Some Questions about my Hermann's

otisthetortoise

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Hello!
I am going to buy a Hermann's tortoise hatchling (born July 1st) on Christmas Eve and bring her home. Although you may be puzzled by my username, the tortoise litter we are choosing from was incubated to be female and we'd already chosen the name Otis so it's sticking!
Anyway, I have some questions. I apologise in advance if these have already been asked, but I couldn't find reliable answers anywhere!
Along with Otis, I have bought a tortoise table, nutrient supplements, basking and UVB bulb, substrate, cuttlefish bones...
Now I have purchased a varied seed mix suitable for Hermann's tortoises from Shelled Warriors, and have yet to plant them, but I was wondering how long they would take to grow. The seeds are as listed:

1. Timothy grass- Added fibre (does not take over like normal grass)

2.Hoary Plantain

3.Slender Plantain

4.Tufted Vetch

5.Musk Mallow

6.Lady's Bedstraw

7. White Clover

8. Hedge Bedstraw

9.Sainfoin

10.Evening Primrose

11. Dandelion

12. Chicory

13. Hawkbit

14. Yarrow

15. Milk Thistle

16. Forget me not

17. Betony

18. Red Dead Nettle

19. Trefoil Hop

20. Crimson Clover

21. Shepherds Purse

22. Chickweed

23. Nipplewort seeds

24. Self Heal

25. Pickly Sow thistle

26. Field Pansy

27. Smooth Sow thistle

28. Common Vetch

29. Borage

30. Knapweed

31. Aslike clover

32. Red clover

33. Common Vetch

34. Speedwell, common

35. White Dead nettle

36. Marsh Mallow

37. Speedwell, ivy leaved

38. Pot Marigold

39. Campanula

40. Cornflower

41. Creeping Hibiscus

42. Dark Mullien

43. Field Bindweed

44. Hollyhock

45. Wild Pansy

46. Wild Stawberry - Leaves can be eaten, fruit as a treat

47. White Lettuce

48. Sweet Blossom Clover

49. Alfalfa - Small amount

50. Birdsfoot Trefoil

51. Salad Burnet

52. Basil

53. Little Gem Lettuce

54. Water Cress

55. Parsley

56. Rubane Lettuce

57. Wild Rocket

58. Mustard

I was wondering how long these seeds will take to grow (if it is a long time, we have emergency food stored although it is from the supermarket which I know isn't the best source, so I'm hoping for it to be temporary!!) and also how much I would give a hatchling and whether they also need other things alongside it beside calcium supplements etc. I've heard frequently pellets are a no-no, as they're not a proper staple diet, but just in case I wanted to double check. Anything experienced owners would recommend?
I'm sorry if I seem stupid asking these questions, but I just wanted advice from people who understand tortoises! She's a Hermann's hatchling, female (we think), and was born on July 1st.
Thank you in advance for all your help!:))
Update: I was planning to grow these weeds inside in the winter and outside in summer. I also live in the UK!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!!

They usually germinate within a week of planting, if conditions are correct. The ground temperature has to be right for them. Did the seeds come with any instructions? (Incidentally, I love that seed mixture)
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome I'm no gardener so can't help with your question but the sooner they are planted the sooner they will start to germinate. The link in my signature to The Tortoise Table is also a good guide.
Otis is a good name and it also can be a boy's name too as in the singer Otis Redding (of Dock of the Bay fame) so even if she does turn out to be he you could still keep the name. My tort is called Lola - was told he was female but turns out to be male but the name has stuck. Doesn't do his street cred any good but he doesn't really care.
There is a great caresheet under Species Specific section which will help you. If buying from a pet store check whatever they tell you here because they are driven by profit while we just love torts and want the best from them here so you'll get great advice from very experienced keepers with the most up to date information, and maybe save you money. e.g don't waste cash on coiled or long thin loop type bulbs as these can damage eyes, terracotta plant saucers are cheaper and safer than the pet store types etc
Good luck with your tort.
 

otisthetortoise

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!!

They usually germinate within a week of planting, if conditions are correct. The ground temperature has to be right for them. Did the seeds come with any instructions? (Incidentally, I love that seed mixture)
Thank you! I'm glad to be here:)
The instructions were rather unspecific - plant in unfertilised soil outside or in trays, water daily... Things like that. There were no proper instructions but not trying to criticise the website!
All right, I will plant as soon as possible. It isn't too soon until Christmas Eve though, so does that mean these seeds will not be ready by then?
Thanks!
 

otisthetortoise

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Dec 19, 2015
Messages
120
Hi and welcome I'm no gardener so can't help with your question but the sooner they are planted the sooner they will start to germinate. The link in my signature to The Tortoise Table is also a good guide.
Otis is a good name and it also can be a boy's name too as in the singer Otis Redding (of Dock of the Bay fame) so even if she does turn out to be he you could still keep the name. My tort is called Lola - was told he was female but turns out to be male but the name has stuck. Doesn't do his street cred any good but he doesn't really care.
There is a great caresheet under Species Specific section which will help you. If buying from a pet store check whatever they tell you here because they are driven by profit while we just love torts and want the best from them here so you'll get great advice from very experienced keepers with the most up to date information, and maybe save you money. e.g don't waste cash on coiled or long thin loop type bulbs as these can damage eyes, terracotta plant saucers are cheaper and safer than the pet store types etc
Good luck with your tort.
I'm buying from a breeder nearby that is an experienced tortoise breeder, but yes I am aware that pet shops often try to sell their products and don't think of what is best for tortoises!
Yes, Otis is commonly a boy's name but either way I would keep it! I will check out those links. thanks for the help :)
 

