Pet owners that look after Horsefield’s tortoises often make specific mistakes. Plenty of well-meaning pet owners fail to give their Horsefield’s tortoises adequate shelter. There’s a widespread perception that all reptiles can be kept in areas that are similar to fish tanks, and far too many pet owners choose these kinds of tiny, enclosed spaces for their Horsefield’s tortoises. As a result, many Horsefield’s tortoises live with inadequate housing. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that pet owners can do to ensure that their Horsefield’s tortoises are, in fact, being housed correctly.
Horsefield’s tortoises don’t function very well in very small, enclosed areas. These kinds of areas can be ideal for certain animals. Horsefield’s tortoises will find them limiting and confining. They won’t get the exercise that they need in a fish tank or a small Horsefield tortoise cage. It should be noted that living in tiny spaces can actually be psychologically damaging for Horsefield’s tortoises in addition to physically damaging.
The ideal indoor Horsefield’s tortoise pen is six feet wide and six feet long, or two meters wide and two meters long. Housing of this size will give the Horsefield’s tortoise the room it needs to explore, seek novelty, exercise, and feel secure. People with multiple Horsefield’s tortoises will need to make their housing for the tortoises even larger. Prospective pet owners that are unable to set aside this kind of space may have to reconsider purchasing Horsefield’s tortoises, regardless of how much they may want them.
Giving a Horsefield’s tortoise both an indoor and outdoor habitat may be ideal for many pet owners. Pet owners that live in colder climates will need to give their Horsefield’s tortoises safe places to stay during the winter months. While it’s easier to provide for all of a tortoises’s needs outdoors, conscientious pet owners can still construct excellent indoor environments for their animals as long as they have enough space. They will need to make sure that their tortoises get adequate lighting, ventilation, and substrate levels.
Horsefield’s tortoises build themselves pallets as part of their normal biological functioning. These pallets help them maintain adequate body temperatures and fluid levels. In order to build these pallets, the tortoises need the right tortoise substrates. The substrate also needs to be a minimum of four inches or ten centimeters deep. Tortoises without these substrates and without the ability to construct pallets will eventually develop kidney problems and other health issues.
Tortoise substrates essentially consist of a mixture of loam and sand. Pet owners should make sure that they’re purchasing the correct tortoise substrates, since plenty of inadequate, artificial substitutes are on the market. Owners will need to scrape the top level of that substrate on a weekly basis before adding fresh substrate. The substrate will need to be completely replaced every few months. Pet owners that keep to that schedule will create an excellent environment for their tortoises.
Horsefield’s tortoises absolutely must live in well-ventilated areas. In outdoor tortoise pens, providing adequate ventilation obviously isn’t a problem. However, people that use indoor housing for their tortoises will need to make sure that the area has good airflow. It is very difficult to give tanks the ventilation that tortoises need in order to maintain their health, even with a system of fans. Tortoises that live in small tanks often develop damaging respiratory issues.
Overall, pet owners that are designing safe spaces for their tortoises should be trying to replicate some of the environmental conditions found in a tortoise’s natural habitat. Tortoises will thrive in pens that are almost functionally the same as their natural habitats.