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horsefield not eating


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#1 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:32 PM

hi everyone,

my horsfields tortoise (gary) hasnt eaten anything in the past couple of days, and when i offer him any food he either ignores it or sniffs it and then leaves it. (he would normally eat almost anything i offer him) he has had a very small poo and small pee in the bath today, but he would normally do a lot more. he has also been moving about loads more than he would normally, which seems a strange combination.

im getting worried about him, but dont know what to do, or if its even normal for tortoises to do this sometimes?

please help!

dale


#2 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 02:43 PM

he ate a few pieces of cucumber today! mabey it was just a "phase" or sumthing? if anyone knows why a tortoise might suddenly go off food like that and back again then i would really appriciate knowing.

oh well, if anything else goes on i will tell you.

(sorry for the fuss and all:-) )


#3 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 06:09 PM

That's great that he's started eating again, and cucumber will put some water into him, but it's not nourishing as a food so try and get him back on weeds (dandelion, plantain. sowthistle, etc.) a.s.a.p. Is there anything that you can think of that might have caused a change in behaviour? When we get nice weather you can try him outside (if he isn't already) as he might be encouraged to eat more in the sun and fresh air.

Nina


#4 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 07:39 PM

thanks for the post Nina, i know cucumber isnt nutritious, and i dont ususally give him any. i only offered it today as a sort of last resort, baceause i know he loves it more than pretty much anything, and the water is good too.

i recently moved him to a table top type encloure about a month ago, from a horrid viv he had been in for more than half a year, but i dont see how that might of effected him just now.

i cant think of any other reason for his change in behavior, although he is still at it, he is much more active and aware. he pays much more attention to me when i walk up to his table, streaching his head up to see me, and glancing back up at me a lot which i suppose is good, and he also does "laps" of the enclosure, looking up at all the walls as if to find an opening or sumthing.

sorry for going on, ill get him outside as much as possible, although i dont have an outdoor pen yet, im planning on building one soon.

dale


#5 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:26 PM

he ate a bit of dandilion leaf! he must be returning to normal? i didnt get a chance to get him out today, weather has been cold and miserable. ill get him back on his normal diet right away.:-)
dale.


#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:46 PM

How are the temps in his enclosure, Dale? Even if they're fine (90 - 95 at the hot end and 70 at the cool end), it might just be the dreadful weather we're having (although you did say he was unusually active). On another forum several people said that their torts were not eating well at the moment and sleeping a bit more than usual. I wonder if they sense the unusually cold and dark days we've been having.

It sounds as if Gary is OK though, if he's exploring his enclosure (well done, by the way, for getting him out of the viv!). Torts can go for a long time without eating, so a couple of days isn't a problem. How old is Gary? That's great that he ate the dandelion. Does he have a favourite food that you could tempt him with (with my Boris it's hibiscus flowers and I kept a huge plant indoors all winter - took up most of my bedroom - so that I could have some to give him). He also loves the long-leaved plantain, and of course dandies.



Nina


#7 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 02:14 PM

hi Nina,

sorry its been so long since i replied, ive been really bogged down latley with exams :( . Garys seems ok at the minute, his seed tray of home grown plants is radpidly dwindling, which is good, but he hardly ever eats any of the plants i give him in the mornings, which have his vit and clacium powders on them. ive started watering the plants with calcium powder dissolved in water once or twice a week to try and get the stuff into him, but i dont know how much, if any, they take up.

the temp at the hot end is 42 degrees celcius! and the heat lamp is mounted on a rigid frame attached to the run, so i dont know how i can get it down to 35ish. also the cold end is 27 celcius, perhaps i could try lower wattage bulbs? mine is 100W at the minute. ill try that and get back to you.

Gary is about 5 years old i think, although ive had him one year.

dale


#8 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:21 PM

We've just had this discussion on another list and the agreed hot end should be about 32 degree's, or as near to that as you can get it and the cool end no more than 20 degree's obviously that is governed by the weather.
I would use a 60 watt bulb in home for a basking light, the UV doesn't give out much heat but it all adds up.
I noticed in a earlier post you have no run for the tort, till you do can you get some peices of wood and some plastic mesh and make a tempory pen for him, to hold the wood up you could use tent pegs or bricks, just make sure the tort has some shade and access to water and the mesh is protecting him from birds or dogs, although at 5 years old he would be a bit heavy for a bird
Arnie
P.S. I keep plugging Jo's out door set up but for one tort it is good and the cost was reasonable, if you like it and want more info, ask me


#9 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:41 PM

Hi Dale,

Hope your exams went well! I think we might have the answer to why Gary isn't eating so well (and is he still sleeping a lot?). I think it's way too hot in his enclosure. You said the hot end is 42 and the cool end is 27. It should be about no more than about 34 or 35 in the hot end and 21 in the cool end. If it's too hot then they often sleep more (or sometimes they race around and are speedy). Is your heat bulb an ordinary 100W spotlight, or is it one of those combined heat and UVB bulbs? If it's an ordinary 100W spotlight bulb then just get a 60 watt bulb and put it in. That should do the trick. I can't remember, what do you use for a UVB source? Also, turn off all heat and lights at night, as they appreciate a temperature drop at night.

Nina


#10 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:04 PM

hi guys,

ive changed the 100w normal spot lamp for a 40w normal spot lamp, and the temps are a lot better: about 35 celcius hot end and 25 celcius cool end. i cant get the cool end any lower this time of year as that is the temp of my room unfortuatley. i always turn everything off at night, and i have the lights on timers.

