Beginner Mistakes - commentary

GBtortoises

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
The Catskill Mountains of New York State
(Moderator note: I've moved all the commentary off Tom's thread and onto here. To read Tom's thread go here: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-45180.html









Tom-OUTSTANDING!

In my opinion this document should be the first thing that opens when a new member signs on to TFO. If only we could post this outside of every pet shop in America too!

There is little to nothing that could be added to this "tortoise bill of captive care rights". But I will say that one thing that I find disturbing that takes place most often with beginners, but even with keepers of a few years or more experience is pointed out in #6: They often maintain their tortoises far too hot night and day. Along with this comes excessive dryness, dehydration, poor food processing and more.
 

Redstrike

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
New York
RE: Beginner Mistakes

Well done, Tom. Valuable information for beginners and experienced tortoise enthusiasts alike.
 

jackrat

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Hamburg,AR
RE: Beginner Mistakes

Good stuff,Tom! I see #1 causing problems far too often. What is sometimes called "hatchling failure syndrome" is,many times,nothing more than improper care during the first month after hatching. Please,if you are looking to buy a hatchling,do some homework. Ask questions about what kind of care they are recieving,hatch date,temperature and humidity parameters. If the prospective seller can't give satisfactory answers to these basic questions,I personally would consider going somewhere else.
 

Laura

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Foothills above Sacramento CA
RE: Beginner Mistakes

yep,, ditto,, great info! and I really stress the part of a safe enclosure.. NO free roaming.. We are human and get distraced too easily and one wanders off.. sometimes never to be found... or found by the dog.. :-(.....
 

DesertGrandma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
RE: Beginner Mistakes

Really good Tom. I am sure this will help many new members. And I agree it should be posted right up front to see.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
RE: Beginner Mistakes

jackrat said:
Good stuff,Tom! I see #1 causing problems far too often. What is sometimes called "hatchling failure syndrome" is,many times,nothing more than improper care during the first month after hatching. Please,if you are looking to buy a hatchling,do some homework. Ask questions about what kind of care they are recieving,hatch date,temperature and humidity parameters. If the prospective seller can't give satisfactory answers to these basic questions,I personally would consider going somewhere else.

I totally agree. This is why I made it number one. Due to the way that some species are typically started, like sulcatas on rabbit pellets with no water bowl for example, I think this one is most critical. If too many of the kidney and liver cells are already dead due to chronic dehydration, there is no way to over come that, even if the new keeper does everything "right".
 

Dagashi

New Member
5 Year Member
RE: Beginner Mistakes

This should be a pinned topic for all new tort parents to be. :D excellent information.

I also find that many tort owners who don't do their necessary research on the actual type of tort that they are planning to get and when they fall in love with a sulcata.. more often than not they might not be able to keep the poor darling due to the sheer size of it!
 

yoda3106

New Member
5 Year Member
RE: Beginner Mistakes

You insulted me ;p lol only joking!! Very good thread, along with you and 3 or 4 others on the forum, you have helped me out so much in the past and when I first became a tort owner, I still get my questions now but without you lot, I wouldn't be as clued up as I am now :) thankyou tom!! Lucky to have you on here!

Dan and shell

(Henry, Hetty and Fred) our torts!!
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
RE: Beginner Mistakes

Great thread Tom. I too, wish this could be available to all newbies first and foremost. No one probably can tell, but I am a big fan of yours. Like yoda3106, you have helped me a lot. I will be attaching this one to my signature. Thank you again for the great info and always putting in 110% to help others and the torts. If you haven't already thought of it, I think you should be working on a care guide book, even a pamphlet would be good. Just an idea, I know you don't have enough to do. Lol :D
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
RE: Beginner Mistakes

JoesMum said:
Outstanding thread Tom. Are you able to add in a bit about lighting?

I did mean to include a bit about not usuing the coil bulbs in the Pet Store section, but too late now.

Lighting is so variable amongst the various species and people's preferences, its sort of difficult to outline what exactly is a mistake, vs. what is preference. I figure if they get them outside often enough and the indoor temps are good, then lighting isn't so critical. I guess I'm saying that major lighting mistakes are not as common as some of these others.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
RE: Beginner Mistakes

Two major things with lighting:

1. Have enough - simulate a summer's day by ensuring there is bright light for 12-14 hours.
2. Have UVB. If the tortoise is not going outside on a near daily basis, then UVB light in some form (not a low energy coil bulb) is essential. The needs UVB to help it process Calcium to keep it's shell healthy.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
RE: Beginner Mistakes

JoesMum said:
Two major things with lighting:

1. Have enough - simulate a summer's day by ensuring there is bright light for 12-14 hours.
2. Have UVB. If the tortoise is not going outside on a near daily basis, then UVB light in some form (not a low energy coil bulb) is essential. The needs UVB to help it process Calcium to keep it's shell healthy.

The redfoot and hingeback keepers might disagree... That's why I didn't want to get too specific about it... Your point is well taken though. I agree for most species and most cases.
 
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