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Head Butting Help!

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Caz1412, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. Caz1412

    Caz1412 Guest

    Hi my family have had our Tim for 40+ years, he's normally a gentle soul but last year he started an annoying habit of headbutting stationary objects, the garden fence, the rockery, gnomes, it hasn't been aimed at people and he's still the friendly little man he always has been. There has been no changes in his environment at all to cause this. I've read online it could be a sexual or territory thing which is fine but he's a lone tortoise (he's never got along with another tortoise, he's a solitary little dude apart from the dog) my only concern is him hurting himself, the front of his shell has become sharp where he's bashing it. And we have noticed he seems to think some of the garden gnomes are female tortoises.
    I just don't want him to damage his shell, is there anything I can do?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2016
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello and welcome :)

    There is absolutely nothing you can do. I am amazed you have gone this long before Tim has displayed this behaviour.

    Joe has been doing it for decades and we have had him for 46 years.

    It is completely normal male tort behaviour to defend their territory and is also done to females that catch their eye.

    Whatever you do, don't think of getting him a girlfriend; it won't help and might make matters worse.

    Tim is in the prime of life and letting everyone know.

    He won't hurt himself by the way, but you do learn to remove some objects that get battered too often and to always present the sole of your shoe towards him in order to ensure you don't get a nasty rap on the ankle bone by accident.
    Myriapod and KaitlinKeefe_ like this.
  3. Caz1412

    Caz1412 Guest

    Thank you, he honestly has never done anything like it until last year and the vet suspects he is atleast 50 years old! I'm relieved he won't hurt himself, that has been our biggest worry.
    Thank you for the help!
  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    No problem. It really is amazing you haven't seen this before. It's just a boy strutting his stuff.

    Joe shows particular antipathy toward our lawnmower. He'll also bash buckets, watering cans, flower pots, any gardening implements - a rumple in a groundsheet...

    ... And as for mating with stuff... anything is fair game. Shoes, flower pots, shoes, the drain cover, a seed tray, shoes, rocks ... did I mention shoes?!

    I know when Joe's got where he shouldn't as the sound of tort bashing wheelie bin can be heard from the end of the road!

    Like I said, it's easiest to move stuff out of the way that's a regular target, be prepared to defend the window cleaner's bucket and the bottom of his ladder and accept that it won't change.
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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Remove objects that could hurt him from his environment.
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  6. Kori5

    Kori5 Well-Known Member

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    I have to know: crocs shoes? :D
  7. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Any. He's not fussy. We don't actually own any Crocs. Never have done.
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  8. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A very warm welcome to the forum!:tort:

    Please read the "Beginners Mistakes" Thread and care sheets. Ask ANY question, and keep asking questions when in need of help. :D
  9. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I'm very surprised he has taken this long to act like this. It probably won't be constant. Once in awhile, Charlie goes on rampages, knocking things over. When he was 5 or 6, he spent lots of time romancing the large rocks we have in our yard. I haven't noticed that much in the last few years (he's only 17.) Maybe he has just learned to be more discreet!
    JoesMum and Moozillion like this.
  10. TerrapinStation

    TerrapinStation Well-Known Member

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    There is a video somewhere on the internet of a tortoise "romancing" a Croc......

    Maybe buy him a pair at your local thrift shop and let him go to town?
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