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Old 12-10-2018, 05:35 PM   #1
GemJam
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Default Reintroducing torts

Hi all,

A friend of mine has two horsefield tortoises, bought both at the same time and are about 2 years old. One is twice the size and significantly heavier than the other, more active and eats a lot more food.

We were discussing separating them for the winter (they will be over-wintered) and then putting them back together early spring. Unfortunately she doesn't have enough space to permanently separate them. During this time it will be easier to control the food intake of each tortoise.

How will they interact when they are reintroduced? Currently they appear to live fairly harmoniously.

Do you think it would be a necessary and good move to separate them temporarily?

Many thanks,

Gemma
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:43 PM   #2
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Hi Gemma

Not sure if this helps, but my male was larger than my female at 2 - although I didn't know the sex at the time. It wasn't long before the female grew and grew and became double the size. She ate and ate and he didn't. I fussed over him worrying that she was taking all the food, but this wasn't the case. Now they are nearer 11 he still eats far less.

Personally I think if they live harmoniously why separate them? Do they need their intake controlled? Is your friend sure that one is taking the food over the other?

I'm not an expert, but just my experience with my 2.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for your quick response.

The bigger one eats most of the food before the other has a chance. Even if you put the smaller one in front of the food he doesn't appear interested.

It's reassuring to hear your story though, thank you.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:07 PM   #4
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As Jan says they could be male/female. If they get on ok I would leave them together but feed them away from each other so food intake can be monitored try putting a block between them like a rock or something so the big one can't see the other eating.
If they were sepperated you might have a problem when they go back together if they are a pair.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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Thanks Gordon.

I will let her know and see how it goes
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Old 13-10-2018, 02:39 PM   #6
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afternoon Gemma, they will usually competitive eat, if one starts in the group the others pile on top and go for the food, that's why mine go into a circle - quite remarkable really as people may think my photos look staged but I have never positioned them they do it naturally. I would say if the heavier one is rounder then she is going to be female if you can't tell from the tail end. The girlies are always bigger badder and brassier. Good advice on her but I wouldn't worry too much as sounds like Smally is ok and will go for what he wants when he wants it as males tend to do. CB
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Old 13-10-2018, 02:54 PM   #7
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Thank everyone.

She is going to leave then as they are and see how they go. Trying to make sure the littlest gets a chance to eat something.

The larger one has a tail which curls round. Is that usually male or female?
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Old 13-10-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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Male ! they swing that tail ! usually females much smaller and stubbier tail and points down. males are like the elephants in Jungle book....CB
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Old 21-10-2018, 09:45 PM   #9
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She could also add abidec (Orange box) to the bath water of the smaller one. It helps them grow (about an inch in a shallow warm bath in smallish container. Try to keep him in for half an hour if possible, topping up with hot water to keep temp up. Remember to rinse him well before placing back with the other.
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