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What species should I get

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by gbuiting, May 17, 2015.

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  1. gbuiting

    gbuiting New Member

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    (Moderator Note: I've combined three threads that are asking the same question. Hopefully the answers will help you all decide what species is right for you.)


    I live in MI and am looking to buy my first tortoise. I am very excited and want one that is preferably a baby. he/she would be in an indoor setup beings where I live it can get cold, but in the summer i would definitely let him/her roam outside in an outdoor pen. I really want one that has a great personality and am not sure if there are specific breeds for this or if it's all about how you handle them. Any advice is much appreciated on what type to buy. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2016
  2. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member

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    I would talk to Garden state tortoise . I would also start with a Russian tortoise . Chris will be able to help you out .
  3. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Why a Russian tort? Appreciate an explanation.

    Thank you.
  4. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member

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    They live in a colder climate . Russian tortoises are smaller cheaper to care for . They are hardy little guys . Indoor setup would be easy for a Russian .
  5. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much your prompt reply.

    Do you mean that Russian torts prefer to live indoors where it's warmer OR outdoors where it's the cold weather they're used to?
  6. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member

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    Nope, They are smaller and hardy . So they are more forgiving when you make a mistake . You can keep them outside year round . If you build the right set up . They will sleep all winter . But in saying that you will need a indoor setup . They need a 4/8 foot enclosure indoors . They are on the move in the right environment . I can keep going but I think you get the point .
  7. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much your explanation.Yes, I got your point.
  8. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member

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    No problem . The first year I wouldn't let them winter outdoors . That's why I say a indoor setup is needed . Make sure they are fat and heathy before winter .
  9. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member

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    Read the care sheet on russian tortoises and see if that looks likes something you can do.
  10. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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  11. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    Alright I'm thinking Russian or hermans. I know they are both small but, here is my criteria list, must be we acclimated to living in doors year round, and must stay small. I'm thinking Russian or Hermans, which should I get, or is there another species that would be better?
  12. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The bit that worries me is "stay small". The two species you mention are smaller, but still require lots of space. Russians are particularly active. Can you accomodate and indoor enclosure measuring a minimum of 4' x 8'? If not, then maybe you need to rethink a tortoise as a pet.

    Please read these
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
    Lyn W likes this.
  13. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    No don't worry I already know that and the in closure is going to be like 15 by like 6
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  14. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Then go for a Greek!
    They are adorable, patient and intelligent.
    Though there is a tad of a possibility of bias in my statement, it still holds true.
    And they are a smaller species, too.
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  15. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Agreed
    Not so sure about that... Joe is definitely not high on the IQ list... but we love him anyway :)

    Total bias here too, but my Greek is 10.5" at full size and weighs well over 7lb. They aren't that small
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  16. Spud's mum

    Spud's mum Well-Known Member

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    I love hermanns.
    Mine has great personality and comes to the edge of his enclosure to see me when I go in the room.
    He loves to climb too!
    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1435959219.012046.jpg
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  17. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Ssshhhh, you'll put the OP off.
    Tidgy is toilet trained and sharp as a trout, so i got the smart one.
    She's deliberately naughty sometimes, but knows exactly what she is doing.
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  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Where are you?

    I would not leave any species outside year round with out the proper housing. In warmer southern climates just about any species can live outside year round with the proper heated night box. In areas with frozen winters, I would not leave hibernators outside. Bring them in and keep them up, or even better, hibernate them properly and carefully in indoor controlled conditions.
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  19. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure about that... Joe is definitely not high on the IQ list... but we love him anyway :)

    ...he's probably a slow learner.
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  20. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member

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    Look for a russian tortoise on Craigslist. They show up from time to time in need of rescue. The life you're offering will be an improvement over how it's being kept.
    Lyn W likes this.
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