New horsefield tortoise advice please

Cheddar123

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Liverpool
Hi everyone,

My son’s grandparents surprised him with a horsefield tortoise for his birthday a few days ago. Although it was a shock we are very happy and he is already a much loved member of the family. They bought him a table and starter kit too. I have been researching like mad to make sure he’s happy and his home is suitable etc, however, I have found lots of conflicting information and so I would just like some advice.

He seems really well so far and very sociable. We have offered him kale, dandelions, pellets and clovers each day however he hasn’t ate much at all apart from a few nibbles of kale. Should I be worried about this?

I have attached a picture of his home, I am planning on adding some plants and a hiding area/tunnel today, but does it seem suitable and is his lamp sufficient? I’m also not sure if he needs humidity? And bedding or heat in the part where he sleeps?

I have read that I need to soak him daily while he’s young so I gave him a lukewarm shallow bath today. I have also let him have supervised walks around the garden but it’s now autumn where I live and is getting a bit cold so I don’t know whether I should let him out too much.

Sorry for the question overload but I just want to make sure he is happy and healthy! I’ll appreciate any advice. Thank you.
 

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KarenSoCal

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Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,865
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hello, and welcome to the forum!

Your new little tortoise is adorable! Does he have a name yet?

The grandparents were trying to do something nice, but because they don't know about tortoises, unfortunately they bought the wrong supplies, including his house.

Don't worry if he doesn't want to eat much. Torts really don't like change, so he will take a while to get used to his new surroundings. Just keep offering a variety of foods that are good for him.

His home is not suitable. He needs to be in a closed chamber, because that is the only way to control and maintain the heat and humidity he requires.

He does need to be soaked daily.

I'm going to put links for several threads. Read them carefully, then come back and we can answer your questions. I'm putting in about how to raise hatchlings for some background info. It will help you understand the care sheet better.


4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.

Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.

UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html




 

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,764
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado Springs,CO
Hi everyone,

My son’s grandparents surprised him with a horsefield tortoise for his birthday a few days ago. Although it was a shock we are very happy and he is already a much loved member of the family. They bought him a table and starter kit too. I have been researching like mad to make sure he’s happy and his home is suitable etc, however, I have found lots of conflicting information and so I would just like some advice.

He seems really well so far and very sociable. We have offered him kale, dandelions, pellets and clovers each day however he hasn’t ate much at all apart from a few nibbles of kale. Should I be worried about this?

I have attached a picture of his home, I am planning on adding some plants and a hiding area/tunnel today, but does it seem suitable and is his lamp sufficient? I’m also not sure if he needs humidity? And bedding or heat in the part where he sleeps?

I have read that I need to soak him daily while he’s young so I gave him a lukewarm shallow bath today. I have also let him have supervised walks around the garden but it’s now autumn where I live and is getting a bit cold so I don’t know whether I should let him out too much.

Sorry for the question overload but I just want to make sure he is happy and healthy! I’ll appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Welcome to the forum! Get rid of that substrate, encouraging tortoises to eat it is a terrible idea. It’s an impaction risk. Read the care sheet that @KarenSoCal linked to you, it will explain everything.
 
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