Worried about our new Greek hatchling (first time w/hatchling)

orli bein

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Hello,
We are new to having a hatchling and so nervous we could be doing things wrong.

Our tiny Golden Greek just hatched yesterday and it’s been a bit over 24 hours but he’s (we think it’s a male) not moving much and won’t eat. He’ll walk a tiny bit, so I know he’s able to. He seemed more energetic right after hatching from the egg than now. We have a ceramic heat lamp on, variable temperature zones, a 4’x2’ enclosure and have bathed him and sprayed water to keep things moist. We don’t have the UVA/UVB light but it’s coming tomorrow. I’m also going to get him sun exposure tomorrow. Should I be worried? I noticed suggestions to put Vitasol drops in the bath water. Would that be the bird droplets? Any additional tips are welcome. We also might have been handling him too much since it’s our first hatchling and the kids are excited to show him off. We’re going to have a hands off couple of days except for bathing. Thank you for any and all suggestions.
Here’s a photo of our habitat.
 

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Hamiltondood

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Richmond, Texas
Hello,
We are new to having a hatchling and so nervous we could be doing things wrong.

Our tiny Golden Greek just hatched yesterday and it’s been a bit over 24 hours but he’s (we think it’s a male) not moving much and won’t eat. He’ll walk a tiny bit, so I know he’s able to. He seemed more energetic right after hatching from the egg than now. We have a ceramic heat lamp on, variable temperature zones, a 4’x2’ enclosure and have bathed him and sprayed water to keep things moist. We don’t have the UVA/UVB light but it’s coming tomorrow. I’m also going to get him sun exposure tomorrow. Should I be worried? I noticed suggestions to put Vitasol drops in the bath water. Would that be the bird droplets? Any additional tips are welcome. We also might have been handling him too much since it’s our first hatchling and the kids are excited to show him off. We’re going to have a hands off couple of days except for bathing. Thank you for any and all suggestions.
Here’s a photo of our habitat.
has the yolk sac fully absorbed yet? i've never hatched or started any tortoises yet but according to one of tom's post, it takes 7-10 days for the yolk sac to fully absorb
here's what i've been going off of:
also, you should invest in a grow tent/greenhouse or a closed chamber to keep the humidity 80% or higher. this is crucial in hatchlings and babies
 

KarenSoCal

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Following up on Hamiltondood, he should not be on substrate until the yolk sac is dried up and the umbilical scar healed. If the yolk sac gets torn, he will die. This is not the time for children to be touching him.

You must get him into a closed chamber immediately. He must have high temps and high humidity now to prevent kidney damage, as well as pyramiding. When babies are started too dry, this is what happens.

Follow the link that Hamiltondood posted for you. How you handle husbandry right now plays a huge part in whether your baby survives.

Here is some info on closed chambers.

@Tom
 

orli bein

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Following up on Hamiltondood, he should not be on substrate until the yolk sac is dried up and the umbilical scar healed. If the yolk sac gets torn, he will die. This is not the time for children to be touching him.

You must get him into a closed chamber immediately. He must have high temps and high humidity now to prevent kidney damage, as well as pyramiding. When babies are started too dry, this is what happens.

Follow the link that Hamiltondood posted for you. How you handle husbandry right now plays a huge part in whether your baby survives.

Here is some info on closed chambers.

@Tom
Following up on Hamiltondood, he should not be on substrate until the yolk sac is dried up and the umbilical scar healed. If the yolk sac gets torn, he will die. This is not the time for children to be touching him.

You must get him into a closed chamber immediately. He must have high temps and high humidity now to prevent kidney damage, as well as pyramiding. When babies are started too dry, this is what happens.

Follow the link that Hamiltondood posted for you. How you handle husbandry right now plays a huge part in whether your baby survives.

Here is some info on closed chambers.

@Tom

Thank you
 

orli bein

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Thank you Karen and Hamiltondude. We have a pretty steady temperature in our enclosure - 85-95 basking area, 75 cooler area, and our little guy is moving around a lot more, plus we are taking the enclosure out in the sun now for 15-20 min per day. We have a humidifier going regularly and are also bathing our little hatchling about 3 times per day and spraying down the area. We don’t have an incubator and I can’t figure out how a closed area will work with the attached lighting and humidifier we have. My main question is whether the pea moss substrate is safe enough. Also, how can we tell if the yolk sack and area is progressing as it should? I’m including a photo and would so appreciate input. This is day 3 since hatching.
 

