My new Russian won’t eat

Tanjadavidson1

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I recently acquired a Russian tort but he is not eating. I’ve tried all sorts of greens with him. All he does is bury himself. Please help, it’s been 7 days today since he came to my home. I also have two hermanns which I just introduced him to hoping he will imitate their behavior.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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1. What are ur temps in the enclosure? Sometimes they take a lil bit to settle in especially if a WC. I would give him warm soaks to keep him hydrated. Other than that id let him settle in and not bother him to much.
2. I wouldnt put ur other torts around him its not gonna help him and also not safe for ur other torts either.
. If you can post a pic of ur enclosure then ppl may be able to give u some advice
Heres a thread to read through....
 

Jayb73

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Hi I can't really give you any advice as I'm a new owner ,I've been having the same problem with mine .I gave him water melon yesterday and he ate it and today he has had a little nibble on greens but not a lot .hope yours is ok
 

Yvonne G

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The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler. This tells brumating species to stop eating to clean out their digestive tracts and prepare for brumation. Since this is a new-to-you tortoise, you want to keep him up this winter. Give him long summertime days, lightwise, with good UVB, and nice, warm temperatures. Put him in front of the food several times a day. It's not easy, but you have to fool him into thinking it's summer.
 

KarenSoCal

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You said you "introduced" the russian to the hermanns. Are they in the same enclosure? If they are, separate them ASAP.

Different species should never be together, since they carry different pathogens and different immunities, making disease transfer much more likely.

If you are trying to reduce stress, putting the russian in with other torts does the opposite. His stress level would be off the chart high.

How big is the russian, and where did you get him? Baby, juvenile, adult?

Even if they are not housed together, the russian needs to be kept away from other torts for a few months for a quarantine period.

He could be wanting to brumate as Yvonne said, or he just needs more time to call his new enclosure home. That can take a couple weeks.
 

Tanjadavidson1

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You said you "introduced" the russian to the hermanns. Are they in the same enclosure? If they are, separate them ASAP.

Different species should never be together, since they carry different pathogens and different immunities, making disease transfer much more likely.

If you are trying to reduce stress, putting the russian in with other torts does the opposite. His stress level would be off the chart high.

How big is the russian, and where did you get him? Baby, juvenile, adult?

Even if they are not housed together, the russian needs to be kept away from other torts for a few months for a quarantine period.

He could be wanting to brumate as Yvonne said, or he just needs more time to call his new enclosure home. That can take a couple weeks.
Wow, thanks for that info. I was totally unaware that they could not be together and will separate immediately. He is an adult, two to three years of age. He was being kept in a garage in an enclosure that would be the equivalent of 10 gallon tank so instead of seeing him kept that way I purchased him. I’m a novice when it comes to torts and am trying to learn so any suggestions are welcome. All I want is for them to be happy and healthy. We are in the process of building new enclosures, both inside and out. Thank you for your time in response to my question. Do should I not be worried that he has not eaten in a week?
 

KarenSoCal

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No, I wouldn't worry about not eating yet. As Yvonne said, he's thinking about a long sleep, and you need to convince him to stay awake. And torts hate change. He's had to try to get used to a new space, live with other torts, new people, and new foods. He just doesn't feel safe. It could be a month before he has adjusted.

Make sure you read the care sheet posted above. It applies to the russian and the hermanns.

Speaking of the hermanns, they need to be separated from each other as well. Pairs of torts never work. With 2, they will eventually start to fight. Gender doesn't matter. Torts are solitary animals and they like it that way.

The fighting starts as bullying. One of them will start to pick on the other and make life miserable. Things like sleeping together, following each other, eating together, head bobbing...actions that we, as humans, see as cute. The tort being bullied will not grow as well, may stop eating, may be bitten by the bully, and could even be killed.

My only advice on your new enclosures, 3 of them, is to make them as big as possible. Your torts will love you for it.
 

Tanjadavidson1

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They sleep in the same hide. But other then that they are pretty independent of each other. The smaller on climbs on the other at bath time, is that a dominating behavior?
 

KarenSoCal

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They sleep in the same hide. But other then that they are pretty independent of each other. The smaller on climbs on the other at bath time, is that a dominating behavior?
Yes, but I would expect that the bigger one would be on top. Watch them a bit...it could be that the smaller one is the bully.

It could also be that they are too young to exhibit these behaviors yet.
 

Tanjadavidson1

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Thank you for all the information and advice, all is very much appreciated. I will work a bit faster in finishing the enclosures. I will watch both my “girls” closely to see if Penelope is indeed the bully.
 

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