Is my Hermann's tortoise ok?

by Alan
(UK)

Tommy the Hermann's Tortoise

Tommy the Hermann's Tortoise

I have had a Hermann's tortoise called Tommy for about 3 years.


He has a slightly weird shaped shell but apart from that he seems to be OK.

He eats apple, strawberries, lettuce, and a dried formula from the pet shop.

He has a big cage with proper heat and a big sun lamp, but he does not seem very happy. All he does is eat and sleep. I was wondering if he is OK and what I can do to make his life a bit more interesting.

Do I need to get him a friend? I did hear that if I got another tortoise then they would fight? please help as I am worried about him.

Hi Alan,

I'm glad you sent a picture of Tommy. That will help other people to answer your question.

The easy part is to say that unless a tortoise wants to mate, another tortoise won't improve the situation.

You didn't say whether Tommy's behavior has changed. If it has, you should find a veterinarian to get him a check-up.

I'm worried that Tommy might be eating too much fruit. Check the list of tortoise food for suggestions.

Also, ask yourself if he has anything interesting to do in his home. For example, have you ever tried putting his food just above his normal reach so he has to stretch or climb just a little to get it? Maybe he just needs some variety.

Shelly

Keep it slow and steady.

Comments for Is my Hermann's tortoise ok?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 27, 2015
Male and Female Tortoises
by: Shelly

Yes, you can keep a male and a female together. What you must do is provide a place for one to get away from the other if one becomes aggressive or one simply wants some privacy.

Keep it slow and steady.

Jun 27, 2015
Keeping male and female tortoises together
by: Anonymous

Hello:we have a girl Herman tortoise and we would love to get another , however we are not sure a male and a female would get on together , what is best?

Jun 11, 2015
Tortoises
by: Anonymous

My tortoise sometimes has that, tiny bits of skin coming off, I think it's just natural as they grow some skin scales come off.

May 29, 2015
skin coming off
by: Anonymous

I have a Herman tortoise and she Ihas some skin on her head that is slowly coming off , what should I do?

Dec 22, 2014
Tortoises mating and hibernating
by: Shelly

Do not put a pregnant tortoise into hibernation.

Take it slow and steady.

Dec 21, 2014
your tortoise
by: Jackie Spoden

ok so maybe getting another tortoise for tommy is a good idea and do not feed him lettuce or apples because that's not that good for tortoises and only feed him strawberries only every once a while. some things to feed him is kale, mustard greens and/or water crest and another thing maybe the reason he is deformed is because of what your feeding him. his shape is probably just the way he was born, so don't really worry so much about him. Another thing if you do get another tortoise, first of all I would recommend it because he may be happier, but if they mate you will have to put them in the refrigerator to put them in full hibernation.

Oct 24, 2014
Peppa Pig
by: Anonymous

You may not believe this but my little granddaughter put lots of Peppa Pig stickers on one side of her table (which we keep on the floor so she can nip off if she wants to). Anyway, she seems to love the stickers and spends ages gazing at them. Its really strange cos I never thought a tortoise would even notice stickers - anyway she loves them - try it, it might be an interesting distraction!!

Sep 09, 2014
Fruit
by: Michelle

Too much fruit can be bad for these tortoises. It can also cause diahorrea so be careful. An occasional strawberry should be fine, mine used to like a strawberry treat, but don't over feed fruit :)

Sep 09, 2014
Tort
by: Anonymous

Fruit should never be fed to Mediterranean tortoises,you need a good quality 10-12% uv strip,best on the market is the Arcadia t5 d3+ 12%.use neckton msa suppliment as better than nutribol and should give a light dusting on thier food each day!substrate should be deep topsoil which needs to be damp so they can burry down at night which is vital for hydration and smooth shell growth!should be hibernated every year if safe todo so! People need to know the even basics before even thing of getting a tortoise!

Jun 02, 2014
Beak trim
by: Alan

The vet can trim it for you too

Jun 02, 2014
Cuttlefish
by: Michelle

Cuttlefish is very good for them shaving their beak down :)

Jun 02, 2014
Long Beak
by: Anonymous

I noticed my son's tortoise is getting a long beak. Is he getting to much of something? He is seven years old.

