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Discussion Starter #1
I've only had my tort a week, but the last few days I keep finding on his back!
On tuesday I found him on his back near the heat lamp, so I righted him. He did it again on wednesday, right under the heat lamp, and as I didn't know how long he'd been there I righted him again. Today.....he's flipped himself onto his back 3 times already!

I think it must be when he's climbing over things, or trying to climb up the walls of the tort table, and must fall and roll onto his back. The thing is, each time he's done it I've left him for a good 10 mins or so and he hasn't managed to get himself the right way up, so have had to help him turn over.

But I'm worried if he does it when I'm out, or when I'm at work and there's no-one there to help him over again, especially if he does it under his heat lamp.

Should they be able to flip themself back onto their feet? and if not (as mine can't seem to do it) is it something they learn with practice?

Is it harmful for a tort to be on his back - there's no threat from predators as he's inside, but is there any other problems for them?

What if he does it while I'm at work? - how long can they last before they might overheat as they can't move away from it?


Thanks
 

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It could be he/she is too hot.
What are the temps in your enclosure please?
What size is your enclosure?
Is he/she not outside because of rain?
Try turning the light off for a while to see what happens, if he/she stops climbing then it could be the heat.
 

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I'd say to reduce whatever he's climbing on if possible - if you make it a bit lower/smaller he may not fall over/off so much.

Place stones around his table so that he can use them to dig his claws into to lever himself back over, especially where he's climbing or scratching at the corners.

What sort of size is his table - I've heard some people say that the tortoises do it if the table is a mite too small.

Also have you got outside accomodation/enclosure for him - it may be that he knows its suny and he wants to be outside.

If you do find him upside down its recommended to give him a nice long soak to ensure he's hydrated enough
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi, I've just checked the temps, and its 30C under the heat lamp, and 23-24C background temp. My tort table is 2ft x 4ft, which should be big enough shouldn't it? - he's ony ~6cm long!

I don't have him outside, as I don't have an outdoor enclosure for him, and its not really sunny here at the moment, quite thick cloud, but not raining. He does try and climb at the walls or corners a bit, but I thought it was just cos torts like climbing!
 

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Ahhh it may well be that your cool end temps are a bit too hot - I have mine at 30 hot end and 20 cooler end. I would have thought that 4ft x 2ft would be fine for him for now.

I would try to get something fixed for outside soonest as I'm sure he'll be sensing the weather etc., Also the UV is loads of times better than anything we can provide indoors. You could maybe use a childs sandpit with a wire mesh cover or something cheap and easy for this year - even if its not sunny he'll still be getting the natural light and the fresh air and I bet he'll settle more outside roaming around.
 

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The two things that make tortoises climb are too hot or too cold, which your temps if correct are not that.
Its probably he/she knows what the weather outside is and is reacting. Tortoises can go outside if its cloudy, they get more UV on a cloudy day than they do with UV lamps. And they are so much more active. All my tortoises have been outside 24/7 since May.
 

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The two things that make tortoises climb are too hot or too cold, which your temps if correct are not that.
Its probably he/she knows what the weather outside is and is reacting. Tortoises can go outside if its cloudy, they get more UV on a cloudy day than they do with UV lamps. And they are so much more active. All my tortoises have been outside 24/7 since May.

Do you think the cooler end is a bit warm or am I a couple of degrees out on that one - Ive got my 2 spur thighs and Mr Harries my Horsfield and I always aim for 20-22 for the cooler end.

Mr Bee my apologies if Im mistaken on the temp thing lovey PP knows more about these things than me : victory:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No problem Mrs M. Well I took him outside for a bit this afternoon, and he had a good hour and half running about on (and occasionally eating!) the grass outside.

Had the thermometer with me, and though it was only reading 20C, my torty was indeed very active, and moving at full speed...... or as fast as his little wrinkly legs can go anyway! :lol2:

I'm planning on building a sort of mesh fence/chicken wire frame so that I can have him out when its nice, as I have no proper enclosure that he can go out in all the time yet. Like today, is 20C not too cold for them without a heat lamp then? as he was quite active.
 

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:lol2: awww bless him sounds like he's had great fun. If you're gona be able to build him an enclosure for next year have a look at Argos or somewhere similiar for a child's sandpit which is ideal for a couple of months for now at his age - you could just sort out a mesh top for it and hey presto its sorted out at not too much expense or work. Dont forget to drill some holes in the bottom though for drainage. A couple of people have used this type of thing and its worked really well from what they've said. :2thumb:

Ere Purplepixie come back and tell me about the cool end temps lovey - I wanna know if I'm wonky in the head or not :lol2:
 

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No problem Mrs M. Well I took him outside for a bit this afternoon, and he had a good hour and half running about on (and occasionally eating!) the grass outside.

Had the thermometer with me, and though it was only reading 20C, my torty was indeed very active, and moving at full speed...... or as fast as his little wrinkly legs can go anyway! :lol2:

I'm planning on building a sort of mesh fence/chicken wire frame so that I can have him out when its nice, as I have no proper enclosure that he can go out in all the time yet. Like today, is 20C not too cold for them without a heat lamp then? as he was quite active.
Outside temps have little bearing on whether it is ok for torts or not. If the sun comes out then they can get really warm, just the same as any heat lamp, even in cold weather. ALL of my torts live outdoors all summer with a backup basking lamp if temps drop really low for days at a time. They have NO heat overnight and all thrive. They never need the vets and they have been doing it for many many years except babies of course who have only been doing it for as old as they are. I allow temps to drop to 10 degrees in the day unless it is for long periods and it gets less outside some days.
 

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Outside temps have little bearing on whether it is ok for torts or not. If the sun comes out then they can get really warm, just the same as any heat lamp, even in cold weather. ALL of my torts live outdoors all summer with a backup basking lamp if temps drop really low for days at a time. They have NO heat overnight and all thrive. They never need the vets and they have been doing it for many many years except babies of course who have only been doing it for as old as they are. I allow temps to drop to 10 degrees in the day unless it is for long periods and it gets less outside some days.

how old would you consider a baby to be. I always wonder what age is suitable for a horsfield to be out day and night in this weather?

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Discussion Starter #12
What about if I build a basic mesh frame (like a pen/run area), can he just roam about on the grass under it, or should I remove a patch of the lawn so he's got some bare soil to walk on?

And can I re-ask my question about how long it's safe for a tort to be on it's back? I'm worried he'll flip himself when I'm at work all day :gasp:
 

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A mesh runlike that would be fine as long as it was pegged down and he couldn't lift it at all (make sure there's no stones etc under it when you place it on the grass) or dig out underneath like the prisoners in that war film :lol2: He'd be fine on the grass lovey I wouldnt bother digging it up

As for how long he's safe upside down I wouldnt like to say sorry. Might be better to query that one with your vet maybe?
 

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Hi like you ima newtortoise owner and I have a 2 yr old male ibera spur thighed I went to b&q brought some wood & sealer wire mesh etc which cost in total about £35 max i just made a siple frame and although I made it with wire side which someone thankfuly corrected me on harry now gas an outside enclosure safe from predators x I put some grass seeds dien in patches got some large pebbles soil and Sand area and what a difference to harry it made x if you click my name and look at my posts there's out labeled harrys outdoor enclosure you can see how simple it is x although them pictures are of wire sides my most recent post "when harry met sally" you can see it with wooden sides x hope that helps
 

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If you have to make a mesh run, then make sure that its over soil as well as grass. Just on grass is not good, they like to bask in the sun on soil. I have never seen any of my tortoises basking on grass, unless they are tipped sideways up against a wall. They all bask on slabs or soil.
 
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