My exams are going really well (thanks for asking :-) ) and my last one is a week on friday, after that i have already decided i will spend time making a outdoor run for Gary, as i should have a fair bit of time spare. if anyone has any suggestions for a permanant outdoor run i would really appriciate them.

thanks again for you support:D, and ill update you when i see how the new temps affect Gary.


#11 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:19 AM

Hi Dale,

Glad your exams are going well - just keep it up until Friday and you're free! I know what you mean about hot temps at night. There were several nights last week when I couldn't get the room that Boris was in below about 24 or 25 degrees at night, and I noticed that Boris didn't want to get up in the mornings like he usually does (could have been a coincidence, but I think it was the high temps at night), so for the last couple of nights I've been putting hiim in a box and putting that in a cooler place (I can't leave him out at night because of predators) in the house, and he's been much better in the morning.
For outdoor enclosures you could look at:
http://www.thetortoisehouse.com/
Click on Enclosures (and there is a section on Russian torts as well), and there are lots of pics of indoor and outdoor ones.

Gary will love being outside, and the sun is by far the best source of UVB. Can't remember, you do have a separate UVB light for him indoors, don't you?

The only thing about Russians that is different from lots of other torts is that they are demon burrowers (and climbers), so you might have to bury the walls of his enclosure into the ground so that he doesn't dig under them. My Boris's enclosure is build on concrete (because that was the only area I had available), but I dumped three or four inches of soil on top of that and then added some paving for basking, some plants, a little house, etc. It's surrounded on three sides by walls (two of the house and then a brick boundary wall, so I only had to build a little wall out of brick and things on one side.
I've attached a picture of it last year (but I've made it a bit bigger this year, taken some of the paving stones away and added more soil, and put a hill of soil in the middle for him to climb up (I think you can just see him on a white stone near his little house).

Take care,
Nina


#12 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 02:41 PM

Hi Nina,

I changed the spot lamp to a 40W bulb ( i think i might have said that already ) but it doesnt seem to have made any difference to Garys behavior, even though the temps are now OK. the last 4 or 5 days he has eaten nothing at all, but this morning i woke him up and he went straight for some strawberry i had put in and had a few bites (hooray!). latley he has just been sleeping all day, and i have had to move him to under the basking lamp in the mornings to get him up at all. even then, he just ignores his food and goes into his hole and sleeps all day.

hopefully i can get his outdoor enclousre up and running ASAP, and perhaps he will be more willing to eat and move about outside. thanks for the link and the pic, i think i have a good idea of how to build the enclosure now, but do i need to make some sort of wire or mesh frame around it, as we have a dog, and there are other dogs and cats in the area that i know of?

PS, yes i do have a UV strip indoors.

thanks again, Dale.


#13 Guest_veebee_*

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 12:26 AM

Hi I have just been reading your threads. I have a 10yr old horsfield, when I bought him this year he wouldnt eat, he like bad things like chips and biscuits which his last owner gave him as a treat!! So it was a real shock to him when he found I would only offer him weeds!!! He didnt eat a thing for six weeks I was worried sick but I was advised to persevere and it worked. They can go for quite a while without eating, however, you should keep the baths up to make sure he is hydrated.

Now the warmer weather is here he is outside during the day (back in his table at night) and he eats any weed/plant he comes accross in his enclosure, all that worry for nothing!!! Here is a couple of pictures of him

Regards Vivienne


#14 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:40 PM

hi guys,

ive been getting Gary out as much as possible, and hes been eating a little :-) and is very much more active, but only when outside. inside, he doesnt seem interested. im still negotiating where his outdoor pen will go with my mum, who seems more bothered about her plants than a tortoise, but its a big garden so im sure i will be able to find somewhere suitable thats not in the way.

also, i think he was drinking in his bath yesturday :-), but its hard to tell. anyway, ill keep you updated.

thanks all, and thanks for the message Vivienne, its really encouraging!


#15 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:46 PM

Hi Dale,

I'm glad that Gary is liking the outside. I know once my Boris goes outside he finds his inside enclosure really boring and sleeps much more if he is in there. It just occurred to me that there could be another reason why Gary is sleepy, and that is worms or protozoa. It is definitely having a sample of his poo tested by a vet, as worms are very common in torts (especially if bought from petshops). Also, of course, we've had some really hot weather and I know that lots of torts are hiding away in the hottest parts of the days.
Regarding your outdoor enclosure, you will need to make sure that the dogs cannot go near Gary. Dogs can be really surprising: there is a sad story on another forum at the moment where someone who had an old and very gentle dog who had never shown any interest in her tort, and left it alone with her tort for two minutes and the dog killed it. It wasn't the dog's fault -- they just think of them as being like one of those chewy toys -- so you must ensure that the dog and your tort are never together. You could put some netting over the enclosure to stop the dog going in.
Hope your exams went well.

Nina




#16 Guest_veebee_*

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:16 PM

Hi Dale how is Gary getting on is he eating now?


Vivienne


#17 Guest_podgeyman_*

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:44 PM

hi all.

Gary is eating now:-), but only a little, and not everyday. a friend of my parents is married to a vet i have discovered (handy), and i am getting in touch with them about testing a sample of his poo, and i also want to get a general check over on him, to spot any other problems there might be so that i can hibernate him later this year with peace of mind that he is fit and up for it.

i have also agreed a spot for his outdoor run to be built, and i hope to get that up soon, and i will update you as construction progresses.

thanks for the continued support!
dale







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