Yvonne G

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Even if they do germinate right away, the little plantlets will be much too weak for a tortoise to be allowed access. Your best bet is to plant them in small trays, like kitty litter pans, and rotate them in and out of the habitat as they grow and are eaten down. I would give the plants at least a month to strengthen before putting the tray in the habitat.
 

otisthetortoise

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Even if they do germinate right away, the little plantlets will be much too weak for a tortoise to be allowed access. Your best bet is to plant them in small trays, like kitty litter pans, and rotate them in and out of the habitat as they grow and are eaten down. I would give the plants at least a month to strengthen before putting the tray in the habitat.
Thank you! Do you reckon that supermarket greens would be okay for a hatchling for a months time regarding the strengthening of the plants? I really want the best for Otis, and sorry if I seem befuddled with all this, but I didn't have immediate access to the Internet to buy seeds and pre-grown at garden centres were all sprayed with toxic chemicals as we are having works at my house!
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!
 

Yvonne G

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That would be fine. Also, look outside and try to find some edible plants/weeds that haven't been sprayed with any chemicals.

Dandelion:
gallery-1436547050-dandelions.jpg



Clover:


55005d21ddb92-red-clover-0410-lg.jpg



Plantain:
55005d223788b-tdg-plantago-major-lg.jpg



water cress:
55005d2341c13-watercress-0410-de.jpg



chickweed:

Chickweed%20Grouping.jpg



lambsquarters:
upload_2015-12-19_9-51-12.jpeg


Thistle:
upload_2015-12-19_9-52-59.jpeg


filaree:
upload_2015-12-19_9-53-56.jpeg


...to name just a few.
 

otisthetortoise

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Messages
120
Thank you. I'm a rookie so I don't know if it's just me or whether most struggle with it (although with what I've read I've thought otherwise) because I find weeds quite hard to spot. I'm talking about the leafy ones without any specific flowers or colours to help me label them (so not dandelions, clover, etc).
That's good news because I have lots of clover in my garden and water cress, but I will go on a roam for the rest and some included in my seed list if they grow commonly in the UK.
With clover, can the leaves be eaten as well as the purple flowers? And I'll buy some supermarket greens, but do you recommend the packeted stuff that comes cold, or the pre-grown stuff that usually is found with things like thyme? :)
Sorry for the bother!!
 

Lyn W

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I'm buying from a breeder nearby that is an experienced tortoise breeder, but yes I am aware that pet shops often try to sell their products and don't think of what is best for tortoises!
Yes, Otis is commonly a boy's name but either way I would keep it! I will check out those links. thanks for the help :)
Just noticed you're in the UK too and winter feeds can be difficult but Florette Classic Crispy salad was recommended to me for my tort (leopard) because it has a good mix of leaves as does the Sainsbury's Mixed Leaf salad bag, I also add kale, spring greens, pak choi, some romaine (occasionally), watercress, rocket the leaves of carrot, radish, and beetroot - whatever I can get that's tort safe. I then sprinkle these with ground Readigrass but my tort eats grass - don't know if your species does.
A cuttle fish bone in her enclosure may help your tort with calcium and keep beak trimmed if he has an occasional nibble, or you can scrape some on his food occasionally to add calcium, but they only need a tiny pinch 2-3 times a week along with a good uvb source like an mvb bulb. I use Arcadia mini d3 for day and a CHE on a thermostat at night.
 

otisthetortoise

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Dec 19, 2015
Messages
120
Just noticed you're in the UK too and winter feeds can be difficult but Florette Classic Crispy salad was recommended to me for my tort (leopard) because it has a good mix of leaves as does the Sainsbury's Mixed Leaf salad bag, I also add kale, spring greens, pak choi, some romaine (occasionally), watercress, rocket the leaves of carrot, radish, and beetroot - whatever I can get that's tort safe. I then sprinkle these with ground Readigrass but my tort eats grass - don't know if your species does.
A cuttle fish bone in her enclosure may help your tort with calcium and keep beak trimmed if he has an occasional nibble, or you can scrape some on his food occasionally to add calcium, but they only need a tiny pinch 2-3 times a week along with a good uvb source like an mvb bulb. I use Arcadia mini d3 for day and a CHE on a thermostat at night.
Thank you!
Hermann's are a different breed of course to leopard, but most of the greens you listed are safe although in moderation. I live very near a Morrisons and Co-Op, but if I do go near a Sainsbury's then I will scope it out! :)
 

Lyn W

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Thank you!
Hermann's are a different breed of course to leopard, but most of the greens you listed are safe although in moderation. I live very near a Morrisons and Co-Op, but if I do go near a Sainsbury's then I will scope it out! :)
Yes, I rotate them for variety. If you have an Aldis near you they have cheap veg too and I occasionally use their mixed bags of mild salad or crispy salad too (but I take most of the iceberg lettuce out of the latter.) The dandies have started growing again near me as it's so mild so I'm hoping to be able to add those back in while I can.
 
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