Frank&Gerard

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Cornwall
Hello, I have had a few issues with my tortoise and I am unsure how best to go forward.
(he is about 3 and a half years old and is a Hermans tortoise. At the start of 2018 he was 37g but now we are at 706g. Gender is still unknown.)

I got him a few years ago not long after he had been hatched as well as one of his siblings. He came with an infection on his plastron which after a while I had to go to the vet for as at home methods weren't helping him, the vet said otherwise his shell was strong and that Gerard was fully healthy. Things went fine after the infection left, but I quickly realised how much larger he was begging to get compared to his sibling, and overall his behaviour is very odd. Currently I am concerned with how quick he is growing and that it could be causing issues to his shell, so far we have a few slightly pyramiding places but its not all over with some being completely flat and only a few odd ones giving signs. He has never been fed pellets and I have always been very careful, but I don't know how to slow his broth down as with less for he seems distressed and when out will bite anything he sees and doesn't calm down until fed more?
He seems to get lonely without human contact and will choose me over food regularly, but also his issues with wanting loads of food concerns me.
Once satisfied with food he come out and walks around the house and will cuddle up to us, but if not he tares up the carpet and hs hung off my hand with biting a few times.

I am just concerned that I am doing something wrong as his sibling is nothing like that and is only at 82g.
(I can take photos but they are currently sleeping so don't want to disturb them yet)
 

Frank&Gerard

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Cornwall
Quick question. Are you keeping the two together in the same enclosure?
they sleep together and do spend a lot of time tougher when I an not around, but it usually seems to be to my smaller tortoises help? My younger one when alone has always refuse to go under heat lamps and since they have been together more both seems better. They sit together and curl up at night next to each other?
 

Frank&Gerard

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Cornwall
Why not to keep 2 tortoises together - a lesson learned the hard way | Tortoise Forum

Sounds like classic bullying. Let me guess, theyre best buddies that sleep and eat together and follow each other around? I doubt the problem is the one growing too fast, rather the smaller one isnt growing. but more info and pics will tell more.
I feed them separately and different diets due to my younger one having jaw issues from hatching, they aren't together most of the time, but the little one hardly made any attempts at eating much or spending any time under heat lamps when alone.
 

Sterant

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Albany, NY
Pictures would help, but it seems you have a few things going on.

I would say the issue is not with the larger tortoise, but the smaller one.

The weight increase of the smaller one you noted seems very low. The weight increase of the larger one is probably more typical.

I would suspect the larger one has been bullying the smaller one in ways that you interpret as them liking each other or "snuggling" as you say. Tortoises do not snuggle - with each other or humans. They are not pack animals - they don't need a friend. Everything you see is the larger one dominating the smaller one.

I would suggest you separate them permanently. You also mentioned one of them running across the carpet. There is no reason for the tortoise to be out of its enclosure. Running free around the house is not good. The house is full of small dangers and you certainly can't keep the optimal temperatures and humidity on the floor of your house. Tortoises are also creatures of habit. They need to know where everything is. Regularly moving around is a stress inducer.

One variable is the jaw issue you mentioned on the small one. That could possibly impact its ability to eat - not sure without seeing it.

So - pictures of the tortoises and the enclosures would help, but even without that:
1). Get them in separate enclosures that are appropriate for them (in size, heat, light, humidity, etc...)
2). Keep them in the enclosures or in outdoor enclosures when weather permits.
3). Monitor them both and you will likely see behavior changes within a few weeks.

Good luck!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Great advice form all posters on this thread.

I would add that food doesn't cause pyramiding. Not pellets or anything else. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. This can be from an open topped enclosure with the wrong substrate, or it can be from using the worn bulbs.

Your tortoise should be able to eat as much of the right foods as it wants daily. They are grazers. They need to be able to graze. Most people don't feed the right foods...

The right foods and all sorts of other current and correct care info can be found here: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
I feed them separately and different diets due to my younger one having jaw issues from hatching, they aren't together most of the time, but the little one hardly made any attempts at eating much or spending any time under heat lamps when alone.

Im sorry, I was being a little sarcastic. Many people come here with posts almost exactly like yours, they all say the same things, asking why one of their torts is growing slowly, that their torts get along great, they cuddle up together and eat together, etc. . . . The reality is torts dont like being around each other. Initially they will both try to get the best spot to bask and the best spot to sleep and they will try to defend all the food by sitting on it, this looks like them being buddies but they really just want the other one to take the hint and leave. Once one tort becomes dominant then it will sleep where the submissive tort sleeps, bask where it tries to bask and it will try to defend all the food and prevent the smaller one eating. In the wild the submissive tort would move on and that would be it, in your enclosure that doesnt happen so the submissive tort just gets constantly hounded and stressed, doesnt eat as much, doesnt bask as much, etc. . . . health problems develop, illness, death. . . . none of this even includes the obvious risk of actual aggressive fighting, biteing, mounting, ramming etc. . . . Most dont want to accept this guidance unfortunately, I know its inconvenient and/or sad to find out you need to keep them separate or rehome one etc. . . it's the right thing to do though.

Get some pics up though, and tell us more about the issue with his jaw, this could be an beak overgrowth issue or it could be something more serious.
 
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Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Get some pics up though, and tell us more about the issue with his jaw, this could be an beak overgrowth issue or it could be something more serious.

Sorry tried to edit but saw that it was hatch related issue, still tell us more pls. As for the other behaviour you mention about your older tort, its aggression, that all sounds pretty standard to me. Reptiles are bitey, thats just the reality. If you get you hand too close to them they are likely to take offense and bite, if you get your hand too close to their food they are likely to take offense and bite. They follow us around because they associate us with food and the other interactions we have with them. nothing you said sounds problematic
 
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