HORSEFIELD TORTOISE CARE Enclosure size:- A large vivarium is suitable for the young or as a short term accomodation, a 3ft(90cm) vivarium being the minimum, to enable a thermal gradient to be established. Outdoor pens are ideal for the summer months, especially with heated indoor retreats for periods of cold/damp weather and are highly recommended for large/adult tortoises. We do not recommend hibernaton, unless you wish to breed theses animals.
Heating and temperature:- The best form of heating is a spot light which is left on for 12 hours per day, or in larger enclosures, a powersun type UV spotlamp(see lighting section). Indoors, most houses are warm enough not to require night time heating. A basking spot temperature of 30-35 degrees centigrade is ideal provided the tortoise can move to a cooler area if required.
Lighting and day length:- A spot bulb, as discussed under heating, is required together with a UV tube. Both of these should be left on for approximately 12 hours per day. If a powersun type bulb is used, this provides heat, light and UV. These are superb for larger enclosures. It is recommended that outdoor enclosures also have a UV source in their shelters as the UV levels in Britain are lower than the tortoises native environments.
Humidity:- Horsefields should be kept dry, and outdoor enclosures should be well drained with good shelters, otherwise they seem prone to respiritory problems. They should be bathed at least twice a week in warm water. They will usually defacate in this and it ensures they remain in good condition. The water should be deep enough that the tortoise has to put his head up to breathe, and they should be left in this for about 15-20minutes.
Substrate and decoration:- The two substrates we recommend are bark chip that has been allowed to dry, and a 50/50 mix of sterilised topsoil and playsand. The soil/sand mix is ideal for outdoor enclosures and the bark chip is ideal for vivariums due to it being lighter in weight. All tortoises should have a retreat, corkbark for the young or cardboard/wooden boxes for the larger specimens.
Feeding and vitamins:- DO NOT feed horsefields, dog food, eggs or fruit. The best diet by far is a selection of leafy material. Dandelions leaves and flowers, plantain, chickweed, flat lettuces, cabbage and others are all good examples. Please note that flat lettuce and cabbage should only be given in limited amounts and variety seems to give the best results. All food should be lightly dusted with a calcium and vitamin powder, of which there are a number specifically designed for herbiverous reptiles. Possible problems:- Horesfields are relatively problem free provided they are kept and fed as described. If they appear ill, consult a qualified person as soon as possible.
All livestock will be on customer collection only basis as we will not send animals by mail.£149.95
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