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new horsfield
Posted: 06/04/2010 by carlsberg

Hi i am a new tortoise owner, given as an easter gift from my partner. When he bought him/her ((they said it was a girl but tail looks quite long for a girl!) he was sold a glass tank to keep him in. We have organised the tank, 1/2 tortoise life calicum soil and 1/2 chip wood (sold with tank as a deal) we have put slate in the middle for food and a small water bowl but i have since heard he should be in a tortoise table! Im not sure why they didn't sell them? or stock glass tanks for them if they are not suitable? He ( i think) seems happy (i've took the lid off to allow ventilation) was living in a tank when he was bought and seems alright. Do you think we should go out and buy a tortoise table or maybe a guinea pig indoor cage? Or will he be ok for a few months/years? Also we left his friend behind, and now i'm feeling a bit guilty to seperate the pair, would it be a bad idea to go back and get his/her mate (they both look same gender)? We are off to the vets to get the gender sorted and checked.

Many thanks, from me and mini calsberg x

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Re: new horsfield
Posted: 06/04/2010 by winnie


I've only been a tort owner myself for about 10 months but you've made the right move coming onto the TPG site as they are very helpful. From what I can remember on what I have read on here vivs (tanks) they are a no no for torts as they don't allow adequate air circulation and don't give the tort the chance to thermoregulate (warm up and cool down), this is a must as they are cold blooded and can not control their body temps like mammals can (by sweating/panting). Also they don't understand the concept of glass so can get quite stressed. These are words from a novice mind so it may be best if you wait for one of the more experienced keepers to come on. Did you get your tort from a shop/garden centre?. If you did I think most of these are wild caught and can come with quite heavy parasite loads. How old were you told the tort was as they have to be a good few years old before gender can be confirmed. You'll also need to state what kind of tort you have so the experts on here can advise you best on diet and accomodation requirements. As I said earlier, I'm just a novice on here so please do wait for one of the experts to come on, just thought I'd give you something to chew on whilst you're waiting.


Re: new horsfield
Posted: 06/04/2010 by winnie

ps: if you did buy from a pet shop please don't go back for the other (as tempting as it is). If you do alls you are doing is encouraging the importation of wild caught torts (that's if they are wild caught). There are plenty of uk breeders who have captive bred torts and these will be much healthier

Re: new horsfield
Posted: 07/04/2010 by TPGDarren


Winnie you don't give herself enough credit Click and drag me down to the editor

If you did get your tortoise from a pet shop it would be worth getting a stool sample checked for parasite infestation. They is a high occurance in imported tortoises. You can obtain a free screening, details here:-

Just to re-iterate, many Horsfields are taken from the wild, the stowage and transportation can be extremely stressing and there are genuine UK breeders who will give you the very best advice. There have been a number of cases of imported tortoises arriving into the UK with Herpes and extremely nasty disease, often fatal. Here is a list in case you do wish to consider adding another Horsfield in the future, but you should always quarantine an animal, particularly if there is a possibility that they are imported (wild-caught/farmed animals):-


Kindest Regards




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