Caresheet Results - a little history

Redfoot NERD

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There was a lady that lived in upstate Washington state that fell in love with some of my early 2007 2nd generation hatchlings - [ the females that created these were 1998 hatchlings that were raised here and helped in developing the Caresheet we have today ] - so much so that she actually bought 13 of them! These are the first 8.. from April 2007... [ hatched in January / February ]. ( the amount of collards seen in the group pic here was for many more - they were set in just for the pic! - in case anyone was wondering )



Because of her short summer in Washington state.. they were kept inside most of the time since she got them. She claimed she went by the Caresheet exclusively.. and did an incredible job at creating a really nice well-planted "realistic" outdoor habitat in the spring of 2008. These pics were sent to me in July 2008.

Notice the even / consistent growth of them at about 18 months old. This is what you can expect by following the TFO Redfoot Caresheet.













And most of them altogether.... ( a few approaching 2 years old ) -



Comments anyone?
 

daniellenc

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Beautiful group for sure!! I am interested to know more about redfoots not needing artificial UVB. I use a fluorescent strip over mines food and water but have no other lighting to keep it dark.

Also curious about skipping days for feeding. Tortoises forage and nibble throughout the day in the wild. They would never skip an entire day eating. I am also not sure daily feeding in it of itself causes kidney stones but rather the type of food. I feed one huge pile of mixed greens/weeds the size of my 18 month old a day in the morning and throw a chunk of fruit or a pellet of Mazuri when I get home from work. I also limit protein to once or twice a month instead of weekly. Would love more info on the thought process of skipping feeding days.

Lastly, do you soak your guys or only provide a humid hide? Btw I use spaghnum in mines hides too and was happy to see another keeper using it. I also use cypress mulch and love it!!
 

Redfoot NERD

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One of the 3 1998 hatchlings [ all females ] that created these above -



Second female -



And unrelated male.. called him Leggs -

 

Redfoot NERD

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Beautiful group for sure!! I am interested to know more about redfoots not needing artificial UVB. I use a fluorescent strip over mines food and water but have no other lighting to keep it dark.

Also curious about skipping days for feeding. Tortoises forage and nibble throughout the day in the wild. They would never skip an entire day eating. I am also not sure daily feeding in it of itself causes kidney stones but rather the type of food. I feed one huge pile of mixed greens/weeds the size of my 18 month old a day in the morning and throw a chunk of fruit or a pellet of Mazuri when I get home from work. I also limit protein to once or twice a month instead of weekly. Would love more info on the thought process of skipping feeding days.

Lastly, do you soak your guys or only provide a humid hide? Btw I use spaghnum in mines hides too and was happy to see another keeper using it. I also use cypress mulch and love it!!

Don't have anything else to say other than I strive to offer greens with the highest calcium content.. and rely on the animal protein as their source of amino acid(?) / D3 .. read the article by Andy Highfield.. link in Caresheet. Have been questioned about my "NO UVB" since 2005 - early on I observed that when the hatchlings were exposed to sunlight they freaked out and run for cover. Mine [ regardless of age ].. never liked sunlight.

As far as skipping feeding days? Based on what you have explained.. IMHO that is too much. I've explained my feeding schedule.. that produces what you see.

"... water source is Vital... " - provide the need.. they will figure it out from there! I believe the less we handle ( stress ) them .. the more they will grow naturally / smooth-consistent! "Force-soaking" just scares the poop out of them!!!

Nothing was said about kidney stones - however I agree they are caused by the wrong greens, etc.

Show us what yours look like.. based on your care?
 

jsheffield

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There was a lady that lived in upstate Washington state that fell in love with some of my early 2007 2nd generation hatchlings - [ the females that created these were 1998 hatchlings that were raised here and helped in developing the Caresheet we have today ] - so much so that she actually bought 13 of them! These are the first 8.. from April 2007... [ hatched in January / February ]. ( the amount of collards seen in the group pic here was for many more - they were set in just for the pic! - in case anyone was wondering )



Because of her short summer in Washington state.. they were kept inside most of the time since she got them. She claimed she went by the Caresheet exclusively.. and did an incredible job at creating a really nice well-planted "realistic" outdoor habitat in the spring of 2008. These pics were sent to me in July 2008.

