Horsefields differentiate from many how to sex a russian tortoise tortoises because they have four claws on their front feet. Life span: With appropriate care Horsefield tortoises are very long lived. Reaching the age of 60 years or more is not uncommon, although many do not reach this milestone if essential care, enclosure conditions and dietary requirements are not strictly maintained. With tortoises having a potential longevity that exceeds our own it is important to consider the implications of its long life before purchasing as a pet.
Origin: Horsefield Tortoises are native to Central Asia including the Russian Steppes, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, and some parts of China. Habitat: Horsefield Tortoises are a terrestrial species that live in hot, dry inhospitable places like near deserts and on dry slopes in mountainous regions. Their native habitat has an extreme climate where weather conditions range from extreme heat in summer and severe cold in winter. For this reason in the wild Horsefield Tortoises are only active for a few months of the year as they tend to brumate over the cold winter and aestivate over the hot summer. Temperament: Horsefield’s may be one of the easiest species of tortoise to care for, but they can still not be considered a suitable reptile for beginners. They are quite a high maintenance pet and will require a keeper to put in a lot of time and effort to ensure that their tortoises remain healthy and happy.
Tortoises can be considered a communal species, although many aspects need to be considered before doing so. Males and females are better kept separately except for breeding purposes. Males may also fight with other males for dominance if they are housed together. If you do house multiple Horsefield tortoises in the same enclosure you must be prepared to separate if any problems do arise. Who will look after your new pet if you are away? Can you afford the equipment needed to keep your tortoise healthy?
Is the rest of the family happy to live with a Horsefields tortoise? Are you prepared to care for your pet for the full length of it’s life span? Have you got enough spare time to maintain your pets enclosure and meet all the care needs of your tortoise? This is basically a certificate that proves that an endangered species is captive bred and has not been taken from the wild. This certificate is needed if you intend to sell, breed or import an Annex A tortoise. Horsefield tortoises are in Annex B, so no CITES paperwork is required, but it is still recommended that when you buy a Horsefield Tortoise you should ensure that it is not an illegally imported wild caught specimen. Only buy a tortoise from a recommended source such as a reliable reptile shop, an experienced breeder or a recognised tortoise rehoming organistaion.
Housing Tortoises require both an indoor and outdoor enclosure if they are to stay healthy and happy. Indoor enclosures should be in the form of a tortoise table, which is well ventilated and as large as possible. Tortoises are an active species, so the more room you can allow them the better. Vivariums are not an ideal indoor enclosure for tortoises because they seem to have trouble recognising see-through barriers like glass, which can cause unnecessary stress for your Horsefield’s tortoise. Outdoor enclosures also need to be large and provide your tortoise with a variety of aspects including shade, shelter, edible plants and a sunny spot.