Swell Superstore Horsfield Tortoise

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The Horsfield Tortoise is a popular species of tortoise kept in the UK and one of a moderate size and even temperament. They naturally inhabit arid regions of central Asia including the Russian steppes, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Iran. Though Horsfield's are usually tame, they become difficult to handle the larger they get, especially as they don't particularly enjoy being suspended, but they will happily roam, feed and allow for some interaction so still make an interesting pet. The shell on the Horsfield is a yellow-tan colour with darker areas of brown on each ring of the shell.

Product Information

Horsfield's are a species of tortoise originating from central Asia and inhabiting arid, desert habitats as well as mountainous environments. For many months of the year, their daily activities would involve roaming miles of harsh environment foraging for vegetation, basking or seeking mates, slipping into a state of hibernation during the colder seasons. In captivity this isn't necessary as there will always be access to food and basking opportunity, though they do still seem to enter a state of sluggish behaviour. Being diurnally active, most of their activity will take place during daylight hours, giving plenty of opportunity to see your pet. Handling of your tortoise will become difficult as it grows as they do not enjoy being suspended, and also seem to be quite independent, confident animals.

The housing for a tortoise comes best in the form of a tortoise table, which will allow for the best airflow - essential for a species that are prone to respiratory infections in an enclosed vivarium. For an adult you will require a table of at least 5 x 3ft in size, though it is highly recommended to utilise as much space as possible due to their roaming habits. This table should incorporate a sufficient amount of hiding opportunity so your tortoise feels secure, and also a number of decor additions such as rocks, wood and vegetation - live vegetation can double as a great nutritional opportunity. Tortoises will not be able to climb, but are built to tackle rough terrain and lower obstacles which will make their enclosure more mentally stimulating and a more natural setting. Substrates such as Pro Rep's tortoise life will also help make the setting more natural and provide good digging and burrowing opportunity.

An essential consideration for your table is the heating and lighting for which there are a couple of options. These include mercury vapour bulb (heat and UV in one bulb), though these will need to be attached to a movable bracket for temperature regulation as they cannot be thermostatically controlled. For more information, see our Tortoise Table Lighting blog. The Horsfield will require a basking of around 32C at one end, with the cooler end displaying temperatures of round 22 - 25C. During the night temperatures can safely drop to 15C. Temperatures can be measured with an accurate digital thermometer. UV should always be used in a 12 hour cycle and replaced regularly (it will depend on the bulb to how often). After the bulb lifespan is up, it will no longer be emitting UV even if its still glowing.

It is essential to have a shallow water dish within the enclosure to ensure your tortoise is able to get into the dish for drinking and bathing, these dishes will need regular cleaning. To keep a healthy tortoise you will need to provide a good variety of veg, weeds and live plants, on which a calcium and multivitamin should be dusted in a relevant routine - these will ensure that a healthy and nutritionally valuable diet is provided.

Swell SuperStore Horsfield Tortoise:

  • Current Age/Size - 3.5 - 4 inch approx
  • Adult Expected Size - 7 - 10 inches
  • Habitat - Arid, desert habitats as well as mountainous areas. Terrestrial living.
  • Required Enclosure Size - 5 x 3ft minimum
  • UV Lighting - 3 - 4 UVI (mercury vapour, or 12% T5 - height dependent)
  • Expected Lifespan - 80 years +
  • Temperature Gradient - 20 - 32C
  • Humidity Levels - 40 - 50%
  • Feeding - good variety of veg, plants and weeds.
  • Handling - Handling can become physically difficult with size, but usually docile easily tamed.

If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at shop@swelluk.com. The Livestock List is updated regularly, but please call ahead to ensure we still have what you want, or to reserve something you may have seen.

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