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Complete newbie! - Horsfields


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#1 Guest_Saira_*

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 09:39 PM

Hiya! I'm completely new to tortoises - barr helping my sister with hers 8 years ago on complete utter rubbish shop advice (Actually learning the truth is making me teary, he could have been saved!!!), I'm hoping to buy one within the next year - it was going to be after I come back from my holiday in Oct if I can find one that isn't hibernating or whatever. (Until recently I didnt know they did due to a shop keeper telling my sister such things!)

Anyway, I've been trying to decide which kind would be best for me. As I've learnt Horsfields are diggers, and they sound VERY sweet. I have a few questions.

1.) Do they really go outside from birth??? Or when do they hibernate?
2.) How deep do they need their enclosures?
3.) How do you keep the bulbs waterproofed outdoors??

Many thanks

#2 Guest_miller07_*

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 10:13 PM

QUOTE (Saira @ Mar 7 2011, 09:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hiya! I'm completely new to tortoises - barr helping my sister with hers 8 years ago on complete utter rubbish shop advice (Actually learning the truth is making me teary, he could have been saved!!!), I'm hoping to buy one within the next year - it was going to be after I come back from my holiday in Oct if I can find one that isn't hibernating or whatever. (Until recently I didnt know they did due to a shop keeper telling my sister such things!)

Anyway, I've been trying to decide which kind would be best for me. As I've learnt Horsfields are diggers, and they sound VERY sweet. I have a few questions.

1.) Do they really go outside from birth??? Or when do they hibernate?
2.) How deep do they need their enclosures?
3.) How do you keep the bulbs waterproofed outdoors??

Many thanks


Hi and welcome to the forums wink.gif
1.) Yes they can go outside from birth dependant on weather, temps, setup etc.... If you have just purchased a tort it's advised not to hibernate them that year and leave it till the following year. Can't really say more than that as I only got mine last year so I've not hibernated them yet.
2.)deep enough so you can get a good inches of soil in there and so they can't escape especialy with horsefields as you said they are diggers wink.gif
Mine's 10inches high but mine are hermann babies so only small, boundries will be made higher when they get bigger biggrin.gif
3.)Mine will only be out during the day for now so can't advise on this but I think ppl use their bulbs 'outdoors' in greenhouses, sheds etc .
x

#3 Guest_Saira_*

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 10:53 PM

Thank you! - What cuties you have, even the spaniel!!

Do Hermanns dig much too? I was only told that Horsfield are diggers lol and I think, for my own sake of mine, I'd put them in kind of a ...box? Handmade one that has a flooring, thus no escape.

#4 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:55 AM


Hi Saira,

Welcome to the forum! biggrin.gif

At least you are doing your research before buying your tortoise, lots of us got our pets and then realised we were doing everything wrong!

I have Hermanns tortoises myself.

They can go outside straight away if their conditions are right. This time of year is still too cold unless they have warmed up inside first and are out for a short time on a sunny day. Are you planning to try and keep torty outside all of the time? You would need a heated shed/greenhouse/kennel like structure.
Or will you keep him indoors and are looking for an outside enclosure to bring him in and out of for the summer?

Paula x

#5 Guest_Saira_*

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:04 PM


Yeah he will be indoors unless it is good enough for him to be outdoors. smile.gif I'm trying to decide which tortoise is best for me to get.

My personality is to plan things lol even after having him i'll research. But reading things the last few days, ve felt like crying at well the abuse we put Torty through without realising - My sister doesnt research she would happily go by shop advice. But also the 'exotics' vet we took him to said do NOT hibernate him.. do this and that which now I see were wrong??

#6 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:39 PM


My personality is to plan things lol even after having him i'll research. But reading things the last few days, ve felt like crying at well the abuse we put Torty through without realising - My sister doesnt research she would happily go by shop advice. But also the 'exotics' vet we took him to said do NOT hibernate him.. do this and that which now I see were wrong??
[/quote]

Hermans, ibera and marginata are all kept exactly the same, and basically react the same. So doing research is good, with a variety of speices to look at. Horsfields are kept nearly the same, except they dont like cold and damp together.
And can dig down a long way if out sidie.
My tortoises go out 24/7 here in Kent from the end of May until the end of September. Once the threat of frosts has gone.
All do much better outside than in.
I would also get a different vet as they obviously dont know how to keep tortoises. Hibernating tortoises hibernate from their first year. Not sure what your vet thinks they do in the wild:0)
Good on you doing the research.

#7 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

Hello Saira
welcome to the forum
I have three horsefields and they are wonderful,lovely and friendly,they are good diggers and climbers so if you decide on a horsefield make sure you have a good secure enclosure,H and Becky are housed outside 24/7 in there house with basking lights,uvb strip light, and tubular heating which is put on in the winter and night time,Humpty my new tort is in H's old tabletop home as she's still in quarantine but will eventually be in the section of the house with Becky,we sectioned the house off to give Becky some piece and quiet as H the male kept pestering all the time but i let them out together when i'm about so i can watch them as he was trying to mate her all the time and she did not want to know,there is a picture of there house on the outdoor housing section,substrate plenty of top soil so they can have a good dig as horsefields also like to estivate.H and Becky hibernated in there outside house for eight weeks,i did not hibernate Humpty as i rehomed her and she was very poorly.
Best of luck in finding your new little one.
Jayne,H,Becky and Humpty




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