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hi everyone, i am looking for my first tortoise and i would be grateful if anyone can give me any info regarding which tort would be best for inexperienced keeper. I like the hermmans and horsefeild and wondered if they hibernate, would a slate be suitable under the basking lamp and would a subtrate of half the table with topsoil and the other half hemp. thanks x
 

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hi, ive got a horsfield and he digs (a lot) so needs his substrate quite deep. There's some threads already on here with good websites to do some research (like torsmad and the tortoise trust) and yes they both hibernate.
 

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Hi,

Horsfields are a nice sturdy tort :) Mine doesnt hibernate as she comes in during the winter. She does go through long naps though during the winter months.
Slate is good for them to warm their bellies on.
Topsoil as a substrate will be fine... they love to dig so some mounds in a corner would make them very happy. I wouldnt worry about the hemp, they could eat sum.

Im sure others will be a great help

Good luck with your first tort
 

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Hi ya hun - Ive got a Horsfield and two spur thighs, all 3 of which are lovely. Personally I use just top soil in both my tables as I found a 50/50 mix with sand was making it a little too dusty and I dont use anything under their basking light as they should be warmed from above and not underneath. Horsfields do like to dig down and have been known to dig a good few feet so we chicken wired the bottom and sides of our outdoor enclosure at a depth of 2 feet so he couldn't escape.

Temps & diet are the same for both of mine - 30 at the hot end and 20 at the cooler and weeds weeds and more weeds. They both have cuttlefish and little blobs of limestone flour in their enclosures all the time and have nutrabol on their food every day. I normally feed them 5 days out of 7 and feed them enough to cover their shells.

Hope some of that helps. I'd have a good look at the Tortoise Trust website and print off some caresheets, have a good read through and come back with any questions. Good Luck

PS - Sorry forgot to mention that I do hibernate all 3 of mine and personally feel if you have a hibernating tortoise you should if you possible can as its instinctive to them. I never hibernated my spur thighs the first year I had them cos I was too scared and they both slowed down and infact I felt they showed me that they needed to hibernate so I went for it this year together with my Horsfield who I'd not had long. I was scared stiff the whole time they were in the fridge and I missed them all but all 3 were absolutely fine and Im glad I did it as I do feel its best for them.
 

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DO NOT USE SAND / SOIL MIX

this can cause impaction and can lead to death of your tortoise. dont be a sheep and follow what everyone else is doing. that is slowly killing their tortoise!
 

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...can I ask what you use instead?
 

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matty, guess i a being a sheep as using topsoil with 30% sand , what do you use?
 

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DO NOT USE SAND / SOIL MIX

this can cause impaction and can lead to death of your tortoise. dont be a sheep and follow what everyone else is doing. that is slowly killing their tortoise!
Can you let us know where you got the information from please and whether the tortoise had an autopsy carried out and if so what the findings were? Its quite a serious statement to make.

Thanks
 
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