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rocket_to_mars

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Hi all, Adam here, newbie.

I was just wondering if I could get some opinions and advice.

I have a Horsefield tortoise boy around 1.5 - 2 years old who I got from a pet store.

However at the time I did not know that vivariums are not ideal and the shop owner convinced me that not only was it fine it was ideal. I have a 3ft x 2ft vivarium with Uv and heat. I am in the process of getting a tortoise table which I hear are slightly better until I move recently to a house I chose mainly for its awesome garden for him. However since I live in cold and rainly Engliand he may be indoors a bit.

Anyway my main questions are,

1. How much should I be feeding him daily. This forum has great advice on what to feed (while I wait for my tortoise seeds to grow). But I am unsure how much to feed him.

2. Im posting a few photos and was wondering if anyone thought he doesn't look healthy? He's very active and always ready to eat. But i'm worried about his shell.

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Sorry for replying to myself, i'm having trouble attaching photos.

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Yvonne G

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The amount of food really depends upon the amount of exercise he gets. Russians don't find a lot of food in one spot in the real world, and consequently, they get plenty of exercise wandering far and wide looking for food. If you give him a pile of food and he eats then walks away, leaving some food on the plate, then you have given him too much. You want him to clean it all up, but not have to go away starving. Only you can be the judge of how much to feed. Just make sure he has plenty of exercise.

Yvonne
 

Jacqui

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Welcome!

I start with the theory of what they will clean up in about 15 mins and go from there. Some go by head size and feed an equal amount of food. This meal is where I try to make things balanced and have any item such as TNT on, if I am adding any that day. This meal can also be divided up and offered instead of once a day, twice a day. Picky and shy tortoises I usually leave their food down all day long.

I then look at is this satisfying my tortoise? Is he growing nicely or maybe getting lazy or looking fat or thinner then I like.


I also like to have "snacks" available for offering. Things to occupy them more then anything else. Remember in the wild they eat a bit, move off, and maybe grazing in the next spot or taking a nap and repeting this all day long. So the "snacks" are things like an entire leaf of a dandelion, the harder stem core from a romaine or collard green leaf, maybe a hibiscus bloom I came across. Sometimes it just giving him a planter of growing greens in his pen. Outdoor tortoises of course have lots of growing things within their enclosures to graze on as they choose.

From what I can see, he looks healthy and has nice growth showing. Is he just doing a rare yawn or does he have his mouth open often like that? That would be the only worry I see.
 

rocket_to_mars

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Jacqui said:
Hi thanks for the posts so far, they're very helpful.

I'n reply to the last, no, he doesn't yawn a lot at all. I took the photo because he was yawning and I thought it was cute.

many thanks

Adam
 

tortoisenerd

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Looks good! I would also track his weight and Straight Carapace Length (SCL) monthly to track growth to see how you may want to adjust the feeding. You can consult the McIntyre ratio to see how his growth compares. Also see how he looks and feels in his shell. If mine is getting a lot of exercise I let him eat his fill. He's a slow eater and I don't chop his food so the 15-20 minute rule wouldn't work for us. I also like the cute yawn pic! I've yet to get a yawn pic for my little guy. I like to watch as he wakes up as I'll usually catch one!
 
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