Before we dig into this guide, you should know that Steppe tortoises are the exact same thing as Horsefield tortoises, and to get the best information be sure and submit your email above to get a email course all about buying and taking care of your Steppe/Horsefield tortoise!
Pet owners that are interested in keeping tortoises but lack experience should consider Steppe tortoises. Steppe tortoises are smaller than many other familiar types of tortoises. The Horsfield’s tortoise goes by many names: it is also known as a Steppe tortoise or a Russian tortoise. The name ‘Steppe tortoise’ may be less familiar to some people. Different outlets may advertise their tortoises using different names, but pet owners will be getting the same animal one way or another.
Many of the tortoises sold at the average pet store are Steppe Tortoises. Situations where pet stores had a surplus of Steppe tortoises and had to give them away at a discount are common. Prospective pet owners can check the listings online for Horsfield’s tortoises, and they should be able to find some inexpensive animals. Reptile expos and similar outlets can help them find Horsfield’s tortoises as well. Savvy pet owners may have to shop around for the best deals on Horsfield’s tortoises.
One of the main things that pet owners should recognize when they decide to care for tortoises is that from a human’s perspective, tortoises don’t need to eat very much. They don’t move quickly the way humans do and they’re much smaller than humans, which affects their energy needs. In a given week, a Horsfield’s tortoise only needs to be fed six times.
Fiber and calcium are both important for tortoises. Their diets also shouldn’t contain much protein or sugar. Feeding tortoises is, in many ways, simpler than feeding omnivorous animals.
Stinging nettle, rose petals, timothy hay, mulberry leaves, dandelions, plantain leaves, clover, and similar green vegetables can all help give Horsefield tortoises the nutrients that they need. Tortoise owners can technically spend much less than other pet owners on food for their animals, since many of the things that tortoises like to eat grow naturally in many environments. Pet owners should just make sure that the areas where their tortoises are grazing aren’t being exposed to high pesticide levels. Cuttlefish bone and green vegetables that are high in calcium can complete a Horsfield’s tortoise’s diet.
Even relatively compact Horsfield’s tortoises don’t belong in vivariums. However, tortoise tables can work well as indoor habitats for Horsfield’s tortoises. Horsfield’s tortoises need at least 3 square meters of living space, or they won’t be able to exercise. It’s possible that tortoises don’t feel psychologically healthy in smaller spaces as well, so giving them enough space is not negotiable.
Horsfield’s tortoises hibernate in the wild in order to survive for long periods of time in areas with inconsistent resource levels. Tortoises kept in captivity are in a completely different situation. Many pet owners don’t hibernate their tortoises at all. Tortoise owners should talk to their veterinarians if they have any concerns about hibernating their tortoises. However, hibernating a sick tortoise is significantly more worrying than keeping a healthy tortoise active, so tortoise owners should never risk hibernating a tortoise if they’re uncertain about the animal’s general physical condition.
Plenty of care sheets have been developed for Horsfield’s tortoises, given their popularity. Some pet stores will offer them. Educational websites will provide them. Horsfield’s tortoise owners that are in contact with other Horsfield’s tortoise owners can also share care sheets, so they can make sure that their care sheets are reliable enough.
Horsfield’s tortoises are popular enough to have attracted a lot of debate and discussion among pet owners. People that own these tortoises should easily be able to find fellow tortoise owners online, where they can compare notes and learn more about their pets’ species along the way. Sometimes having a more interactive information venue can make all the difference. Communities of like-minded individuals are easy to find online. Twenty-first century pet owners have the unique privilege of being able to connect in this way.
There are also plenty of informational guides online, as well as books and guides on the subject of Horsfield’s tortoises. There should also be informational videos from professional sources, in addition to the homemade videos that pet owners may be able to find. Pet owners interested in learning more about their tortoises should be ready to do plenty of reading.
All tortoises vary in terms of their temperature requirements and their tolerances for various temperature levels. Horsfield’s tortoises can cope with colder temperatures better than some of their fellow tortoises, although they still suffer from the same basic limitations as other reptiles.
Generally speaking, Horsfield’s tortoises work well in temperatures that are usually considered normal. 70 degrees Fahrenheit or about 21 degrees Celsius provides a good environment for Horsfield’s tortoises for most of their days. Ideally, their nighttime temperatures should not be lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius.
With Horsfield’s tortoises, it’s particularly important to keep humidity levels in mind. Humid and moist areas can make them sick, putting them at risk for various skin problems and infections. They would not have encountered conditions like this in the wild, so they are not prepared to cope with them.
Pet owners should avoid damp clay soils or grassy areas when they’re trying to choose good substrates for their Horsfield’s tortoises. The best substrate for a Horsfield’s tortoise will be dry. Substrates for Horsfield’s tortoises are often made with a combination of play sand and coconut fuzz, which provides a good texture and the appropriately low moisture level that Horsfield’s tortoises need. The substrate should be about 4 inches or 10 centimeters deep, or the tortoises will have a difficult time building their pallets.