Before we get going in this awesome care guide, keep in mind that the Russian tortoise is actually the more popular name for the Horsefield tortoise, but they’re the exact same! So be sure and submit your email above so that you can get the famous Horsefield Tortoise Care Course sent to your email inbox! Look above for details!
This pet tortoise is popular specie used as a household pet. This is small specie. The size ranges from 5 to 9 inches. This tortoise is sexually dimorphic; this is because the females are larger than the males. Male Russian tortoises are naturally smaller than the females. However, you can always identify the males from their longer tails. The coloration of the tortoises varies; however, the shell is normally ruddy brown and sometimes fades to yellow. Russian tortoise has four legs. The lifespan of these tortoises varies, the lifespan ranges from fifty to one hundred years. Keeping these animals as pets is not difficult as many people think. They could easily identify humans and can interact with the owner.
For Sale/ Buying
There are several challenges pet owners would encounter. The most difficult challenge is getting the right species of Russian tortoise. For you to be at peace with this pet, you have to buy a healthy tortoise. Acquiring the healthy tortoise is not easy. These days, because of the popularity of these Russian tortoises, there are hundreds of locations you can acquire them around the world. Their prices vary. While some are costly, others are sold at cheap prices. However, it is safer to avoid cheap tortoise. Before you buy the Russian tortoise, you have to be cautious. The first thing that you have to consider is to buy from the right source. It takes time to establish a reputation in tortoise trading business. This is because there are different species in the market. The condition of the tortoise at the time you buy it is important. Ensure that only healthy Russian tortoise is purchased for you. Only a trusted dealer could sell a healthy tortoise to you. Those who specialize in Russian tortoise are more likely to offer you a healthy tortoise than those who do not specialize in that. Determine how the tortoise you want to purchase is caught. Many people prefer pets that are caught in their country because they are already acclimatized to the environment, this means that they will not find it difficult to adapt to the new home. While trying to purchase, avoid buying them online. Try to see what you will purchase before you pay. Finally, do not purchase a new caught Russian tortoise, as you are not sure of the condition.
One thing that makes a Russian tortoise unique is that they are good eaters. This could be seen from the enormous destruction that they could do to your plants in its outdoor activities. The best natural way to feed the tortoise is to plant weeds in designated areas. This makes it easier for the tortoise to move around freely without hindrance. There are different weeds you can plant for your pet. However, if weeds wither due to change in season, it is necessary you get varieties of edible plants for your pet, especially in the morning hours. During the captivity period, you have to feed the tortoise with different varieties every morning. This is the way to keep them healthy. Feeding the Russian tortoise is not difficult because they eat different kinds of leaves especially broadleaves. They can eat almost a leafy green offered to it by its owners. However, you have to be cautious of the type of food you give to Russian tortoise. Feed it with only safe organic weeds. Avoid giving your pet high oxalic acid, as well as false grown foods with preservatives and pesticide residues in them. Any grocery store products you want to offer to the tortoise should be washed. Vegetables should also be given to the tortoise rarely. Do not give them fruits as some of them with high sugar content endanger the lives of the tortoise.
Russian tortoises have great appetites and that has to do with their sizes. It is recommended that the owners plant different varieties of weeds that would take care of the nutritional needs of the pet. Weeds plantation should be partitioned outside the enclosure. This is to give time for the weeds to recover. The tortoise should be rotated from one partition to the other as the weeds recover. When there is enough food for the tortoise to eat, it will grow healthy and strong as well. Protective measures should be taken to ensure that the plants are not grazed to death by the pet. Food rich in calcium should be offered to the pet. Calcium rich food helps the shell and the bones to be strong. Avoid giving the pet foods that would not help it.
The best way to house a Russian tortoise is to keep it in an outdoor enclosure. Pens should be constructed outside to house one or two adult Russian tortoises. The pens should be at least 10 feet by 8 feet long. To prevent the tortoise from digging under the side, there should be an enclosure wall as well, which should be between 7 to 12 inches. Caps should also be installed at necessary places to prevent the tortoise from escaping from its enclosure. It is known that Russian tortoises are burrowers and avid climbers. Every security measure must be put in place in its enclosure to ensure it does not get out of its enclosure. They are fond of digging at the objects and edges. Installing large rocks make it difficult for the tortoise to dig the corners and objects. During extreme weather conditions, the pets dig under to protect themselves from the extreme conditions. Providing underground hiding boxes is necessary to enable the tortoise to hide during extreme weather conditions. Russian tortoise requires water always. Water should be provided in a shallow dish big enough for the pet to move in, sit, and take some water and exit after that. Shelter area as well as opportunities for the animal to dig deep into the ground to help it cool itself is very important. However, when there is a change in weather the Russian tortoise should be indoors. They are usually kept in plastic bins that are large enough to allow it free movement. The bin should be waterproof so that the waters could be delivered to the tortoise when it becomes necessary. If you are building an indoor enclosure for the Russian tortoise, it should be about 24 inches to 48 inches. Foods should also be provided for the tortoise while they stay in the indoor enclosure.
