Brand new tort owner here..!

alicedj

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Joined
Jan 9, 2022
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5
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Hampshire
Hello..! I am brand new at tort keeping! I feed fresh greens every day - but I’ve heard im meant to give two starve days. I can’t go and forage at the moment. He seems happy and active and I let him have free roam in the living room (I don’t have an adequate safe space for him in the garden yet) I bathe him every week which he seems to hate! I’ve joined a couple of tort groups on Facebook, but they are very patronising and are bitchy if someone gets something wrong so I’ve been scared to ask for advice. He’s a 15 year old horsefield, that I rehoused from a pet shop.
Does it sound like I’m doing everything right so far?

Tia
 

Maro2Bear

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alicedj

New Member
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Jan 9, 2022
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Location (City and/or State)
Hampshire
Thank you so much for your reply, I’m so scared I’ll do something wrong and he will suffer in some way. X
 

Avuwyy

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Hello, and welcome!! :)

I came here after suffering a similar fate in Facebook tortoise groups. Everyone argues with everyone and you can never win or get the correct husbandry because of it. You will find the help you need here <3

Also! Hampshire is the UK right? There are a few online sites you can buy weekly weeds from which are safe for tortoise consumption, and a few places offer seeds which you can sprinkle around your garden soon in preparation for spring! If you would like the link to the place I use for fresh weeds weekly I can provide you with that!

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and good luck on your tortoise journey!
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
If you follow the caresheet linked above your tort should do well and if you want to post a picture of his enclosure and the lamps you use you'll get good feedback to make sure it's as safe as possible - pet shops rarely know anything about tort care and often sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment for profit but we can help you put things right.
You'll also find www.thetortoisetable.org.uk useful.
 

Yvonne G

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Thank you so much for your reply, I’m so scared I’ll do something wrong and he will suffer in some way. X
One thing (in my opinion) that's wrong is to allow the tortoise to wander loose on the floor of your house. There are too many dangers and things for him to get into on the floor. In my opinion, every tortoise needs his own dedicated space, with heat and lights, and enough room for him to wander as much as he needs to.

Welcome to the Forum, where it's a much better place to be than Face Book!!!!
 

alicedj

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hampshire
Hello, and welcome!! :)

I came here after suffering a similar fate in Facebook tortoise groups. Everyone argues with everyone and you can never win or get the correct husbandry because of it. You will find the help you need here <3

Also! Hampshire is the UK right? There are a few online sites you can buy weekly weeds from which are safe for tortoise consumption, and a few places offer seeds which you can sprinkle around your garden soon in preparation for spring! If you would like the link to the place I use for fresh weeds weekly I can provide you with that!

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and good luck on your tortoise journey!
Yep Hampshire uk! Yes that would great if you could send me the link! This forum is soo much friendlier than the Facebook pages..!
 

alicedj

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hampshire
One thing (in my opinion) that's wrong is to allow the tortoise to wander loose on the floor of your house. There are too many dangers and things for him to get into on the floor. In my opinion, every tortoise needs his own dedicated space, with heat and lights, and enough room for him to wander as much as he needs to.

Welcome to the Forum, where it's a much better place to be than Face Book!!!!
He has lots of space to wander and the correct heating and lights, but he seems to like mooching about the floor, obviously I make sure it’s safe and he isn’t left unsupervised. I’ll take any advice though! Thank you so much
 

alicedj

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Hampshire
Hi and welcome,
If you follow the caresheet linked above your tort should do well and if you want to post a picture of his enclosure and the lamps you use you'll get good feedback to make sure it's as safe as possible - pet shops rarely know anything about tort care and often sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment for profit but we can help you put things right.
You'll also find www.thetortoisetable.org.uk useful.
Thank you, the shop we got him from said he loved pellets but I’ve since found out they are bad for them! So they are now banished!
 

Lyn W

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Jul 22, 2014
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He has lots of space to wander and the correct heating and lights, but he seems to like mooching about the floor, obviously I make sure it’s safe and he isn’t left unsupervised. I’ll take any advice though! Thank you so much
Yes be very careful of the floor there are lots of hazards we don't think about that they could pick up . Human (and pet) hair can be very dangerous if ingested and gets wrapped around the gut. Dust bunnies, small items like buttons or pins and even bigger items can be a choking hazard. It is also much colder at floor level even if the room is heated and any chemical used in cleaning could upset them. At his age a safe enclosure about 4 x 8 feet minimum will be needed but the bigger the better. A large bookcase can be adapted with something to hang his uvb and basking lamps etc from or if you have a spare room you could adapt that. There are lots of ideas in the Enclosures treads and they don't have to be expensive.
 

biochemnerd808

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Nov 3, 2012
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Location (City and/or State)
Central Arkansas (we moved!)
Welcome! Sounds like you have already gotten really good advice above - I agree that it is best not to let a tortoise roam on the floor... Dust bunnies, drafts, small objects can all pose dangers. Better to make the habitat more interesting for enrichment - build some dirt hills, place some rocks in it etc. :)

As far as feeding in winter, you have already been pointed towards The Tortoise Table - such a useful database. Even with ice and snow on the ground, you should still be able to find some weeds. Currently growing here, poking out from under a layer of ice: thistle, chickweed, dead nettle, dandelion, violets, plantain, and several others.
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If you absolutely can't find weeds right now, try feeding a mixture of grocery store greens such as Spring mix (remove spinach), arugula (I think called roquet in the UK), kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, radicchio, etc.
 
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