Sex my horsefield tortoise

cpl1307

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Hi,
Is there any professional opinion is sexing my Horsefield.
Not a 100% of age, but could these pictures help 20221108_144056.jpg 20221108_144041.jpg 20221108_143939.jpg 20230316_162819.jpg 20230316_162823.jpg
 

zovick

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SinLA

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that's a bitty baby! too young to tell. This may be helpful to read, they are pretty delicate at that age;

 

cpl1307

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that's a bitty baby! too young to tell. This may be helpful to read, they are pretty delicate at that age;

I've had him for just over a year. Do you think he looks OK?. Really social and will come straight over to get on hand for his bath. I scrub him with a soft toothbrush and dry him with a warn towel. Lately the sun has been coming through the window, so I let him bathe in the sunlight. I don't really let him wander the house, but should I be doing that to get him ready for the garden. We have dogs and cats who both him and the animals are great together. I've never had a tortoise before. I've got him to his first year. He was 56g when he arrived and he's 105g now, So I must be doing something right. I think you can read and read, but only with experience will you learn. I'm learning still smile. 😊
 

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TammyJ

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Keep him away from the dogs. And the cats. He's really cute and you want him to stay that way, right?
 

SinLA

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I'll let more experienced people than myself answer but the UV rays they need will not come through glass, so definitely read about UV bulbs in that FAQ

BUT i can't quite see but I think that is one of those ramped water bowls, get rid of that right away, its a flipping hazard and when used with water a potential death trap for torts. I would use a shallow pot saucer or use what you are using for the food bowl...
 

cpl1307

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I'll let more experienced people than myself answer but the UV rays they need will not come through glass, so definitely read about UV bulbs in that FAQ

BUT i can't quite see but I think that is one of those ramped water bowls, get rid of that right away, its a flipping hazard and when used with water a potential death trap for torts. I would use a shallow pot saucer or use what you are using for the food bowl...
Thank you. I will change ut. Its never even been used. He doesn't go near it. When I say sun, I just mean the heat from the sun. He likes it. He gets his uv rays from his bulb. It's just to get him used to the big bright bulb in the sky producing warmth in his bath 😊
 

Cathie G

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Hello and welcome. Such a cutie. πŸ€—I use the sun similarly to you. The way my Russian's enclosure sits in our home totally works. The sun comes up and he has to wake up and roam his enclosure. The light shines on his hide through a window. He gets sick of the bright light shining in his eyes 🐒 So he wakes up, eats and roams around the enclosure.πŸ˜‰ Later, he nibbles a bit as he goes back to his hide in the evening, when the sun is going down.😊
 

Carol S

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Such a cute tortoise.

I use ZooMed EcoEarth substrate or ZooMed ReptiBark substrate for my inside baby tortoises. These two substrates can be kept damp to add humidity to the enclosure which promotes smooth shell growth. The substrate that you are presently using cannot have water added to it as it will cause mold.
 

