Baby stopped eating, still very active

HewHermannsmum

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Sheffield
Hi, me again!
So my new baby Hermann's tortoise seems to have stopped eating over the last couple of days. Should I be worried?
He ate lots when I first got him, but I fed lambs lettuce as my weeds hadn't grown yet.
2 weeks later, I weaned him down to just weeds (dandelion and such) and he won't touch it. He picked at it the first week of change, now for the last two days he's eaten nothing.
I soak him every day, but lately he just tried to scramble out of the tub, no poops or drinking that I can see (he has pooped in his enclosure a few days ago, and possibly since but I can't find anything). Passing urates every 3 days or so.
He is still very active, but seems to prefer climbing and exploring to anything else, not interested in baths or food!
He's also lost some weight (64g - 59g in two weeks).
Should I be concerned? I'm gonna get more lams lettuce today just to try out his favourite food, but ideally I want him to eat weeds as I know it's a better diet.
Thanks!
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
39,448
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
What are the temps? Basking needs to be 95-100 to properly digest their food. If they can't properly digest their food they will stop eating.
Mix the weeds etc with the lamb's lettuce and chop it up small and spritz with water. As he starts eating, then slowly do less and less of the lettuce.
More info about the enclosure and temps humidity etc would help.
Post pics of enclosure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,815
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi, me again!
So my new baby Hermann's tortoise seems to have stopped eating over the last couple of days. Should I be worried?
He ate lots when I first got him, but I fed lambs lettuce as my weeds hadn't grown yet.
2 weeks later, I weaned him down to just weeds (dandelion and such) and he won't touch it. He picked at it the first week of change, now for the last two days he's eaten nothing.
I soak him every day, but lately he just tried to scramble out of the tub, no poops or drinking that I can see (he has pooped in his enclosure a few days ago, and possibly since but I can't find anything). Passing urates every 3 days or so.
He is still very active, but seems to prefer climbing and exploring to anything else, not interested in baths or food!
He's also lost some weight (64g - 59g in two weeks).
Should I be concerned? I'm gonna get more lams lettuce today just to try out his favourite food, but ideally I want him to eat weeds as I know it's a better diet.
Thanks!
What she said...

Tell us more about the temps, lighting, substrate, and pics help too. We are happy to help, but we need more info.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Lambs lettuce is not a bad food, it can make up a regular part of your torts diet, it is high in moisture content so may result in soft stools but it isnt really a type of lettuce and seems to provide a decent level of nutrition. The key is variation, if your having to supplement with store bought greens, make sure you have a nice variety of different options.
 

HewHermannsmum

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Sheffield
I'm at work rn so I don't have a photo since I changed the enclosure (got a new lamp, etc.)
I think he may be a bit too cold. I read through the care sheet but because I work in centigrade I was a bit out on my F - C conversion. His basking temp currently is 90Fish....31°C. So too cold! Will boost that tomorrow see if it helps.
I left out some lambs lettuce mixed with dandelion...perhaps he was waiting for me to leave to eat. I will find out when I get home I guess.

I use coco coir and orchid bark substrate.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,815
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I'm at work rn so I don't have a photo since I changed the enclosure (got a new lamp, etc.)
I think he may be a bit too cold. I read through the care sheet but because I work in centigrade I was a bit out on my F - C conversion. His basking temp currently is 90Fish....31°C. So too cold! Will boost that tomorrow see if it helps.
I left out some lambs lettuce mixed with dandelion...perhaps he was waiting for me to leave to eat. I will find out when I get home I guess.

I use coco coir and orchid bark substrate.
Yes. Basking area directly below the bulb should be around 36-37C and it would be nice if the day time ambient rose to around 26C. This is hard to do in an open topped container in a cool room. Cooler temps at night are good.
 

HewHermannsmum

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Sheffield
Fortunately I keep my room nice and warm anyway, ambient temperature stays nicely at 28°C on hot side and 20°C on cool side since I made some simple changes. Humidity now good too (about 60-80%).
Will definitely up those basking temps tomorrow!
As for eating, just got home to find an empty plate of food and a happy snoozing tortoise! Looks like I might have a picky eater on my hands ;P
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,255
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Fortunately I keep my room nice and warm anyway, ambient temperature stays nicely at 28°C on hot side and 20°C on cool side since I made some simple changes. Humidity now good too (about 60-80%).
Will definitely up those basking temps tomorrow!
As for eating, just got home to find an empty plate of food and a happy snoozing tortoise! Looks like I might have a picky eater on my hands ;P
They just have to learn what Safe, Nutritious foods are. When tortoises hatch and absorb all their egg yolk nutrition, they become quite hungry and will eat whatever plants are nearby. Then they start eating habitually - just the plants they know. They eventually avoid all New foods as a way to avoid being poisoned, genetically speaking.

Your pet is not picky, he is programmed by his DNA to be cautious. Introduce one new plant at a time and continue offering it even when he won't eat it. Eventually he will take a stray bite and learn that the New things are Safe and Healthful.

It takes as long as it takes, unlike dogs or cats who can learn (intellectually and metabolically) to eat something New over the course of a few days to a week.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom
Top