How do you build a friendship with your Tort?

CaggyQ

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Donegal
Hi everyone,

I have a young tortoise, just under a year old. He’s a feisty little character and full of life. I really want him to trust me more (at the moment his interest in me is a healthy mixture of caution and “you’re just my food supplier”).

I spend time talking to him, and I handle him only in short bursts and not too frequently. I pet his head and he seems to enjoy that, but eventually gets bored. I do hand feed him, but it all depends on how tasty the food is. Honestly,
bored of me 99% of the time!

I just want to know what you guys have done to build a relationship with your tortoises. I’m planning to have him for many, many decades so I really want him to enjoy his long life with me, and not just be my disgruntled neighbour.

Thanks so much guys!
Karen
 

Tom

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Hi everyone,

I have a young tortoise, just under a year old. He’s a feisty little character and full of life. I really want him to trust me more (at the moment his interest in me is a healthy mixture of caution and “you’re just my food supplier”).

I spend time talking to him, and I handle him only in short bursts and not too frequently. I pet his head and he seems to enjoy that, but eventually gets bored. I do hand feed him, but it all depends on how tasty the food is. Honestly,
bored of me 99% of the time!

I just want to know what you guys have done to build a relationship with your tortoises. I’m planning to have him for many, many decades so I really want him to enjoy his long life with me, and not just be my disgruntled neighbour.

Thanks so much guys!
Karen
Keep doing what you are doing, and at about 3-4 years old, your tort will become much more bold and outgoing. They are all individuals, so some get comfy sooner and others later. Hand feeding tends to help too, but that sometimes goes too far. A little hand feeding now and then should help win a young one over.

@maggie3fan is a master of making them into personal pets on an individual basis. I hope she sees this thread and shares her tips with you. I have too many to make each one into a personal pet. I enjoy mine in a different way and let them be more "feral" in their large pens.
 

CaggyQ

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Nov 12, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
Really, it's just basic daily good care and they are happy. The fact that s/he doesn't mind a little pet on the head tells me you've already established a good relationship.🤗
Thank you so much! Such a lovely message to receive I feel so much better now!
 

CaggyQ

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Nov 12, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
Yep, not going to get much. They are not a dog or cat. They won't be like a dog or cat.
Give him a proper sized home inside and out and proper diet and all around care and he will be happy and thrive.
Thanks to the amazing advice I got here, his enclosure is perfect for him. He loves to jump off his cave in particular! I also take away different bits and change the layout around every month; keeps him interested ☺️
 

CaggyQ

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
Keep doing what you are doing, and at about 3-4 years old, your tort will become much more bold and outgoing. They are all individuals, so some get comfy sooner and others later. Hand feeding tends to help too, but that sometimes goes too far. A little hand feeding now and then should help win a young one over.

@maggie3fan is a master of making them into personal pets on an individual basis. I hope she sees this thread and shares her tips with you. I have too many to make each one into a personal pet. I enjoy mine in a different way and let them be more "feral" in their large pens.
Thank you so much for your advice! I’m gathering some dandelions now for hand feeding. I won’t ever do it though - promise!

I can’t wait to see what he will be like at three. He’s already such a character. I forgot to say that I play the ukulele for him because he always leaves to cave to listen in. Everything is just so new to him.

I love the thought of lots of tortoises! I live in Ireland though, so I don’t want to get too many and only let them roam for a few weeks outside over the summer. It’s such a shame!
Thank you so much again. ☺️
 

wellington

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He's cute but on wrong substrate. He also is pyramiding. You need to use proper substrate and get the humidity up. A closed chamber is best for a young tort.
Please read the caresheet and make needed changes asap. He's too young to have pyramiding as they don't pyramid as easy as other torts. He has had the too dry care for too long.
 

Lyn W

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Lovely little tort, but Russians like to dig in moist substrate so change that and he will be even happier. Here is the caresheet you need to put things right.
 

CaggyQ

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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
He's cute but on wrong substrate. He also is pyramiding. You need to use proper substrate and get the humidity up. A closed chamber is best for a young tort.
Please read the caresheet and make needed changes asap. He's too young to have pyramiding as they don't pyramid as easy as other torts. He has had the too dry care for too long.
Thanks so much for that - you’ve no idea how much I appreciate your advice. I’ve been having supply issues for his original substrate because of Covid (he uses cypress mulch usually), so the Aspen is a very temporary substitute. Any other suggestions would be so welcomed! I’m obsessed with Pyramiding. I think I’ve been managing to reduce it - can I send you a pic and can you tell me if I have?
Thanks so much. It’s this sort of advice you need for a happy tort.
(the photo was a few months ago when I was really concerned about this shell)
 

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CaggyQ

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Nov 12, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
Lovely little tort, but Russians like to dig in moist substrate so change that and he will be even happier. Here is the caresheet you need to put things right.
You are so kind! Thank you so much. Any advice I get on this forum I always take. I’ve been waiting for his cypress mulch to arrive, but I won’t wait any longer and get an alternative sorted out first thing in the morning. So glad I posted up that photo of him!
 

wellington

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See if you can get orchid bark or even coconut coir. If you can get both, I would use coir on the bottom and orchid bark on top. The coir will hold moisture well needed for humidity and the bark will keep a dry layer on top.
Yes post pics of the shell before and we should be able to tell a difference.
 

Cathie G

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See if you can get orchid bark or even coconut coir. If you can get both, I would use coir on the bottom and orchid bark on top. The coir will hold moisture well needed for humidity and the bark will keep a dry layer on top.
Yes post pics of the shell before and we should be able to tell a difference.
I was thinking about trying that myself.🤗 I have a mix of coir and repti bark but was thinking of putting a good layer of orchid bark on top.
 

wellington

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I was thinking about trying that myself.🤗 I have a mix of coir and repti bark but was thinking of putting a good layer of orchid bark on top.
Even the coir and reptibark would be better then what he is on now. As long as you have it go ahead and use it. I have used reptibark before.
 

CaggyQ

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Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Donegal
See if you can get orchid bark or even coconut coir. If you can get both, I would use coir on the bottom and orchid bark on top. The coir will hold moisture well needed for humidity and the bark will keep a dry layer on top.
Yes post pics of the shell before and we should be able to tell a difference.
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly again! I have a block of coconut coir, but I’m struggling to find orchid bark. Would fir be an alternative? I’ve a link here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0002DIZIY/?tag=
 

Cathie G

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Even the coir and reptibark would be better then what he is on now. As long as you have it go ahead and use it. I have used reptibark before.
☺️ I'm CathieG... I was thinking it would be nice to put a layer of orchid bark on top of the coir and repti bark I presently have for Sapphire. He may like it better.
 

Cathie G

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Thanks so much for that - you’ve no idea how much I appreciate your advice. I’ve been having supply issues for his original substrate because of Covid (he uses cypress mulch usually), so the Aspen is a very temporary substitute. Any other suggestions would be so welcomed! I’m obsessed with Pyramiding. I think I’ve been managing to reduce it - can I send you a pic and can you tell me if I have?
Thanks so much. It’s this sort of advice you need for a happy tort.
(the photo was a few months ago when I was really concerned about this shell)
Don't throw away your Aspen. It makes a good firestarter for a barbecue. I bought some once and that's what I came up with to not waste my money. My tortoise hated it.🤗
 
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