Very Young Tortoise

Adamjsp

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Dawlish
Hey,

I have a very Young 6 week old Russian Horsefield Tortoise.

All in all he is looking great and eating well (albeit he is eating more of the little pellet food then fresh. I didn't want to but he wasn't taking to the fresh food at first, so I added some pellets)

Anyways, he is making his way around his enclosure ok, I just wonder how long it take for their legs to become a bit stronger? I don't handle him much at the moment but when I do his legs feel very fragile and weak. I guess normal for such a Young Tortoise.

Also, any tips on making his favour fresh food or even the dried plant variation over the pellets.

Thanks
 

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ZEROPILOT

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He should walk with his shell off of the ground.
His legs should be very strong.
It sounds like you may be dealing with MBD.
Does he have a UVB light source?
If so, what type?
If not, you need a T5 10.0 strip florescent immediately and some calcium supplement with D3 on the food.
I'd also recommend seeing a reptile vet.
 

Adamjsp

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He should walk with his shell off of the ground.
His legs should be very strong.
It sounds like you may be dealing with MBD.
Does he have a UVB light source?
If so, what type?
If not, you need a T5 10.0 strip florescent immediately and some calcium supplement with D3 on the food.
I'd also recommend seeing a reptile vet.
I have the UVB light. I may have spoke prematurely because once you said this I went in to panic mode. Once I got home I checked him out. I put him on the floor and watched him walk around his enclosure and he is supporting his shell.

Another question I have is, can I bath him in water that had the calcium block in it to help absorption?
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have the UVB light. I may have spoke prematurely because once you said this I went in to panic mode. Once I got home I checked him out. I put him on the floor and watched him walk around his enclosure and he is supporting his shell.

Another question I have is, can I bath him in water that had the calcium block in it to help absorption?
That's not how they process calcium.
The best way is the calcium powder on his food
 

ZenHerper

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If this is a 6-week-old hatchling, it's not MBD.

He may be adopting a squat posture in an attempt to hide. Babies in the wild hatch out in plant-dense locations where there is plentiful cover and damp earth to burrow into. They scurry from hiding place to hiding place as they graze.

In a wide-open and strange location (like the floor or lawn), they will hike up on their toes and run in an attempt to confuse predators and find Home.

Add plants, hide boxes, and make sure that the substrate is somewhat damp and see if that changes things.

Feed a varied diet of broad leaf weeds...this care info is kept up to date:
 

TaylorTortoise

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what a cutie patootie.
We need to see the actual enclosure living conditions. Please post pictures of the enclosure, lighting, and anything else that is surrounding the perimeters of his enclosure.
 

Adamjsp

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Dawlish
If this is a 6-week-old hatchling, it's not MBD.

He may be adopting a squat posture in an attempt to hide. Babies in the wild hatch out in plant-dense locations where there is plentiful cover and damp earth to burrow into. They scurry from hiding place to hiding place as they graze.

In a wide-open and strange location (like the floor or lawn), they will hike up on their toes and run in an attempt to confuse predators and find Home.

Add plants, hide boxes, and make sure that the substrate is somewhat damp and see if that changes things.

Feed a varied diet of broad leaf weeds...this care info is kept up to date:
Thanks, this was so helpful, what you are saying sounds accurate.
This thread was great too
 

Adamjsp

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what a cutie patootie.
We need to see the actual enclosure living conditions. Please post pictures of the enclosure, lighting, and anything else that is surrounding the perimeters of his enclosure.
So here is his enclosure, I know I don't have a UV strip light but he did quite happily spend most of his time in this area of the tank. I was also told but an place that specialises in exotic pets that, this young a basking heat and UV bulb will be more than enough.

He is still being pick with his food, he does eat the fresh rocket and the dried flowers I've bought but only very little amounts but will gobble pellets up, which I don't want to give him really. Any tips to make him eat more varied?

Oh also, what's a good weight for him.to weigh in grams at this age.
 

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Farcryjj

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Ooof, unless your room humidity is super high, he's gonna pyramid...He needs a closed enclosure. I also made the mistake of using MVB as the UVB source, and it was too harsh on my Clydie. She later had some pyramids...
 

Tom

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You've gotten the usual bad advice and wrong products from the pet store. And this tortoise is way older than 6 weeks.

They almost never touch those calcium blocks.

MVBs cause pyramiding and also stop producing UV prematurely in some cases. I wouldn't use one, but if you are going to use it anyway, get a UV meter so you know what is happening under it.

Here is the correct care info:

Questions are welcome.
 

Adamjsp

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You've gotten the usual bad advice and wrong products from the pet store. And this tortoise is way older than 6 weeks.

They almost never touch those calcium blocks.

MVBs cause pyramiding and also stop producing UV prematurely in some cases. I wouldn't use one, but if you are going to use it anyway, get a UV meter so you know what is happening under it.

Here is the correct care info:

Questions are welcome.
Hey, thank you for replying as you can see from my other replies. I do have a strip bulb on the way. I also do cover him up most of the day.

Finally, he is 100% only 6 weeks old, I know the breeder and kept in contact while they were eggs.
 

Farcryjj

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Hey, thank you for replying as you can see from my other replies. I do have a strip bulb on the way. I also do cover him up most of the day.

Finally, he is 100% only 6 weeks old, I know the breeder and kept in contact while they were eggs.
Maybe the picture is deceiving. Your baby does look bigger. 😀 I adopted my Clydie at 8 weeks old and she was at 65g. Later she grew a lot faster than a normal RT, supposedly.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
If you follow the advice that's been given by members and in the caresheet your tort should start to thrive.
We've all made mistakes and had to make changes but it's worth it to have a happy healthy tort.
 

Adamjsp

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I can already see a difference. Its been so useful. I have trial and errored a few foods and he seems to eat dandelion leaves instantly. Also he likes cress.
 

ZenHerper

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I can already see a difference. Its been so useful. I have trial and errored a few foods and he seems to eat dandelion leaves instantly. Also he likes cress.
Dandelion is a native food for these guys.

It's relatives may also be readily accepted: chicory (leaves and flowers may still be around this time of year); Belgian and curly endives, and escarole if you need to look at the produce section of a food store.
 

Adamjsp

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Hi and welcome,
If you follow the advice that's been given by members and in the caresheet your tort should start to thrive.
We've all made mistakes and had to make changes but it's worth it to have a happy healthy tort.
Hey,
So I've now got a tube UV light. Will it be too much if I also kept my UV spot bulb in there for his basking light. At least until the bulb blows?
 

Farcryjj

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Hey,
So I've now got a tube UV light. Will it be too much if I also kept my UV spot bulb in there for his basking light. At least until the bulb blows?
I would only use the long tube UVB for now and use a common incandescent bulb for basking. When your tortoise is getting older, then you can use the MVB light again. I don't think they pyramid as much when they get older.
 

Adamjsp

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OK, but it won't cause him harm if I use both for now? Until I have a normal basking bulb
 

Farcryjj

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OK, but it won't cause him harm if I use both for now? Until I have a normal basking bulb
Well, before you get a normal incandescent bulb, I'll probably only use the MVB... There's no need to use both in my opinion. It's not that a tube bulb is so much better than a brand new MVB. It's just that MVBs are usually too hot and dry.
 
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