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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
first i would like to say hi. i joined the forum as i am slightly worried about my horsefiled tortoise. i got her about 4 weeks ago and told she was about 8 years old.
the reason i am abit worried is that she looks like she keeps trying to burrow down. i have hemp as bedding at the moment is this sufficent? i have also read on here about uv lamps i have a ceramic heat lamp at the moment is this enough? is it possible that she is trying to hibenate as she doesnt seem to be eating much at the moment either.
thanks in advance. sorry if these are rather simple questions i am new to this.:blush:
 

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She could be trying to hibernate. Especially if she is 8 years old, she may have hibernated before, in which case you'll have one hell of a fight on your hands to keep her up!

A ceramic heat lamp isn;t the best, you're better with a normal household reflector spotbulb, as they give out extra light as well as heat. The extra light is key for avoiding hibernation! You do need a UVB light, this is essential. a 10% is best, but you could go for a combined bulb, which gives heat and UVB. These are more expensive but last much longer so cheaper in the long run.

Hemp is fine, but you could try having an area of soil as well, Horsfields like it as deep as possible, as burrowing and tunneling is normal behaviour for them, so don't worry if you don;t see much of her at times, it means she's happy, since she can dig!

:welcome: by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I am looking into getting a combined bulb. Was wondering if you could recomend any and if you know what wattage would be sufficent? UV - Heat - Mercury Vapour Lampalso if i get a combined bulb would i need a thermostat?
Thanks again!
 

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MV bulbs don't work very well on a thermostat, megaray bulbs are pretty good at about £50 each, the 100w/120w versions. You have to spend a bit of time making sure they are set up right to give adequate basking temps and then just leave them on all day and turn them off at night.

Hemp bedding isn't ideal as it tends to spread around the enclosure and can get accidently ingested which can cause some real problems.

Horsfields naturally hibernate and aestivate and as a result aren't usually awake much in the wild, any particular reason why you don't hibernate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didnt want to risk hibenating her as i didnt think she was ready and didnt know if she had been hibenated before. I am going to order a 120w bulb for her. what kind of soil would you recomend?
Thanks for all your help.
 

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You can get sterilised top soil from most DIY places such as B&Q or Homebase etc.
I use soil at one end and readigrass down the other as mine seems to like to dig down in that and go to sleep.
Although you shouldn't have the megaray on a thermostat, you must have a thermometer (if you already have then great) Temps directly under the lamp should be 30- 32 degrees and about 20 ish down thw cool end. In order to raise or lower temos you just raise of lower the height of the lamp so easier if it is some sort of stand or hanging on some chain which you can change the hieght of.

I can understnad why you would be reluctant to hibernate seeing as you have only just got her and don't really know her health status, but to be honest if she has hibernated before you are going to have one hell of a job on your hands keeping her awake!!

Just as mention as you don't say, what are you keeping her in? What are you feeding her? Are you adding calcium powder and vitamin supplements to her food? Are you bathing her?

Sorry for all the questions but by sorting these simple things out will improve the health and welfare of your new tort - Good luck!
 

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If your tortoise is that age, then if he/she has decided to hibernate, you might not have a choice:gasp: As horsfields make their own minds up to whether they will or will not hibernate:2thumb:
At eight years, he/she has hibernated before, and they are one of the hardest to keep awake if they decide to do so.
I would get him/her checked out by a vet to make sure there are no signs of illness, as you have not had the tortoise very long.
 

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Hi ya and :welcome: to you and your torty

Dont worry about asking millions of questions, its the best way to learn and we're all here to help each other.

Think the others have already answered your questions but just wanted to say hello and to welcome you to the site hun

take care :2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just as mention as you don't say, what are you keeping her in? What are you feeding her? Are you adding calcium powder and vitamin supplements to her food? Are you bathing her?

Sorry for all the questions but by sorting these simple things out will improve the health and welfare of your new tort - Good luck!
I am keeping her in a open top pen with hemp. currently she is eating a mixture of cabbage, lettice, other veg and some dry pellets. i am bathing her about once a week she seems to enjoy that! although recently hasnt been eating much which has made us worry. but hopefully when the new lamp arrives she will start eating more.
 

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Hi again - unfortunately you've not been given the best advice diet wise, am afriad you little one will be having health problems later on if you continue to feed his current diet. Really he shouldn't be eating fruit or veg or any kind - if you have a look at the top of the page there's a sticky for safe plants and flowers you can be feeding and it includes a winter diet - he needs lots of fresh weeds and safe flowers yummmmm :2thumb:

Also you can buy safe tortoise seeds online to grow yourself - I get mine from www.urbantortoise.co.uk and grow them, saves having to go out to pick them : victory:
 

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Also don't forget to sprinkle with calcium carbonate and vitamin supplements (especially Vit D) so that she can utilise the calcium for her shell.

If she is not eating, yes it certainly may be due to lack of light, you could try bathing her a bit more often until it arrives as this alwasy stimulates an appetite with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi again, Thanks so much I have ordered the new UVB bulb which should be arriving in the next few days. For the time being I have put a bedside lamp next to the pen and she started eating instantly! so thats great news. As for the calcium suppliments I have been giving her prorep calciumdust that includes vitamin D. I will be changing her diet over to weeds and fresh flowers as soon as possible. it seems like it was a good job I stubbled across this site.
Thanks for all your great advice! :2thumb:
 

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you need to find out if she has hibernated before, if so you need to find out why she hasnt hibernated this year.. my ones are approx 5 and 7 they have never hibernated, if they live in vivs they dont really need to, i also was told by a vet that going into hibernation can be stressful to them and there organs. its not easy you need to make sure they are clear of any poo hense why they cut down on there food, that they are not underweight or overweight, they dont have any illness. make sure "if female" there not pregnant. your tortoise may not be eating much maybe because they are in a new home. in their own time they will eat properly. if you are really worried maybe see a vet
 

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Hemp is also made up of fibrous sharp particles which can irritate the eyes if your tort ends up being like most horsfields spending most of their time, face down digging holes.
 

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looking at the date this is a really old post! always worth checking before posting :2thumb:
 
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