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under weight tortoises

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#1 Guest_hollyj_*

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 03:25 PM

i wonder if anyone could help me. in june i got 2 horsfield tortoises one male and one female. the owner that had them before me had them one the wrong diet. she had them on fruit and vedge and she said they ate like mad. when i went to pick them up they had major runny feaces. wheni got them home it took a while to get them to eat plants. they started to but i dont think they were eating enough. i wanted to hibernate them this year but im not too sure if they are under weight or not. i have been hand feeding them which does make them eat a tiny bit more but then they get bored and go to sleep. if i didnt take them out of their little sleeping hut i think they would just sleep all day. well today i have weighed them and put their results to the jacksons ratio graph that i found on the net. but i think mine are really under weight. the male is 110mm long and only weighs 40g and the female one is 105mm and weighs 30g. can anyone give me any advice. i really wanted to keep them outside but when i have had them outsdie they walk straight back into thier hut and dont eat. please help

#2 Guest_Jo_1984_*

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 03:41 PM

Hi Holly,
You can't use the jackson ratio for horsfields... Thats probably why they are coming up as underwieght on it. Then again just read the lengths and weights they do seem very light, but then again I havn't had any experience with horsfields so its best to wait til someone else to come along who keeps them :)
Well done on changing their diet though, as horsfields are only awake for an average 3 months of the year in the wild its really important that their diet is kept to weeds/flowers and other edible plants. A diet too high in protein can cause awful deformities.
Do they have an inside enclosure? Have they been checked for worms?
Jo x

#3 Guest_hollyj_*

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 04:00 PM

they have an outside enclosure that has a pen and then a little ramp that goes into an insulated house. their inside enclosure is a shallow container with the basking lamp and uv light in it. they do like going outside but seem to be sleeping alot. i dont no weather to syringe feed them or not. they havnt benn checked for worms. the woman that had them before me also has them in a viv with cat litter at the bottom and jsut a dish of water and nothing else. she never let them go outside. dont know if i have bitten off more than i can chew to be honest.

#4 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 05:42 PM

Oh Dear, You have got a job on your hands. I don't know, it sound to me like they are underweight. I would overwinter them myself to be on the safe side. But you are going to need a big tort table and a supply of weeds. Perhaps you could uproot a number of dandelion etc. and plant in pots to keep in a window.
Good luck.

#5 Guest_Jo_1984_*

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 08:19 PM

I would get them checked for worms, at least then you can rule that out :)
They may be getting used to their change of diet, keep bathing them every couple of days they must be dehydrated after all that time in the viv.
Their outside enclosure sounds great sounds like your doing a great job, the natural uv will do them the world of good!!
Jo x

#6 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:24 PM

if you visit the tortoise house website (check on google for the address). this is run by a lady called lisa macintyre. I am sure lisa designed a ratio chart for the horsefield which is now known as the macintyre ratio. (im sure this is for horsefields). just email her and ask :)

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