The Greek tortoise is the most commonly kept tortoise in human care. It is becoming more and more popular precisely because it is easy to care for and not very demanding. The keeping of a Greek tortoise is also suitable for beginners in terraristics.
Housing Conditions for a Greek Tortoise: Outdoors and With Lots of Green
It is essential to keep your Greek tortoise free-range in an enclosure with a bed, in a greenhouse, or in a garden. Turtles are very sensitive to stress. For this reason, you should keep them in the same enclosure permanently. It is not possible to keep your Greek tortoise exclusively in a terrarium. Greek tortoises always need a permanent outdoor enclosure! Please keep your turtle in a terrarium only for the transition.
However, you have to set this up accordingly. It is best to use coconut fiber substrate mixed with garden soil as the substrate. Greek tortoises also need appropriate lighting in the terrarium, which means bright light, warmth, and UVB light supply. The main food for tortoises is almost exclusively meadow herbs and leaves of some plants, in an emergency also lettuce. Most types of lettuce are poorly composed, but romaine lettuce is well suited as emergency food.
Hibernation of a Greek Tortoise
There are differences between the subspecies: Testudo hermanni boettgeri winters for four to five months, Testudo hermanni hermanni for two to three months. The overwintering takes place at 4 to 6 ° C in slightly moist garden soil or mixed with humus or coconut fiber. Put a layer of beech leaves or sphagnum moss on top of it so that it can retain moisture. You can also hibernate the turtle in a separate refrigerator. This is even the safest option because here you can determine the temperature yourself and easily control the animals.
If your Greek tortoise is healthy, you should definitely allow it to go rigid in winter. However, this is not the case with sick animals. There are many owners who are reluctant to hibernate their turtles and think they may die as a result. But you don’t need to be afraid of that if you keep a few basic things in mind. It is extremely important that the temperature never exceeds 8 ° C. That would cause the metabolism to get going. The consequences could be very dramatic. Never starve your turtle while preparing for hibernation. She will stop eating on her own when it gets colder.
Forage Plants for the Greek Tortoise
- Wild garlic, blackberry leaves, nettle (in moderation!);
- Strawberry leaves;
- Hazelnut leaves, hibiscus, shepherd’s purse, horned violets;
- Clover (in moderation!), Velcro leaves, garlic mustard;
- Bedstraw, dandelion;
- Evening primrose;
- Rose petals, arugula;
- Dead nettle;
- Chickweed, vetch;
- Plantain (broad, ribwort), willow leaves, grape leaves, wild carrot.