Jump to content
DOSBODS
  • Welcome to DOSBODS

     

    DOSBODS is free of any advertising.

    Ads are annoying, and - increasingly - advertising companies limit free speech online. DOSBODS Forums are completely free to use. Please create a free account to be able to access all the features of the DOSBODS community. It only takes 20 seconds!

     

Tortoises for pets


Recommended Posts

spunko

Anyone ever done this? Been considering it for a while, seems pretty easy and low maintenance but I'm probably not considering something.

I'd probably aim for an already fully grown one because they're tiny otherwise and will get lost.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrPin

Can you get them any more? They don't do much or eat much, and you have to hibernate them in Winter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bornagain

My aunt has had the same tortoise since she was a girl - she is now in her mid seventies.

You might be surprised to learn that they can escape - hers has ecaped a few times which caused much surprise - it was eventually caught red handed climbing over the garden fence, this sounds ludicrous but she swears it is true.

 

  • Agree 2
  • Lol 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
dgul
  • They're expensive, but I suppose if you convert that to £s / year of being a pet it doesn't work out too bad.
  • Hibernation can be a bit of a bind -- you've got to have a place to put them that's reliably below about 10 degrees but never ever goes below zero.  (A colleague of mine used to hibernate hers in the fridge, but my fridge randomly freezes the milk, so I can't see how that's a better solution).  I put mine in an insulated box in the shed, but will bring them into the 'enclosed porch' if there's a hard frost (you can't bring them inside as it'll be too hot and it will confuse their physiology).
  • They won't love you back in the way a dog or cat might.  OTOH, they're only the same as a fish, snake, etc.
  • You'll need a secure area to keep them.  This means 'secure' so that they can't get out.  I'd note that tortoises can climb much better than you'd imagine, and will get up to all sorts of tricks.  Eg, my tortoises will congregate at a corner of their enclosure and gather to form a tiny pyramid, where the topmost one will get over the barrier (until I saw them doing it and raised the barrier height -- this seems ludicrous but it is absolutely true).
  • I'd also note that they can dig down, so you need the barrier to go down a bit as well (or just keep an eye on them, as digging is relatively slow).
  • Security also means security from others, as they're valuable.  So you have to make sure that their location isn't going to have random delivery people walking past, etc.
  • The enclosure needs to be 'sufficiently large'.  I think that this means that if they go for a walk around the perimeter they've forgotten where they've been by the time they get back to where they started.
  • The enclosure would need to have direct sunlight for a fair portion of the days.  Or rig up a heat lamp -- but you need to have one or the other as they won't eat unless they've been warmed up by radiated heat.
  • Tortoise sex is very amusing to view.
  • Agree 2
  • Informative 4
  • Lol 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Sasquatch

We had a tortoise when I was a kid. Tommy was his name.

One day he was there, the next he had scarpered.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
invalid
19 minutes ago, dgul said:
  • They're expensive, but I suppose if you convert that to £s / year of being a pet it doesn't work out too bad.
  • Hibernation can be a bit of a bind -- you've got to have a place to put them that's reliably below about 10 degrees but never ever goes below zero.  (A colleague of mine used to hibernate hers in the fridge, but my fridge randomly freezes the milk, so I can't see how that's a better solution).  I put mine in an insulated box in the shed, but will bring them into the 'enclosed porch' if there's a hard frost (you can't bring them inside as it'll be too hot and it will confuse their physiology).
  • They won't love you back in the way a dog or cat might.  OTOH, they're only the same as a fish, snake, etc.
  • You'll need a secure area to keep them.  This means 'secure' so that they can't get out.  I'd note that tortoises can climb much better than you'd imagine, and will get up to all sorts of tricks.  Eg, my tortoises will congregate at a corner of their enclosure and gather to form a tiny pyramid, where the topmost one will get over the barrier (until I saw them doing it and raised the barrier height -- this seems ludicrous but it is absolutely true).
  • I'd also note that they can dig down, so you need the barrier to go down a bit as well (or just keep an eye on them, as digging is relatively slow).
  • Security also means security from others, as they're valuable.  So you have to make sure that their location isn't going to have random delivery people walking past, etc.
  • The enclosure needs to be 'sufficiently large'.  I think that this means that if they go for a walk around the perimeter they've forgotten where they've been by the time they get back to where they started.
  • The enclosure would need to have direct sunlight for a fair portion of the days.  Or rig up a heat lamp -- but you need to have one or the other as they won't eat unless they've been warmed up by radiated heat.
  • Tortoise sex is very amusing to view.

 

Very good advice.

As well as stopping them getting out, if there is a possibility of rats anywhere nearby they (rats) have been known to chew at tortoises legs.

A boy tortoises boy bits are very alien like.

This post from a forum and photo gives an idea, tortoises can be hard to sex correctly:

"I went outside to check on my tortoise and she looked like she had pooped out some of her insides and it was hanging out. I took her inside, came back out to look at where she was laying for anything weird, then came back in and she seemed to have sucked it back inside. I have never seen anything like this before, it seems like something I should worry about. Anyone know what this could be?"

 

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/tortoise-worry.3473/

 

 

  • Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
invalid

 

A couple of other thoughts:

Consider getting a 'pre loved' tortoise.

And perhaps think again about low maintenance. In the summer all we need to do is put some extra food in for them as their enclosure isn't big enough to grow enough weeds for them (some will eat grass). But come the winter they need to either be hibernated or bought indoors. Some do not need to be hibernated but will still need to be bought in for the winter and kept under a heat lamp. They also need get enough UVB (need to check that, can't remember if its A, B or C) so either sunlight or a UV lamp.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrPin

I parked a motorbike on a tortoise. I thought it was a stone. Was a steep drive. Came out unharmed thought.

