Worried i’m not being a good mom - 3 month old horsfield baby

Prize007

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Alexandria
This forum will help a lot. I was very spazzy at the start and it helped calm my nerves and teach me best practices .

The best thing for me to remember was babies sleep and hide often. In the begining my lil guy would bury himself for what seemed like 23 hours a day!

One of the ways I monitor his health is to weigh him weekly. I look at the overall trend and as long as he is growing I know he is on the right path.

In addition to weight monitoring,
there are daily soaks,
monitor temp and humidity in his enclosure,
making sure he eats a variety of foods,
poops and pees regularly,
and his overall appearance looks good.

So if I stay on top of those 6 things, I feel confident he is doing well. So far so good!
 

Voiletthetort

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
England
This forum will help a lot. I was very spazzy at the start and it helped calm my nerves and teach me best practices .

The best thing for me to remember was babies sleep and hide often. In the begining my lil guy would bury himself for what seemed like 23 hours a day!

One of the ways I monitor his health is to weigh him weekly. I look at the overall trend and as long as he is growing I know he is on the right path.

In addition to weight monitoring,
there are daily soaks,
monitor temp and humidity in his enclosure,
making sure he eats a variety of foods,
poops and pees regularly,
and his overall appearance looks good.

So if I stay on top of those 6 things, I feel confident he is doing well. So far so good!
yeah i’ve been doing all the above bar humidity as i haven’t got it yet to check but everything else is in order x
 

Sarah2020

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
London, UK
pesticides... pick weeds and flowers from know pesticide free locations. do your best to stay away from fertilizer as well.
Steer clear of lamposts! I would start simple with dandelion leaves and flowers. Provide other leaves from shop bought food and eventually grow your own in the summer. They like hibiscus flowers ( I bought bareroot and have them around outdoor enclosure), Rose. Geranium and courgette flowers etc.... depending on your outdoor space this may work for you? Once weather improves the morning food becomes colourful and varied.
 

Mrs G

New Member
Hi, I'm in the UK too. I've had a Hermann from 6 months old. They burrow a lot when very young. And I spent most of the early day's stressing 🙃.
I looked up what they could n could not eat but in my experience. The tortoise smells what he likes and what he doesn't and eats accordingly.
 

Amar

Member
Location (City and/or State)
UK
You can get picture this which is a plant identification app, I used to use it out and about when picking weeds if I was unsure what they were. I’m also in the UK, you can find lots of dandelion and plantain in most places. They are a bit scarce at the moment but in a few weeks there will be lots! You can also get good seed mixes from Amazon I use the shelled warriors range they can be grown in or outdoors abs there’s lots of different varieties. I have an adult Russian, he was a rescue so didn’t have him as baby but he loves to burrow a lot so I wouldn’t worry about that.
 

Voiletthetort

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
England
ooo thankyou i’ll
You can get picture this which is a plant identification app, I used to use it out and about when picking weeds if I was unsure what they were. I’m also in the UK, you can find lots of dandelion and plantain in most places. They are a bit scarce at the moment but in a few weeks there will be lots! You can also get good seed mixes from Amazon I use the shelled warriors range they can be grown in or outdoors abs there’s lots of different varieties. I have an adult Russian, he was a rescue so didn’t have him as baby but he loves to burrow a lot so I wouldn’t worry about that.
thanks i find picking so hard as there’s literally nothing! i’ll download that app now! i’ve ordered seeds from shelled warriors too so going to plant myself and hopefully they grow haha
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome
You'll find this useful to help ID plants.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk
Torts will sometimes eats plants that are toxic for them or bad in large doses, so the tort table will help you find out what not to feed too.
There's not many weeds available here in the UK yet but when you do find them make sure they are from a chemical and fume free area - so not from the side of roads or anywhere where fertilizers or pesticides have been used in the last couple of years. You can buy seed packs for torts and I collect the fluffy dandelion heads to grow my own in pots or around my own garden. Always wash well in case dogs or cats have peed on them.
Meanwhile there are some shop bought greens you can get which will be fine for now.
Aldi have a mixed leaf salad (pale green bag and only 41p at the moment) I use that as a base and add things like lambs lettuce, pak choi leaves , dark romaine leaves, spring greens, kale etc to add variety . Not all at the same time just a couple of extras a time.
Morrisons also have a nice salad bag with escarole and frisee, Lidl's crispy salad in an orange bag is fine too. Florette Classic Crispy salad is the best but expensive and Sainsbury have a good mixed leaf too but again not cheap. Avoid lettuces like iceberg or little gem as they are either too watery or too high in sugars. The green carrot leaves are fine to add mix in too.
I always soak any bagged salad leaves before feeding to get rid of the chlorine that many of them are washed in before bagging and to add extra hydration.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
ooo thankyou i’ll

