Please help ? (brumating together?)

Melissa0617

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
Hi everyone 😊 I was hoping I can receive some helpful advice. I am a newer custodian owner of two female gopherus agassizzi. I have a beautiful habitat for them outside that is large and safe. I also have two burrows the same exact size but they both go to only one of the burrows.( two females) when I received them I was told they grew up together. Sometimes I will find my smaller tort(Princess) not sleeping inside the burrow at all. I’m not sure if it is because the bigger tortoise 🐢 and her don’t get along. Other times they are both hidden together in the burrow. I have a camera on them and they have never physically fought. Though I’m concerned come hibernation time. I have to build a dome over there burrow so no mice or rats bother them. I just don’t know if I should keep them together or put them separately in there own burrow? I am in need of advice 😊 ty so much!

CA24074E-85A3-4C7D-8443-9745361E55B7.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
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Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
if you've never seen signs of aggression it might be ok to keep them together, but SOMETIMES one of the same age being smaller than the other MIGHT mean the larger one is being an aggressor.

I would put one of them in the unused burrow nightly, the same tortoise each time, and block the entrance so she can't come out.

Most often, two tortoises in the same yard doesn't work. Three or more seems to be ok, but with two there's usually territorial debates.

Is their yard very large?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
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10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
May I please see pictures of their underside including the tail?
 

Melissa0617

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
if you've never seen signs of aggression it might be ok to keep them together, but SOMETIMES one of the same age being smaller than the other MIGHT mean the larger one is being an aggressor.

I would put one of them in the unused burrow nightly, the same tortoise each time, and block the entrance so she can't come out.

Most often, two tortoises in the same yard doesn't work. Three or more seems to be ok, but with two there's usually territorial debates.

Is their yard very large?
Hi ty for responding, actually I was told one is around 5 years the smaller and the larger is around 10 years old. Ok I can try to put the smaller one in the other burrow. I just didn’t want to stress her out I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. I have about a 22*26 space for them? I was told that’s large enough, with two burrows ? What do you think?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
At any rate, it's a good idea to brumate them separately so they don't disturb each other. Unless you live in the desert where they come from, they should NOT brumate in a burrow, but rather indoors. Most places are too wet for desert tortoises to brumate in the ground.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
They're both boys. Notice the chin glands. These are only found on male desert tortoises. You're lucky they've not fought.
 
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Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
On desert tortoises it takes a while for the males to develop that curved plastron. It will happen as they get older.

If you're home all the time and can keep an eye on them, you can probably keep them together for a while longer, but eventually, they are going to start to squabble. The chin glands tell me they are starting to get to the age of sexual maturity, and that's when the fighting will start. So just be alert, and start figuring out how you can divide their yard to give each of them his own territory.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I’m confused 😐 the bottom is flat not curved?
I think you should separate them ASAP. Tortoises should never be kept in pairs. Sexes don't matter. With two males of one of the most scrappy territorial species there is, death or injury is likely. You can keep them both, just separate them.
Read this for more care info. There are pics in this thread showing how to make a double box for two tortoises to share, but still be kept separately:

Here is another thread with a different and larger double box showing more about the construction: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/double-door-night-box.129054/
 

Melissa0617

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
On desert tortoises it takes a while for the males to develop that curved plastron. It will happen as they get older.

If you're home all the time and can keep an eye on them, you can probably keep them together for a while longer, but eventually, they are going to start to squabble. The chin glands tell me they are starting to get to the age of sexual maturity, and that's when the fighting will start. So just be alert, and start figuring out how you can divide their yard to give each of them his own territory.
Thank you so much for your advice! Yes I’m going to spilt the outside yard for them. I’m so glad I found this out now. I am home to watch over them but I don’t want to take a chance in the future of when they will start to fight. Ok one question they both use the same burrow, which one do you think I should move to the other burrow with the least amount of stress? The bigger one or smaller one?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Since the larger one is probably the dominant tortoise, I'd move the smaller one. Do it nightly and block him in until he starts going in on his own.
 

Melissa0617

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
I think you should separate them ASAP. Tortoises should never be kept in pairs. Sexes don't matter. With two males of one of the most scrappy territorial species there is, death or injury is likely. You can keep them both, just separate them.
Read this for more care info. There are pics in this thread showing how to make a double box for two tortoises to share, but still be kept separately:

Here is another thread with a different and larger double box showing more about the construction: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/double-door-night-box.129054/
Ty
 
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