What should I do about my Tortoise scratching on the walls from being hungry?

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
It could be something else but I am pretty sure that my Tortoise scratches on the walls due to hunger. I always make sure that his water bowl is full. The temperature in the basking spot is usually 94-99f. My Tortoise is a Hermann Tortoise 3-4 years of age, and I am pretty sure he is a male. If he is scratching on the walls and then I give him food he automatically stops. I do not want to overfeed him though. I usually feed him at about 2:30pm. His lights go on at 7am and off at 8pm. When he scratches should I just give him food or not? Any responses are much appreciated
 

TeamZissou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
466
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
Food should be offered in the morning and available in a large enough quantity so he can graze all day as he pleases. There should be some left over at the end of the day.

Another reason for the scratching could be that the enclosure is too small. How large is the enclosure? You'd need a decently large one for a tortoise this size/age. Something on the order of 4x8 minimum.
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
1,014
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Tortoises depend 100% on ambient temperatures in order to digest their food, absorb and distribute nutrients, metabolize and excrete waste, renew and energize muscles, and run all of their other bodily systems. They have evolved to accomplish all this while the sun is present in the sky (that is, they are diurnal).

They get up in the morning and begin foraging...warming up as they go. By late afternoon, they have arrived back near their burrow, ready to bed down as soon as temperatures begin to fall.

Offering food as late as 2.30pm signals to your pet that the environment is poor, that he may starve to death if he stays, and that he should move as quickly as possible to a better place.

Put down a full portion of food first thing in the morning, then replenish it at lunchtime, if needed.
 

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Food should be offered in the morning and available in a large enough quantity so he can graze all day as he pleases. There should be some left over at the end of the day.

Another reason for the scratching could be that the enclosure is too small. How large is the enclosure? You'd need a decently large one for a tortoise this size/age. Something on the order of 4x8 minimum.
Food should be offered in the morning and available in a large enough quantity so he can graze all day as he pleases. There should be some left over at the end of the day.

Another reason for the scratching could be that the enclosure is too small. How large is the enclosure? You'd need a decently large one for a tortoise this size/age. Something on the order of 4x8 minimum.
Thank you for responding. Here is the enclosure https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

His outdoor enclosure is a lot bigger. I have already built it but he has not spent time outside (I got him this year) because it is very cold right now where I live. My torotise is 5 inches long.
 

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Tortoises depend 100% on ambient temperatures in order to digest their food, absorb and distribute nutrients, metabolize and excrete waste, renew and energize muscles, and run all of their other bodily systems. They have evolved to accomplish all this while the sun is present in the sky (that is, they are diurnal).

They get up in the morning and begin foraging...warming up as they go. By late afternoon, they have arrived back near their burrow, ready to bed down as soon as temperatures begin to fall.

Offering food as late as 2.30pm signals to your pet that the environment is poor, that he may starve to death if he stays, and that he should move as quickly as possible to a better place.

Put down a full portion of food first thing in the morning, then replenish it at lunchtime, if needed.
Ok thanks. I will definitely give him food earlier.
 

queen koopa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
675
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
Thank you for responding. Here is the enclosure https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

His outdoor enclosure is a lot bigger. I have already built it but he has not spent time outside (I got him this year) because it is very cold right now where I live. My torotise is 5 inches long.
Very popular enclosure and is 3-4 sizes too small. Almost everyone post about hermans wall scratching has this enclosure. You will see a change probably when your able to get him into the outdoor enclosure. I understand you can’t right now because the weather.
 

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Very popular enclosure and is 3-4 sizes too small. Almost everyone post about hermans wall scratching has this enclosure. You will see a change probably when your able to get him into the outdoor enclosure. I understand you can’t right now because the weather.
Ok thank you. Do you think it is better to build one or buy a big enclosure?
 

queen koopa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
675
Location (City and/or State)
Las Vegas Nevada
Ok thank you. Do you think it is better to build one or buy a big enclosure?
Hmm.... what’s ur outside enclosure like?

I looked at the other photos of the your enclosure on amazon and it looks like you can put 2 together... not sure if you want to do that. Building is a great idea, may save you money. How much space do you have in your house to dedicate?

But removing the built in hide in your current one gives them more room. If you do this, add a smaller hide (plastic bowls, planter pots, things like that) and small sight barriers for him to maneuver around. Scratching at the walls is not going to hurt him really, but can by a sign of stress and sometimes they flip themselves over.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,350
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you for responding. Here is the enclosure https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

His outdoor enclosure is a lot bigger. I have already built it but he has not spent time outside (I got him this year) because it is very cold right now where I live. My torotise is 5 inches long.
Four of those enclosures with the hides removed would be about the right size.

I used to build enclosures of this size, but have now found ways to buy them instead. A closed chamber will work better than an open table for you.
 

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Four of those enclosures with the hides removed would be about the right size.

I used to build enclosures of this size, but have now found ways to buy them instead. A closed chamber will work better than an open table for you.
Ok thank you
 

Rocky219

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
85
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Hmm.... what’s ur outside enclosure like?

I looked at the other photos of the your enclosure on amazon and it looks like you can put 2 together... not sure if you want to do that. Building is a great idea, may save you money. How much space do you have in your house to dedicate?

But removing the built in hide in your current one gives them more room. If you do this, add a smaller hide (plastic bowls, planter pots, things like that) and small sight barriers for him to maneuver around. Scratching at the walls is not going to hurt him really, but can by a sign of stress and sometimes they flip themselves over.
My outside one is very very big. It has a mesh screen on top. I am not done ordering the stuff yet (Hides, food dishes, etc.) but I am done building it. I would say that it is about 6x8ft. I could probably put 2 together for indoors. I could try to rearrange some things to make room to put 4 of those in without the hides (What Tom suggested). So to sum up my space I could definitely do 2 of those and I am pretty sure that if I rearranged some things I could put 4 of those in.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top