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Why not to keep 2 tortoises together - a lesson learned the hard way

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by biochemnerd808, Jun 8, 2014.

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  1. Bobby12345

    Bobby12345 New Member

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    This was very helpful. Thanks
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  2. erickrawls

    erickrawls New Member

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    Thank you for that. My wife and I are having the same problem. Our male Rocky is always biting and trying to mate with our female Starla. Both are Russian. We are going to have a new indoor home built real soon, and like you said Starla is twice his size but he still will bully her. I plan to have there new home built to fit in a corner with a 90 degree turn in the middle with a divider door. So both sides are the same.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2019
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  3. jUMPSu1t

    jUMPSu1t Member

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    My tortoises (one male, one female) have never mated, seem afraid to do so, and I’m not sure that the would ever do it. It’s weird; my male seems so submissive that he would let my girl jump HIM if he got the chance. Weird.
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  4. Crzt4torts

    Crzt4torts Active Member

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    1110181601_HDR.jpg
    I had my male/female together for over 13 years before they became interested in each other...I believe the female was just young. Then he began pestering her, I separated them and she is much happier and healthier, gained some weight. She also laid numerous eggs and has 3 hatch, almost 3 years ago. While the babies are currently together and thriving, I will be separating them once a bit older, or if any sign of discord.
  5. Crzt4torts

    Crzt4torts Active Member

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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    They should be separated. Pairs are not the way to go.
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Groups can sometimes work, especially juveniles. It is pairs that are the problem.
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  8. Crzt4torts

    Crzt4torts Active Member

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  9. TortoiseRacket

    TortoiseRacket Well-Known Member

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    Same! Luckily, I kept them separate. I found this a couple of months ago somewhere else.
    -Mickey
  10. elizabeth marie

    elizabeth marie New Member

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    I've never written here before but also wished I'd been on this forum before it was too late . . . .I have Torty (ingenious name) Russian male who is 13 now, I got him when he was 5 and when he was 7 I took in a "friend" for him . .Tattie aged 5 . .Tattie was dehydrated to near death but picked up with loving, warmth and food . .all was well with my beloveds' . . Until . Tattie matured and was healthy .. .butting ramming biting blocking constantly marauding Torty made Tatties life a misery . .I live in a flat with a small plot of garden in Scotland (Little sunshine) trying to share this out separately was murder . .it took 3 years to find another tortoise fan with suitable space and husbandry nearby (so i can stay in touch) before both torts were happy . .therefore me too :0) I also thought my Torty would be different . .I so agree with make no 1 tortoise homes (indoor and out) palatial Great Joy to happy tortoise owners !
  11. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi Elizabeth Marie, and so glad to see a post from you finally!!! Wow. . . that's too bad you weren't able to keep Tattie, but it turned out best in the end (two happy torts). It's hard to not put human emotions on our tortoises. We think because we would be lonely living alone, surely out tortoise must be lonely too. I'm glad it worked out for you.
  12. MPappagallo

    MPappagallo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing this info. I am new to the tortoise world and trying to learn all I can before deciding what type and how many to get. I will definitely get only one based on your great info. It was amazing to watch your video showing the bullying actually happening.....it really opened my eyes as to what can happen when they are raised together.
  13. MichaelL

    MichaelL Member

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    Ok so I got a female russian from petsmart, then a year later i liked her tons and wanted to breed russians. I planned on keeping them separate except for the period of time when I wanted him to mate. I had two tubs for each of them for winter time, and for spring, summer, and fall, (I live in Florida) I had two 8x4 feet pens right next to each other for both of them.(Basically an 8x8 pen with a big divider in the middle) So in march when it began to get hotter, I put them in their outdoor pens and would occasionally move him into her pen to mate with her. He would usually try to mate once, then most of the time fail and move on with life. He was never too aggressive and would try to mate "lightly" i should say, and she was never very stressed. So i combined their pens to make one big 8x8 pen. He only tried mating with her for the remainder of march, about once every few days, and then stopped completely. Now it is june and he hasn't tried to mate since march and they live happily together, no one is the underdog and I plan to keep them together outdoors every year. So maybe russian tortoises are only aggressive in spring and then stop? Mine are fine and for me, keeping a pair together outdoors most of the year works out well.
  14. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    You are going to have problems. Trust me, it will happen. It is never a good idea to have two torts together. We had an. Incident on here about a month ago. It was believed one tortoise, russian, had bit the head off of its roommate. Do you really want to take that chance? In groups, it might work. Russian torts are very scrappy and territorial. Learn from mistakes already made. It is not just spring, it is year round
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  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    This is what everyone thinks... right up until the day they realize they are wrong. The only question is how much damage is done on the day this lesson is learned. Sometimes its just some minor scuffling and nipping, and other times its a lost head, lost tail or leg, a lost eye, or a dead tortoise.
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/bad-day-for-baby.114328/
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  16. MichaelL

    MichaelL Member

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    Ok, I will separate them soon. Thank you, im glad its easy for me to separate them.
  17. MichaelL

    MichaelL Member

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    Thank you, I will separate them soon. Thank you for warning me.
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  18. MichaelL

    MichaelL Member

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    I completely get what your saying, but also just wondering, while on this topic. Why do you think mine has stopped trying to mate and ignores her now? Is that a problem?
  19. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Although not addressed to me, I've got some insight. This is a complex and confusing issue. Numerous opinions abound, and all of them or none of them could be correct. Here are several factors that address your question:
    • Some species can breed whenever they reach a certain size. Other species, like radiata for example, will not produce eggs or offspring until they reach a certain age, even if they've been full adult size for years. I believe Russians are this way too. Many times full size adult Russians are living together and no babies. Then five years later, for no apparent reason, they start making babies.
    • Tortoises don't like change. When we remove them from their territory and deposit them into an entirely new territory, it really messes them up for a while. We speculate that this is one reason Chersina seldom survive or breed for very long once imported. How long? No one knows. I speculate that it has to do with the individual tortoises age, demeanor and how suitable the new territory is. In some cases it takes years. In some cases the never accept the change and acclimate.
    • There are multiple subspecies of Russians. They have a huge range and I speculate that sometimes, in some cases, mixing animals from different parts of the range is the problem.
    These are a few ideas anyhow. Points to ponder...
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  20. MichaelL

    MichaelL Member

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    wow thank you.Tortoises are truly complicated and amazing creatures. I think the age might have to do with it since my female is a little over five inches and my male is 4.5
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