How many Greek tortoises should I have?

kirsty Johnston

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Hi everyone

I currently have a male Greek Ibera called beastie who is awesome!
I was wondering what people's thoughts were on keeping more than 1. I understand that I would probably need to get 2 females and keep them in separate enclosures. I keep getting mixed opinions on what I should do.

My vet who is a fello tortoise enthusiast thinks that beastie is a happy healthy tortoise (which he is) and said that in the wild Greek tortoises are very territorial and loners. If they do see another tortoise they either mate or fight then go on their separate ways. He thinks I shouldn't put beasties happiness at risk by introducing another tort after all this time.

On the other hand I notice that a lot of people on this forum have more than one tort and all the top breeders in the UK recommend that Greek tortoises are best in pairs and a couple of them will only sell in pairs unless the tort is going to a house where they already own a tortoise!

Beastie is my number 1 priority so if I get others it will be for him and not for me. As much as I have been bitten by the tortoise bug I refuse to let this be at the detriment of the tort I already have. So it would be good to hear what other people on this forum thinks

Thanks everyone! :)
 

Tom

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They are "happiest" alone.

If you want more than one, pairs are a disaster waiting to happen. You should definitely have at least two, but better three adult females to go with him. You will need to quarantine any newcomers for several months and in the end, they all might not get along, and you'd have to house them all separately anyway. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Breeding them is really really cool, but a lot of potential complications come with the endeavor.

Only you can decide if you want to open yourself up to all the potential problems or just happily stay with what you've got. I have breeding groups, but I fondly remember the days of having a single uncomplicated pet.
 

JoesMum

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I agree with your Vet and Tom. They are largely solitary and in the wild they roam large distances.

If you get more tortoises they must be kept entirely separately, in quarantine, for a minimum of 6 months. This is to ensure that neither makes the other(s) sick.

The enclosure needs to be large, outdoors with plenty of sight barriers and you must be prepared for the worst. Even as a group, bullying may happen (you may not see physical dominance it can be more subtle) and the victim will become withdrawn and stop eating, become sick and could die. If bullying occurs they must be separated immediately.

You have to accept that the tortoises may never get on, or that things could change, and have to be kept separately on a permanent basis. If you don't have room for this, stick to the one happy tort you have.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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They are solitary animals who like their own territories, will fight or bully for the best food, basking spot, shelter and so on.
They certainly don't need company or friends and are better off alone.
 

kirsty Johnston

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They are "happiest" alone.

If you want more than one, pairs are a disaster waiting to happen. You should definitely have at least two, but better three adult females to go with him. You will need to quarantine any newcomers for several months and in the end, they all might not get along, and you'd have to house them all separately anyway. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Breeding them is really really cool, but a lot of potential complications come with the endeavor.

Only you can decide if you want to open yourself up to all the potential problems or just happily stay with what you've got. I have breeding groups, but I fondly remember the days of having a single uncomplicated pet.

I am so glad all 3 of you agree he would be best on his own. I think as humans we seek companionship and you always think that's what all living beings want.
My beastie is definitely a happy healthy boy and if getting more could be at his detriment I would rather not bother and keep going the way we are.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read over my post and replying before I done something silly :)
 

johnsonnboswell

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I have more than one because I'm an addict. I kept rescuing them from terrible situations or helping out people who needed to rehome theirs, and then not finding anyone to pass them along to. I get attached and find a way to make it work. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of having one habitat only.
 

Tom

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I am so glad all 3 of you agree he would be best on his own. I think as humans we seek companionship and you always think that's what all living beings want.
My beastie is definitely a happy healthy boy and if getting more could be at his detriment I would rather not bother and keep going the way we are.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read over my post and replying before I done something silly :)

I know several humans that do best all alone too...

Just sayin'...
 

kirsty Johnston

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I know several humans that do best all alone too...

Just sayin'...
I don't nessisarly mean girlfriends or boyfriends but a mate to go to the pictures or the bar with... Didn't mean it like that so sorry if I offended you
 

Tom

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I don't nessisarly mean girlfriends or boyfriends but a mate to go to the pictures or the bar with... Didn't mean it like that so sorry if I offended you


No offense at all. I was being silly making a joke.

But I really do know some hermit type humans... :)
 
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