Female tortoises seem like they’re mating?

Evalawrence

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Hello, I was gifted two Hermann tortoises a week ago. The previous owners told us they are both girls and 3 years old, for the past week I have been keeping them in the same enclosure they have always been kept in but having them in the garden most of the day and they have been fine. However today I noticed one head bopping and biting at the others legs and shell, before mounting it. Could she be a he or is this more likely to be bullying?
 

Cathie G

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Hello, I was gifted two Hermann tortoises a week ago. The previous owners told us they are both girls and 3 years old, for the past week I have been keeping them in the same enclosure they have always been kept in but having them in the garden most of the day and they have been fine. However today I noticed one head bopping and biting at the others legs and shell, before mounting it. Could she be a he or is this more likely to be bullying?
I'm not an expert but welcome to TFO. This much I do know... Separate them for now. It's bullying. Put a divider in their enclosure until you can get more longtime members answering how to keep them. They can really hurt each other and will requiring a vet.
 

Cathie G

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I'm not an expert but welcome to TFO. This much I do know... Separate them for now. It's bullying. Put a divider in their enclosure until you can get more longtime members answering how to keep them. They can really hurt each other and will requiring a vet.
I'm sorry I probably wasn't clear enough. A piece of cardboard using duck tape would work until you have real answers for your enclosure. That being just a way to keep them separated until you know exactly what to do. Best wishes.
 

Evalawrence

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I'm sorry I probably wasn't clear enough. A piece of cardboard using duck tape would work until you have real answers for your enclosure. That being just a way to keep them separated until you know exactly what to do. Best wishes.
Thankyou! I’ll separate them now. Do you think I should try to keep them separate when they’re in the garden as they seem to always follow each other around
 

Cathie G

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Thankyou! I’ll separate them now. Do you think I should try to keep them separate when they’re in the garden as they seem to always follow each other around
I would until some better qualified people here on TFO tell you how to set up that type of outdoor enclosure. I can't tell you if you have girls or 1 boy and 1 girl. I can tell you this though. Tortoises don't like another tortoise when they grow into adults. They are like hummingbirds. Once they breed they are fed up.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome.
It sounds as if this is bullying behaviour....well spotted!
Torts are solitary creatures and do not like competition for food, space, heat etc. It usually starts a while before it gets physical with staring, following, nudging etc - often mistaken for cuddling which torts don't do. It can escalate and be fatal for the tort on the receiving end:(.
So yes - separate asap inside and outside, they will both be much happier.
This is a link to a good caresheet which will help you https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
 

Tom

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They need to be separated. Indoors and out. Harm is likely to come to them if you don't. Indoors and out. Tortoises should never be kept in pairs.
 

Evalawrence

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Hi and welcome.
It sounds as if this is bullying behaviour....well spotted!
Torts are solitary creatures and do not like competition for food, space, heat etc. It usually starts a while before it gets physical with staring, following, nudging etc - often mistaken for cuddling which torts don't do. It can escalate and be fatal for the tort on the receiving end:(.
So yes - separate asap inside and outside, they will both be much happier.
This is a link to a good caresheet which will help you https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
Hello and Thankyou. I’ve also noticed the tort receiving the bullying doesn’t eat much. At first I thought it was just her not being hungry, however after taking her away after noticing the bullying I have tried to hand feed her, she takes from my hand and tries to chew but her beak isn’t sharp enough to chew through even a bit of lettuce, when the other fort can easily chomp through. What shall I do about this? Does she need to see a vet?
 

Lyn W

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Hello and Thankyou. I’ve also noticed the tort receiving the bullying doesn’t eat much. At first I thought it was just her not being hungry, however after taking her away after noticing the bullying I have tried to hand feed her, she takes from my hand and tries to chew but her beak isn’t sharp enough to chew through even a bit of lettuce, when the other fort can easily chomp through. What shall I do about this? Does she need to see a vet?
If you can post a picture then we can see if it's a case of the beak needing filing, or a damaged jaw etc. sometimes it's difficult to tell from a pic, so a vet inspection may be needed. @JoesMum is in Kent and although its a large county she may be able to recommend a good reptile vet.
 

Evalawrence

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If you can post a picture then we can see if it's a case of the beak needing filing, or a damaged jaw etc. sometimes it's difficult to tell from a pic, so a vet inspection may be needed. @JoesMum is in Kent and although its a large county she may be able to recommend a good reptile vet.
I have attached pictures of my torts beak, in the last picture as you can see she literally cannot bite through this part of the tomato, instead she just licks out the middle part and attempts to chew through before giving up.

701DAED5-CD9B-4F64-BB1E-38E9B1E0DA4B.jpeg 4D3EA547-FDD8-453F-8454-7130DB2FBBA2.jpeg 4F16E0D1-6FE8-47AE-A6CD-16A0C352DF21.jpeg 5BF53C26-A289-44E3-997C-2E490899AE95.jpeg 4C011A67-8D33-486C-B639-B7C66E3EAF1D.jpeg 4A950747-AE02-44A4-B77B-6CD7119ADFCA.png
 

SweetGreekTorts

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I have attached pictures of my torts beak, in the last picture as you can see she literally cannot bite through this part of the tomato, instead she just licks out the middle part and attempts to chew through before giving up.
Beak doesn't look too bad. But based on the size of the tail I caught a glimpse of in a couple of those photos, that tortoise is a male.
 

Yvonne G

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That sometimes happens when a female is ready to breed or nest, but I agree with SweetGreek - that certainly looks like a male tail.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Hello, if I send you pictures of both of my tortoises could you tell me if the other is male too?
Yes. Pictures looking at them from underneath are best, to see the whole tail and back legs. Females have short, stubby tails and males have longer tails that tuck to the side. With the Hermann's species, both genders have a spur on the tip.

I don't know much about jaw issues, so I cannot help much with that.
 

Yvonne G

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Also do you think that if his beak seems fine his jaw could be the reason he can’t eat
The beak does look a bit blunt to me. Usually the edge is sharp enough to cut your finger. It ma y need to be filed a bit to make a better cutting edge.
 

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