trying to bite him on the legs and head. I separated them immediately, but is this normal young tortoise behavior? I thought that was adult males fighting over females behavior. My other one is maybe a year old if that. I'm willing to have them in separate enclosures, but this came really as a shock to me.

Yes this is normal tortoise behavior. The older one is displaying dominance in order to show the new tortoise who's boss while they're both confined in the captive enclosure you have them in. The larger one will continue to do this in order to get the best food, the best sleeping area, and best heat sources. The larger or dominant one, will continue to harass the weaker one in order to constantly remind them who's the alpha. And because the weaker cannot escape from this confined space they will do as told. Trauma will eventually cause the weaker one to lose interest in competing with the dominant one.

This type of behavior occurs in all ages in most tortoise breeds. This is why most tortoise breeds don't meet or hand in the wild unless when looking for a temporary mate.
 

Minority2

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Yes this is normal tortoise behavior. The older one is displaying dominance in order to show the new tortoise who's boss while they're both confined in the captive enclosure you have them in. The larger one will continue to do this in order to get the best food, the best sleeping area, and best heat sources. The larger or dominant one, will continue to harass the weaker one in order to constantly remind them who's the alpha. And because the weaker cannot escape from this confined space they will do as told. Trauma will eventually cause the weaker one to lose interest in competing with the dominant one.

This type of behavior occurs in all ages in most tortoise breeds. This is why most tortoise breeds don't meet or hang in the wild unless when looking for a temporary mate.

Typo.
 

Ink

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If they already were together doesn't that make quarantine null? I am truly just asking
 

Tom

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I recently purchased another young hermann's tortoise. I was told by a breeder (not the breeder I bought this new one from) that you can keep hermann's together in groups. So I put my new little one with my other one to see what they would do. (I still plan on quarantining, it was more just to see how they would react to each other) The older one started trying to bite him on the legs and head. I separated them immediately, but is this normal young tortoise behavior? I thought that was adult males fighting over females behavior. My other one is maybe a year old if that. I'm willing to have them in separate enclosures, but this came really as a shock to me.
Tortoises should never be in pairs. Introducing them in this way totally defeats the purpose of quarantine. You'd better hope the new one isn't carrying anything.

They can live in groups, but not pairs. To do this in groups, you have to introduce them carefully and correctly in a large enclosure, preferable outdoors with lots of cover, sight barriers, and hiding areas. Simply dropping a new tort into the territory of an established tort will almost always result in what you just saw. Best to introduce them on neutral territory, and let the new guy settle in, get more new guys, and wait to do the introduction in a new pen after all of them are done with quarantine and given a clean bill of health.
 

oacason

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If they already were together doesn't that make quarantine null? I am truly just asking
I hadn't planned on them living in the same enclosure yet. Eventually yes if things worked out. I didn't think 30 seconds of interaction would matter, as far as if the new tort had anything wrong. but I guess I'm wrong.
 

Minority2

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I hadn't planned on them living in the same enclosure yet. Eventually yes if things worked out. I didn't think 30 seconds of interaction would matter, as far as if the new tort had anything wrong. but I guess I'm wrong.

Lately there has been a rash of diseased tortoises from one particular breeder/establishment down in Florida. Every person that's bought a tortoise from them has noticed their tortoises having these yellow bumps so yes, quarantining for at least 6 months in a different controlled-enclosure is crucial.
 
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