cpl1307

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Hello and welcome. Such a cutie. πŸ€—I use the sun similarly to you. The way my Russian's enclosure sits in our home totally works. The sun comes up and he has to wake up and roam his enclosure. The light shines on his hide through a window. He gets sick of the bright light shining in his eyes 🐒 So he wakes up, eats and roams around the enclosure.πŸ˜‰ Later, he nibbles a bit as he goes back to his hide in the evening, when the sun is going down.😊
Isn't it crazy that each night when they have their tea, they go to bed religiously the same time. I just can't wait for him to go in the garden, bit not sure spring is warm enough. I bought him for my son whose 13 and obviously the novelty warn out, but I didn't discourage him because I've always wanted one and people say their not affectionate, but you just know that he knows you and enjoys your company. Especially watching me clean and make the beds! πŸ˜ƒ. How old is yours and is he a horsefield. I wish I could sex. He/She looks like a little boy. I dry him at the window sometimes when the afternoon sun is shining through. He loves the smells coming from outside.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
I used to know Lancashire well - especially the Leyland area.
This is the caresheet you need that may be included in the thread for new people already linked above - it will help you make sure you are giving your tort everything he needs and avoid common mistakes that we've all made.
There's a lot of old information still being passed around on other forums, social media etc and pet shops rarely know about tort care, but are happy to see unsuitable and unsafe equipment for the profits. The information here is up to date and provided by people with decades of experience - some of whom have been involved in research to find best practices which thankfully they share with us, so please read and make any changes necessary.
Your substrate is too dry for a Russian they like moist (not wet) substrate that they can dig in, it also looks quite sharp which could hurt his eyes or stick in his soft skin. The caresheets will give you better options.
Cucumber is OK occasionally but it has little nutritional value and can cause a laxative effect - also be aware that chunks of food that could be choking hazard (one member lost a large sulcata who choked on a chunk of carrot). Grated or thin slices may be safer than chunks for occasional treats. The caresheets will give you a list of good foods and www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is also a good resource.
Russians are great escape artists they are brilliant climbers and burrowers so if he is going to spend any time in the garden make sure he has a secure escape proof enclosure - safe from predators (including large birds). He is probably too small to be out full time yet.
Please don't let him wander around the house - it is much colder at ground level and there are too many hazards like human and other pet hairs, dust bunnies, small objects, cleaning chemicals, risk of getting kicked or stood on and crushed in doors etc. It may look as if the the dogs and cats all get on OK with your tort but there are far too many sad stories here from people whose trusted dogs have killed their tort because they thought it was a toy or been spooked by it, or cats have lashed out and scratched eyes etc So don't trust any dog or cat near your tort.
What lamps are you using? He won't be getting any uvb from the sun through the glass.
 

cpl1307

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Lancashire
Hi and welcome,
I used to know Lancashire well - especially the Leyland area.
This is the caresheet you need that may be included in the thread for new people already linked above - it will help you make sure you are giving your tort everything he needs and avoid common mistakes that we've all made.
There's a lot of old information still being passed around on other forums, social media etc and pet shops rarely know about tort care, but are happy to see unsuitable and unsafe equipment for the profits. The information here is up to date and provided by people with decades of experience - some of whom have been involved in research to find best practices which thankfully they share with us, so please read and make any changes necessary.
Your substrate is too dry for a Russian they like moist (not wet) substrate that they can dig in, it also looks quite sharp which could hurt his eyes or stick in his soft skin. The caresheets will give you better options.
Cucumber is OK occasionally but it has little nutritional value and can cause a laxative effect - also be aware that chunks of food that could be choking hazard (one member lost a large sulcata who choked on a chunk of carrot). Grated or thin slices may be safer than chunks for occasional treats. The caresheets will give you a list of good foods and www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is also a good resource.
Russians are great escape artists they are brilliant climbers and burrowers so if he is going to spend any time in the garden make sure he has a secure escape proof enclosure - safe from predators (including large birds). He is probably too small to be out full time yet.
Please don't let him wander around the house - it is much colder at ground level and there are too many hazards like human and other pet hairs, dust bunnies, small objects, cleaning chemicals, risk of getting kicked or stood on and crushed in doors etc. It may look as if the the dogs and cats all get on OK with your tort but there are far too many sad stories here from people whose trusted dogs have killed their tort because they thought it was a toy or been spooked by it, or cats have lashed out and scratched eyes etc So don't trust any dog or cat near your tort.
What lamps are you using? He won't be getting any uvb from the sun through the glass.
No I just use the sun as warmth in his bath. I've got a 40w basking red bulb. I switched to aspen bedding, So the picture still is sharp hemp. I've got ZooMed ReptiBark coming tomorrow to do half snd half as it retains more moisture without moulding. I'm too scared to let her out in the house. She has Kale, rocket, baby leaf ect. Shredded carrot which isnt her favourite to be honest. She lives the complete food, but I don't. Treat only. She burrows into a big pile of meadow hay in the daytime. When not exploring. I have NEVER seen her drink, so the ramp dish has gone!
 

