You're in > TPG Members Forum > Tortoise Care, Health/Problems > Checking advice given by reptile center

Checking advice given by reptile center
Posted: 22/09/2012 by Helena.sid

Please can any one confirm with me if this advice is right that has been given to me by the reptile centre, I have a 2 year old horse field he is in a tortoise table with 50:50 sand, topsoil. He is a fussy eater and will generally leave everything else other then watercress, he has a UVB aracadia light which is on for 12 hrs and a heat lamp which is exoterra 50 w. I have been told to over winter him so he does not hibernate as he is to young and not to leave his heat lamp on all day as it could be fatal if he sits under it all day. Is this right? As it's getting colder he is sleeping more and if the heat lamp is not on he will sleep all the time. I'm really con fussed I just want the best for him. Any advice is gladly received. Thank you in advance

Re: Checking advice given by reptile center
Posted: 22/09/2012 by wizzasmum

Hi there

Firstly the name is horsfield, so the reptile centre got that wrong for starters ;)

I would never add sand to a horsfield enclosure as it tends to irritate eyes, I use topsoil alone. You need to start removing the watercress from his diet, that way he will have to eat alternative foods. If you ar etalking the little punnets of watercress, that is particularly bad as it is usually rapeseed, which is a brassica, which stops calcium being uploaded to the bones. They were totally wrong telling you he is too young to hibernate, unless it is them who go around the wild, rescuing baby tortoises from hibernation. My babies hibernate from the word go, even if they hatch pretty late in the year. If you remove he heat lamp he will go to sleep as you have found. It needs to be left on for the same amount of time as his uvb and close to it too. Just don't leave slates or rocks under it as they will get very hot and make sure you water the substrate, this way he will not overheat. As you have found he is sleeping more and more now the days are getting shorter. It doesn't matter how much extra heat you give him, he will know that winter is approaching and try to dig in. You may have to hibernate him regardless if he continues to do this ;) Have a look here for how I keep mine www.tortsmad.com/russians.htm

Take care

Sue

Re: Checking advice given by reptile center
Posted: 22/09/2012 by wizzasmum

Hi there

Firstly the name is horsfield, so the reptile centre got that wrong for starters ;)

I would never add sand to a horsfield enclosure as it tends to irritate eyes, I use topsoil alone. You need to start removing the watercress from his diet, that way he will have to eat alternative foods. If you ar etalking the little punnets of watercress, that is particularly bad as it is usually rapeseed, which is a brassica, which stops calcium being uploaded to the bones. They were totally wrong telling you he is too young to hibernate, unless it is them who go around the wild, rescuing baby tortoises from hibernation. My babies hibernate from the word go, even if they hatch pretty late in the year. If you remove he heat lamp he will go to sleep as you have found. It needs to be left on for the same amount of time as his uvb and close to it too. Just don't leave slates or rocks under it as they will get very hot and make sure you water the substrate, this way he will not overheat. As you have found he is sleeping more and more now the days are getting shorter. It doesn't matter how much extra heat you give him, he will know that winter is approaching and try to dig in. You may have to hibernate him regardless if he continues to do this ;) Have a look here for how I keep mine www.tortsmad.com/russians.htm

Take care

Sue

 

Web Design Bristol