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Eating gravel

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#1 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 09:28 PM

Hi everyone. I've just bought a two or three-year old Horsefield's tortoise and have read as much as I could on the various internet sites. I've built him an enclosure outside, and part of it is a thin layer of gravel over concrete (he also has access to a grassy area). I've noticed several times that he tries to eat small pieces of gravel (and once a rather large piece). When I've seen this happen I've managed (after a bit of a tussle) to pull the protruding piece gravel out of his mouth, because I was worried that he would swallow it and become impacted. I haven't actually seen him swallow the gravel, but he probably has when I wasn't looking. Is eating gravel something that tortoises do, and is it dangerous? Also, for his indoor tortise table, the pet shop sold me something called cob (which is granular and made from corn cobs). I'm not sure this is the best material and am thinking of getting something that looks more like sand and loam so that he can burrow better. Sorry to start out with so many questions, but I'd be grateful for your advice.

#2 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 06:56 AM

Hello Nina
Your right gravel and pebbles is not good fro them and can get impacted, they can also pass then trough.
You've answered your own question, a Horsefeild is a natural burrower, so sand, soil, 50/50 is ideal for them, outdoors, this has to be secured, they can tunnel for about 30feet
Will help you with Russians

#3 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 08:38 AM

Thanks Arnie. I guess I'll have to try and keep him away from small gravel, but I was wondering why he did it (stupidity? something missing in his diet?) and if it was common behaviour. The tortoise house site was one of the ones I looked at (and I also thought the TLADY site was good), so I'll check that one out again. 30 feet?! Amazing.

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