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Which breed - help please?
Posted: 31/07/2016 by Rbbuk

hello - new to tortoises so doing lots of research but a bit confused about which breed will be best for us. We are a family of four, children aged 6 and 8, decent sized garden but ideally looking for a young tortoise to be inside for a while. We were looking at a hermanns or horsfield but also possibly the Mediterranean spur thigh. Could someone advise what's best to look for when making this decision and any differences between the breeds that would help us make this decision. Many thanks. 

Re: Which breed - help please?
Posted: 31/07/2016 by SheenaSam


Am quite a new tortoise owner, my partner & I got 2 Horsefields just over 3 was ago, they are approx 2 yrs old & are amazing! They are even coming on a little weekend break with us in a Log Cabin.

Re: Which breed - help please?
Posted: 01/08/2016 by


I trust that when you state "a young tortoise to be inside for a while" this doesn't mean you don't have a garden. Young tortoises should be outside for much of the summer, my hatchlings go out at 2 days of age.

You say you're doing "lots of research." With respect, it's clear you've done very little reading (let alone research !!) or you wouldn't be asking the question. Go to the green boxes & read your way through.

Hermanns, T. ibera & T. marginata are the best species, strictly in that order. BUT you need to buy direct from a breeder, or huge vet bills (or worse !!) are likely, some months after your purchase. The TPG has a list of recommended breeders.

AVOID HORSFIELDS these are imported & are all wild caught, that is why they are so cheap. Very few are bred in the UK, problems usually become apparent after 6-12 months as adverse gut organisms build up. For buyers their survival is a matter of luck. There are also many pretend 'breeders.' Stay clear.

I'd also add that torts are great for children, but the pleasure should come from observation - not handling.



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