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Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 28/03/2012 by amanda999

Hi, thanks to David i now know i have a Horsefield tortoise. I am new to keeping tortoise and want to make sure i am doing things right.

My husband has made me a wooden  5ft x 2ft tortoise table. The substrate i have is 50% top soil and 50% play sand. I have also put some slate in and a rock for climbing and a shallow bath.

I have a zoo med powersun 100 watt all in one bulb which screws into a ceramic shade. This is where i have a problem it is poitioned 18 inches away and the temp it is reaching is only 28 c. I have placed the probe on top of shell to check the temp. Any advice would be appreciated.

I have a temporary outdoor enclosure as we have only had tort a short time and we wanted to get the table made first.

I am feeding on weeds which i am slowly learning to identify and i hace purchased seeds so i will be able to grow my own.

I am bathing her everyday as she does not seem to be eating very much at all. Although yesterday she did eat all her dandelions. I have a vet appointment this evening as she is itching her eyes quite a lot.

I want to make sure i am doing everything right as i am new to owning a tortoise. We think she may be a girl so we have named her Rosie.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I want to be ale to give her the best home posiible and i am worrying that i am missing anything.


Re: Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 30/03/2012 by tortoise7

Hi Amanda
Isn't it exciting when you get your first tort? sounds like you have done a lot of research first before getting her, which is giving her a good start, and builds confidence for you too.
You can put the lamp a little closer, range from 12-18", the room temperature will attribute to different temperature ranges so you may have to keep altering the drop a few times as and when they change. You are looking at temps between 30-32c in the basking area.
What do you have as bedding area and what is in the bed? is your vet a tortoise specialist vet? if not I would find one that is. I am not suggesting that your vet isn't a good vet,only that reptiles are a specialist area.
Let us know how you got on

Re: Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 30/03/2012 by amanda999

Hi Jane,

Thank you so much for replying. My husband has made a seperate little house for her to sleep in. I did have hemp inside for her to sleep on. However i have changed it to fine shredded newspaper as she has been rubbing her eyes. I thought the hemp may have contributed to this. The vet i saw informed me she had a great deal of experience working with reptiles. The vet said she appeared to be in excellent condition, her eyes seemed bright and clear and her mouth was clear. However because we have no background history she advised she should be wormed She is booked in for tomorrow. She also said it is important to bath her daily even twice a day as this may encourage her appetite. 

I have lowered her lamp today and the tempeture reached 31c. Thank you for this advice. I was nervous to lower it beforehand.

You are so right it is so exciting owning your first tortoise. I find myself ringing my family members numerous times a day with her progress. 

I hope i am doing the right thing regarding the vets advice having her wormed.

Thank you Jane for your help. I am sure i am going to have many more questions over the coming weeks. You are obviously a very experienced owner and it is so comforting for us newbies to seek your advice.






Re: Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 31/03/2012 by tortoise7

Hi Amanda
Worming won't hurt her, just ask if it is Panacur (Fenbendazole) what she is giving her, anything else I would question.
I too used hemp at first, as that is what I was advised to use, but of course we now know it can be dangerous to the tort, by digesting and causing impaction in the gut. I use newspaper but you have to be careful of the print, I tend cut it and leave it in a bag until it is well aired, of course plain unprinted newspaper is the best if you can get hold of some. I have also used drawing paper on a roll brought from Ikia, I cut it up and sit rubbing it together until it gets soft, so here ends your therapy lesson for today TeeHee
Ask as many questions as you like, tortoise owning is a constant learning curve for us all, you never know what they will get up to next!!
Can I ask what you are feeding her on?

Re: Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 31/03/2012 by amanda999

Hi Jane

I am growing the following tufted vetch, musk mallow, ladys bedstraw, evening primrose, dandelion, chicory, hawkbit, yarrow, forget me not, red dead nettle,clover chickweed, pot marigold, field bindweed,. At the moment i am feeding her on common sorrell, knapweed, dandilions romaine lettuce and wild rocket.

She was wormed with Panacur. I was quite worried about it prior to our appointment. However she seemed to have coped very well and she appears to be unaffected. Another vet came in during our consultation he also had a look at her and said she looked in very good shape. He told me he had done a RCVS Course on tortoise recently. He has very kindly borrowed me some notes from the course to read over.

Jane i have her light on around 12-15 hours a day. She spends most her time under the light basking. Do you think i should turn it off a little earlier as at night when it goes off she starts moving around and exploring a little more.

Thank you so much for the newspaper tip. That is something else i shall now be doing. All these things are obviously so important. Thank you so much Jane.




Re: Any Tips For Horsefield
Posted: 02/04/2012 by VivTPG

Hi Amanda, the weeds sound great plus they are growing well in the wild as well now.

It was very nice of the vet to lend you his notes, I hope they correspond to the information we have compiled.

With regard to the light times, 15hours is a long time, its best to replicate normal day/night times.  I have my lights come on about 8.30am and go off at 5.30.

I hope this helps, regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor


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