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Happy Russian Tortoise behavior

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by MerlynAndOrwell, Aug 5, 2013.

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  1. MerlynAndOrwell

    MerlynAndOrwell New Member

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    I've owned my Russian tort for a little over a month now, and am just wondering what to expect from a happy, healthy Russian Tortoise as far as behavior.

    The only odd thing I have noticed is occasionally he will attempt to climb the sides of his indoor enclosure. I've been keeping him in a cement mixing tub with a coco coir/peat moss mix substrate. I try to take him outside daily for sun, grazing and exercise. On the days I don't take him outside is when he is trying to climb the sides.

    This leads me to believe he wants to get out and roam around.

    What does happy healthy Russian Tortoise daily behavior look like? I have completely fallen in love with this little guy and I just want him to live a long happy life.

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  2. WillTort2

    WillTort2 Well-Known Member

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    A healthy tort is a happy tort.

    A varied healthy diet is essential.

    A warm basking spot and a cool side are also important.

    A safe spot that he can retreat to when he feels threatened.

    A flat shallow water bowl.

    Space to roam and explore.

    If you fulfill all of those needs that will be a good start.

    Good luck.
    [hr]
    He can't tell us when he's happy. But if his activity level drops I think we can assume something is missing from his life.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer

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    Your enclosure is much to small. His indoor enclosure should be no less than 4x8' in my opinion, and Russians are generally going to do better when housed outside in large safe enclosures.
  4. Mrturtle527

    Mrturtle527 Member

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    Agree they want OUT! I've also just received my first Russian (and quickly got a baby). My older one loves to be in his garden during the day. I bring him in at night though. Baby gets out most days for a little while.


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  5. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    Re: RE: Happy Russian Tortoise behavior

    Well, I have 4 of them. 1 male with 3
    females. They share a pen outdoors that is 20' long x 6' wide.
    They come out of their night box in the morning and bask. Once they are warm, they eat.
    Throughout the day I find them, grazing, cruising over rocks, walking around logs, sleeping stretched out in dappled shade or nestled under ice plant. I'll catch them drinking water, sometimes self soaking. Sometimes they hang out together other times they occupy their own spaces. They put themselves away each evening and it starts over the next day.
    I've had them 5 or 6 months now and there are no escape attempts, no scratching the walls or clawing to get out.
    I think they are happy and healthy :)

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  6. kanalomele

    kanalomele Active Member

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    Russians are a great species! Loads of personality in a little package. In the wild they roam one of the largest territories of any tortoise. So lots of room to explore is what they want. Your tort knows there is more world out there and he wants to go see it! My male will follow me around the yard like a puppy. Actually he is the boss of the dogs. He climbs onto my feet and chases them away from me if they get to close. So hilarious to see him sneaking up to bite them in the butt. He is the yard work inspector also. If I'm raking or digging he wants to be in the middle of it. He especially loves "helping" me dig holes. I get it started then he climbs in and digs for a few minutes until he is satisfied then he climbs out! Soo funny
  7. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    Kanalomele, your male sounds just like mine :)

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  8. kanalomele

    kanalomele Active Member

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    If your is a pistol full of attitude then yes! My boy has been with me for nearly twenty years so he knows full well that he is the boss. He is also the joker that will follow me indoors if he has not had the treat he thinks he deserves. I have been standing at my kitchen sink and had him come and plant himself on my feet waiting for his snack... such a rascal.
    Here he is running around looking for trouble this morning. Meet Tucker!

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  9. Mrturtle527

    Mrturtle527 Member

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    Your torts sound so fun!!! I've only had mine since may but he loves to explore. I hope he starts following me around :)


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  10. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    Nice to meet you tucker!

    Pistol of attitude well put...

    That's why I named his Sully after a sulcata tortoise personality. Or I say, he is like the min pin that thinks he is a doberman lol

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  11. hallie02

    hallie02 New Member

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    Well you should take him out everyday for a little walk for about 15min or20min a day. And I'm sure the tort is okay[SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH]
  12. MerlynAndOrwell

    MerlynAndOrwell New Member

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    I like how nobody answered the question. What a great forum.

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  13. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    Re: RE: Happy Russian Tortoise behavior

    I'm sorry, how did I not answer this question? You asked what the behavior looks like and I told you. ???

    Others gave you great tips to give yours a better life.


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  14. kanalomele

    kanalomele Active Member

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    How was your question not answered by several posts that describe the daily behavior of this species and their interaction with not only their surroundings but their people and other animals. I even offered insight into the behavior of wild Russians. Thus far all of the extremely experienced keepers who have replied have commented on the Russians need for space to roam, their feisty attitude, their daily cycle of waking up then basking then eating then roaming .

    If that information does not answer your question then clearly none of us understood what your question was. What information are you looking for?
  15. ILoveTortoises2

    ILoveTortoises2 Member

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    I agree he looks like he is health and happy.
    The only thing I think is a problem well I know is a problem is that the sides of your enclosure are way to short. They need to be A LOT taller. One of theses days you will be out somewhere and come back and could be hurt very bad from that high fall to the ground. This could end VERY VERY bad. So I would get that fixed asap if I were you.
    Other then that he is a cutie :)
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