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dmmj

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If I plan on having a Tortoise just for my enjoyment then I only get one. If I plan on breeding them, then I get more than 2 I try for a 1 male to 2 female or higher ratio. I do tend to find though that 2 males and more females seem to increase breeding "hormones". I know the majority of the tortoises turned into my CTTC group are from people who say " they just started fighting one day" usually CDT's.

My view is one tortoise to be happy, more than 2 to make them all happy, unless you plan on keeping them separate then go ahead and get 2.

also in this case anyways size does matter. enclosure wise.
 

Tom

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dmmj said:
My view is one tortoise to be happy, more than 2 to make them all happy, unless you plan on keeping them separate then go ahead and get 2.

This would have been a much simpler way to get across what I was trying to say...
 

bigred

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I just read your post and had to add my experiece. I have 4 adult redfoots 2.2 The only aggression and stress I see with my 2 male tortoises is when it comes to mating with my females. My males will knock each other off the females during mating. I have found the smaller male overturned and I believe he was knocked off by my bigger male. My females do not seem to have any aggression towards each other. I believe having 2 males does encourage mating. Both my females are laying eggs and the eggs are hatching. I do have a big backyard so they can get away from each other BUT they seem to want to hang together under the same bush. Im sure you are right in what you are saying but my 2 pairs seem to do pretty well together. I also have 2 radiated that I keep seperate from the redfoots. I had one radiated and he seemed to become a different more active tortoise when I added another. thanks for your post
 

dmmj

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Like many have said in other threads, red foots seem to be the exceptio to the rule, I would also include red ear sliders from my own personal experience.
 

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bigred said:
I just read your post and had to add my experiece. I have 4 adult redfoots 2.2 The only aggression and stress I see with my 2 male tortoises is when it comes to mating with my females. My males will knock each other off the females during mating. I have found the smaller male overturned and I believe he was knocked off by my bigger male. My females do not seem to have any aggression towards each other. I believe having 2 males does encourage mating. Both my females are laying eggs and the eggs are hatching. I do have a big backyard so they can get away from each other BUT they seem to want to hang together under the same bush. Im sure you are right in what you are saying but my 2 pairs seem to do pretty well together. I also have 2 radiated that I keep seperate from the redfoots. I had one radiated and he seemed to become a different more active tortoise when I added another. thanks for your post

Two pairs kept together as a group of four is a different story than just a pair. Personally I wouldn't keep two radiateds together. I'd keep them single or in a small group.
 

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I was thinking of getting another Sully I think I will not and just put my time and attention on Sir Spur. Great Post BTW.
 

CtTortoiseMom

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My 3 have separate indoor and out door enclosures. They are all happy:)
 

Jacqui

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Tom said:
So then Jacqui, I think housing tortoises in pairs is a bad idea. You think its perfectly fine. What now?

Yes Tom, I do think it is fine to START with two IF that is how many you are comfortable with providing the correct housing and environment for. IF the two develop problems, THEN consider EITHER creating a second enclosure to separate the two you have OR if you have the room for a larger enclosure/or the ability (if even adding another one does not help the situation) to make three enclosures.

The size of enclosure and the individual temperament of each animal to me are the mitigating factors in these situations. Especially with hatchlings, having the tortoises being as near to the same size, is also important.

You like personal stories Tom, so just for you here are a couple of mine. When I first got Russians, I started with a lone male whom I had for a year or two. The one day in Petco another Russian "spoke" to me and I took that Russian home. I will admit, this was back in the ignorant days for me and I did no quarantine, smaller enclosure then I today like to see, with only a hide and water dish. So no visual barriers and no room to escape from each other. For a couple of years they lived like this and never once had any aggression shown. They may have continued this compatible relationship, if I hadn't been given three females and decided to try breeding them.

When I started getting interested in tortoises all those years back (I believe my kids say it was over 20 years), I kept them in PAIRS. At one time, I had six pairs of Bells hingebacks that lived together. I had no aggression problems with any of them.

One pair (my first Bells actually) were Ding and Dong. Those two not only lived together, they seemed to care about each other (just humanizing them I know). Where one went, the other one went. Except for their yearly breeding season, I never saw any kind of sexual bothering or bullying. Both thrived and grew and to some more importantly, they reproduced. The only time, he was not at her side, was when she climbed into the nesting box to lay. Then came my stupidity stage, when I gave up most of my tortoises to save a marriage. The person who took the Bells wanted another single male I had rather then keeping my pair as they were, so the male stayed. He became a single and it took a few years for him to be his old self and I still have him today.

I have two young Hermanns currently living as a pair for I think three years now and going strong with no problems. Currently I have a pair of Bells, four pairs (3 are m/f, 1 m/m), a Speki pair, an Erosa pair (f/f), a Cherryhead pair (m/f), plus I was just given a m/f pair of Russians who have been living together for years. So yes, I do have pairs and do have them with no problems. Does it work for everybody or every tortoise, no. Then there is not one thing in the tortoise world that does work for everybody.

Keeping them in pairs does not always work, keeping them in trios (or more) does not always work. The single best choice, is to keep only one in an enclosure. Keeping pairs can work, as can keeping trios. However before adding in another one, stop to think WHY. Are you doing something that down the road will cause you bigger problems, if things don't work out? Can you afford and have room for three adults of whatever species you have chosen? Can you do three or can you only make room for two enclosures, if you get the short end of the stick and have aggressive or shy animals? Just take a moment to step back and look at the big picture in your own situation.

