Hermanns doesn't eat

Von

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I have a new Hermann's and in the first couple of I saw him take a coupl of mouthfuls of food but since then he doesnt eat, today is his 5th day with me. He is 12 weeks old and i offer the food that the breeder was feeding him (plantain, sowthistle, dead nettle and chickweed but no interest. I wasn't too worried as I expected settling in to new surroundings to make a difference but am now feeling concerned. I constantly check temperatures which are fine, I soak him more to keep him hydrated and he is still very active but not had any body waste since day 2. any ideas please?
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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I have a new Hermann's and in the first couple of I saw him take a coupl of mouthfuls of food but since then he doesnt eat, today is his 5th day with me. He is 12 weeks old and i offer the food that the breeder was feeding him (plantain, sowthistle, dead nettle and chickweed but no interest. I wasn't too worried as I expected settling in to new surroundings to make a difference but am now feeling concerned. I constantly check temperatures which are fine, I soak him more to keep him hydrated and he is still very active but not had any body waste since day 2. any ideas please?
Does it at least eat a tiny bit or really just completely ignore the food?
 

Yvonne G

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The most common cause for a tortoise to not be eating is that he isn't warm enough. Being an ectotherm, his inner core can only get to be as warm as the air around him. This is why you must provide the correct lighting and heat. He sits under the light to warm up his inner core so that the food will digest. How are you checking the temperature?
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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He isn't eating anything that i see, if he is eating anything when im not looking it is very tiny
If he DOES at least eat a little, it's just a behavioral problem, like humans. In this case you need not worry too much

But for the second case, loss of appetite. There are a lot of causes on this. Main ones are inadequate heat, hydration, sunlight. You mentioned you do soak him and check temps. What are the temps in the enclosure may I ask? And do you sunbathe him every so often?
Stress can also be a factor. Stress can be inflicted if he's held too much, sudden change of environment etc.
Worst case scenario, he's sick. Especially mouth rot. If you don't know how mouth rot looks like, you can compare pics found on Google to your tort.
I've also heard seasonal/climate change can also diminish tort's appetite? I'm not sure about this last one.

Anyway, can you also post pics of your enclosure?
 

Von

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Highest temperature under UV lamp is 35, other areas including sleeping/Night time area range from 17 to 25. I have likened the set up and temperatures to the breeders with his advice so maybe I will give him a few days before panicking, as i said he has plenty of energy. He hasnt had sunbathing time as there is no sun here and it is very cold in my part of the UK at this present time. Can't post pics at the moment as I have no way of doing so. Thanks
 

Gillian M

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Hi @Von and welcome to the forum.

Don't worry - we're all here to help you. And torts do not like change. This may be doing something to your tort's appetite.

Would you please post pics of your tort and his enclosure? This would enable us to help you much more easily.
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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Highest temperature under UV lamp is 35, other areas including sleeping/Night time area range from 17 to 25. I have likened the set up and temperatures to the breeders with his advice so maybe I will give him a few days before panicking, as i said he has plenty of energy. He hasnt had sunbathing time as there is no sun here and it is very cold in my part of the UK at this present time. Can't post pics at the moment as I have no way of doing so. Thanks
The enclosure's temp should never drop below 24. Also if the weather there doesn't allow you to take your tort out for sunbathing, you can compensate that by using uvb light. Do not ever use the coiled bulbs. Useless, harmful, it's not recommended. I've seen a number of veterans suggest using the tube ones, so yeah.

Since right now you can't take a pic. You can tell about some details of the enclosure instead.
Substrate?
Humidity?
Size?
What kind of water/food bowl?
Decorations? (hide, plants, etc.)
Is the enclosure closed with some ventilation?
Maybe more details?
 

Von

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The most common cause for a tortoise to not be eating is that he isn't warm enough. Being an ectotherm, his inner core can only get to be as warm as the air around him. This is why you must provide the correct lighting and heat. He sits under the light to warm up his inner core so that the food will digest. How are you checking the temperature?
I have an infra red laser light to check temperatures
 

Von

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The enclosure's temp should never drop below 24. Also if the weather there doesn't allow you to take your tort out for sunbathing, you can compensate that by using uvb light. Do not ever use the coiled bulbs. Useless, harmful, it's not recommended. I've seen a number of veterans suggest using the tube ones, so yeah.

Since right now you can't take a pic. You can tell about some details of the enclosure instead.
Substrate?
Humidity?
Size?
What kind of water/food bowl?
Decorations? (hide, plants, etc.)
Is the enclosure closed with some ventilation?
Maybe more details?
The lowest temperature I gave is in sleep area when there is no heat and he is dug in for the night which is what the breeder said to do, my house temperature is never lower than 17. the table is below size 80x40x20cms. Substrate is a mix of topsoil and coco fibre. Food is put on a slate to help keep beak trim and a very shallow pottery dish is used for water which is at least twice the diameter of Yoda. I have planted in there a tall clump of grass and a plantain. I have a log hide and a rough stone area for him to climb over and a terracotta tile under the lamp which is a mercury vapour UVA/UVB combination. The picture I uploaded from ebay as I can't take a picture and put up at the moment
 

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Von

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This morning I have been observing Yoda from a distance and he is in fact eating, not much more than a nibble at a time but he is eating which I felt he must be to have the energy he has but, new mum and all that. Thank you all for responding to my cry for help,
 
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Gillian M

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This morning I have been observing Yoda from a distance and he is in fact eating, not much more than a nibble at a time but he is eating which I felt he must be to have the energy he has but, new mum and all that. Thank you all for respong to my cry for help,
Great! Keep up the good work Yoda, and keep us updated, @Von .
 
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Hi! When i first got my hermanns 3 years ago i was in the exact same situation and was worrying so much! I made sure that his temps were perfect, that he had enough/ the right substrate and he still was not eating or coming out of his hide. If hos conditions are good yhen he is just adapting to his new environment as they are very territorial animals. It took my tort about 2-3 weeks to fully settle in and start eating and roaming around his table healthily. I hope this helps!
 

Von

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It was simply that i hadn't seen him eat until today. He races round his table, climbs anything that is climb"able" he drinks and bathes is inquisitive about anything put in his home etc. Now i have seen him a little I am happy. Thanks for your help
 

Von

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Just an update for those that offered opinions and advice. Yoda is eating well now, his favourites being chickened, plantain , dandelion and kale. Everything seems to be just as it should without me having to change anything.
Thank you all
 

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