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

Linhdan Nguyen

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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
As Tom said, dandelions are good! In order to ease him off the carrot and cabbage, mix a little bit if each in with the weeds or veggies so he'll get use to the healthy food and still have some of whats familiar to him. Also, if hes going for a carrot, he may accidentally bite into a endive :)
I'm glad he's in your care now, he'll be very happy as you are trying to do the best for him.
 

Yvonne G

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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

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard
 

Claudine

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Thanks, I have tried many of the weeds above such as nettles, thistles, rose leaves, chick weed, pansies petunias etc and he has taken no interest at all. I will persist on with this though as would like him to feed from natural source as much as possible. Just need him to get active again and eat! I soak him every few days and fresh food etc. Hopefully adjusting lights and surroundings slightly will bring him of it. Thanks all for comments! It really is helpful.
 

Claudine

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Just out of interest, how likely is that I will get George to eventually live outside most of the time? I'd rather him be out in the natural open air rather than in a tank but realise this is all he's ever know and must have got used to the hots lights and our British weather is not up to.much! I put him out side in a run but only on hot days and he shelters or his most of the time. Am I unrealistic in thinking of his species lives in Britain outside? Thanks
 

Markw84

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What is the photoperiod you have the lights set? Chelonians that hibernate/ brumate are sensitive to photoperiod and even if temps and food is good, they will slow down and become more inactive if they start getting less than 12-13 hours of light. Looks like your lighting isn't that bright and if basking light is set to a thermostat as temps warm up this time of year the light will go off more and the tortoise will become more lethargic.
 

JoesMum

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Just out of interest, how likely is that I will get George to eventually live outside most of the time? I'd rather him be out in the natural open air rather than in a tank but realise this is all he's ever know and must have got used to the hots lights and our British weather is not up to.much! I put him out side in a run but only on hot days and he shelters or his most of the time. Am I unrealistic in thinking of his species lives in Britain outside? Thanks
Of course tortoises get outdoors in the UK :) In fact last weekend was perfect tortoise weather. Horsfields originate from Russia - their weather is somewhat more extreme than ours :D

Have a read of this: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
 

Claudine

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What is the photoperiod you have the lights set? Chelonians that hibernate/ brumate are sensitive to photoperiod and even if temps and food is good, they will slow down and become more inactive if they start getting less than 12-13 hours of light. Looks like your lighting isn't that bright and if basking light is set to a thermostat as temps warm up this time of year the light will go off more and the tortoise will become more lethargic.

Hi, the back light is set on for 12 hrs and the basking light is on a separate thermostat of that's what you mean?

We replaced the strip last week as heard best to replace every 6 mths?
 

JoesMum

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Thanks will do! Is common for them to hid when not used to outdoors?
Tortoises tend to skulk round the edges generally - it's to avoid predators. They're only in full view when they're basking.

Joe is now so large he has no problem with sleeping with all his legs, head and tail hanging out in the open and grazes openly in the middle of the lawn. Younger animals will be less confident.

Russians spend a lot of time underground in the wild - it's the climate they live in - and do spend a lot of time digging and tunnelling in captivity. They're excellent climbers too, so make sure your outdoor enclosure is completely secure before discover he's made a run for it.
 

JoesMum

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Your basking lamp should not be on a thermostat. Basking should just be on and available for 12 hours a day.

Regulate the temperature under the lamp by raising and lowering it (It should point straight down vertically) and regulate the overall enclosure temperature by removing part of the lid. You may need to have a lower wattage basking bulb if things are getting too hot and just have it hanging lower.

A thermostat is for use with a Ceramic Heat Emitter if supplementary heat is needed (at night say)
 

Markw84

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Hi, the back light is set on for 12 hrs and the basking light is on a separate thermostat of that's what you mean?

We replaced the strip last week as heard best to replace every 6 mths?
Claudine

I would have the lights on 14-15 hours on a timer. Temperate species get their photoperiod from a 16+ hour sunup to sundown in the wild in summer. I think that has caused your tortoise to slow down. As stated above, the basking light should be on a timer, not thermostat. You may need to lower the wattage to keep temps in check looks like your enclosure is enclosed without an open top. That is great but keeping the correct photoperiod and brightness without overheating in summer can be more of a challenge I use a strip (tube) fluorescent for UVB and an additional strip fluorescent with plain 6500k tubes for additional light. That way I can use a low wattage flood bulb for basking

The enclosed setup will allow you to keep temps quite stable and with the change to an orchid bark substrate- you can keep humidity up easily as well.
 

Claudine

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Update on George

Hi all thought I'd give you all an update.

I have changed substrate, waterfowl and heat/lighting etc and bathed him every other day. Yesterday he passes what seemed to be a bright yellow stone about 3-4mm wide and today he seems active, feeding and basking which he hasn't done in weeks! Hopefully what ever it was has passed. Any idea what it might of been though?

Thanks all again for all the help getting George better. Xx
 

JoesMum

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Update on George

Hi all thought I'd give you all an update.

I have changed substrate, waterfowl and heat/lighting etc and bathed him every other day. Yesterday he passes what seemed to be a bright yellow stone about 3-4mm wide and today he seems active, feeding and basking which he hasn't done in weeks! Hopefully what ever it was has passed. Any idea what it might of been though?

Thanks all again for all the help getting George better. Xx
Solid urate?

Keep soaking him :)
 

TortoiseWarrior

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I wonder if he passed something he ate? Or something was stuck? Or urates? Will you tell us if it happens again? Can you get a pic?
 

Claudine

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Yes I'll keep an eye on it and see if happens again. Bathed him this morning but didn't produce anything.
 
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