Apr 22, 2014
He has METABOLIC BONE DISEASE
by: Anonymous

No, it looks like your Tortoise has metabolic bone disease. Your tortoise is not getting enough calcium and vitamin D3, you need to supplement your tortoise every day with nutabal. You need a D3 heat lamp. I recommend solar glo exo-terra. This is the cause of the odd shaped shell. You shouldn't be feeding them strawberries or apple much. About once a month as a treat or not at all. You should feed them on mostly weeds, like dandelions. And salad- romaine lettuce, cos lettuce. Prickly pear cactus is great for tortoises. NEVER FEED TORTOISES WITH PET SHOP BOUGHT TORTOISE PELLETS.

Jul 15, 2013
Tommy update
by: Alan

I see the thread is still going which is ace, Tommys doing well, living outside in the summer now, eating lots of weeds, really loving it, he still ties to escape though ;)

Jul 15, 2013
Feeding
by: Anonymous

I have just purchased a 5 year old female Herman tortoise from a pet shop she was in a viv and desperate to get out, I brought her home to a lovely large garden, but she hasn't hardly eaten and I am concerned as down the middle of her shell there seems to be pointed shapes. She may be eating weeds when she is walking around and I haven't seen her.
I bring her in at night, perhaps she is just settling in to a new life, a much better one than the pet shop.

Sep 01, 2010
Tommy Update
by: Alan

Thanks everyone for all the comments, I just thought I would give you an update. Tommy is doing really well, he is much happier, now the sun has come out and wanders around all day. He still tried to escape every chance he gets though ;)

Sep 01, 2010
Helping you
by: Anonymous

Hey - Thanks for putting the picture up - I don't think that you should be feeding a tortoise with anything that you have bought from the pet shop. Tortoises thrive on natural foods (easily found on the internet) and plenty of things to explore

Mar 29, 2010
Calcium
by: Anonymous

thank you for the pic i have a hermann's tortiose too.
he looks like he could use a calcium lamp cause my tortiose has that too so i would get a calcium lamp


good luck

Dec 26, 2009
About your tortoise.
by: Anonymous

Hello,

I have a hermans tortoise and he is around the same shape as yours, my tortoise has a calcium deficiancy and has had septicimia. You should consider taking tommy to the vets to be checked as they would give you more information about Tommy. Apparently hermans tortoise's dont really get lonely. If you wanted to make his cage more exciting then i would suggest for you to put in some logs and peices of slate. also you should search the internet for tortoise books.

Good look.

Nov 14, 2009
Thanks for the update
by: Shelly

Thank you so much for updating us on Tommy's condition. I hope you noticed that I removed the worst of the Anonymous comments. I agree that you should not be yelled at for asking questions.

I think all questions mean someone wants a tortoise's life to be better.

Tommy is lucky to have you taking care of him.

And I'm lucky you have hung in and keep us updated. The posts here will help other tortoise owners.

Keep it slow and steady.

Nov 14, 2009
Tommy update
by: Alan

Thanks sue for your comments, I can assure the anonomous person that Tommy gets regular check ups by a registered reptile vet in horsham and yes he has a slightly mis shaped shell, but he is well loved and very happy. I have changed his diet and he spends a long time on a ramp I have built for him. I was slightly surprised in the abuse I have had as I only wanted some advice, anyway thanks again

Nov 14, 2009
Less harsh
by: Wizzasmum

Well, anonymous, not surprised you chose to keep that name! While the tortoise in question has clearly had a poor diet and accomodation and possibly not enough uvb D3, I would hardly go about telling the owner in the manner that you did - why not put some pics up of your own tortoises and lets see how perfect they are ;) This little one possibly has a degree of MBD but without x-rays and bloods it's impossible to say for sure and although it is clearly not a perfect shape it could well make a nice adult tortoise with a lot of TLC and a good exotics vet check up.
Sue
www.tortsmad.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tortsmad

Oct 06, 2009
unbelievable!
by: Anonymous

A tortoise should NEVER be kept in a viv!! they should have a tortoise table and a outside pen for hot days. they sould also NEVER be fed fruit as it is not good for them. they should be fed on weeds that have been sprinkled with nutrabol! Your tortoise is suffering pyramiding of the shell which is ireversable! it is due to the diet you have fed him! go to the tortoise trust and do some research. ***Comment removed by Shelly. We use only polite language here. You have good information to share. You may not call names. Shelly*** and yes i am a know it all, as i have bred hermann's tortoises for 23 years!

