Russian Tortoise Information

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About
Russian tortoises are increasingly popular pets all around the world. Many people find the generally docile behavior and distinctive appearance of many tortoises charming. Owners that plan on caring for Russian tortoises will need toRussian Tortoise Information familiarize themselves with the tortoises in advance, which can help them make the right decisions before they purchase their new pets. Russian tortoises are also known as Horsefield’s tortoises, which pet owners should keep in mind as they are researching their Russian tortoises. Some information onRussian’s tortoises is misleading or outright wrong. A lot of the best info on Horsefield’s tortoises acknowledges some of these myths, and tries to point pet owners towards the facts.

Housing
Russian tortoises need spacious and secure pens. Russian tortoises are particularly good at creating underground tunnels and escaping. Pet owners can prevent problems like these by setting their tortoises’ pen walls into the ground with wire mesh. A depth of eight inches should suffice. The habitats for Horsefield’s tortoises should also be set up in such a way that the tortoises will be safe from damp conditions, which are problematic for them. Their habitats should also be equipped with the right substrates, which should preferably consist of mixed garden loam and sand. The fact that Horsefield’s tortoises are as compact as they are does mean that they can live in smaller habitats than larger tortoises.

Food
Given the poor reputation that weeds can have, some pet owners may be surprised to learn that some of the most ideal foods for tortoises are weeds. While many people associate lettuce with tortoises, many tortoises particularly enjoy dandelions, which are very nutritious and flavorful for them. Russian’s tortoises can actually get sick if they eat enough fruit, so there’s no need to give them any fruit at all. Cuttlefish bone can help tortoises meet their calcium needs.

Water
The belief that animals like tortoises can completely fulfill their water needs through the food that they eat is surprisingly common, but that doesn’t make it correct. While tortoises have many adaptations that allow them to survive in very dry environments, they do still need to have a supply of water on hand. The water shouldn’t be kept in an area that’s large enough for the Russian’s tortoises to fall in, however. Otherwise, the only consideration is that the water should be filtered and clean, because tortoises can vary in terms of their sensitivity to chemicals.

Diet
Tortoises eat diets that are focused on carbohydrates. They also need high quantities of dietary fiber and calcium. Tortoises have sensitive digestive tracts, and they need the comparatively high levels of calcium for the sake of their shells. It is important that pet owners limit the amount of protein that their tortoises consume. Even plant matter like alfalfa hay contains overly high quantities of protein.

Hibernation
Some pet owners read about the amount of time that tortoises spend hibernating in the wild, and they worry that they will have to keep their tortoises hibernating for a similar length of time. However, wild tortoises partly do this as a way of preventing starvation, which is a very real threat during certain parts of the year for them. It is not an issue for domesticated tortoises.

Tortoises need to have extra body fat in order to get through their hibernation periods while maintaining their health. Underweight tortoises should never undergo hibernation. Having an adequate hibernation weight is an important requirement for tortoises prior to a potential hibernation period.

Long hibernation periods can actually be dangerous for Russian tortoises in particular, because they are relatively small, regardless of individual variations in weight. A domesticated Horsefield’s tortoise may only need eight weeks of hibernation, if that. Pet owners will need to thoroughly examine their tortoises to make sure they are fit for a hibernation period. Uncertain pet owners should probably speak to their veterinarians about their tortoises and hibernation.

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Temperature
Russian’s tortoises have higher levels of heat and cold tolerance than other tortoise species, but they still favor certain ranges of temperature over others. The cooler side of a Horsefield’s tortoise’s habitat should be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Their habitats should also have warmer areas where the temperature is between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime temperatures are low in a Horsefield’s tortoise’s native habitat, and domesticated tortoises should also be kept in relatively low temperatures at night. A good nighttime temperature for a Horsefield’s tortoise would be around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lighting
100-watt flood lights are excellent choices for tortoise habitats. The lighting should be maintained for twelve hours a day at the least and fourteen hours a day at the most. These lights probably won’t be able to create the ideal temperature conditions for Horsefield’s tortoises, but they should generally provide adequate lighting. Tortoises that live in outdoor pens will get all of the lighting benefits of sunshine as well.

Breeding
Russian’s tortoises must be in good general health in order to breed, and they must be eating well. Many people have a difficult time distinguishing male tortoises from female tortoises, which can lead to some surprises. Female tortoises have very short tails compared to male tortoises, and the tails of male tortoises have features that resemble hooks at the end. Female tortoises will lay between one and five eggs at a time. There are special incubators that pet owners can buy for their breeding tortoises. Infant tortoises will hatch in two days. A breeding colony of three female tortoises for each male tortoise will usually produce the best results.

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