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Hamiltondood

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Thank you Karen and Hamiltondude. We have a pretty steady temperature in our enclosure - 85-95 basking area, 75 cooler area, and our little guy is moving around a lot more, plus we are taking the enclosure out in the sun now for 15-20 min per day. We have a humidifier going regularly and are also bathing our little hatchling about 3 times per day and spraying down the area. We don’t have an incubator and I can’t figure out how a closed area will work with the attached lighting and humidifier we have. My main question is whether the pea moss substrate is safe enough. Also, how can we tell if the yolk sack and area is progressing as it should? I’m including a photo and would so appreciate input. This is day 3 since hatching.
to me, the yolk sac hasn't fully been absorbed, you should see a "scar"/seam where the yolk sac was.
here's what my tortoise's plastron looks like:
1604264780065.png
he's a lot older than your tortoise but it should look something like that
also, you shouldn't have to bathe him 3 times a day
just bathe/soak with for 30 minutes everyday and you'd be good
i don't think you should use the peat moss substrate in the enclosure since it could impact your tortoise

regarding the closed chambers,
you could just hang all the lights inside.
@Markw84 makes great closed chambers, too
you could also buy one from Animal plastics but it takes a while to arrive
so, i recommend buying from mark
personally, i recommend buying a grow tent and using that as an enclosure
just flip it, hang the lights, and add everything inside
it's cheap, affordable, and you can buy HUGE ones for 100-200 dollars
pretty good for your current situation

here's the animal plastics website:

here are some grow tents from amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=growtent&ref=nb_sb_noss_2&tag=exoticpetnetw-20

i'm not really good with hatchlings so i'll let karen take the lead now :)
 

Tom

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Thank you Karen and Hamiltondude. We have a pretty steady temperature in our enclosure - 85-95 basking area, 75 cooler area, and our little guy is moving around a lot more, plus we are taking the enclosure out in the sun now for 15-20 min per day. We have a humidifier going regularly and are also bathing our little hatchling about 3 times per day and spraying down the area. We don’t have an incubator and I can’t figure out how a closed area will work with the attached lighting and humidifier we have. My main question is whether the pea moss substrate is safe enough. Also, how can we tell if the yolk sack and area is progressing as it should? I’m including a photo and would so appreciate input. This is day 3 since hatching.
We all told you to get him out of the enclosure, off the substrate, and into a brooder box. Just going to do it your way anyway? The umbilical scar doesn't close up well in the open dry air and substrate hampers it further. This baby needs to be in a brooder box for a week or so. Plastic shoe boxes cost about $1 at Walmart or Home Depot. What's the reason you don't want to do this?

That type of enclosure isn't suitable for a baby. The low walls and open top make it impossible to maintain the correct conditions.

Humidifiers shouldn't be used over tortoises. Its not good to have them breathing water vapor.

You don't need to soak 3 times a day. Once a day is plenty and will keep the baby hydrated when housed in the correct environment with damp substrate, a humid hide, and moderate humidity.

What is pea moss? Do you mean peat moss? If yes, then no, its not safe to use. It can rot the plastron. Coco coir, aka Eco Earth, is the best substrate for baby Testudo.

The clamps on a clamp lamp should never be used. They always fail and eventually lead to disaster one way or another. Hang the lamp from over head one way or another. This will also allow you to adjust the height as needed to get the correct temperature under the bulb.

The light fixture you have isn't suitable. The bakelite plastic types can't hold up over time and aren't meant to be on all day every day. You need one with a ceramic base. They have them at Home Depot for about $12.

How did you get the baby to hatch without an incubator? They don't usually hatch at room temp.
 

KarenSoCal

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We all told you to get him out of the enclosure, off the substrate, and into a brooder box.

@Tom, this post was the OP's first post, posted on Fri night. The post with lots of respondents, when he was advised re' substrate, etc was posted Sat morning, after this one.

What Hamiltondood and I wrote in posts #2 and 3 is the only info OP had at the time, and he was already offline.

So the next morning, without seeing this, he started a new thread.

I hope this helps clarify what happened here. An unfortunate combination of double-posting and time.
 

orli bein

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Hello all,
We took your advice and created a brooder tank with moistened paper towels on the bottom. We’ve followed all the advice on lights, humidity and temperature. We still can’t get our little “Gerry” to eat. I’ve tried to regularly offer a mix of bits of greens, dandelion, clover, grass... tried the Mazuri pellets both with the food and dissolving some in his bath hoping he’s getting some when drinking the water.
He’ll seem to smell the food and look it over, then walk away.
He doesn’t seem all that energetic either. The only change was when I took him in an enclosure to be in the sun, and then he started moving all over the place. I’m trying to give him direct sun time every day and he has a 15 watt 10.0 UVB light over his tank. Should I be worried? It’s day #6 since hatching.
I should add that though we are complete novices with a hatchling, we’ve got 3 grown tortoises and they all seem to do well. Clearly hatchlings are totally different territory.
Thank you so so much!
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Trying again, any tips on assessing the lack of eating of our hatchling?
They can last a couple weeks on their yolk sac reserves. Keep offering food and make sure the temperature and humidity levels are good. How is its activity? Eyes open and moving around?
 

orli bein

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Thanks so much! Activity seems good. Eyes are open. He walks around his enclosure in between his many naps. When we put him in sunlight, we always notice an uptick in activity. Humidity is 50-60% and basking temp is 85-95 with cooler area of low to mid 70s.
I really appreciate your reply!!
 
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