...just my thoughts and opinions. :tort:





CtTortoiseMom said:
My 3 have separate indoor and out door enclosures. They are all happy:)

Which I think I the best overall choice to go with, unless your considering breeding.



Cory said:
I was thinking of getting another Sully I think I will not and just put my time and attention on Sir Spur. Great Post BTW.
A very very wise choice!
 

Yvonne G

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When you start out with brand-new-still-with-an-egg-tooth hatchlings, it helps when you have two (competition at the food dish helps them eat better). BUT you must be aware and realize that down the road as they get bigger, they may not get along anymore. So you either have to be prepared to have two enclosures or find a new home for one of them. I'll never encourage someone to get a third or fourth tortoise to make a group of them unless you plan to breed them.

Speaking from experience, once you have more than one tortoise, little Shelly or Tank or Smoochie isn't the spoiled only child anymore. You have to spread your time and affection to others and sometimes the original spoiled child gets left out.
 

gossmom

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I thank you and my husband really thanks you for this thread. I felt like little Moses would be lonley with me gone most of the day. I have the space for two sulcatas when they get older, but now I am happy knowing he is happy with me being his best friend. Thanks again for all the great info!!
 

stells2

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Pairs can be kept successfully together... and with some species it can be beneficial too have more than one... Indian Stars esp when young spring too mind... i have found this species does not do as well when kept alone...

If you are going too keep tortoises as pairs... you have too think about the enclosure abit more... be creative with sight barriers... outside make sure there is plenty of undergrowth... size is important... make it as big as you can...

I actually have two male Graeca graeca that have been together for 50 years... yes they will occassionally get frisky with each other BUT seperate them... and both will come down with RNS.... keep them together and its dry noses all round... with them now at around 75-80 years... i'm not gonna change a thing...
 

grogansilver

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"Tom" you stated: (Tortoises are solitary animals by nature. Few species congregate together in the wild and individuals are seldom seen in the company of others. There are exceptions, like pancakes. Out of practicality, convenience and sometimes necessity, we sometimes keep more than one in an enclosure in captivity.)

"tom" but if I'm reading this correct the Pancakes are exceptions here in being together because they like to socialize and be in groups "Right"? "second since this is a good topic what about separating males from females let say doing this during winter months wouldn't there become more of the less bullying type of aggression if there is no females to compete for? and then lets say in the spring when their put together in a large pen with lots of hiding places then there would be also less competing among them and aggression, "now I'm only talking about in the spring while their the most active! especially the Russians which of course will probably even increase breeding for both species, during breeding season sense that long separation in winter now I'm only referring to and talking about Pancakes and Russians here, only!
 

Tom

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I don't have the answers Grogan. I'm only regurgitating what I've read and heard. GB sent me a great russian article and I linked it in another thread. Those people recommended keeping russian males and females separate for most of the year, and in theory, it sounds good to me.

From everything I've read, everyone I've talked to, and my own limited experience, pancakes seem to like and seek out the company of other pancakes. If I ever get a colony of them going, I will keep them together full time. My friend who recently got 5 CBB babies intends to keep all of his together full time as adults too.
 

bfmorris

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Tom said:
Tortoises are solitary animals by nature.

That's the harsh truth. Regarding G sulcata in the wild, the typical placement of individuals consists of a single bull male who runs off all other males in his area. The male's area contains lone female individuals and juv specimens of both sexes.
 

Tom

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bfmorris said:
Tom said:
Tortoises are solitary animals by nature.

That's the harsh truth. Regarding G sulcata in the wild, the typical placement of individuals consists of a single bull male who runs off all other males in his area. The male's area contains lone female individuals and juv specimens of both sexes.

Have you got a good source for info on sulcatas in the wild? Always looking to learn more and read new stuff.

bfmorris said:
Tom said:
Tortoises are solitary animals by nature.

That's the harsh truth. Regarding G sulcata in the wild, the typical placement of individuals consists of a single bull male who runs off all other males in his area. The male's area contains lone female individuals and juv specimens of both sexes.
 

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I can agree and disagree based on two experiences

I have a friend who noticed she could have quite a number of Greek adults together(males and females) and the males seemed to be calm especially compared to the Russian or Hermanns males she has to keep alone. I think the Greek males were ok with the other species crossing their paths too in the yard too.
I had this conversation with her some months back when trying to decide on hermanns or Greeks-this is something she pointed out about the group thing.

This is an interesting thread

My own personal experience with Jingle and Spud-my male hinges supports the male aggression problem very well. I got them both this Summer they are 5 yrs old and had been together since hatchlings. Over a period of weeks I observed one male mounting the other and it became more frequent by the day-always the one dominant over the other. I was initially excited as I thought I had a pair but seeing as I was flashed enough times I realised they were both male.
The less dominant one instead of just sitting, which he initially did looking disinterested there started to run away and do anything to get away so I grabbed him and went running around the house looking for another set up for him, I felt so bad for him.Both live alone now and Spud eats better than before as he isn't afraid of being chased.
The previous owner insisted she had never seen this behaviour with them.

Interesting topic
 

Tom

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Thanks for the input Louise. I think we all agree here more than we disagree. I think both of your examples illustrate well that it does come down to individuals, but there are some general trends that we should all be aware of.
 

bfmorris

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Tom said:
Have you got a good source for info on sulcatas in the wild?

That note I wrote comes from the conditions my founding animals were collected in, in the Sudan.
 

fbsmith3

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Tom I think your statements are well thought out and offer a completely valid argument. I agree 100% with your conclusion and hope this information makes it out to most New members.
 
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