Anonymous:

I have a couple of concerns and I hope you can help me out. I have a sulcata tortoise a little more than a year old. It’s beak chipped on one side. I was wondering if I have to file the rest down? Is it a sign of poor nutrition if it’s beak is breaking? I am getting worried. I try my best to keep it healthy but sometimes I feel like I’m doing something wrong.

Hey There!

So Its really hard to say without seeing your torte’s beak.  The first thing I’d say is don’t trim your tortoise’s beak yourself! Unless you’ve been trained by someone definitely don’t try it. While a cracked beak doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong, it can be a sign of serious health problems. 

The severity of the crack and how its impacting your tort is how you’d decide if it needs attention.  If its a bit of unevenness that’s not causing trouble eating, and not part of an overgrown beak, then (as long as you’re feeding an appropriate diet and providing the proper amount of UVB / temperatures gradient) it should work itself out.  Healthy torts with the right diet and environment usually maintain their beaks and nails through eating and climbing and other day to day trouble making. It won’t look like your shell got a manicure though, so keep that in mind.

That said, If he/she is having trouble eating, If the beak is overgrown, that’s much more worrisome.  Its a sure sign that he/she isn’t getting the right diet/ lighting/ etc and could potentially have a vitamin deficiency or be developing a type of metabolic bone disease  These are serious issues and require vet attention for sure. 

So I guess my advice is to keep a really close eye on your shell friend. If you notice other issues (The overgrown beak, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, abnormal shell growth etc) definitely find a herp vet in your area and make an appointment. It’ll ease your fears, identify any underlying issues, and any trimming that might need to be done will be done by a professional (who might be able to show you how to do it yourself should you need to). 

Heres a good care sheet for Sulcata tortoises. Check here too and make sure you’re diet and set up are all good. At only a year old he/she still has quite a bite of growing to do and its important to get that growth going in the right direction. 

The Sulcata & Leopard Tortoise: Sulcata Care Sheet

Thanks for the ask and keep us updated on your shell. If you’d like to send a picture I can share it here and see if anyone has any thoughts. 

Zoya approving the final proofs of our holiday cards. We’re still signing em. She’d like you to know that I, humom, am the slow and steady one in this family. 

Zoya approving the final proofs of our holiday cards. We’re still signing em. She’d like you to know that I, humom, am the slow and steady one in this family. 

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

jeweledturtle:

An AMAZING turtle enclosure by ALDABRAMAN on http://www.tortoiseboard.com/

tortoise-adventures:

My little man has been eating his wormies all by himself! His foster mum has been working really hard with him and its showing! He’s getting much more confident and his eating is improving like there is no tomorrow. He’s even hunting the worms himself and doesn’t need them cut up anymore – He’s gonna come back looking like Rambo!

yay! Its the healing power of noms <3

A Little Update

tortoise-adventures:

Phoebe is in her foster home and is behaving like she is gravid again. This may mean more eggies soon! If she does lay, these will be summer babies – an ideal time for them to hatch due to all the lovely wild plants and flowers around! I am however having a small panic attack because i can’t be there when she does lay.

George is in his foster home and is eating fantastically. He’s literally running over to his feeding slate each morning, actually eating his wild plants/flowers and improving so much. He’s also wanting to be out to play at 5am every day and is doing his poor foster mums head in!

image

oh man, I can’t imagine how hard it is to think you can’t be there when she lays! Glad to see they’re doing well, though! Shell-hugs! 

(Image: Zoya Pants  Article Via Indianacolleges.com )

Some important facts for beginner turtle, tortoise, and terrapin fans.

Well, we’ve all heard the tale about the hare and tortoise. But did you know these 7 interesting facts about turtles?

1. Are tortoises and turtles the same thing? And we’re not talking ninja turtles here.

All tortoises are turtles; however, all turtles are not tortoises. Tortoises are the turtles that live on the land.

2. It was over 200 million years ago that the earliest turtles had evolved.

3. There are around 320 species of turtles all around the world and almost half of them fall into the endangered range.

4. When in Britain, remember that the term turtle is used for salt water species, while the term terrapin is used for the fresh water species.

5. Don’t be afraid of a turtle biting your head off- they have no teeth.

6. The official reptile of Illinois state is the painted turtle. This decision was made through an internet poll, and other options which people had voted for were the Eastern Box Turtle and the Common Garter Snake.

7. Although yawning is said to be contagious in both humans and animals, research suggests that in tortoises yawning is not contagious.

Zoya is climbing out of her enclosure to give her humom a snuggle and apologize to you all for the late responses to asks. Humom is so silly and wants to respond in detail, but its not happing on time cause she has had a really rough week. As usual, it takes a wise and agile shell to set her straight. 

She’s drawn up some enclosure schematics and promises to get posting them as soon as she gets a good night sleep (hopefully in her bed and not on the couch, cause she snores, and this spidey shell needs her beauty rest! Best guess on timing is tomorrow or Wednesday… she’s like a tortoise stereotype „, so slow. gaw. ) 

Oh, and she says thanks to all who send aks and submissions. They make Tort-time extra awesome. 

sleepypixie:

hey! I have a russian tortoise and I am going to have a small bird soon, I was wondering if you know if it is safe to keep them in the same room? I’m having trouble finding out via google search.

Hey! Congrats on your growing animal family 🙂

I’m assuming they’ll have separate enclosures? If that’s the case I don’t see too much opportunity for trouble to be made when they’re both in their individual secure spaces. 

The problems come in when the bird is out of its enclosure and able to fly around, roam free. You’ve got a heat lamp that can burn, be knocked over and hurt your tortoise, and even start a fire. That’s the *biggest* issue I can forsee.  Well that and your bird trying to get a ride out of the tortoise taxi and earning a side eye 🙂 I’d bet you won’t get more than an annoyed side eye from your Russian. The new bird isn’t a nom and isn’t something recognizable as nom related, so clearly tortie has better things to think about 😉  

I did some searching before responding to you as I’m not a bird expert (or any expert really), and I did read a bit about the potential for a bird to pick up bacteria (that are are carried by tortoises but not an issue for them) and falling ill. Nothing that gave any cited info just a couple people mentioning it. Definitely something to think about before letting them interact at all. 

So, now comes the time where I’ve babbled far beyond my limited knowledge and ask kindly if anyone else has any thoughts??

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