Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the most popular Garden Tortoise species?
A. The most popular and easy to care for are Horsfields and Hermanns.
Q. Will my Tortoise be a boy or girl?
A. We advertise the year the Tortoise was hatched but due to their age and size, it is not usually known if they are male or female. Over the years we have built relationships with several reputable breeders and it would be very difficult for us to identify which Tortoise was hatched on what day.
Q. Should I buy one or do Tortoises like company?
A. In the wild Tortoises (chelonia) are solitary creatures. They come together for drinking and for breeding. As most Tortoises are captive bred, it could be argued that they are use to being with others of their own species.
Q. What do Tortoises eat?
A. Most tortoise species require a high fibre and low protein diet. It is very important to use a quality Calcium combined D3 Vitamin powder on the leafy diet at least twice a week. We also provide a formulated Dry Tortoise Pellet food with all our Complete Set Up packages. This food is a more of a treat, occasional use may be once or twice a week. However not all Tortoises will eat these Pellets. They are also available in different flavours. Some tortoises will only eat a particular flavour. Before feeding they must be soaked in luke warm water and never fed dry to your Tortoise. We believe a fresh leafy diet is always best.
Q. Can I get further advice from you after I purchase my Tortoise?
A. Yes of course we constantly advise our customers and others who are interested in catering correctly for their Tortoises welfare. We have been doing this for about thirty six years. Please try and call us after 12 noon as mornings are devoted entirely to caring for our animals welfare needs.
Q. Will my Tortoise hibernate in the Winter?
A. Only certain breeds of tortoise hibernate. These include Hermanns, Horsfields, and the Mediterranean Spur Thighed. However these breeds will only ever hibernate if the air temperature falls to about four degrees Celsius and stays at that temperature. So if it never gets cold enough, the Tortoise would not be able to hibernate. There are also some breeds which never hibernate. These include the Leopard tortoise, Indian Stars, and Red footed breeds. All tortoises which are hibernated loose a certain amount of body weight, therefore we recommend when buying young tortoises that you do not hibernate them. Use one of our Complete Set Up’s which is supplied with the required UVA/UVB and Heat combination bulb, (on in the daytime only), and your new tortoise will continue to feed during the winter months. However tortoises will always be more active, therefore eat better, and therefore grow better when allowed outside in warm sunny conditions.
Q. Do I need a License to keep a Tortoise?
A. There is much inaccurate information on the Internet, regarding Tortoises. One of these is concerning Licensing. There is no such thing as a License for any breed of tortoise. Certain tortoises need an Article 10 Certificate when being purchased. These tortoises are also usually microchipped, unless they are on a Transaction Article 10 Certificate. We provide this Certificate for endangered breeds like the Hermanns. The Horsfields tortoise is not currently classed as endangered so there is no microchipping or Article 10 Certificate required for this breed.
Q. Will two male Tortoises fight?
A. This is a fairly common question we are asked. Usually the small size which most tortoises are offered for sale at these days, are far to small to be able to determine their sex. A tortoise usually needs to be about four inches to tell if it’s a boy or a girl. The exception to this is if you know what temperature the eggs were incubated at. The higher end of the incubation range will usually produce females, and conversely, the lower end of the range will produce males.
Horsfields seem to have a bit of a reputation, in that when they become juveniles, if they both turn out to be males, they will fight. This is certainly not a given fact. If of course you do not provide sufficient space to exercise, and do not feed them enough and with quality food, and if contained in artificial conditions indoors all the time, then that would increase the possibility of them ‘nipping’ at each others legs.
Other Tortoises species, such as Marginated, Leopards, Redfoots do not do this.