thanks i find picking so hard as there’s literally nothing! i’ll download that app now! i’ve ordered seeds from shelled warriors too so going to plant myself and hopefully they grow haha
Welcome to the forum. I hear nothing but bad about those FB groups. They defiantly wish to remain willfully ignorant, banning anyone who dares contradict their bad advice and incorrect info, and then spout hostilities at new people trying to do a good job. Best avoided, I think.

I like to take plant samples to my local nursery for ID help. There is almost always a plant nerd (local expert) there who can spout off the scientific names of any plant you can find. Bring pen and paper and write down those names. It will take some time, but you'll figure out the right ones and learn a lot in the mean time.

Growing your own is always a good way to go. You know they will be safe. Its okay to grow them with plain fertilizers. Just don't use a weed n' feed or anything with insecticides or other chemicals in it, and don't let the tortoise have direct access to fertilizer. Grow your seeds in pots of the ground and then cut and feed as needed.

Use a thermometer to set your basking bulb height. Not a ruler. The temperature directly under the bulb is what should set the height. You want it around 95-100F (36-37C) during the day and off at night.

There is much to learn, but don't let it overwhelm you. You'll get everything set and into a long term routine soon, and then its pure enjoyment after that point. :) We'll help any way we can.

And it sounds to me like you are being an excellent Mom for your new baby tortoise. If I were the breeder of that baby, I'd be thrilled to have it in your hands.
 
Last edited:

Voiletthetort

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hi and welcome
You'll find this useful to help ID plants.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk
Torts will sometimes eats plants that are toxic for them or bad in large doses, so the tort table will help you find out what not to feed too.
There's not many weeds available here in the UK yet but when you do find them make sure they are from a chemical and fume free area - so not from the side of roads or anywhere where fertilizers or pesticides have been used in the last couple of years. You can buy seed packs for torts and I collect the fluffy dandelion heads to grow my own in pots or around my own garden. Always wash well in case dogs or cats have peed on them.
Meanwhile there are some shop bought greens you can get which will be fine for now.
Aldi have a mixed leaf salad (pale green bag and only 41p at the moment) I use that as a base and add things like lambs lettuce, pak choi leaves , dark romaine leaves, spring greens, kale etc to add variety . Not all at the same time just a couple of extras a time.
Morrisons also have a nice salad bag with escarole and frisee, Lidl's crispy salad in an orange bag is fine too. Florette Classic Crispy salad is the best but expensive and Sainsbury have a good mixed leaf too but again not cheap. Avoid lettuces like iceberg or little gem as they are either too watery or too high in sugars. The green carrot leaves are fine to add mix in too.
I always soak any bagged salad leaves before feeding to get rid of the chlorine that many of them are washed in before bagging and to add extra hydration.
Hey i have been trying to use the tortoise table but been finding it so hard!! i feel like everything i find looks nothing like it does in there so i’m so scared to pick. i’ve only managed to pick dandelion leaves as there no flowers what so ever :(
All i have around my house is ivy and fern which are no feeds , i feel so annoyed i can’t give her some fresh weeds but hopefully summer brings them out soon and i’m planting all my own seeds this weekend :) x
 

Voiletthetort

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
England
Welcome to the forum. I hear nothing but bad about those FB groups. They defiantly wish to remain willfully ignorant, banning anyone who dares contradict their bad advice and incorrect info, and then spout hostilities at new people trying to do a good job. Best avoided, I think.

I like to take plant samples to my local nursery for ID help. There is almost always a plant nerd (local expert) there who can spout off the scientific names of any plant you can find. Bring pen and paper and write down those names. It will take some time, but you'll figure out the right ones and learn a lot in the mean time.

Growing your own is always a good way to go. You know they will be safe. Its okay to grow them with plain fertilizers. Just don't use a weed n' feed or anything with insecticides or other chemicals in it, and don't let the tortoise have direct access to fertilizer. Grow your seeds in pots of the ground and then cut and feed as needed.

