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not eating and sleepy
Posted: 28/05/2014 by danielle1966

Hi, I have 2 horsefield tortoises that i was given in Feb 14, they had never been outside and were in a very hot vivarium, fed mainly on pellets for at least 8 yrs.  I have built them a table and in warm weather have put them in run in garden,  at first they were very active and ate loads,  last few weeks have been mainly digging and sleeping, as if hibernating ( they have never been hibernated by previous owner) .  i have grown some plants in the run that were recommended but they havent eaten them, They still have heat lamp and uv light indoors, they refuse to eat all the weeds that are recommended, (they started to eat pansies but now stopped)  and when i put them in water they walk straight out! what can i do to encourage them to eat,/drink? they put weight on in first month, i shall weigh them again later. just want to look after them properly,  i saw a vet when i first got them but i wasnt impressed he even told me the wrong breed, i sprinkle the calcium powder he gave me on their food but they seem to know and dont eat it!  Any ideas would really be appreciated, thank you danielle

Re: not eating and sleepy
Posted: 31/05/2014 by Tom

They need a wooden sided enclosure of about 15sq metres & a waterproof house for shelter.

You can make a temporary pen of about 3sq m., whilst building the above.

 They are likely to dig even more when in good health, the poor things haven't had a chance to dig properly in their former prison.

Re. water - put one at a time in a large kitchen bowl, with tepid water about 3cm deep, so they can soak for a few minutes, (change if fouled.)  

There is no need to use the t.table in Summer.

Keep weekly weight records.

Break some cuttlefish bone in half & leave in the pen - replace with fresh, weekly.

"Vionate" should be put on their favourite food (a dusting only) 2 or 3 times a week.

Don't offer food that isn't recommended, they will feed when they are ready.

Once warmed up torts must have shade available.

Let us know how they get on, a few photos would be good.

Best wishes,

Re: not eating and sleepy
Posted: 02/06/2014 by danielle1966

Thank you,  they have perked up a bit over last few days and have been more active and eating a bit, hopefully they are getting used to being outdoors and not being extremely hot all the time,  i am putting them in at night as we have woods at the back of our garden and i am worried about foxes and badgers,  should i still put heat lamp on at night for them? ,  danielle

Re: not eating and sleepy
Posted: 02/06/2014 by Tom

That's good Danielle, I'm sure they will continue to improve.

Heat & light are unnecessary at night. It is normal to cool off & sleep.


Re: not eating and sleepy
Posted: 04/09/2016 by Stephanos

Hi tom, we have two little Mediterranean tortoises we got about a month ago. Once has settled very well and is eating lots, being active and poop is healthy. The other one is sleeping all day (literally) even after we wake her up under the light. She doesn't eat either, occasionally she seems very hungry so will eat a little butt at best it's every other day. I am worried she will get weaker, the ohterbkne already grown dramatically compared to her. Weigh gain is there but just more slower. 


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