Which is best, hatchling
or adult tortoise ?
Both hatchlings and older tortoises are as easy to keep as one another
forgetting the obvious size difference a healthy tortoise requires the
same care throughout its life
Is there a wrong time to
short NO! There isn't a wrong time to obtain a tortoise providing you are
seeking it from a reputable person, if the tortoise is in hibernation the
owner will not let it go until such a time that it is ready for re-homing.
Many breeders use shorter
hibernation techniques or over winter their hatchlings for the first year,
this helps them to gain weight faster and allows new potential owners to
obtain them. (Please refer to over wintering for more information)
V's Outside care
the most commonly asked question and another non-straight forward answer
as every situation is different. When considering Inside or Outside there are pros and cons for both, consider all
the elements in turn. Temperature, Basking, Security, Safety, Water, Food.
Possibly the best care would be a combination of indoor and outdoor care,
this will allow the tortoise more area to explore and the owner greater control
on its environment.
Housing tortoises together
of the same species can be housed together as
long as they are provided with enough space to roam and retreat.
Juvenile's, Approximately under 3 years of age and closely matched tend to
be fine and tolerate one another easily, Although they will still develop a
Mature tortoises, Males
will pester females constantly ramming and even biting, Males will fight
with one another, Also females can show dominance towards one
The key is to have plenty of room, and watch them, If you have any trouble
makers you can make provisions to keep them in another area.
Is it Dangerous not to hibernate a tortoise ?
short NO! It is not dangerous to over winter (not hibernate) a tortoise, provided its
cared for appropriately, as it would be in summer.. Heat, UV, Water, and
The "over wintering" is more commonly seen if a tortoise is ill
or for some (keepers) less than a year old.
There has always been an ongoing debate on tortoises less than a year old
being hibernated, both methods of hibernating and over wintering of
hatchlings are used year in year out and either way doesn't seem to
prove a problem.
Which species is the
easiest to keep ?
the main the Marginated's, Herman's, Ibera's, and Horsefield's are all
generally hardier and easier to maintain, thus recommended, compared to that of
more tropical species where environmental conditions can be more difficult
I need a License to be a tortoise keeper or breeder ? - DEFRA /
in short No, but for more a more informed answer which is slightly
longer and written below.
the UK and much of the EC member states there is no such License, of the majority of
cases seem to show the word "License"
employed against a person seems to indicate its misleading or simply
incorrect use, with no
suggestion of the "Licensing Body" or accreditation
Some further confusion could
also be the licensing of premises e.g. a "Pet
Shop License" this is not the same thing and obviously is in regard
to the premises not a keeper or breeder, the only other license that maybe
confusing is a "DWA License" brought in for the "Dangerous Wild
Animals Act" DWAA - and again this is of no use to a tortoise keeper
or breeder and unless tortoises suddenly posse a danger to the public
you're not likely to need a DWA License just yet...
So lets try to simplify the
certification and forget about the word 'License' for now...
Each specimen kept or born into captivity (of a species listed by DEFRA / CITES)
will require its own certificate, this also includes product of, dead,
etc... but lets just look at the keeper / breeder! - this certificate is only
declaration that the specimen is allowed to be kept in captivity and
possibly be traced back through its parentage - nothing else and needs to
be updated at various stages, It is not a means of security to get your tortoise back if lost or
stolen, it doesn't say you're in a VIP in a special club and important
enough to keep or breed tortoise (although owning a tortoise is pretty
special) it doesn't check the keeper or breeder is even
capable of looking after a tortoise.
On the certificate could be
stated the Holder Details, Certificate Number, Date, Country of Origin,
Certificate Issuing Address, Specimen Details, Parent Details, Signature /
Stamp, Some countries also include a photo ID and the Purpose of Issuing
the Document - which is undoubtedly where some confusion lies... is the
word "Breeding" if you intend to breed
from the specimen you tick the box on the application form and send it in
to apply for a certificate - that's it, This shows DEFRA your intent to
breed from this animal and there could be (fingers crossed!)
possible off spring - maybe a 'Licensed Keeper / Breeder' could
the persons ability to tick a box on the application form, hopefully
that's helped but if you are still confused we can only suggest if you are
told you need a license ask what exactly is the license you will