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Horsefield climbing the walls!

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#1 Guest_Sammo_*

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:45 PM

The Horsefield I got my g/f keeps walking along the back wall of his vivarium trying to climb it. Seems a little odd to me. Is this a regular thing they do?

#2 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 07:38 PM

Horsefield tortoises are climbers and diggers,they are known as escape artists!
Did you buy your horsefield with the vivarium?,vivarium's are not ideal for horsefields as you will find out from this forum,tabletop homes are suitable,my horsefield rests his little legs and pops his head on the ledge off the tabletop home and watches us and he loves been stroked ,lovely and sociable,the vivarium may be frustrating for your little tort as he can see you and paces up and down,and horsefields do want to climb,do you have anything in his home for him to have a climb on?and also substrate deep in one end so he can burrow as they love to estivate.Substrate my h loves is sand and soil,so i mix half compost soil and half sand,reptile sand or even budgie/bird sand is okay,i'm using bird sand with a mix of compost at the moment.Sammo have you had your tort for christmas?
wub.gif Enjoy your new little one!
Jay and H blink.gif

#3 Guest_Sammo_*

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 08:45 PM

Yeh I got the vivarium at the same time. There is nothing in there for him to climb on but I will look at getting something. We have been letting him wander round the living room but we are a little concerned about him nibbling the carpet as I would imagine carpet is not good for him.

Yes I bought it for my g/f for christmas.



#4 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:16 PM

Hi Sammo, was your gf chuffed with her new addition?

I expect you will be doing lots of learning about keeping your little shelled one, there is lots of conflicting info out there, lots of different views regarding the use of a viv. For now you could stick a wide strip of card around the bottom of the outside of the viv on the outside, this would help Colville feel less stressed as he will not understand he cannot get through the glass to reach further afield. If he can't see it he wont know it's there to be explored.
Does your viv have front sliding doors? Is it possible to remove one them and replace the glass with something else that will let the air circulate such as a piece of perforated stainlesss steel?

Did you manage to find anything out about weeds? I found the secret to learning about these is to master a couple at a time and to gradually add to these. Today Hettie has had dandelions, plantain, sowthistle, common mallow and nipplewort. You could use google images to look them up and then go out for a weed hunt. The first two are probably the easiest to find are a great part of torties diet.

Once you've done lots of reading you will probably want to change lots, don't feel bad if you don't learn everything at once... each small step in the right direction is a good one! biggrin.gif

Paula x

#5 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:36 PM

Yes they do make good climbers, which is one thing to bear in mind when making a tabletop or eventually a garden enclosure. Mine climbed up a 12" wall soon after I had him (He was about 3" long) I think he used the side of his hut to support his back. Luckily my dog found him. I have also seen him with all four feet on a vertical wall. They can use a right angle to 'chimney' up. There was a link once to pictures of a tortoise doing just that.
Horsefields burrow deep so when you make an outdoor enclosure, you need to burrow wire mesh a few inches down. Horsefields are quite similar to Hermanns, so the advice on this site will be good for your tort as well.
One thing I believe Horsefields do in the wild is eat a lot, then go into a semi-hibernating state when it gets really hot. As it doesn't get that hot in this country, they just keep eating a lot, which can make their shells go lumpy, so you may have to regulate the amount they eat.

#6 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:54 PM

I've found a link to a tortoise (Horsefields/Russian) climbing.


I've also seen Victor start to climb a chain-link fence. (Not that he wants to go and live elsewhere, you understand rolleyes.gif )

#7 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

If the viv is not too deep you can always remove the glass and turn the viv on it's back.
If they can see out they do climb the glass but this is climbing the back, he could have been amongst others and finding things very strange without his buddies, they take a few weeks to settle, it's when he goes outdoors you have to start thinking, they can dig down and tunnel 30 feet, so either a solid base, like a well used lawn, or digging down and lining the area with plastic clematis mesh so that he can't go too deep, 15cm down minimum, sorry Sammo hard work <g>
Lovely little tort though

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