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Horsfield Tortoise
Posted: 22/08/2012 by adelehornsby

I have a female Horsefield Tortoise, I was told she was about 18 months old but I am not sure about this. she measures 9cm (when put against the skirting board to the end of her shell) and weighs 212grams.
I am concerned she is not eating, I have offered her leaves, sow thistle, dandelion, plantain, grapes, everything I can think of to tempt her, she also has pieces of cuttle fish in with her because she was trying to eat stones.
In the past 2 weeks she has only had a nibble of a grape even though I put fresh leaves in every day.
She is in a tortoise table with a lamp, and in the daytime when it has been warm enough, I have put her in her run outside that has compost, stones to sunbathe on and a hide. but all she does is go under the hide or bury herself in the compost..... Is she starting to hibernate? And should I let her? I am not sure she is big enough to hibernate for long... I hope you can help and put my mind at rest as to what I should do.
When I have put her on the lawn for a run and to see if she can find and weeds she would like herself, she walks quite fast, but makes not attempt to eat any leaves that are around. And she is very strong and barges past things.

Any advise please
Thanks, Adele

Re: Horsfield Tortoise
Posted: 24/08/2012 by tortoise7

Hi Adele and Click and drag me down to the editor
Horsfield's do a combination of estivation (Slowing down in very hot weather) and hibernation (Closing down in cold weather) which takes a lot of their awake time  away. After saying that, that does not mean that what she is doing is due to this. Have you tried some naughty cucumber? this can get the gastric fluids awake, have a try.
 I would not let her hibernate as it is far too early yet, and pesonally I would like a year that I could keep an eye on her and make sure she is strong and healthy before hibernating. Do you know much of her past history? also when you bath her daily what are the urates (Soft white toothpaste looking) like, and what type of housing/environment is she in?


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