We've been given a tortoise - please help me care for him

(7 Posts)
CobOnTheCorn Sun 14-Apr-13 11:25:18

Hi

I've read some great advice on here already, been to the library and used the tortoise trust website but I have some immediate questions.

He isn't awak from hibernation yet, shall I get him up as the weather is now much milder?
Does he need a lamp when he first gets up?
A warm bath?

What I know about him:
He is male
Herman or Horsfield species
He is old
Previous owners (pils) left him to forage in the garden
Never had a heat lamp to my knowledge
He is in 2 boxes in our brick shed at the moment

I've been reading about the risks of leaving him to hibernate for too long, we checked him last weekend but there was no sound of rustling. Shall I bring him inside for a few hours to warm up a bit if there is still no sign of movement?

And if I need to buy him anything special (heat lamp, supplements) I'm sure I can get to some kind of pet shop before closing (just moved house and don't know the area very well yet).

Thanks

ShowMeTheYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 11:30:08

They need an open top table with a heat lamp if to be kept indoors. Outdoors they will still need a lamp. They like to bask in warm temps. We had one. We bathed her every other day as this is when they drink. They eat weeds, love dandelions and the like. Not sure about waking them up as ours never hibernated. Check out this site below....register and they will give you all the advice you could need.

www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/shelled-care-sheets/239139-horsfield-russian-tortoise-care.html

CobOnTheCorn Sun 14-Apr-13 11:32:02

Thanks. And I love your name!

bramblina Sun 28-Apr-13 22:39:30

Hi,
We got ours from thetortoiseshop.com in Hull, they have a good website and a good range of products to buy including housing, bedding, lamps and seeds to grow for food.

The length of time he needs to hibernate depends on his age but if you are unsure then it is better to take him out of it instead of leaving him too long with the chance of too much. Let the box come to room temp slowly then open it up, give more time to come round then when he is awake you can give him a med warm bath. Once he's wide awake he can have a good warm bath.

Mine is kept indoors so I don't know much about the ones who are left to roam, I think I'll register with that website too!

Enjoy your new friend!

CobOnTheCorn Tue 30-Apr-13 20:36:49

Thanks bramblina, just looked at the website and it's really helpful.

I think £10 sounds a lot of money for the seeds but I'm getting fed up of traipsing around the garden looking for the right kind of weed so maybe it's worth it for now.

We woke tortoise up in the end (still don't have a name for him) and trying to feed him up now, not sure if he's fussy but all he seems to eat at the moment is cucumber and dandelion leaves.

Good luck with your new addition.

bramblina Wed 01-May-13 22:06:06

I feed mine chicory, watercress, kale all from the supermarket or greengrocer. Occasionally he also gets lettuce, cabbage and carrot peelings, and when the garden is full the kids love to go and gather handfuls of clover and dandelions too.

CobOnTheCorn Thu 02-May-13 21:38:08

Our fussy fella turned his nose up at kale and spring greens. Perhaps I could try watercress and chicory. He will happily eat dandelion leaves but I'm concerned he isn't getting enough variety. I can't find any clover at all. I'm cultivating the wrong weeds!

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