The horsefields tortoise is another of the most popular tortoise species available. They are also known as Russian tortoises and are exported from their homeland as captive bred in large numbers every year. Colouration is an olive brown with darker indistinct areas and a paler head, often being light brown to tan. Like the hermans tortoise this species can also grow to between fifteen and twenty centimetres in length and can live for over seventy years, even reaching up to one hundred years or more. In the wild they are a burrowing species and will hibernate during the winter at the bottom of their burrows.
Horsefields Tortoise Vivarium
It is ESSENTIAL that the enclosure is kept dry at all times as a damp enclosure will slowly kill this species. Contrary to what is popularly advised I would recommend that the ambient temperature of an indoor vivarium needs only to be around 21 degrees Celsius with a heat spot heated to around 25 degrees and regulated using a thermostat. The enclosure should have a deep dry heavy soil and gravel mixed substrate or for the vivarium several inches of substrate and a suitable hide. Ambient humidity should be low with no additional spraying but they will benefit from a weekly warm bath and a water bowl should be provided with fresh water daily. UV light is required in the form of a 5.0 UV tube light to simulate the lower UVA and UVB rays found in its native habitat. The outdoor enclosure should be at least 18 inches tall and have an overhang to stop escapes. Also there should be a wire mesh at 12 to 18 inches depth to prevent the Horsefields Tortoise digging under the wall. Below the mesh layer it is advisable to put around 12 inches of ‘hardcore’ including bricks, rocks, very coarse gravel etc to aid drainage and to add a ‘roof’ of clear corrugated plastic over half of the enclosure to keep it dry. In both forms of housing you should provide rocks, logs and some form of shrubbery such as hebe sp or geraniums.
Horsefields Tortoise Feeding
Feed these on a diet of strictly vegetables and flowers, dandelions are relished, both flowers and leaves, but the stems are bad for them due to the sap. Kale, cabbage, grated carrots, broccolli and peas are all accepted and some retailers can provide a dry food specifically formulated for tortoises along with herbal treats and many ‘garden’ plants such as snapdragons (Antirrhinum), petunias, geraniums and grass will all be taken.
For any further information, or if you would like to purchase a Horsefields Tortoise then please contact us