New Hinge Back tortoise

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,064
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Jacqui has given you good info. I'd like to add - lots of leaf litter all over the floor of the habitat. Many plants either real or fake. The tortoise has to feel safe, and your enclosure is too wide open. Soak him daily for at least a half hour, and if the eyes open during the soak, you'll know he's been kept too dry. If the light bothers his eyes, they probably won't open during the soak. You can buy either one of these products - you don't need both:

eye ointment a.jpg eye ointment b.jpg

These will soothe the eyes.

Maybe buy a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) to heat up the enclosure, and quit using a light for the time being. He will eventually need the light, but wait until his eyes are open all the time.
 

russian_hingeback

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
19
Jacqui has given you good info. I'd like to add - lots of leaf litter all over the floor of the habitat. Many plants either real or fake. The tortoise has to feel safe, and your enclosure is too wide open. Soak him daily for at least a half hour, and if the eyes open during the soak, you'll know he's been kept too dry. If the light bothers his eyes, they probably won't open during the soak. You can buy either one of these products - you don't need both:

View attachment 206308 View attachment 206309

These will soothe the eyes.

Maybe buy a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) to heat up the enclosure, and quit using a light for the time being. He will eventually need the light, but wait until his eyes are open all the time.
Okay, thank you very much for that information. It is very helpful.
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
I don't think his eyes have anything wrong with them other then bad environment.

Does he feel solid/heavy?
 

William Lee Kohler

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
817
Location (City and/or State)
Eugene, OR
Something not mentioned here is that Homes hingebacks are humid jungle tortoises that normally live near water which they will enter and soak in. A large shallow water dish would be great. Spraying the whole environment including tortoise with warm water each day has been highly recommended on other posts. Considering Hot humid equatorial jungles are often 80 or more degrees I do not think 80-85 degrees is far from ideal at all. Also once his eyes are open try some earthworms or canned pate' style cat food as these guys are omnivorous and this is higher fat and energy food than just vegetable fare. Just a couple times a week though. A very shallow food dish such as the plastic cover for a coffee can where they can easily see and get at the food is likely better than what you are using now. Best of fortune.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,898
Hi.

I have kept both types of Forest Hingebacks and can tell you that they are most active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular). Your tortoise will not like bright lights and you will most likely never see it basking under a heat lamp.

Give him low cover over about 1/3 of the enclosure for a hiding area, IE, more than just a hide log. Two bricks placed on their sides with a piece of plywood or a 12" to 16" wide board on top of them would be good. Then place the food just at the edge of the covered area.

In addition to the food items mentioned by the others posting earlier, they like frozen veggies like peas and carrots, also frozen corn and green beans. Thaw some of these in warm water, then put them on a paper plate in front of the hide area. Some tortoises will pick out the carrots and corn right away, then eat the peas and beans later. They all LOVE live earthworms. Buy those in a bait store in an appropriate size for the tortoise you have. IE, if the tortoise is 10", get night crawlers, if he is 4" to 6" get smaller worms. He might eat bugs and pinky mice also if you want to try them, but the first things I mentioned should be sufficient to get him eating assuming he is OK otherwise.

Jacqui and Yvonne are right to tell you to soak him daily at least for a while. He could well be quite dehydrated. Other than that, try my recommendations on the food and leave him pretty much alone. These are NOT overly sociable tortoises.

How much does he weigh and how long is he (SCL)?

Kinixys homeana, or Home's Hingebacks have a very sharp dropoff at the rear of the carapace which you can see in the animal at the right lower corner of this group pictured below. The ruler in the photo is 13" in length, to give an idea of the size of these adults. Large adults can reach 10" and even more.
K. homeana Group A.jpg


Kinixys erosa, the Serrated Hingeback, has a gradual slope at the rear of its carapace rather than a 90 degree dropoff, which can be seen in three or four of the animals in the photo below. These reach an even larger adult size than Kinixys homeana with some being over 12" in length.
K.erosa Group A.jpg
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,091
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
Snails and cicada grubs seem to spark much interest too. Sounds funny, but snails can be quicker than tortoises, so I pop/break the snail's shell, and that slows them down quite a bit, it also makes it easier for the tortoise to eat them.

Papaya and strawberries and melon seem to be well received too. Fresh mulberry leaves, the ones that smell like fruit when you chop them up, are good. I'll post an image of the K. erosa diet in the 'Tortoise Chef' thread. It will be a most recent post for 03 May 2017.
 

russian_hingeback

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
19
Okay, that is a great sign.

As to the above mention of temps, I have found with my own animals, that once temps get in the 80s, mine start slowing down. Just saying what mine have done.
I've been soaking him in banana baby food and still nothing. I have also tried to get him to eat bananas and that doesnt work either:(
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Try placing the feed dish right next to the front of the hide.

Is he active?
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,898
the food dish has been placed by him but he still hasn't ate. He has poked his head out of his shell even more than the last time i checked on him.

Try giving him some worms. They will move around and their activity might get him started on feeding.
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,091
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
Oral gavage can be stressful, but may be required. There is a 'tipping point' at which no intervention will help. Before then the intervention starts out offering many foods and meet that tipping point with force feeding. It's not a simple thing to detect where you are in that range of intervention. If there is a tortoise worthy Vet you can work with that might be a good idea to source out now before the tortoise comes near that tipping point.

In the mean time all these suggestions are pretty good on items to try. K. homeana and K. erosa have large nasal cavities which seem to indicate odor/smell is important to them in identifying food. So when selecting banana or whatever, you want the more smelly ones.

Another less popular point of view as well is to look at the practicality of the situation, sorta like a farmer might assess the outcome of treating a cow or chicken or whatever, and the cost to do so. K. homeana are great, yet inexpensive tortoises right now. To spend hundreds of dollars to bring one through previous poor care might not be appropriate for you even if you do everything great. That's a thing to consider as well.
 
Top