Hey everyone. New horsefield owner.

HeGoesBySprout

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Hey everyone my name is Chris and me and my girlfriend have recently become owners of a 12month old horsefield tortoise called Sprout. We have a post with concerns on the Russian forum so if you'd like to weigh in feel free.
 

HeGoesBySprout

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Hi and welcome to the forum!
Thanks for having me Cheryl! Just here to make sure im doing right by Sprout.

He has gained 5g in 2 weeks since having him but the conditions we keep him in seem to be correct and we feed him once a day proportionate to the size of his shell... i know it should be 2-4g a month. Any suggestions??

20180109_183532.jpg
 

Cheryl Hills

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Well, one thing, that substrate really looks dry. And are you soaking him every day? Soaking will help to keep him hydrated and helps simulate his hunger. We have a Russian tort section. Check out the stickies at the top of the page. Plenty info there. Ask questions. But, don’t get offended by the answers. We are only here to help.
 

Cowboy_Ken

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We have a Russian tort section. Check out the stickies at the top of the page. Plenty of info there. Ask questions. But, don’t get offended by the answers. We are only here to help.
Cheryl is so correct about the “don’t get offended” part of her post! Often times I fear we loose newcomers do to the newcomer not realizing they have simply made mistakes based off passed down bad, outdated information.
It’s no wonder really when too many pet stores and veterinarians themselves have no proper information and are poorly qualified to give advice. Personally, I’m training my own veterinarian at the least for my tortoises care.
Here we just want to help you skip the mistakes we made in the early years. Best part is last I was here, we were a friendly group and of those I’ve met personally I’m proud to call them my friends.
Don’t be shy with asking questions. If it doesn’t make sense, ask for clarification. You get it. Soon you be answering other newcomers questions yourself.
Now to answer your question if I remember it properly like,
You live in the snow covered part of the USA and want to get good food for your russian tortoise this time (winter) of year. I hope so cause that’s what I’ll be directing my answer. The only idea I’ve come up with is if you can put a sheet of something like plywood at a 45° angle or so to allow you to get to the soil beneath it you could grow weeds in that area. I’m not saying to lay the plywood down on the ground. Keep it propped up like a lean-to. Maybe enclose with sheet plastic to help keep the heat in and help make happy plants.
I’ve never done this and I live in the PNW where we deal with rain not snow, but it might work.
Now I’ll post this and see if that helps with your question.
 

HeGoesBySprout

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Birmingham, UK
Well, one thing, that substrate really looks dry. And are you soaking him every day? Soaking will help to keep him hydrated and helps simulate his hunger. We have a Russian tort section. Check out the stickies at the top of the page. Plenty info there. Ask questions. But, don’t get offended by the answers. We are only here to help.

We are soaking him every other day and I managed to get humidity levels to 55% in the past week however I have just ordered coco coir and will be changing it to coir and orchid bark In the coming days. I bought the substrate as it said on the packet that it was specifically for Russians so me being a newbie thought perfect. Thanks for your feedback though.
 

HeGoesBySprout

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Birmingham, UK
Cheryl is so correct about the “don’t get offended” part of her post! Often times I fear we loose newcomers do to the newcomer not realizing they have simply made mistakes based off passed down bad, outdated information.
It’s no wonder really when too many pet stores and veterinarians themselves have no proper information and are poorly qualified to give advice. Personally, I’m training my own veterinarian at the least for my tortoises care.
Here we just want to help you skip the mistakes we made in the early years. Best part is last I was here, we were a friendly group and of those I’ve met personally I’m proud to call them my friends.
Don’t be shy with asking questions. If it doesn’t make sense, ask for clarification. You get it. Soon you be answering other newcomers questions yourself.
Now to answer your question if I remember it properly like,
You live in the snow covered part of the USA and want to get good food for your russian tortoise this time (winter) of year. I hope so cause that’s what I’ll be directing my answer. The only idea I’ve come up with is if you can put a sheet of something like plywood at a 45° angle or so to allow you to get to the soil beneath it you could grow weeds in that area. I’m not saying to lay the plywood down on the ground. Keep it propped up like a lean-to. Maybe enclose with sheet plastic to help keep the heat in and help make happy plants.
I’ve never done this and I live in the PNW where we deal with rain not snow, but it might work.
Now I’ll post this and see if that helps with your question.
I am from the UK and it's quite cold here but that does sound like a good idea as weeds are hard to come by this time of year. Have to give it a try! Thanks.
 

Cowboy_Ken

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I’ve so many weeds trying to grow that are stymied by the coldish weather and soggy soil. At one point in my life I hade just under 30 russian tortoises. Now I’ve got “just 1” sulcata 50-65 lbs and a 1 year old leopard tortoise that I feel honored to care for.
Where we currently live, the backyard is particularly thick with dandelion, thistle, and broadleaf plantain growing from seedlings to adult plants. Recently, although I don’t advise anyone else to do this, I’ve been thinking of getting a russian tortoise again but this time not for me, but for my girlfriends, grandsons classroom. He’s 5 years old and suffers from some slower developmental challenges and I think he and his classmates would do well to have one in their classroom. Maybe I mentioned all this before, but when he comes to our house, the first thing he does is head over to Shabelle’s, “leopard tortoise” enclosure to see if she’s awake yet. Then if there is no rain coming down he heads outside to see if Stanley my sulcata is up and about yet. I’m a firm believer that teaching our youth the value of critters is so important for our future as humans. We certainly must provide the room for our wildlife to thrive even if they are on a different continent and likely we’ll never see them outside of a zoo. Gosh, I hope that all makes sense.
 

Cowboy_Ken

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Messages
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Okay. I just posted this and read it and did an edit option. Yes it’s full of redundancy and sure maybe I wandered around some, but all in all I think I got my point made. The reason I said that I don’t recommend anyone getting a tortoise for their child’s classroom is because to often good ideas such as that turn out horribly wrong with the burden of care falling on the shoulders of the classroom teacher.
In that situation, yes it would be a disaster for the poor tortoise involved. I am at that classroom 5 of every 7 days. I personally will have the opportunity to check on/care for the little fella myself. As I mentioned, my “adopted” grandson has learning blocks, his classroom has 7 teachers for a 1 teacher to 3 students ratio which is good for anyone’s needs.
Summer months if needed, he can just hang here at the cowboy urban ranch. We certainly have the space in our suburban backyard. So now maybe I’m done editing my posting. This now I realize is more of me introducing myself to you than helping you out with questions you might have had, but I’ve been around here for awhile and been involved with reptiles for on about 45 years or more.
 

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