Spur-Thighed Tortoise Care

This article aims to explore the details of how to care for your Spur-Thighed Tortoise. We will look at creating the right environment for your tortoise, how and what to feed your shelled friend and the particulars of hibernation.

The Correct Environment

You will need to keep your spur-thighed tortoise in a fenced or walled garden, but be careful to only let them out fully during the dry summer months, when the frosty season has past. You should ensure that there is a hutch for your tortoise and within the hutch there should be a heat-lamp to help them keep warm.

Make sure that you keep the hutch out of the wind and rain but try to ensure that you don't keep moving the hutch from place to place as the spur-thighed tortoise likes to position itself in the morning to lap up the suns rays.

Tip: - Don't believe all the press that suggests that the tortoise is a slow-moving lethargic pet. They can move pretty quickly when they want to and could disappear through holes in your fences if not watched closely!

Feeding Your Spur-Thighed Tortoise

The spur-thighed tortoise is a herbivore and as such is not a picky eater - from apples to celery - they will pretty much eat anything. Try to limit the amount of lettuce you give your tortoise though as it is a low-grade food.

You should consider adding supplements to their food to promote healthy shell formation.

Your spur-thighed tortoise will be happy grazing in your garden, but try to keep him away from your expensive plants as they can be consumed in the blink of an eye! On the plus side however, they love the taste of dandelion and can be handy weeders in your garden.

Your tortoise will gain most of its moisture from the food it eats, however during the summer months, you are well advised to make fresh water available.


It is natural that your spur-thighed tortoise will hibernate. In colder climates it is important that they hibernate to avoid freezing to death in winter. It is possible to bring them inside and let them rest in a warm tank without them entering hibernation. If your tortoise is going to hibernate it is crucial that he is cooled slowly and it is not advised to hibernate baby spur-thighed tortoises with a shell length of less then 5 inches.

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