  • Lol 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
dgul
2 hours ago, dgul said:
  • You'll need a secure area to keep them.  This means 'secure' so that they can't get out.  I'd note that tortoises can climb much better than you'd imagine, and will get up to all sorts of tricks.  Eg, my tortoises will congregate at a corner of their enclosure and gather to form a tiny pyramid, where the topmost one will get over the barrier (until I saw them doing it and raised the barrier height -- this seems ludicrous but it is absolutely true).

I'll put a number on that -- my enclosure walls were 8" high and they escaped within a week.   The tortoises are 'standard size' (nothing 'big').   Luckily I have a secondary wall ('sunken garden' type thing) and that stopped them.  They've been 15" high for years now with no escape.   Perhaps 12" would have done it, but by wall units are 7" high so that's what they've got (well and a 1" high base, which is the top of the buried bit -- but that only goes down about 4" or so)

  • Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
leonardratso

we had one as kids, pretty rubbish as a pet, had to go out and pick dandelions for it and the leaves, but it seemed to eat just about anything, including dropped bits of diced steak for the cat. Escaped a few times but was found again, in fact thats how we got it in the first place, we found it on some rough ground behind the house, must have escaped from elsewhere.

We used to let it roam around the living room sometimes, and i remember once it bit my dads bare big toe under the table (he used to sit there with no shoes/socks on mostly), Eventually 'ran' off one day and never came back (or rather was not found again) so it was probably found by someone else and taken. Wasnt a real loss, not like a dog or cat would be, this was late 1970's. We assumed it was off looking for a female when it made its escapes.

  • Lol 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
wherebee

We had one as a kid and painted our phone number on the shell, as it escaped so often (rural, so no real fences).  Used to get calls about once a fortnight.

 

I'd love one here, but not legal in Australia.  Shame - they'd do really well in the climate.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
MrPin
4 hours ago, wherebee said:

We had one as a kid and painted our phone number on the shell, as it escaped so often (rural, so no real fences).  Used to get calls about once a fortnight.

 

I'd love one here, but not legal in Australia.  Shame - they'd do really well in the climate.

I thought they weren't allowed in the UK any more. Used to be quite common when I was small. I think they originate in Greece.

Link to post
Share on other sites
spunko

To be honest, the dandelion thing might be a bigger issue than it otherwise should be, I tend to get rid of all my weeds, except for a dedicated weed / nettle bed at the bottom of the garden. I don't know what happens if a tortoise eats a weed sprayed with Roundup, so I might have to go fully organic :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
spunko
5 hours ago, MrPin said:

I thought they weren't allowed in the UK any more. Used to be quite common when I was small. I think they originate in Greece.

There are IIRC only 4 types/genus that are legal to buy in the UK. It might be one of those things where it's illegal to buy but not own the others. If you bought one before the law changed it'd probably only be about middle-aged now :CryBaby:

Link to post
Share on other sites
MrPin
Just now, spunko said:

There are IIRC only 4 types/genus that are legal to buy in the UK. It might be one of those things where it's illegal to buy but not own the others. If you bought one before the law changed it'd probably only be about middle-aged now :CryBaby:

Well there's a problem, like parrots. It's not just a "lockdown puppy" for a few months before you donate it to the Korean restaurant.. They do last a long time, if cared for.

  • Lol 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
spygirl
On 30/01/2021 at 09:29, MrPin said:

Can you get them any more? They don't do much or eat much, and you have to hibernate them in Winter.

You cant get them cheaply.

I remember getting one for pocket money when I was ~13 - so early 80s.

 

Took my kids to a petshop, looked at the tortoise - ~400 a pop!.

 

They have to be bred in the UK now rather than lifted from Greece.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Happy Renting
On 31/01/2021 at 22:42, wherebee said:

We had one as a kid and painted our phone number on the shell, as it escaped so often (rural, so no real fences).  Used to get calls about once a fortnight.

 

I'd love one here, but not legal in Australia.  Shame - they'd do really well in the climate.

I withhold my number so you don't know it's me.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy Renting

This is Kevin, my 'special' albino tortoise that I was given for my 12th birthday.

He's very quiet and doesn't eat a lot, and hibernates a lot.

I drew circles around him every few months or so to see if he moved, but he only seemed to move when I was out, and only my Mum ever saw him walk.

I guess he's shy.

kevin.jpg.301722fa6d752da5de3d7157891f0973.jpg

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
ashestoashes
13 hours ago, Happy Renting said:

This is Kevin, my 'special' albino tortoise that I was given for my 12th birthday.

He's very quiet and doesn't eat a lot, and hibernates a lot.

I drew circles around him every few months or so to see if he moved, but he only seemed to move when I was out, and only my Mum ever saw him walk.

I guess he's shy.

kevin.jpg.301722fa6d752da5de3d7157891f0973.jpg

turtle

Link to post
Share on other sites
hapax legomenon

Got one for my cat and to be honest they don't really play much together so I would say overall not a good idea

  • Lol 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Happy Renting
On 31/01/2021 at 10:53, invalid said:

 

 

This post from a forum and photo gives an idea, tortoises can be hard to sex correctly:

 

 

 

I think males have a slightly concave undersides, to help them stay in place when mating.

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
MrPin
39 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

I think males have a slightly concave undersides, to help them stay in place when mating.

Yes the female ones are rounder. I'm still amazed they don't slip off though. Maybe velcro is involved?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...