I'm new please help ! Marginated Tortoise

Corrine

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi, I'm new here and new to keeping a tortoise. Last September, we rescued our little female marginated tortoise from a friend whose boy tortoise was harassing her daily ;-) She has always been housed indoors and she is nearly 4 years old. I've started taking her into the garden (which is small and fully enclosed). We've built her a little house with a ramp, using the same bedding as what she has indoors. However, she is now off sorts being outside, she isn't eating very well and just stays in one place or hides in her house. Do you think she is maybe stressed due to the change of environment ? Please help, I don't want her to be unhappy :-( We are in the UK.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,566
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Hi there

Change can certainly stress a tortoise

However, there are a few things you should check out first

What temperatures do you have warm side, cool side, directly under the basking lamp and overnight minimum? Temperature problems are the most common cause of activity issues.

Your tort may well have ongoing fears from being constantly harassed by her previous house-mate. You are also new and a potential threat.

I recommend establishing a routine so your tort learns what to expect and when.

- Put the lights on a timer so they go on and off at the same time each day

- First thing, before your tort has warmed up properly, give your tort a soak in warm water for at least 20 minutes.

- While your tort soaks, tidy the enclosure and place food

- Replace your tort and walk away. Leave your tort entirely alone to be brave and explore.

- Resist the temptation to pick your tort up and let it wander round your house. Your tort is happiest in the environment it knows with all 4 feet on the ground. They aren't social and don't need, want or particularly like company.

We will be happy to check over photos of your enclosure and lighting to see if there are any issues that need sorting out.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,566
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England

Corrine

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Thank you ! She had settled well in an open fronted viv from Sept til last week (eating, drinking, bathing, pooing well) the viv is set up with a warm and cool end etc.. It's just upset her now that I've taken her outside. I was told she should get used to being outside and soon I should think about hibernating her. But she is obviously stressed with the change. Its very warm here in the UK at the moment, so I thought it was a good time to introduce her to the garden. I'm guessing it maybe better to keep to her permanently in her viv setting ??
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,566
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Soaking is essential if a tort isn't eating properly. They can go a long time without food but not without water.

Soaking tips:

Use a flat-bottomed bowl with high sides that your tort can't see over or through - a washing up bowl is ideal

Use warm water, not hot. It should be deep enough to come just up over the join between the shell and the plastron.

Soak for at least 20 minutes. Change the water if it goes cool.

It is entirely normal for your tortoise to pee or poop in the water. Don't worry. Change it if the water is truly disgusting.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,566
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Thank you ! She had settled well in an open fronted viv from Sept til last week (eating, drinking, bathing, pooing well) the viv is set up with a warm and cool end etc.. It's just upset her now that I've taken her outside. I was told she should get used to being outside and soon I should think about hibernating her. But she is obviously stressed with the change. Its very warm here in the UK at the moment, so I thought it was a good time to introduce her to the garden. I'm guessing it maybe better to keep to her permanently in her viv setting ??
Absolutely not! Get a proper outdoor enclosure set up and she'll learn it's safe.

She needs plants to hide under, plants to eat, a water dish, a food plate, a patch of weedy turf to graze and a patch of full sun for basking. It's perfect tort weather here.

You might find this useful about outdoor accommodation in the UK.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
 

AngieBee

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Wrexham
I’m not expert, but I have a baby marginated tortoise, 3 years old. Unless it is bright sun, my tortoise will do 2 hours outside and then back in for a bath or a bathe. I find that he is happiest and most lively if he gets under his basking lamp regularly.... although your tortoise get uv in warm cloudy weather, she probably still needs to bask under her lamp. You may be doing this already. I live in the uk too and although it’s warmish, there hasn’t been much bright sun and small tortoises lose body temp quicker than large tortoises! If mine doesn’t get a warm bath and time to bask, he won’t eat!!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,510
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Maybe it's too cold outside for the tortoise???

Since you're making quite a change in the tortoise's life, I would just take her outside for short forays daily until she gets used to the garden. Maybe just 15 minutes a day for the first week, then a half hour a day the next week, etc. But only take her outside when she can get warmed up in the sun.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top