Create a Hiding Spot for your Housing


A hiding spot provides shelter and relieves stressful situations. Your tortoise needs to be able to hide from rain, extreme temperatures, wind, provides shade and aggressive males wanting to mate the female or mess with weaker males as well as to use when they hibernate. You will need two types of hiding spots:

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Tortoise Table Starter Kit ULTIMATE

Tortoise Table Starter Kit ULTIMATE
#1 Best bet to get you started the fastest and correctly. Includes everything you need to start. Takes all the guess work out of it! For someone getting their first Horsefield, this saves the hassle of piecing everything together yourself and wondering if it's right! Save by bundling and getting all the correct supplies in one place.
Tortoise Starter Kit ADVANCED

Tortoise Starter Kit ADVANCED
Excellent. Includes UV-A / UV-B lighting, engraved pets name, furnishings, food, manual and vitamins.
Grassland Natural Tortoise Food

Grassland Zoo Med Natural Tortoise Food
#1 Best bet for food because it is specifically designed for the Horsefield tortoise and its Testudo Genus. It's formulated just for them with the correct vitamins, minerals and fiber. All natural with no artificial colors or preservatives and mainly consists of their favorite, Dandelion and Yucca.
uvb, uva, visual light and heat Bulb

Exo Terra PT2192 Solar Glo Mercury Vapour Lamp
Perfect all in one bulb that delivers all the lighting your Horsefield will need when kept inside.
Pro Rep Tortoise Life Substrate 25 litres

Pro Rep Tortoise Life Substrate 25 litres
Reliable pro-grade substrate perfect for his housing environment. Buying packaged substrate over wild dirt etc. prevents many possible contamination problems. This is best mixed with other substate sources like Timothy hay, wood chips and sand. Keep dry to prevent shell rot.
Horsefield Care Made Easy

Advanced guide. This is the only guide that is made just for the Horsefield Tortoise. Includes everything on buying, housing, food, breeding, hibernation and health issues. All of the information you need to know specifically about your one type of pet, the Horsefield tortoise, is in this care guide.

A) First, you will need to provide one fully enclosed hiding spot especially useful for hibernation, rough weather and egg laying. The substrate needs to be well-drained sandy soil 30 cm deep (1 foot) for your tortoise to dig into and regulate his temperature. If your soil is not ideal then replace with sand or gravel and lay hay on top. There are many commercial grade hiding spots that you can purchase like the picture shown on the left. Other options include:

  • Commercial grade small dog houseHorsefield Tortoise shelterCreate a Hiding Spot for your Horsefield Tortoises Housing
  • Upside down plastic storage bin (with entrance cut into one of the sides)

B) The second type of hiding spot will consist of plants or other objects like a good-sized rock. Many plants like fountain grass do an excellent job and they can crawl into many of these plants.Horsefield Tortoise plants and shrubs for housing

They will not be hibernation or laying eggs here but this provides a quick getaway for shade or visual barrier.

The best hiding spot setup is to have at least one A type “fully enclosed” spot and two or more B types.

You are not only limited to these listed above. You can make a hiding spot out of anything under the sun that is safe for your pet. Just remember that the hiding spot needs to be dry and in a well-drained area. Such ideas include:

  • Box out of wood that has been sealed and finished
  • Concrete or brick blocks and a sturdy roof
  • Hollow log
  • Small garbage can
  • Large clay or PVC pipe
  • Small shed


A hiding spot can be made out of anything like a container turned upside down with cut out entrance or a small dog house. It needs to have visible barriers, meaning you cannot see through the walls. This is important because they need a private area to feel secure and provide shade as well as a place to lay egg. Hibernation is the only activity your Horsefield will not be doing indoors with a hiding spot, contrary to outside housing. Also, for the females and subordinate males to get away from aggressive males if there area multiple tortoises in the same pen. For inside housing the bedding needs to be at least 6 inches of sandy soil with grass and hay on top.

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