Jul 30, 2009
Hermann's Tortoise
by: Michelle

Hi,I have a number of reptiles ranging from tarantulas to chameleons,and of course theres Shelby,my Hermann's tortoise,She is around 2 years old now and is fantastic! We keep her in the front room in a tortable and she loves it,she loves to see whats going on and likes to watch my son running around! I Do give her fruit now and again,maybe once a week but she loves her dandelion leaves.
Another thing I would suggest to put in your tortoise's viv is rocks,Shelby loves climbing over then,obviously they arent too big and high that she can hurt herself but she loves it,I also put in sum artificial flowers,something thats eye catching for both people and the tortoise. There are real potted plants that you can put in but you have to check which ones are ok. I also made a small soil area for her to go in,which again she loves,I then made a small rocky area (with pebbles). These are just some suggestions of what you can do,and i am sure he will like them!
Michelle

Jul 29, 2009
vivariums and diet
by: CLAIRE

No tort should be kept in vivariums...its not right. They should be kept in tortoise tables where the air can breathe all around them. Diet in the main thing with a tort...you should feed them on weeds...dandelions, vetch, plantain, white and red clover...all things like that. Go onto the tortoise trust website and download the weeds for torts to eat. After reading some comments on here it has really upset me...it doesnt matter about having a friend...what will happen when they start to mate??? They are perfectly happy to live on their own. I have 9 and am taking on a re-homing tort in 2 weeks cus he has had a bad diet and needs a good loving home. Please please read the TORTOISE TRUST site for all your info.

Jul 29, 2009
diet
by: claire

hi, i have 9 torts altogether. Its definetely the food he is eating. Really tortoises need as many weeds to eat as poss (and i dont mean all at once) what i mean is, their diet should consist of weeds...i.e. dandelions, vetch, plantain, clover both red clover and white clover...if you visit the tortoise trust website there is a list of weeds you can download and it gives you all the right information on there. Give him some natural sun light when possible. If it is t.shirt weather for us then a tort can go outside. I dont think there is any way back now for his shell because he has already gone the weird shape BUT if you get him the correct food from now on im sure you will see a happier tort. I cant believe how may people i have heard say the pet shops or where ever they got their tort from tell them to give it lettuce, berries etc....this is not good for them cus the top beak of their mouth does not form properly and this can cause problems in the future.......i am no "know it all" with torts but i think my advice will help you and any other people who read this...i am more than welcome to answer anyones questions....

I am re-homing another tort in 2 weeks...a hermman with a deformed mouth due to being fed on berries etc..and living in a VIV...dont please keep your tort in a viv...think and ask yourselves..where do they live in the wild??? an open top tortoise table is brilliant until they get bigger and need more space.

Hope this helps.

Claire

May 14, 2009
Thanks for the advice
by: Alan

Hey, thanks for the reply, i might just do what you suggested and get him a pal, although he does seem happier these days as i built him a bridge that he sits and keeps watch on.... I will keep you updated if i can find 1 that's 5 years old. maybe someone knows where there is a rescue one i could look after?

thanks

Alan

May 13, 2009
tortoise friend
by: Anonymous

heya i know you post is quite old but i thought id put my view accross. i have 2 tortoises both heramns, one is 5-6 years old and the other 3-4 years old. i got tina first (the eldest_ and she also looked sad. so i got derek. and they are now both sad together haha they dont look happy. they cant smile and so it is quite hard to tell if they are happy or not. i put things like ping pong balls in my viv wither them both and they do push them round, and little bridges ( not too high) and things for them to hide in. they dont play games or talk very much but they are very interesting to watch once they get going lol. hope this helps. xx also i dont think they would fight if you got him a friend. the rescue centre near me keeps around 10 - 20 babys in one large viv and they just mind their own business. they will have conflict from time to time, but who doesnt? they are very loving otherwise and follow each other round. and miss each other when one is taken from its viv. kerry xxx

Aug 09, 2008
Maybe Tommy the Hermann's Tortoise is OK
by: Alan

Hi,
No, his behaviour has not changed. He does walk around his cage a lot. Perhaps I am being over concerned about him, but I will try your suggestions about moving his food and try some of the other foods mentioned in the sheets.

It might be that he just gets tired out as he is still only little. He is only 4-5 years old.

Thanks a lot anyway.

Hi again Alan,

Your tortoise will love wild grass and wild flowers. Be sure there are no pesticides on them.

Shelly

Keep it slow and steady.

you have put my mind at rest

thanks

aLAN

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask Your Turtle or Tortoise Question.