My new baby Dwarf Hermann - Greta

Harry and Greta

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Hello all 😊

Yesterday morning my lovely baby Dwarf Hermann Greta arrived and she's the sweetest thing!!

I'm a first time tortoise owner and feel I could use all the support I can get so would really appreciate everyone's input 😊

Yesterday when she arrived she was a lot more playful than I expected, she ran around, buried herself ate a lot and even seemed happy to be stroked so I was really happy she seemed to be adjusting so quickly! But today she seems a lot more timid - I woke her to have a bath (I called the place I bought her from to check this was okay and he said it would be fine) as I wanted to make sure she warmed up straight away after having the heat lamp off all night - but she seems a lot more scared today. She was visibly more scared when I picked her up and popped her in the bath and after her bath had one tiny nibble off food and how has gone straight to the corner. Was waking her a mistake? Is it normal for her to have gotten less confident around me?

What's the best thing I can do for her right now to make sure she gets back to her happy self that she seemed yesterday?

Thanks so much in advance!!

Harriet PXL_20210121_161537168.jpg
 

Yossarian

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First day in unfamiliar territory elicits a lot of activity usually, they get a bit frantic about trying to find a familiar place. Once they accept that they cant they go quite for a few days while they are adjusting to the new environment. Sleeping and hiding more than normal is expected. Best thing to do is minimise handling and disturbances and let the tort settle for a good couple weeks.
 

Harry and Greta

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First day in unfamiliar territory elicits a lot of activity usually, they get a bit frantic about trying to find a familiar place. Once they accept that they cant they go quite for a few days while they are adjusting to the new environment. Sleeping and hiding more than normal is expected. Best thing to do is minimise handling and disturbances and let the tort settle for a good couple weeks.
Good to know it's normal behaviour! I will definitely keep my handling to a minimum to give her a chance to make herself at home! Thanks so much for your reply, it's put my mind at ease 😊
 

Harry and Greta

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Hi! I’ve had my baby for a week now and he is mega active! He can be like this sometimes but I think he is still settling
Oh my gosh he is so adorable!! Thanks so much for your reply, good to know mine is also likely to get back to her active self within a couple of weeks 😊
 

Yossarian

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Good to know it's normal behaviour! I will definitely keep my handling to a minimum to give her a chance to make herself at home! Thanks so much for your reply, it's put my mind at ease 😊

It would be worth posting some more photos, show us the enclosure you have the tort in, what kind of lighting and heating your using. Also, what are your basking spot temps, your cold end temps, humidity, what are you feeding the tort, any supplements. etc. . . We can help you avoid any problems before they start. For example I can see that you are using the large coco coir bark and it looks very dry. The substrate idealy needs to be damp, like a well-drained plant pot or a dishrag after ringing it out, this will help maintain humidity levels and manage shell conditioning to avoid pyramidal growth. That large rough bark can be difficult for little torts to walk around on as well.

Assume that most of what you have been told about tortoise husbandry is wrong, because unless it came from these pages then it most likely is.

Here is the care sheet for your tort.

The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum
 

Harry and Greta

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It would be worth posting some more photos, show us the enclosure you have the tort in, what kind of lighting and heating your using. Also, what are your basking spot temps, your cold end temps, humidity, what are you feeding the tort, any supplements. etc. . . We can help you avoid any problems before they start. For example I can see that you are using the large coco coir bark and it looks very dry. The substrate idealy needs to be damp, like a well-drained plant pot or a dishrag after ringing it out, this will help maintain humidity levels and manage shell conditioning to avoid pyramidal growth. That large rough bark can be difficult for little torts to walk around on as well.

Assume that most of what you have been told about tortoise husbandry is wrong, because unless it came from these pages then it most likely is.

Here is the care sheet for your tort.

The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum
This is so incredibly helpful! Thanks so much!!

Next time I will be sure to use a naturally less dry substrate, should I mist the coco coir bark in the mean time?

So far I have been feeding her curly kale, cucumber, courgette, coriander and lettuce - unfortunately I don't currently grow my own so have bought from the supermarket but have been using a pinch of HabiStat Reptavite.

I have been bathing her daily but only for 10/15 minutes so am going to be sure to increase that up to 30 minutes.

I have a 80W UVA UVB basking lamp set up around 10 inches up on one side of her table. I honestly feel like a bad owner though because I don't have a thermometer which I can see is super important from your care sheet so will buy one asap.

I've attached a picture of her set up, her table is about 2ft by 3ft, let me know if there are any glaring errors. Really appreciate all the information, thanks again!

Harriet

PXL_20210122_134940011.jpg PXL_20210122_134926966.jpg
 

wellington

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What makes you think it's a dwarf? There're are no dwarfs unless it was not taken care of and fed properly then it's size could be affected. I reacued a leopard from poor care and was small for its age. Once it got proper care and diet it shot up and grew larger then my other one.
If the breeder sold him to you as dwarf then I would not listen to too much of their advice.
 

