Horsefield tortoise not eating much and (maybe) deformed shell

50mins

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Yorkshire
Hey all! I have a horsefield (6 months old) He never really eats much apart from dandelions and lambs lettuce which are either hard to get a hold of or not good for him as a routine diet. I think the vitamin powder that I put on his food is what makes him lose his appatite. Also a bit worried about how his shell looks so I'll attach some pictures and hope for any advice. Thanks.
 

Attachments

  • 20220421_201045.jpg
    20220421_201045.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 8
  • 20220421_201040.jpg
    20220421_201040.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 8
  • 20220421_195818.jpg
    20220421_195818.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 8

50mins

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Yorkshire
Also he lives in a tortoise table. Its quite large with an enclosed area and a lamp with a basking rock under it.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,556
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
This is a beautiful specimen! The new growth is lovely. Russian tortoises are browsers, preferring broad leaf weeds and plants. Stop using the vitamin powder. He only needs a tiny pinch between thumb and index finger once a week.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
23,616
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome,
This is the most up to date caresheet you'll find anywhere and will help you provide the right living conditions and diet etc for your tort and if you follow that as closely as possible your baby should thrive.

Most of us have been given old and incorrect information from pet shops, breeders and even some vets when we started out, and there is a lot of it circulating on places like FB, but TFO has helped us put things right. Ask as many questions as you like after you have read it.
Torts get protein from their diet so you don't need to use more than a small pinch once a week - calcium powder the same amount a couple of times a week. Overuse of both can be harmful.
There are suggestions for diet in the caresheet but you'll find www.thetortoisetableorg.uk very useful in IDing tort safe plants.
Shells can be damaged by conditions that are too dry, the wrong lamps or lamps that are too close.
What lamps are you using and what are the temp under them at tort height?
Tables make it very difficult to control temps and humidity and the substrate needs to be right too. If you post a picture of his enclosure we can help you make sure it's as safe as possible for your tort.
 

50mins

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Yorkshire
Hello! This is his enclosure. I dont have a thermometer at the moment. (Ordering one soon) So i cant give you an exact temp
Hi and welcome,
This is the most up to date caresheet you'll find anywhere and will help you provide the right living conditions and diet etc for your tort and if you follow that as closely as possible your baby should thrive.

Most of us have been given old and incorrect information from pet shops, breeders and even some vets when we started out, and there is a lot of it circulating on places like FB, but TFO has helped us put things right. Ask as many questions as you like after you have read it.
Torts get protein from their diet so you don't need to use more than a small pinch once a week - calcium powder the same amount a couple of times a week. Overuse of both can be harmful.
There are suggestions for diet in the caresheet but you'll find www.thetortoisetableorg.uk very useful in IDing tort safe plants.
Shells can be damaged by conditions that are too dry, the wrong lamps or lamps that are too close.
What lamps are you using and what are the temp under them at tort height?
Tables make it very difficult to control temps and humidity and the substrate needs to be right too. If you post a picture of his enclosure we can help you make sure it's as safe as possible for your tort.

Hello! This is his enclosure. I dont have a thermometer at the moment. (Ordering one soon) So i cant give you an exact temp
 

Attachments

  • 16505746756992015321996297381731.jpg
    16505746756992015321996297381731.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 5

50mins

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Yorkshire
Also i measured the height when i installed the lamp at 20cm above the bottom of his cage. Which was what I was advised by the pet store
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
23,616
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Also i measured the height when i installed the lamp at 20cm above the bottom of his cage. Which was what I was advised by the pet store
You can't really go by height alone. 20 cm seems quite low to me
You can you use a stone or bowl about the same height as your tort and leave that under the lamp with a thermometer on it then raise the lamp until you get the correct temps.
A thermometer is essential to make sure your tort stays safe and healthy. The dial type thermometers pet stores sell are usually inaccurate so a digital thermometer/hygrometer which will give you temps and humidity would be better. A digital temp gun is also a good way to spot check temps around the enclosure.
 
Last edited:

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
23,616
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hello! This is his enclosure. I dont have a thermometer at the moment. (Ordering one soon) So i cant give you an exact temp
What sort of bulb are you using? Do you have a uvb source?
The substrate looks like coco coir but it seems quite dry and dusty for your tort. You can spray it to dampen it or pour in some water in and mix it in with your hand- make sure the table is lined or it will go mouldy.
The substrate should be moist (not wet) and patted down firmly. The caresheet will give you other options you could use. That will help raise humidity but you could also consider getting a mini portable greenhouse to put over the table which will also help.
It is worth remembering that
correct temps humidity = healthy tort
too cold + humidity = sick tort.

The water dish is quite steep for a little tort with a rigid shell and could be a tipping/drowning hazard. Many of us use cheap terracotta plant saucers and if you sink them level with the substrate it will be safer and easier for him to access and exit.
 

New Posts

Top