Hi, Im new to this but would like some advise about my horsefield

Claudine

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Hi,

I have a horsefield tortoise who is ten years old whom i have had for the past three years. He lives in an indoor enclosure with heat lamp and lighting etc and has access to the garden on sunny days. Up to a few weeks ago he was active and eating well mainly on dandelions then all of a sudden he just stay in his bed and will not eat. I have tried bringing him out to bask under light but after a few minutes returns to bed. He did similar last year and we took him to the vet but said he looked in good health and there were no obvious signs of ill health. After a few months of this last year he did return to normal but had lost a quite a bit of weight which is worrying as he is a little small for his age. Any suggest or advise welcome! Thanks in advance
 

Claudine

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Hi

I feed him mainly dandelions with some carrots, cabbage etc mixed in which he normally is very happy to eat. I'll post photonic a sec. Thanks
 

wellington

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The only thing I can help you with, without more info is the diet. You need to feed a much bigger variety then just dandelions. Feed as big of a variety as possible. Be sure the temps are correct and that he can bask under a temp of 90-100 to properly digest the food.
 

Claudine

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Yes the basking light is set to this temp. He has other weeds added in with dandelions when I can find them. Is there other veg etc you could suggest I add, thanks
 

wellington

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I would get rid of the substrate, it's way too drying. The water dish is too high sided, get a clay saucer like what is used under flower pots. One big enough for him to get his whole body into. The enclosure is way too small for an adult. In the wild they roam large distances. You need to also add some humidity about 50%. As for diet broad leafy weeds. Store greens, ridicchio, red leaf lettuce, kale, mustard and collard greens, spring mix to name a few.
 

Claudine

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Thanks for your advise. I was going to look for a new water dish this week actually. He also has a large run in the garden when the weather is good which we use as much as possible.
How would you suggest adding humidity? We had a few tortoise friendly plants in up to recently until they died off. Thanks again for you advice, it's much appreciated.
 

Alexio

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You can add some water and mix it to the substrate. Something like cypress much or similar types of mulch essentially just not ceader \pine. By adding water and letting it evaporate you can increase humidity. Do you have a top\ lid on your tank?
 

Linhdan Nguyen

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Hello, a horsefield is also known as a russian tortoise (I am an owner of 2 :) ). We have a great up-to-date caresheet for them. Please take the time to read it, a lot of your questions will be answered in these 2 threads.
If you haven any further questions were all here to clarify and help. Could you also provide us with pictures of your tortoise ? And let us know the 4 temps (basking, cool end, warm end, and overnight minimum) of your tortoises enclosure?
Also, carrots and any sugary food, such as fruits, should not be fed often because russians can not break down the sugars during digestion. A list of more appropriate greens and weeds should be in the russian care sheet thread, if not I'll look for the list on the forum and post it up later.

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

You could also check out http://m.thetortoisetable.org.uk/m/plants_19.asp to find safe and appropriate vegetables and weeds for your tortoises
 

Claudine

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Basking temp 32, warm 27, cool 25, I don't leave heat lamp over night to settles depending what house temp would be 15-20 Celsius
 

Linhdan Nguyen

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Basking temp 32, warm 27, cool 25, I don't leave heat lamp over night to settles depending what house temp would be 15-20 Celsius
Your basking spot should be 35-38C
Your other temps are just fine, and youre right, they dont need overnight heat if it doesnt drop down to cold and they can warm up the next day.
George has a bit of pyramiding, which could be from his diet or being raised dry when he was a baby, but he's very handsome !
 

Claudine

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Thanks all for advise of lighting/heating. I'll adjust accordingly. We took him on from a young girl who had him from birth who I think brought him up on pellet food ( which he hates) and knew very little ( not that I'm an expert ☺) trying to get him trying various weeds but only really takes to dandelions and cabbage, fussy!! I never see him drinking so I bathe him a couple times a week x
 

Tom

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Dandelions are good as part of a variety, but not as a staple. Cabbage and carrots should not be part of the main diet at all. Broadleaf weeds, certain leaves, and flowers should make up the majority of the diet. If you must use grocery store foods, favor endive and escarole, but use lots of variety.

Do you ever soak the tortoise? A warm soak every other day will help this situation, in addition to changing the food and water bowls, warming the basking spot up and using a different substrate. Fine grade orchid bark works best for adult Russians.

All of this is in the care sheet that Linhdan linked for you.
 
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