new horsfield tortoise owner!

grumpytort

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Oct 24, 2018
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Bristol, England
Hi there,
I'm a first-time owner of a one year old horsfield tortoise, called tort :tort: Tort is living in a 4ft x 2ft tortoise table with a UVB lamp which is on from 8 am to 7 pm. The temperature under the light is around 34 C and 21 C in the cool end of his table. He also has a heat mat in the closed bit of his table. Im using a mixture of hay pellets and bark chips for his substrate. I'm giving him a diet of greens (kale, rocket, watercress) and occasionally tomato or cucumber.

My concerns are that he tends to sleep A LOT - is this normal for a tortoise his age? and he also hasn't popped in over a week, i'm giving him daily soaks for about 10 mins a day but hasn't seemed to help.

Any advice would be highly appreciated! Thanks in advance :):<3:
 

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Mel from hell

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Adams Center. Ny
Hi there,
I'm a first-time owner of a one year old horsfield tortoise, called tort :tort: Tort is living in a 4ft x 2ft tortoise table with a UVB lamp which is on from 8 am to 7 pm. The temperature under the light is around 34 C and 21 C in the cool end of his table. He also has a heat mat in the closed bit of his table. Im using a mixture of hay pellets and bark chips for his substrate. I'm giving him a diet of greens (kale, rocket, watercress) and occasionally tomato or cucumber.

My concerns are that he tends to sleep A LOT - is this normal for a tortoise his age? and he also hasn't popped in over a week, i'm giving him daily soaks for about 10 mins a day but hasn't seemed to help.

Any advice would be highly appreciated! Thanks in advance :):<3:

Hello:) I soak my Russian, for half hour in quite warm water. I make it deeper than most as she loves to b able to lift her feet out and kinda, float. Within 20/25 mins, she is floating n pooping. I keep the water warm, too. I add calcium powder to her daily bath. If she looks to b eating less? I give her a few drops of liquid vitamin B, orally. I’ve kept n bred reptiles since the 60” s n this has never failed me. Stimulates their appetites. And yes..... in my opinion? They just! Like, to sleep
 

Ben02

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Hello and welcome to the forum

How old is your tortoise? he might just be slowing down as winter is approaching. Also is it possible for you to feed natural weeds such as dandelions (mine love them!!).
 

grumpytort

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Oct 24, 2018
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Location (City and/or State)
Bristol, England
Hello:) I soak my Russian, for half hour in quite warm water. I make it deeper than most as she loves to b able to lift her feet out and kinda, float. Within 20/25 mins, she is floating n pooping. I keep the water warm, too. I add calcium powder to her daily bath. If she looks to b eating less? I give her a few drops of liquid vitamin B, orally. I’ve kept n bred reptiles since the 60” s n this has never failed me. Stimulates their appetites. And yes..... in my opinion? They just! Like, to sleep

Thanks for the tips :) I will try soaking Tort for longer but he always seems he wants to get out after 10 minutes! I have been adding calcium D3 powder to his greens every few days but will look into vitamin B - thanks again! Glad someone else agrees, thought i had a lazy tortoise!!
 

grumpytort

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Bristol, England
Hello and welcome to the forum

How old is your tortoise? he might just be slowing down as winter is approaching. Also is it possible for you to feed natural weeds such as dandelions (mine love them!!).

He's one, well that's what i've been told anyway, only brought him home 3 weeks ago. I want look into growing them during the winter months, summer there will be plenty in the garden. Thanks for the advice :)
 

JoesMum

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He's one, well that's what i've been told anyway, only brought him home 3 weeks ago. I want look into growing them during the winter months, summer there will be plenty in the garden. Thanks for the advice :)
Soaking is usually most successful when done first thing in the morning before your tort has warmed up properly. Get the water temperature right and your tort will just sprawl.

Always do it in a large flat bottomed bowl that your tort cannot see over or through. A washing up bowl is ideal as the larger volume of water means it cools more slowly and your tort won't be able to see somewhere to escape to
 

grumpytort

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Soaking is usually most successful when done first thing in the morning before your tort has warmed up properly. Get the water temperature right and your tort will just sprawl.

Always do it in a large flat bottomed bowl that your tort cannot see over or through. A washing up bowl is ideal as the larger volume of water means it cools more slowly and your tort won't be able to see somewhere to escape to

Thanks for replying :) I've got a (new) cat litter tray to bathe him in, i will give it another go in the morning.
 

grumpytort

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Yes it's quite hard to find some now, I have resorted to foraging nearby fields. Will you be hibernating this year?
I may go on a hunt for some! No, not hibernating; haven't done a great deal of reading into it but what i did read, said it isn't recommended in the first year of owning. The lady I got Tort from also said they don't need hibernating whilst young and still in indoors, not sure if this is correct but don't feel confident in hibernating him this year.
 

grumpytort

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UPDATE :

Tort seemed to enjoy his bath much more today and we had a poop!! I think i was going wrong by the temperature being too cool, kept it at around 90F and under his light to keep it warm for longer. I also made sure he couldn't see over it which i think made him more calm :) He's now enjoying some greens.

Thank you to everyone :<3:
 

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TechnoCheese

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here’s a few pictures of the little guy :)

Very cute, but never let him near or on any other reptile. That is a good way to give diseases to one or both of them, because they’re both from different places in the world, and have different immunities/carry different bacteria.

It appears that you are using the wrong substrate. Coco coir is good for babies, but you could also use fine grade orchid bark or cypress mulch.

Be sure to give these a read-
Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
 

grumpytort

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Very cute, but never let him near or on any other reptile. That is a good way to give diseases to one or both of them, because they’re both from different places in the world, and have different immunities/carry different bacteria.

It appears that you are using the wrong substrate. Coco coir is good for babies, but you could also use fine grade orchid bark or cypress mulch.

Be sure to give these a read-
Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/

It was just a brief encounter, they are housed separately. I'm planning on getting fine graded orchid and coco coir in the next few days, unfortunately was sold his current substrate and told it was suitable (I know now it isn't). thank you for the tips :)
 

TechnoCheese

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It was just a brief encounter, they are housed separately. I'm planning on getting fine graded orchid and coco coir in the next few days, unfortunately was sold his current substrate and told it was suitable (I know now it isn't). thank you for the tips :)

Even just making contact can be deadly. Just be sure not to let them come in contact in the future ;)
 
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