In its natural habitat, Russian tortoises hibernate for about nine months. You should ensure that your pet hibernates for at least 8 months. Before you begin to hibernate your tortoise, you must make sure the food content in the stomach is removed. Secondly, you must ensure that the animal is in good condition. Invite your vet to check the animal against parasites and diseases that could endanger its life while it is hibernating. Many owners put their pets at risks by not hibernating them. You need to procure a hibernation box for your Russian tortoise. During this period, the temperature in the hibernation must be kept at the normal level to ensure that the animal maintains a good health. The normal temperature that you should keep the hibernation is 40 to 45 degrees F. This is good for those who reside in areas where the temperature does not reach the freezing level. Russian tortoise always decreases their feeding rate in the fall. They clean their intestinal tracts during this period. You can consider a refrigerator hibernation if you reside in an area where the temperature is not good for the tortoise. Tortoise in natural habitats comes out of hibernation in March.
Russian tortoise is the most readily available tortoise all over the world. Many tortoises available in the United States and other parts of the world are Russian tortoise. This species of tortoise should not be kept in small spaces, as they could be antagonistic among themselves. Moreover, they are territorial and they should be allowed a free space to move about. They are always ready to eat and that is why they are stronger than most other tortoises around the world. Adequate care should be given to the tortoise. Care must be taken to ensure that predators like rats, raccoons, opossums, dogs and other unfriendly animals out there do not endanger the animal. You also have to care for the animal by ensuring that it does not escape out of the enclosure where its life would be endangered. The health needs of the pet should be taken care of. Vet Medicare should be administered from time to time. Anytime the animal falls sick, it should be given adequate attention. The enclosure should be under a regular temperature. If the tortoise is well taken care of, it is possible for them to live more than one hundred years. It would remain healthy if it is offered effective protection against its predators and all its nutritional and medical needs are provided.
Any person who is having a problem with his pet does not take good care of it. To have a good Russian tortoise pet experience, it is better to buy healthy species. Always buy an active tortoise. You can determine an alert Horsefield tortoise by its clean, bright eyes, good proportion of length, weight, and from the way, it moves about. Source you purchase the tortoise must be a trusted one. When you buy from a reliable source, you would be sure of getting your pet in a healthy and good condition. Ensure that the tortoise does not suffer from deadly health problems like respiratory infections and parasite attack. If you buy a recently caught Russian tortoise, there is the possibility that it could be suffering from internal parasite infection. Buying imported Russian tortoise is not the best choice. Many of them are not kept in health conditions while they were being imported; the owners are likely to suffer the problem when they eventually get the tortoise. Importers do not care about the health of the pet and that is why they can expose it to extreme wet and cold condition. This causes it to develop respiratory problems. You can be happy with your pet if you buy it from the right source and if they are delivered to you in good health.
Keeping the tortoise at a good temperature, all the times are necessary for its good health and survival. The pen should maintain a regular temperature. One of its ends should have a temperature of 70 degree C as well as a basking spot of 90 to 95 degree F. During the night hours, it is necessary to drop the temperature of the enclosure. If you allow your tortoise to stay in a too cold temperature, it will not have a proper digestion of food. At a very warm temperature, the pet would stop feeding as it could easily develop suspended animation at warm temperature. You should always consider the humidity of your tortoise. With very high humidity, the tortoise may start experiencing some problems like respiratory infection and shell rot. There could also be a problem during a very cool humidity. The temperature and humidity of the place you will keep your tortoise are very important. An appropriate temperature would always be maintained with proper lighting. The best lighting system you can install in its enclosure is the Zoo Med Powersun. This regulates the temperature of the enclosure.
When it comes to substrates, you can make many choices. The best choice is to have a mixture of fifty percent each of garden loam and sand. In areas, it could be difficult to get garden loam; you can substitute it with coconut coir. You can also use peat moss; but this could be dusty. Some people prefer newspapers because they are easier for them to clean. It is better to have a mixture of sand and stone where it is possible.