Russian Horsfield eating less


New Member
Oct 22, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
I have a Russian Horsfield called Bert. He has always had a good appetite and I've kept it varied.
He loves dandelion leaves, aloe Vera, prickly pear (all thorns removed), other garden weeds etc. Occasionally I'll give him some cucumber as he loves it. I also always top it with calcium or vitamins. Anyways the point is he loves to eat.

He's just over a year old, 15months old and weighs 150 grams.
He's very active, always wanting to come out and explore the house and when I put him back he either happily sits in his basking light or had a dip in his water bowl or even walks back up to the enclosure wall to try and come back out.

However, despite all this and him showing no change in weight or behaviour, he just seems to have stopped eating.
Now when I hold the food like the aloe he will usually take it from my hand with a bit of persuasion.

Any ideas as to why he seems to have stopped eating?



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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Russians will hibernate for the winter. They stop eating about 2 weeks before they go into hibernation.
If you don't want him to do that keep temps into the 70's at night, 80's day with 95-100 basking. Also keep the enclosure brightly lit for 12 to 14 hours a day.


Well-Known Member
Jan 28, 2022
Location (City and/or State)
Do they Hiberbate that young?
Any age will hibernate, its a survival instinct and related entirely to environmental conditions.

If he is being kept in hot conditions and is still not eating, he may be suffering from impaction, ingesting something that is still in his stomach like a stone which will lead him to believe he is full.

Tortoises do not need to eat every day, but if you can't attribute it to the Tortoise brumating in colder temperatures I would get him to a vet.

Give him some warm baths (think child bath temperature, slightly cooler than you would have) and then see if he will eat once he's up to temperature (and out of the bath)

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