Anti Tort Rollover

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Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Mac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:27 pm

No one wants to have a tortoise rollover under a hot sun or lamp. They dehydrate quickly and this is a big threat to their life. The walls of our inside and outside enclosures are smooth and vertical, and poor tortoise has rolled over more than once. Like many he will always seek out weaknesses in the structures at any cost completely free of fear.

It's a big concern for me and no doubt other tortoise carers. So I have to ask you clever tortoise experts how you try to prevent a catastrophe like this from happening?

Sorry to ask a serious question again but II am sure it is relevant to many members and visitors as well. :) (and Maybe I can lay off the sleeping pills)
Making a wild Hermann as happy as possible after he was captured wrongfully from his home country in the 60s and later found crossing a road here in the South East of England.
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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:27 am

The main thing is to have enough 'stiff' vegetation and stones, etc., in there so that they can use it as leverage to right themselves. Lavender... thyme.. rosemary + other native shrubs.

This is our Libyan tortoise breeding area:

Image

Image

It is fairly flat, but if they did turn over, they can easily right themselves.

That is a first generation CB female, by the way... we are now on 2nd generation. She has had 7 babies to date (more expected to emerge soon).
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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Mac » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:14 pm

She's a beauty. I don't think your can have too many tortoises right now. I hope the Libyan authorities are still following conservations measures.

Will plants grow directly in a 50/50 sand and compost mix? You see at the moment I have plastic pots of plants like lavender which he demolishes on a regular basis. Moreover will they grow indoors or am I restricted to spider plants inside?
Making a wild Hermann as happy as possible after he was captured wrongfully from his home country in the 60s and later found crossing a road here in the South East of England.
Mac
 
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Location: Kent, England, UK

Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:46 am

How well plants will grow will depend a lot on your climate and on drainage.

In a wet climate you may need a lot of drainage.

Have a browse through..

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3307
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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Stuart » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:13 am

Mac wrote: Will plants grow directly in a 50/50 sand and compost mix? You see at the moment I have plastic pots of plants like lavender which he demolishes on a regular basis. Moreover will they grow indoors or am I restricted to spider plants inside?


I think a sandy soil would be ideal for mediterranean-type plants. Free draining, similar to natural conditions. That's certainly how I've planted my lavender, rosemary etc. in my outside enclosures.

I don't know about indoors though. You'd obviously have to have a depth of substrate at least as deep as you'd get in a plantpot, but if you couldn't manage much more than that depth, there's the hope that the roots would go sideways once they found the base of your tortoise table?

Would also depend on the quality of the light. But I suppose if it's as bright and warm and has enough UV for tortoises, it could be OK for the plants too.

What have you got in mind?
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Mac » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:18 pm

Thanks Stuart. I think I should take them out of their pots then although I'll need many to go around both perimeters.

I will plant any tortoise friendly plant that is stiff enough for him to use as a lever. Maybe plants for food can go in the middle and stiffer types around the edges. Inside there is UV at one end and the spider plants seem to have just survived at the other whilst he uses them as footballs.

Any ideas please?
Making a wild Hermann as happy as possible after he was captured wrongfully from his home country in the 60s and later found crossing a road here in the South East of England.
Mac
 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Kent, England, UK

Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Mac » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:01 am

Oops! Sorry NOT 50/50 sand and compost, but topsoil I meant to say. Best gardener in the world me.

Starting again then; will lavender and thicker plants grow in sand and topsoil?
What plants do you use to help keep your tortoise the right way up?
Making a wild Hermann as happy as possible after he was captured wrongfully from his home country in the 60s and later found crossing a road here in the South East of England.
Mac
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Kent, England, UK

Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Stuart » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:38 pm

Mac wrote:Oops! Sorry NOT 50/50 sand and compost, but topsoil I meant to say...

Starting again then; will lavender and thicker plants grow in sand and topsoil?
What plants do you use to help keep your tortoise the right way up?


I didn't read what you'd written as sand and compost in the first place, so yes again...they should do well in sand and soil!

I don't have any plants in my indoor enclosure as it isn't deep enough. Its a bit empty actually...just sandy soil and some flat pieces of dried out moss form the lawn (which they like to burrow under)
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Clara » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:05 pm

I'll be upgrading my indoor table since my Hermanns have outgrown the old one.

I plan to bring in some of my tort friendly summer bedding plants as they begin to fade outside but have already been buying, repotting and growing on a prayer plant, peperomia, money tree and opuntia cactus as well as planting up all the spider plant plantlets. I plan to sink an old washing up bowl by partly cutting out the base of the table in order to provide sufficient depth for planting it all up - that means I can use regular topsoil too.

Pansies, violas and other winter plants will take over from the summer ones once I am sure that any trace of pesticide or fertiliser is washed away. Quite a bit of effort considering that, with a bit of luck they will only be inside for a few weeks, before we start the wind down for hibernation eh? I have quite a few large stones too that can provide leverage if they topple and to satisfy those climbing instincts. Hope it gives you a few ideas Mac.

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Re: Anti Tort Rollover

Postby Stuart » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:14 pm

I plan to sink an old washing up bowl by partly cutting out the base of the table in order to provide sufficient depth for planting it all up - that means I can use regular topsoil too.


That's a great idea, to create planting holes in the base of the table, if you've got the space beneath it...
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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