cpl1307

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I'm in Ormskirk. Not far at all.
What about this bulb
 

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Cathie G

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Isn't it crazy that each night when they have their tea, they go to bed religiously the same time. I just can't wait for him to go in the garden, bit not sure spring is warm enough. I bought him for my son whose 13 and obviously the novelty warn out, but I didn't discourage him because I've always wanted one and people say their not affectionate, but you just know that he knows you and enjoys your company. Especially watching me clean and make the beds! πŸ˜ƒ. How old is yours and is he a horsefield. I wish I could sex. He/She looks like a little boy. I dry him at the window sometimes when the afternoon sun is shining through. He loves the smells coming from outside.
Sapphire is probably about 22 years. He was probably about 4 or 5 when I got him in May of 2017. Sometime later he showed me exactly what gender he was πŸ™ƒπŸ₯΄πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜. and yes he's a Horsefield. It scared me half to death when I first saw the evidence of exactly what gender he was. I thought all his innards had fallen out until I realized he was like a horse in the field πŸ₯΄πŸ˜
 

SinLA

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Sapphire is probably about 22 years. He was probably about 4 or 5 when I got him in May of 2017. Sometime later he showed me exactly what gender he was πŸ™ƒπŸ₯΄πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜. and yes he's a Horsefield. It scared me half to death when I first saw the evidence of exactly what gender he was. I thought all his innards had fallen out until I realized he was like a horse in the field πŸ₯΄πŸ˜
LOL. I'm dreading the day. Fortunately Fezzik doesn't think enough of me to flash...
 

Lyn W

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No I just use the sun as warmth in his bath. I've got a 40w basking red bulb. I switched to aspen bedding, So the picture still is sharp hemp. I've got ZooMed ReptiBark coming tomorrow to do half snd half as it retains more moisture without moulding. I'm too scared to let her out in the house. She has Kale, rocket, baby leaf ect. Shredded carrot which isnt her favourite to be honest. She lives the complete food, but I don't. Treat only. She burrows into a big pile of meadow hay in the daytime. When not exploring. I have NEVER seen her drink, so the ramp dish has gone!
Red bulbs aren't good because torts can see in colour and the red confuses and encourages them to eat things they shouldn't - the caresheets will tell you exactly what you need, but a uvb source is a necessity for digestion, growth and bone health. Torts with limited uvb could develop MBD. In the summer when supervised outdoor time is possible they aren't needed quite so much but for the colder months when they can't go out they essential for torts that don't hibernate. Many of us use the T5 HO tube kits - I like Arcadia as a reliable brand. Avoid any coiled or cfl type bulbs as there is a risk they can damage eyes and the all one MVB types have been found to dry and damage shells as well as needing to be replaced more often when the uvb output fades. It's all explained in those 2 caresheets linked above and if you follow those they will save you a lot of money in equipment and vet fees.

Hay is too dry and could be a fire hazard. I can't see a hide in the pictures but a dark plastic upturned tub big enough for him to turn around in with a door cut in it would be somewhere he could feel safe and sleep as well as retaining humidity from the substrate.

Good idea to get rid of the steep water dish which is a tipping/drowning hazard but even though you may not see him drink they should have access to fresh water daily. A cheap terracotta plant saucer big enough for him to lie in and sunk level with the substrate will be safer and easier for him to access and exit when he wants to self soak. You could also use one for his food to make it easier for him to get to it.

When choosing substrate it shouldn't be sandy or have white bits in it as that could cause impaction in the gut if ingested. Coco coir with a layer of fine orchid bark on top is used by many.
 

Lyn W

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I'm in Ormskirk. Not far at all.
What about this bulb
Flood basking bulbs are better as spots can be too intense. Arcadia do them about Β£5 or less. They are not the same as a uvb source.
 
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