Harry and Greta

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What makes you think it's a dwarf? There're are no dwarfs unless it was not taken care of and fed properly then it's size could be affected. I reacued a leopard from poor care and was small for its age. Once it got proper care and diet it shot up and grew larger then my other one.
If the breeder sold him to you as dwarf then I would not listen to too much of their advice.
I think it's another term for a Western Hermann (I'm a complete novice though and am just going off what the tortoise shop guy told me) but i don't think it's actually a dwarf, but just referred to as that as the Western Hermann's are a but smaller than the Eastern. Again not completely confident in that though, so happy to be corrected!
 

wellington

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I think it's another term for a Western Hermann (I'm a complete novice though and am just going off what the tortoise shop guy told me) but i don't think it's actually a dwarf, but just referred to as that as the Western Hermann's are a but smaller than the Eastern. Again not completely confident in that though, so happy to be corrected!
As long as you know and werent stopped into thinking it was a dwarf.
 

Harry and Greta

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As long as you know and werent stopped into thinking it was a dwarf.
No don't worry, he was very clear that although referred to as a dwarf tortoise, it's not actually a dwarf. Thanks so much for checking though - I imagine some sellers can be a bit sneeky with it!
 

Cheryl1503

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Hey! As I said I’m completely new at this too but what I’ve quickly learned is sink their dishes into the substrate so it’s level but get dishes that are more like saucers so there is no risk of her tipping over in the water on her shell!
Also buy a small hygrometer/ thermometer for each end of her enclosure to gauge temp abs humidity and also a infrared temp gun for pot checks.
Cucumbers are to watery- act like laxative - so only for treats , and give the flesh only, not the seeds or skin!
some might say her enclosure is too small but so is she and you can change things if you need 0F8ABAB9-EFF4-4F6B-BF55-411C7194C5E8.png 0F8ABAB9-EFF4-4F6B-BF55-411C7194C5E8.png 1ACDA482-3543-4450-B4DC-CBF45AB090C9.png to
 

TeamZissou

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To me, the 'dwarf' term seems to likely have been just a sales term.

The Western Hermanni vary in size a lot. The smallest of the different locales seems to be the tortoises from Mallorca. Some males only reach 3-4" and are roughly the same size as an Egyptian. But, to call any of the locales a 'dwarf' is probably inaccurate.


Once your tortoise reaches adulthood, you may be able to identify the locale from which it originated by comparing images from

 

Harry and Greta

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Hey! As I said I’m completely new at this too but what I’ve quickly learned is sink their dishes into the substrate so it’s level but get dishes that are more like saucers so there is no risk of her tipping over in the water on her shell!
Also buy a small hygrometer/ thermometer for each end of her enclosure to gauge temp abs humidity and also a infrared temp gun for pot checks.
Cucumbers are to watery- act like laxative - so only for treats , and give the flesh only, not the seeds or skin!
some might say her enclosure is too small but so is she and you can change things if you need View attachment 316009 View attachment 316009 View attachment 316010 to
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks so much for the advice! I've removed all the cucumber from her food and will cross off my frequent feed list.

I will sink her dishes now aswell! Great tip, I've purchased the thermometers thanks for recommending specific ones as I would have been lost - sorry in this is such a ridiculous question, but what do you mean by pot-checks?

In terms of the enclosure size j was a little worried about this, as I'd hate her to feel cooped up, but we are moving to a place with a garden next month (fingers crossed) so on sunny days I would put her in a bigger outdoor enclosure for an hour or 2. I'm based in drizzly London though so not sure how frequent those sunny day would be, but I'd like to have the option!
 

Harry and Greta

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To me, the 'dwarf' term seems to likely have been just a sales term.

The Western Hermanni vary in size a lot. The smallest of the different locales seems to be the tortoises from Mallorca. Some males only reach 3-4" and are roughly the same size as an Egyptian. But, to call any of the locales a 'dwarf' is probably inaccurate.


Once your tortoise reaches adulthood, you may be able to identify the locale from which it originated by comparing images from

Thanks for passing on this info - I feel I have so much to learn!!
 

Ink

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Welcome to the forum, I have a Western Hermanns named Gilbert ( yes he is a boy, seen it). They are great.
 

maggie3fan

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Quote "Cucumbers are to watery- act like laxative - so only for treats , and give the flesh only, not the seeds or skin"!
I use cucumbers occasionally for my tortoises to get a good photo, or use for a little more hydration. I take the whole cucumber and run a fork all the way down scoring the peel all the way around, I cut them in slices and feed seeds and all. I have never had a problem and until I read this post I had never heard about not feed peel or seeds. I score the peel as it's kinda bitter.
 
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