My new horse field

sid and bill

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Oct 9, 2018
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Hi

I have just got two horse field tortoises and feel like I have no idea what I’m doing ! They are indoors with a heat lamp. They tend to sleep all the time !! Is that right ? They move around alittle bit but not a lot ! They are eating

One of them is sleepier than the other and have abit of shell that has come off the shop said he was fine and to keep an eye on it but now I’m worried !
 

T Smart

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JoesMum

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Hello and welcome from Kent UK

As you are in London, I am guessing your new torts are babies and babies do sleep a lot.

I am also guessing that you may not have been the correct up to date advice on their care. Have you been told that Russians (aka Horsfield not Horse field) torts are solitary and territorial and should not be kept as pairs? They see another tortoise as a rival for territory and food and bullying is common. It isn't necessarily physical bullying; mental bullying is common and is most obvious when one fails to thrive. These two need to be kept entirely separately once they stop being tiny babies.

Your babies need a closed chamber - an enclosure with a lid. This is to raise humidity and keep temperatures steady. Babies need constant warmth and high humidity day and night, but it must also be completely dark at night.

I recommend you read the Beginner Mistakes thread linked to above and then this thread about Baby Russian care. These guides have been put together by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/b...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help us to help you.
 

sid and bill

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Hi

Their diet so far has been kale, fresh greens, watercress , sweet pepper, and dandelions

They are eating well one better than the other

They do live together (the reptile shop said it was fine for them too!!)

Their covered but is 25.4 and their basking spot is 28
 

JoesMum

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Hi

Their diet so far has been kale, fresh greens, watercress , sweet pepper, and dandelions

They are eating well one better than the other

They do live together (the reptile shop said it was fine for them too!!)

Their covered but is 25.4 and their basking spot is 28

They need splitting up. The one that’s eating less is undoubtedly the subordinate in this pair and it sounds like the other is already giving out the vibes that it doesn’t want to share nicely.

As I said, Russians can’t digest sugars properly. Sweet foods like sweet pepper, tomato, carrot and fruit should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally if at all. Your torts diet should be a variety of weedy and leafy greens.

Write a list of plants that grow around you and those that you can buy in the supermarkets and look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database for suitability to feed. It is a great online resource!
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk

Directly under the basking spot should be 35-37C ... it isn’t hot enough. Get yourself a digital temperature gun type thermometer like this to measure accurately.

We still need photos to help you properly
 

Minority2

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Tortoise Hell
Hi

Their diet so far has been kale, fresh greens, watercress , sweet pepper, and dandelions

They are eating well one better than the other

They do live together (the reptile shop said it was fine for them too!!)

Their covered but is 25.4 and their basking spot is 28

The reptile shop keeper and or sales associates were wrong. Most tortoises, especially Horsefields/Russians, are highly territorial creatures. Tortoises that are housed in the same small enclosed space will fight for resources and prime locations until the loser retreats and loses the will to fight back. Temporarily separate your tortoises with a makeshift divider until you can get another enclosure to house the other tortoise in. The sooner the better. Tortoise bullying can lead to severe injuries, trauma, and death.

Ignore all the advice you have been given the reptile shop. Read and follow the guidelines given in the care sheet provided above.

Your basking spot is too low. 95-105F is a good range.

1. What type of heat lamp are you using?

2. Are you providing any UV(B) to your tortoise? If so, can you please be specific as to what bulb you can using?

Pictures of lighting fixtures, enclosures, and your tortoise will be most helpful.
 

JoesMum

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Sorry I posted in Farenheit You want35-37C directly under the basking lamp. No lower than 27C day or night for babies. (Adult Russians prefer cooler nights but that's a way off yet)

To maintain ambient temperature day and night you need a Ceramic Heat Emitter (CHE) and use it with a thermostat so it only cuts in when necessary.

No red or other coloured bulbs as they colour the decor and tortoises think coloured food is tasty so they start eating the substrate :rolleyes:
 

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