Babysitting tortoise--some advice appreciated!

Ladya

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Am currently looking after my young nephew's pet tortoise while my sister and her kids and partner are on holiday. He's had him for about half a year now, but before today I'd only seen the tortoise a couple of times. They came by to drop the tortoise off this morning and my nephew handed me a "meal bag" from which to feed him, but when I opened it later I found nothing but iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. I've never owned a tortoise, but having owned pretty much every other conceivable pet under the sun I know just how lacking in nutritional value iceberg lettuce and cucumber are, and am also unsure about feeding a tortoise tomatoes. I prefer to stick as close to an animal's natural diet as possible, and none of these fit in that category of things a tortoise would/could eat in the wild. He seems healthy/active enough but I want to use the time he's in my care to impose a dietary overhaul. Before I do that I'd like to positively identify him but am having trouble determining it myself. Can someone help me with this ... ?

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I gave him a "salad mix" this evening of field salad, rose petals and thin slices of cucumber (he's a picky eater so am going to have to ease him into new food by mixing it with his faves); these are all I have in the house at the moment. Will go grocery/plant shopping tomorrow once I've compiled a list.
 

StarSapphire22

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He's a Russian. You're spot-on about the food. There's an excellent care sheet for Russians in the Russian section of the Species Specific section of the forum. :)
 

tortdad

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Yep Russian for sure. He needs better sub straight then he has too. Theses wood chips are way too dry. Did he tell you to soak the tort at all?


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Grandpa Turtle 144

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Hello and welcome to the TFO from AZ . I hope when your done with your baby sitting you choose to stay with us . You don't have to have a tort to talk with us . What state do you live in ? The reason I ask is the Russian could use some outside time for the UV rays if it's not too cold outside and some soaks . Good luck with your task .


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Ladya

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Yep Russian for sure. He needs better sub straight then he has too. Theses wood chips are way too dry. Did he tell you to soak the tort at all?

No, he didn't. Am afraid that, while he dearly loves this tortoise, he's not well-informed on how to care for it. He's only eleven and this is his first pet. My sister bought it off a guy online (terrarium included) and when they dropped the tortoise off this morning it was in a shoe box because she said I could use the same bedding I use for my guinea pigs. That too didn't sound right to me but it was all I had at home at the time. This is quickly becoming a learning project for me. What would you recommend as bedding? And how long should I soak him (and how deep th


0.0.1 Redfoot (Spike)
0.0.1 Cherryhead Redfoot (Bruce Wayne)
1.0 Sulcata (Hal Jordan)
 

Ladya

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Aug 11, 2014
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Hello and welcome to the TFO from AZ . I hope when your done with your baby sitting you choose to stay with us . You don't have to have a tort to talk with us . What state do you live in ? The reason I ask is the Russian could use some outside time for the UV rays if it's not too cold outside and some soaks . Good luck with your task .

Thanks! Knowing me I will probably end up getting a tortoise of my own by the end of all this. Am already getting attached to this one and I've only had him for a day! :D

Am not from the US, actually. I live in the Netherlands. It's been a bit drizzly here for the past couple of days, but once the sun comes out I do plan to put him in a pen in the garden for an hour or two if the temperature allows it.

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Ladya

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Yep Russian for sure. He needs better sub straight then he has too. Theses wood chips are way too dry. Did he tell you to soak the tort at all?

Yep Russian for sure. He needs better sub straight then he has too. Theses wood chips are way too dry. Did he tell you to soak the tort at all?

No, he didn't. Am afraid that, while he dearly loves this tortoise, he's not well-informed on how to care for it. He's only eleven and this is his first pet. My sister bought it off a guy online (terrarium included) and when they dropped the tortoise off this morning it was in a shoe box because she said I could use the same bedding I use for my guinea pigs. That too didn't sound right to me but it was all I had at home at the time. This is quickly becoming a learning project for me. What would you recommend as bedding? And how long should I soak him (and how deep the water)?

0.0.1 Redfoot (Spike)
0.0.1 Cherryhead Redfoot (Bruce Wayne)
1.0 Sulcata (Hal Jordan)
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Well if your thinking about a tort your at the right spot .


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tortdad

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Find a container like Tupperware and put warm water in it (warm like you would for a baby). The depth of the water depends on how big the tort is. You only want enough water to cover where the top shell meets the bottom shell. They need to keep there heads above water. Soak for 20-30 mins. You guy is already a Juvenal so every couple days is fine but I'm betting he never gets it done so once a day while in your care would be good for him.


0.0.1 Redfoot (Spike)
0.0.1 Cherryhead Redfoot (Bruce Wayne)
1.0 Sulcata (Hal Jordan)
 

tortdad

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How long do you think he is 4" or so?


0.0.1 Redfoot (Spike)
0.0.1 Cherryhead Redfoot (Bruce Wayne)
1.0 Sulcata (Hal Jordan)
 

lismar79

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Hopefully you can teach your nefew how to better look after this guy. Does he give him any calcium???? That's pretty important too! Welcome :)
 
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