Use a thermometer to set your basking bulb height. Not a ruler. The temperature directly under the bulb is what should set the height. You want it around 95-100F (36-37C) during the day and off at night.

There is much to learn, but don't let it overwhelm you. You'll get everything set and into a long term routine soon, and then its pure enjoyment after that point. :) We'll help any way we can.

And it sounds to me like you are being an excellent Mom for your new baby tortoise. If I were the breeder of that baby, I'd be thrilled to have it in your hands.
I got told that i’m not doing a good job and that i don’t care for my tort all because i didn’t have the correct bulb which i knew as soon as i was home but stated the new one was coming next day but still got attacked for it!
i’ve just bought a thermometer gun as i heard the dials aren’t always correct 👹
I’ve just got to set the new stand up for her as at the moment the light is on a temp fixing.
I’m trying the best i can i read almost every night for hours on end about my tort and her breed and i put the effort in so it’s a real shame when someone tells you that yours doing a bad job!
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hey i have been trying to use the tortoise table but been finding it so hard!! i feel like everything i find looks nothing like it does in there so i’m so scared to pick. i’ve only managed to pick dandelion leaves as there no flowers what so ever :(
All i have around my house is ivy and fern which are no feeds , i feel so annoyed i can’t give her some fresh weeds but hopefully summer brings them out soon and i’m planting all my own seeds this weekend :) x
It helps if you know the names of the plants you can feed and then look them up on TTT to see what they look like and if they are safe.
My torts particularly loves ribwort and broadleaf plantain, sow thistle, and clover all of which are very common weeds in UK.
I'm not hugely confident at IDing plants but my rule is, if in doubt leave it out.
I've just planted some lambs lettuce which isn't a weed, but I'm hoping it will take as it's a good food.
If you see something you're not sure of take some pics - where it grows, leaves and flowers - and post it here then hopefully someone should be able to give you some names to check.
Good luck with your seeds.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
UK
I got told that i’m not doing a good job and that i don’t care for my tort all because i didn’t have the correct bulb which i knew as soon as i was home but stated the new one was coming next day but still got attacked for it!
i’ve just bought a thermometer gun as i heard the dials aren’t always correct 👹
I’ve just got to set the new stand up for her as at the moment the light is on a temp fixing.
I’m trying the best i can i read almost every night for hours on end about my tort and her breed and i put the effort in so it’s a real shame when someone tells you that yours doing a bad job!
We all make mistakes to start with and many have received bad advice from pet shops who are profit driven and don't really know much about tort care so have sold us unsafe or incorrect equipment, but luckily the very experienced keepers here will set us on the right track. A few people take offence to being corrected or advised but everyone here only has the best interests of the torts at heart and are willing to help others get it right.
Forget other websites and FB, this is the best forum for up to date care advice anywhere.
 

zolasmum

Active Member
5 Year Member
Please don't panic about not getting everything right at once - you will learn as time goes on what foods your tortoise likes, what routine suits it ,and so on - they have their own personalities just as much as humans do. No need to overwhelm her with too many foods etc all at once-just try new things gradually. And people on this forum are very kind and helpful - I only wish it had existed nearly 20 years ago when we got Zola, our Hermann -there really was very little to help, - once we took him to the vet with a query, and all the vets and other staff crowded round excitedly, because they had mostly never seen a baby tortoise before!! Just keep away from Facebook, as they sound very unpleasant people. From all you have said, you are clearly going to be a very good mum, and your baby will be very happy in your care.
Angie
 

zolasmum

Active Member
5 Year Member
Have you come across radiccio yet - it is a red leaf in some mixed salad packs - Zola loves it, and so do a lot of other tortoises - where we live, it isnt easy to get in shops, and we have to order it (with a 25mile drive to get it !)
I don't think it is something to give as a staple, but more as an extra.
Z-'s-food.jpg
The great thing about it is that it keeps for weeks in the fridge - I just pull a leaf or two off at a time, and cut it up a bit for Zola (you can see he loves it) Neither his dad nor me like it much ! It has got a fair bit of fibre in it, which is good for Zola - you would only give your baby the thinner red bits, of course. You might like to try it - maybe a bit from a mixed salad pack first.
Angie
 
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