my tort wont eat!

LauraC

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
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12
Hi, I bought a baby Horsefield yesterday (Tallulah) after wanting one for years! I bought her with a complete starter kit (glass vivarium, basking lamp, UVB bulb heat mat, and terrain) I got her home and set up her vivarium. The temperature in the basking area is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (my thermometer is in the red zone at this temperature though!) She feels cooler to the touch than she did in the pet shop however. I have ordered a thermostat which should be arriving tomorrow. Firstly, I have read conflicting reviews with regards to using a heat mat? Secondly; food! I bought dried dandelion leaves and mixed flowers etc, with calcium sprinkled over. This morning I put some fresh weeds in for her (dandelions) and also some watercress. I soaked her earlier today, and she drank lots and urinated a normal-consistency substance. However, all day she has been quite unresponsive, and just sat in the corner of her vivarium. When I check on her she is alert, but doesn't seem to move much. She has also no eaten anything! I am really worried about her! As I am a VERY inexperienced owner I would LOVE some advice or reassurance if possible please! I have no idea how much she should be eating!

Thanks so much! any help appreciated!
 

Joff1985

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Dec 18, 2014
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I would not use a heat mat with any tortoise! The bulbs should be fine! But never a heat mat in my opinion! And main food should be garden weeds! I feed my horsefield daily with dandelions and it has a cuttlebone in with it at all times! For calcium. Soak it in a bit of warm water and it will rejuvenate it and it will probably urinate and deficate in the water, but this isn't a problem, then try feeding it. It should be more responsive after that. If it's not moving much, all tortoises need to be under the heat bulb to warm up before they can move eat or do anything, so put him or her under the bulbs to warm up before you do anything! Hope this helps! Joff. Owner of a horsefield tortoise!
 

LauraC

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
12
Hi, I bought a baby Horsefield yesterday (Tallulah) after wanting one for years! I bought her with a complete starter kit (glass vivarium, basking lamp, UVB bulb heat mat, and terrain) I got her home and set up her vivarium. The temperature in the basking area is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (my thermometer is in the red zone at this temperature though!) She feels cooler to the touch than she did in the pet shop however. I have ordered a thermostat which should be arriving tomorrow. Firstly, I have read conflicting reviews with regards to using a heat mat? Secondly; food! I bought dried dandelion leaves and mixed flowers etc, with calcium sprinkled over. This morning I put some fresh weeds in for her (dandelions) and also some watercress. I soaked her earlier today, and she drank lots and urinated a normal-consistency substance. However, all day she has been quite unresponsive, and just sat in the corner of her vivarium. When I check on her she is alert, but doesn't seem to move much. She has also no eaten anything! I am really worried about her! As I am a VERY inexperienced owner I would LOVE some advice or reassurance if possible please! I have no idea how much she should be eating!
Thanks so much! any help appreciated!
Laura
 

Jodie

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It takes them a bit to get comfortable. The basking area could be 95 to 100 ideally. There should be a cool area as well. Did you read the care guide in the Russian section? It has great information.
Try to leave him alone and let him adjust. Soaking daily for the first couple of weeks is a good idea generally.
Welcome to the forum.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, I bought a baby Horsefield yesterday (Tallulah) after wanting one for years! I bought her with a complete starter kit (glass vivarium, basking lamp, UVB bulb heat mat, and terrain) I got her home and set up her vivarium. The temperature in the basking area is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (my thermometer is in the red zone at this temperature though!) She feels cooler to the touch than she did in the pet shop however. I have ordered a thermostat which should be arriving tomorrow. Firstly, I have read conflicting reviews with regards to using a heat mat? Secondly; food! I bought dried dandelion leaves and mixed flowers etc, with calcium sprinkled over. This morning I put some fresh weeds in for her (dandelions) and also some watercress. I soaked her earlier today, and she drank lots and urinated a normal-consistency substance. However, all day she has been quite unresponsive, and just sat in the corner of her vivarium. When I check on her she is alert, but doesn't seem to move much. She has also no eaten anything! I am really worried about her! As I am a VERY inexperienced owner I would LOVE some advice or reassurance if possible please! I have no idea how much she should be eating!

Thanks so much! any help appreciated!


Hi Laura. Did you read the care sheet shown at the top of the Russian section? You should make the necessary adjustments to your tortoise-keeping and make sure the tortoise is warm enough. Like was said in the previous post to mine, I don't like to use heat mats for baby tortoises. They aren't able to realize they can get off of it if it gets too warm for them. You should be able to get all the heat you need from above rather than below.

Are you using a spiral-shaped bulb for UVB? This could be what's wrong with your baby. Those bulbs are known to cause a painful eye condition in baby tortoises and temporary blindness.
 
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Tidgy's Dad

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Hello Laura and Tallulah and welcome to tortoise forum.
It is quite normal for a new tortoise to not eat and be nervous for the first few days in a new home.
Give it time to adjust, don't handle it too much, other than for soaks and it will soon settle in.
Welcome to the wonderful world of tortoise keeping.
 

Tom

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