He rarely eats

JhinTheTortoise

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Jun 25, 2021
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I’m a new tortoise owner, I only have had him for two days and I haven’t seen him poo or pee. He looks perfectly healthy, but when I put food into his enclosure he doesn’t go eat it. Unless I let him go outside my garden he eats the weeds and has a jolly time.
 

Tom

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I’m a new tortoise owner, I only have had him for two days and I haven’t seen him poo or pee. He looks perfectly healthy, but when I put food into his enclosure he doesn’t go eat it. Unless I let him go outside my garden he eats the weeds and has a jolly time.
Hello and welcome.

We can help, but we need more info:
1. What species, size and age tortoise are we talking about?
2. What size enclosure?
3. What heating and lighting equipment?
4. UV bulb? What type and what distance from the tortoise?
5. What substrate? Is it damp?
6. What are the four temperatures in the enclosure? Warm side, cool side, barking area, and overnight low?
7. What are you feeding it?
 

JhinTheTortoise

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Joined
Jun 25, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
She’s a Russian tortoise eating weeds such as dandelions, I‘ve also recently started giving her lettuce with a little calcium. She is also roughly the size of my hand which I would estimate about 4 to 5 inches? Her enclosure isn’t ideal but it’s a decent size(I don’t remember the exact size of it), but it’s a viv. I didn’t know that vivs were bad until recently but now I am working up on the money for a more ideal enclosure for her. I have covered the glass parts which she sees the outside and now she seems content with her temporary enclosure. She has her uvb and heating lamp, idk how far but its just sitting above her viv.
9F030FD2-8ED7-4DFE-B986-6A43B80D03C2.jpeg
She‘s sleeping at the moment and buried in the right side of the enclosure. If you want a more pictures and stuff follow me on Instagram JhinTheTortoise.
Moving forward her substrate is forest floor which is like dryish substrate but its damp enough to hold moisture and for her to hold her ground with ease. She has plastic flowers in her enclosure and she hasn’t taken a bite out of them so there isn’t any concerns. I’ve also added some rocks for her to walk over and trim down her nails and etc.
Also interesting I had no idea there were so many sides to an enclosure. As far as I know I have a cool side and warm side.

I’ve had her for about three days now and today I have a great announcement, she has pooped but not once, BUT TWICE! I am extremely happy, but her poop is a little slimy so I was wondering if slimy poop is concerning.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome.
Torts don't like change so he could just be settling in.
This is the caresheet you need - it has the most up to date information you'll find anywhere and if you follow that your tort should thrive.
It will help you with temps, huidity, substrate and diet.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk will also help you find tort safe foods. (based on UK plants but you'll have many of them in the US)
A small pinch of calcium should only be used about twice a week.

Vivs aren't bad, as it's easier to control the temps and humidity to stop them pyrammiding, but if that is his main enclosure, where he spends most time, your viv is quite small for a tort his size and looks a bit cluttered.

The steep water dish in the corner can be a drowning/tipping hazard - a shallow terracotta plant saucer sunk level with the substrate would be safer and easier for him to access and exit after self soaking.

The combi uvb/heat/light lamps (MVB) aren't recommended as they can dry and damage tort shells and the uvb fades quickly. Most people use T5 HO uvb tube with a separate basking flood bulb. Depending on how much outside time he gets you may not need the UVB until it's too cold to go out. You need a thermometer to find the temps at tort level and set the height of bulbs accordingly.

Can you post a pic of his outside encosure too?
 

JhinTheTortoise

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Hi and welcome.
Torts don't like change so he could just be settling in.
This is the caresheet you need - it has the most up to date information you'll find anywhere and if you follow that your tort should thrive.
It will help you with temps, huidity, substrate and diet.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk will also help you find tort safe foods. (based on UK plants but you'll have many of them in the US)
A small pinch of calcium should only be used about twice a week.

Vivs aren't bad, as it's easier to control the temps and humidity to stop them pyrammiding, but if that is his main enclosure, where he spends most time, your viv is quite small for a tort his size and looks a bit cluttered.

The steep water dish in the corner can be a drowning/tipping hazard - a shallow terracotta plant saucer sunk level with the substrate would be safer and easier for him to access and exit after self soaking.

The combi uvb/heat/light lamps (MVB) aren't recommended as they can dry and damage tort shells and the uvb fades quickly. Most people use T5 HO uvb tube with a separate basking flood bulb. Depending on how much outside time he gets you may not need the UVB until it's too cold to go out. You need a thermometer to find the temps at tort level and set the height of bulbs accordingly.

Can you post a pic of his outside encosure too?
Thank you so much for your help it’s very appreciated! Yeah it’s rather small so I’m trying to upgrade it. I don’t have an outside enclosure for her instead I walk her around my garden and let her explore. And omg this entire time people I have been told vivs are bad in general! thanks for letting me know. Perhaps I will upgrade her viv to a much bigger one! (I love vivs because of the doors, she’s staying at my boyfriends house and he has brothers who would mess with her). I’ve been trying to learn more about weeds and edible plants for her so I’ve been using tortoise table, is this a trusted site? I’ve heard from a few it’s good but I’m a little wary. Also with the water dish thanks for letting me know. Also for regulating temperature is it okay if I get a thermastat? Also I have a therm it just doesn’t show in the picture.
 

Yvonne G

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Is the light sitting on a screen? Fine mesh screen filters out a good portion of the beneficial UVB rays. Double check the temperature. They don't eat if they're not warm enough.

Tortoises are territorial. They go through relocation stress when taken out of their territory and put someplace new. It takes a while for them to settle in and feel safe. . . sometimes two or three weeks.
 

JhinTheTortoise

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Oregon
Is the light sitting on a screen? Fine mesh screen filters out a good portion of the beneficial UVB rays. Double check the temperature. They don't eat if they're not warm enough.

Tortoises are territorial. They go through relocation stress when taken out of their territory and put someplace new. It takes a while for them to settle in and feel safe. . . sometimes two or three weeks.
Yeah, she is eating now thankfully
 
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