Horsefield tortoises have been known to live up to and over 100 years old. They, unlike the Hermanns tortoise, can be very cheeky, choosing to run after objects such as coloured balls or slippers to nibble. This makes them a great companion if you are looking for a tortoise with some real personality.
The Hermanns tortoise is a slightly calmer, more placid species that enjoys digging, climbing, foraging and basking in the sun and are wonderful lifelong pets.
Horsefield tortoises generally grow up to between 5-8 inches in males and 6-10 inches in females, but generally are a small species which are noted for being more compact in size to their European cousins.
Hermmans tortoises grow to be a medium size tortoise around 8-14 inches, with females again being around 10-12% larger than the males.
The tortoise you have purchased will currently be on a diet of weeds, tortoise safe salad mixes, dried and fresh flowers, with Komodo complete tortoise diet in a variety of delicious flavours slightly softened with water.
This varied diet will be sprinkled liberally with Komodo Nutrical powder or Arcadia earth pro calcium, available in store. These are to ensure all tortoises benefit from the much-needed calcium intake to ensure strong bones and shell, thus avoiding MBD (Metabolic bone disease), a fatal and often easily avoided condition that causes life long health complications for reptiles.
Diets for tortoises do not differ too much despite the species, however, additional supplements can be purchased in store.
We recommend that you provide your tortoise with a varied diet to avoid selective eating, for which we sell a variety of flowers and weeds. Another essential is cuttlefish, which is available in store. This gives your tortoise additional calcium, nutrients and minerals, not to mention that it keeps their beaks short and avoids over-growing. Please do not collect them from beaches as you are not aware of what the cuttlefish may have come into contact with and can cause unwanted pests and potential infections.
Heated lighting and UVB are an absolute must for your tortoise. Without UVB your tortoise will not be able to absorb the much-needed calcium to avoid serious conditions such as MBD, soft shell or even potential respiratory issues. We have a range of bulbs which provide both a heat source for basking and general humidity as well as the essential UVB 10-12%.
The UVB and heat bulb should be 30cm above the shell and positioned central, so the tortoise has access from all areas of their table or vivarium. Basking spot temperatures should be between 30-36c, general ambient temperature 24-28c and cool end temperatures 20-24c. Temperatures should not fall below 20c.
It is really important ro regularly health check your tortoises. Environments that are too dusty and too humid can increase the chances of respiratory issues in your tortoise. Their eyes should be open and bright and their breathing should not be gasping and labored. Their shells should be firm to touch, but slightly softer (like your finger nails) on their tummies. Their breathing should not sound raspy or wheezy, and you should check this regularly. We also recommend that you weigh your tortoise weekly to ensure they are growing steadily and not losing weight. We recommend always running your heat sources off a thermostat and using digital thermometers - all are available to purchase in store. We also recommend testing your UVB output regularly and you should be prepared to change this every 6-12 months.
You should also regularly check your tortoises beaks do not become overgrown, cuttlefish will help to keep them trim.
FUN FACT: Tortoises aand Armadillos are one of the very few animals in the world that have a carapace (shell like body) that is not just for protection from predators, but also has their spine and ribs attached.
Bathing your tortoise is not only required to ensure proper hydration, but also encourages your tortoise to pass faeces and urates. We recommend your new tortoise is bathed at least twice weekly in water that covers just the tail of the tortoise and is between 28-35c in temperature. Never use cold water and for additional health add Vetark Reptoboost at least once a week. This amazing product is full of great nutrients that the tortoise absorbs through their skin during their bath. This product is available in store and is a great addition to ensuring maximum health.
If you have purchased a full set up from us then an adequately sized tortoise table or specialised tortoise vivarium is included along with complete food, calcium, cuttlefish, dishes, hide, tortoise safe substrate, reptile safe disinfectant and essential UVB are provided to ensure you have everything you need to get your chosen tortoise set up and happy in their new home with you. Remember to only use reptile safe disinfectant which can be purchased in store.
The full set up price includes a tortoise table or specially made tortoise vivarium. Please be aware that standard reptile vivariums are not suitable and our tortoises will not be sold to be housed in these, due to a lack of essential ventilation required.
FUN FACT: Tortoises drink very little in the wild and over 90% of their hydration comes from their food. Providing regular baths and weighing is not only fun, but a great way to keep an eye on the general health and well being of your new addition.
Don't forget to purchase hides and wooden bridges for your tortoise so they can hide and climb. This is not only great enrichment, but provides different textures to keep your tortoise entertained. Tortoises are very inquisitive and love new artificial plants to explore, not to mention trying to bury themselves under.
We have wooden bridges and platforms for your tortoise to explore, as well as many small animal safe toys that your tortoise can enjoy and to encourage further enrichment. All reptile products and decoration we have available are safe and provide not only an interesting environment for you and your tortoise, but encourage natural behavioues for maximum welfare. For ideas of what may further enrich your tortoise, please speak to a member of our team who will be able to advise.
If you have any questions about the pet you have just purchased, then please feel free to give the store you purchased it from a call.
We hope that you enjoy your newest lifelong companion and that you have many happy years together.