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My Greek in the uk

Discussion in 'Greek tortoises' started by Catherine Chuck, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. Catherine Chuck

    Catherine Chuck New Member

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    I got Timmy for my 7th birthday, he has free roamed in my parents garden for 40 years and hibernated every year, he’s a Greek, and lucky to have survived the terrible journey and pet shop all those years ago. He has moved to my house and seems really well, he free roams here too, there’s lots of grass and paved areas, he’s definitely more relaxed as my parents recent pet dog stressed him out, and vice versa, I put a heat lamp on in the morning for him when he comes out and he loves basking, he has an outdoor house which he likes, it’s dark and sheltered, my question is should I get him a cold frame for when it rains ? He is an older chap now I just want him to be as comfortable as possible, I know he has survived all these years but is there anything I can do to improve his life ? Any advice would be warmly received

    24A395CE-67BB-472D-AEAF-D1F8BE384AA3.jpeg
    Gillian M and lilly_sand99 like this.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    What a great story. I'll send an alert to @JoesMum . She had "Joe" for over 40 years too, and he lived in their garden in the UK.
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  3. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A very warm welcome to the forum, to you and Timmy. He's gorgeous. God bless him.

    Even I have a Greek tort (Oli) and I love him.

    Please read the care sheets and ask questions when in need of help.

    Good luck with Timmy!
    Catherine Chuck likes this.
  4. Mo & Bolt

    Mo & Bolt Member

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    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg Hello we are from Kent uk I have been gifted my 50 yr old tort via family, he has same sort of history . Please read my story . He has also come to me because of them having a new puppy. He has a pen , but also goes out around the lawn we have added a sun house for him , see pics . I just used an old glazing unit on bricks .
  5. Mo & Bolt

    Mo & Bolt Member

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    Ps he loves eating bind weed . His favourite
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  6. Catherine Chuck

    Catherine Chuck New Member

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  7. Catherine Chuck

    Catherine Chuck New Member

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    That looks great I will do something similar, I just have this irrational fear he’s going to die of the cold,I want to put a blanket on him , it’s because we have guinea pigs and they come in every night, I’m used to looking after mammals, I will give the bind weed a go, he loves dandelion leaves,plantain, round lettuce, tomato and strawberries. I got him some cress thinking he would like it but definitely not and he won’t have carrots, he eats clover in the grass, he’s a great character I’m besotted ❤️
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  8. Zaffy

    Zaffy Member

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    I am a lot older than 7, sixty-years older in fact, and for the last few years I have looked after a tortoise. His name is Boris and he is about the same age as me. He belonged to my brother. My brother kept Boris in tip top condition by natural methods. At first I listened to and read everything I could on looking after tortoises and I would tell my brother about all the things I had learned and my brother would just say 'listen to Boris'. It took a while to realise the obvious. Tortoises are wild creatures. They need nature and ,the outside. When it is mild and rainy Boris does not hide away. When it rains and it is not so warm, Boris tucks himself under the hedge. When the sun shines, he positions himself to get the maximum sun on his shell by parking himself against a wall at an angle. I have also noticed that Boris does not like hot weather all the time. After he has sunned himself, he takes himself off into a shady spot. Boris's area is a large patio, which has a hedge and wild flowers. I used to dig up plants that I read were poisonous, but Boris has taught me that he knows instinctively what is right for him. There are certain plants he just won't touch and others that he loves. I encourage the plants that he likes and discourage the plants that he doesn't like. There are quite a few daisies on the patio at the moment. I leave them because they are pretty but Boris won't touch them. I will pull them up when they finish flowering and encourage more hawk-weed, hawk-bit, plantain, violets, pansies, the list is endless. A few years ago, I would have pulled the daisies up, thinking Boris was like a baby and did not know what was good and bad for him. Boris does not have any artificial food. His favourite plant is dandelion which he has always eaten, which I find strange because websites tell us it is poisonous. Try telling Boris that and he'd laugh in your face! I do not get him automatically wormed and neither did my brother. Last year, I had Boris's poo tested by a vet for worms, and Boris passed with flying colours, healthy poo. Much better to do it that way than give unnecessary medication. Boris also likes to bathe. There is one thing I worry about and that is Boris's vulnerability when it comes to predators, so I bring him in at night but not until it gets late. I do not want to take away his natural ability to make his own bed at bedtime. He usually goes to the same place about six o'clock and shuffles himself down into the earth. I do not clear away the autumn leaves because he uses this for his bedding. It amazes me how he gets leaves on the top of his shell and can hardly be seen. Late at night, just before I go to bed, I bring Boris into the house. Boris's shell is beautiful, no lumps or bumps and the vet tells me he is in A1 condition. Man cannot create a perfect natural place indoors in a pen. So I say to everyone - whenever possible, get your tortoise outside in as big a space as possible, and give them choices of food and shelter, they know best. I would like to thank my brother for passing on to me his simple instructions on how to look after Boris.
  9. Catherine Chuck

    Catherine Chuck New Member

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    Thankyou that’s so interesting, especially parking up at an angle and then going in the shade when he has finished sunbathing that’s just like Timmy, he’s not a bather though we have a sunken water saucer but he’s avoided it I wouldn’t pick him up and put him in as I like him coming over to me for food and I think that might make him mistrust me, I’ve tried all the tortoise table foods, he had a bite of carrot once, he actually dropped asparagus out of his mouth deliberately! He has a bite of a plum but mainly will only eat round lettuce or iceberg, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries and dandelion leaves this is what he has been fed for 40 years so it can’t be that terrible he forages on the grass as he free roams, he has a kennel so stays out at night, interestingly though he prefers the summer house it’s a white Lino floor and he wedges under a cane chair but unfortunately we didn’t realise one evening and he got locked in until dinner time the next day! It was shocking for all involved thank goodness it was a Lino floor it was covered in wee and Poohy tortoise footprints, he was fine outwardly, avoided it for a few days but goes back in now but we close the door before settling down time, I think he’s very amiable and clever, he is so inquisitive and likes to stand on top of tools from the shed,he conquered a socket set and a drill last Sunday, I’m a bit worried about his first hibernation with us though
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  10. Karenxx67

    Karenxx67 Member

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    Can i please ask for people that have tortoises living outside, in the UK. What do you do in say the months of March and April or May when they cime out of hibernarion when its still quite cold?
    Id be terrified they wernt warm enough?
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  11. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi I have messaged @JoesMum who also lives in Kent, she had a Greek and will be able to give you great advice.
    She is on holiday at the moment but as soon as she has time she will get back to you.
  12. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    @JoesMum is on hols but I have messaged her about this thread so I'm sure she'll help when she has time.
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  13. Zaffy

    Zaffy Member

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    Boris hibernates indoors in the coolest part of the house. I check on him often during hibernation. When he wakes up, I encourage him to eat straight away by keeping him warm and I give him warm baths. He stays indoors until the weather warms.
  14. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi there, greetings from Kent via the South of France.

    Joe was also a 7th birthday present... we had him for 47 years until we lost him to a tumour.

    It looks like you have care pretty much nailed.

    Take a look at this thread that I put together about looking after a Greek in the UK climate... it’s pinned in the accommodation forum.

    I’m happy to answer questions
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
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