Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tortoise weigh in

The local branch of the British Chelonia Society organises a weigh in and health check for tortoises twice a year (before and after hibernation). You don't have to be a member to use the facility but donations are welcomed. As I mentioned the other day Topsy (front of photo) is still at the vets but we took Tog (middle) and Tom along and they were both Ok. This year Tom was slightly under weight but nothing for us to worry about and Tog had a little damage (which will need some treatment) to her shell caused by Tom, when he gets a bit amourous. In fact I think this is why he is under weight he spends all his time chasing Tog and not enough time eating to keep his strength up. Poor little Tog often hides under the ramp or she retreats to the house. It's worse at the moment because it's very warm (libido high) and he only has one his females available.

The photo below is of Erik (an African tortoise I believe) who is still not fully grown and is already huge (he's around 6 stone already and I don't think the photo actually conveys how big he really is). Erik eats a huge amount of fruit and vegetables and he has become quite an attraction at this event. He was particularly active today and it was quite difficult to get a photo (probably wishing he had a mate!!).

I wonder if any of you have tortoises as pets?

Today's venue was a garden centre so among other things I was able to get a couple more blueberry plants, a blackberry, more parsley, tomato plants and compost to re-pot the cacti. So now you know what I will be doing tomorrow!

Postscript- Just in case I wasn't clear Erik does not belong to me I don't think I could afford to feed him !!

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At 14/4/07 19:38, Blogger my4kids said...

No tortoises here but they look pretty cool.

At 14/4/07 19:44, Blogger Sabrina said...

I know nothing about tortises, but am dying to know more about yours--especially Erik. He's HUGE!!!! They sound so interesting. . . I had a hedgehog for a while, but that's as exotic as it got in my menagerie.

At 14/4/07 20:42, Blogger Beccy said...

It does rather sound like Erik is yours, is there something you're not telling me?

Glad Tog and Tom are well, how's Topsy?

At 14/4/07 21:53, Blogger ChrisB said...

my4kids they are fairly easy pets to keep.

sabrina sorry I didn't make it clear Erik is not mine; I see him every year at the weigh-in he belongs to one of the organisers. I'll do another post when we get Topsy back home.

beccy she's carrying an egg (from last year) so they want her to produce that before she comes home and she's still not eating but I think she'll be home next week. Dad has to check on Monday.

At 14/4/07 23:15, Blogger Barbara said...

I was beginning to think where the heck do you keep a 6 stone tortoise.

At 14/4/07 23:19, Blogger ChrisB said...

barbara nice as he is, there's no way I would give this one a home.

At 14/4/07 23:25, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

His shell is rather gorgeous.

At 15/4/07 02:03, Blogger mjd said...

No, I have no tortoises or other type of pets. There are some snakes that live in or around our bushes. And,sometimes woodchucks or ground hogs find a home under our shed. I do find it interesting that you have tortoises, and I enjoyed seeing pictures of your three.

At 15/4/07 03:16, Blogger The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

Sorry, No Tortoise - a dog (pyrenees) and two (Persian) Cats. They look cool though!

At 15/4/07 04:11, Blogger Pamela said...

he spends all his time chasing Tog

being's they are tortoises and all.. how long does a chase take?

At 15/4/07 10:40, Blogger Little Miss Moi said...

Dear chrisb. I didn't realise so many people had tortoises, enough to hold a local event? I'm not even sure there are tortoises in Australia. Just turtles that kids nick from the creek... and they're tiny and smelly. I mean, that's what people have as pets. Obviously, if you go to the beach and walk around the headlands, it's not too unusual to see sea turtles in the water around the rocks. They're beautiful.

At 15/4/07 14:29, Blogger ChrisB said...

anvilcloud we see quite a few different species brought to this event. His shell is in excellent condition not like our three.

mjd I had to googe 'woodchucks' don't think I'd want them nesting in my garden. I am not fond of snakes either are the ones you get harmless??

purpleworms your pets are more companionable mine probably take less effort to keep.

pamela it's a bit of a myth they are slow, Tom can charge around when he's on a mission!

Little miss moi its now illegal to import tortoises but because they live so long there are still a lot around and of course it's not illegal to sell ones bred in this country. We've never managed to hatch any of our eggs. They don't really smell and we only have them in the house if it's too cold when they just come out of hibernation.

At 15/4/07 15:17, Blogger Sam said...

Mum - you should tell the story about the time tom bit you.

Of course they aren't slow.

Poor Topsy though, can they induce her to get rid of that egg?

At 15/4/07 18:01, Blogger ChrisB said...

Sam they have given her an injection to induce the egg but it is a mild dose as they did not think she was well enough for the usual strong dose.

You mean when he bit it so hard it bled and they don't have teeth just very hard gums.

At 16/4/07 23:55, Anonymous Karmyn R said...

My aunt had tortoises for a while, but I didn't get to play with them (when I was a kid).

They are interesting - I'm surprised there is actually a Society for them!!!!


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