Notice the even / consistent growth of them at about 18 months old. This is what you can expect by following the TFO Redfoot Caresheet.













And most of them altogether.... ( a few approaching 2 years old ) -



Comments anyone?

Thanks so much for transcribing the redfoot caresheet to the TFO site!

Can you talk a bit about your experience and opinion about housing multiple redfoots together, in inside and outside enclosures?

Thanks again,

Jamie
 

Redfoot NERD

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You are quite welcome Jamie - as mentioned in the article.. they had a 4 foot square hide outside and they usually were found piled up in one corner.. same principle with the hatchlings and smaller ones. Redfoot tortoises are very 'gregarious' ! Claims of them being solitary is ridiculous and nonsense.
 

Redfoot NERD

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I started with 3 hatchling redfoots 20 years ago and they have always seemed to enjoy crawling around on each other. I'm also a believer of providing plenty of room for them if they want it Over the years there has always been a loner among them however - probably why those think they do well alone.

Provide their needs.. feed in moderation and "HANDS OFF"!
 

TechnoCheese

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Very nice Care Sheet!
You said that feeding in excess can cause issues. What issues does it cause, and could you link me to any evidence of it?
 

Redfoot NERD

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OBESITY - years of those that have shown me what theirs look like from "over-feeding". You don't gorge a Thanksgiving meal everyday year after year do you???
 

TechnoCheese

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OBESITY - years of those that have shown me what theirs look like from "over-feeding". You don't gorge a Thanksgiving meal everyday year after year do you???

I know that for other tortoises, they usually grow fast enough to where that’s not a problem, or the enclosure is big enough for them to “walk it off”. Even Small species like Russians don’t tend to have this problem in a properly sized enclosure. However, I’m assuming that redfoots don’t grow as fast as other tortoises, or aren’t as active?
 
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Redfoot NERD

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I only talk redfoot tortoises.. don't know about others! You know that Yvonne would not allow ANYTHING / anyone on TFO that she didn't completely believe in or endorse. Neither do I...............
 

TechnoCheese

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I only talk redfoot tortoises.. don't know about others! You know that Yvonne would not allow ANYTHING / anyone on TFO that she didn't completely believe in or endorse. Neither do I...............

Oh, I know. Just a bit curious about that specific part ;)
 

Redfoot NERD

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What is important to realize "EVERYONE" is that the community of keepers and breeders I happen to associate with - of tortoises of many different species world-wide { most all are never seen on any forms } - believe you're not even a breeder until you have produced at least F2 / 2nd generation. NONE of them "over-feed" any of their breeders/adults. A few do 'power-feed' hatchlings to get them to-size to sell... which I personally have never done.

Again.. it's always your choice how fast you want them to grow. The Bolivians I have now come from HUGE adults.. [ breeders size 12 ] - he has 6 month-olds that are as big as my 2 year-olds ! But you can see his old breeders...

 

daniellenc

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This is my guy or gal Skurt. I call him he but who knows, lol. He’s always been kept in a closed chamber and for his first year soaked nearly daily. I keep his spaghnum cypress blend moist by spraying twice a day and feed as already described. There are always greens to munch on throughout the day and fruit/flowers nearly daily though a smaller amount. Protein is only monthly. I’m not questioning your methods they’ve worked for you for over 20 years btw just curious as to weekly protein but limiting food for fear of kidney damage. Protein is hard on the kidneys but I also agree in the wild they do eat more and in warm months I know my guy is definitely sampling bugs. I just choose to feed daily and leave it cause in the wild again they munch when they want. I’m guessing in warmer months your guys are eating whatever is outside as well and not limited. Last summer which was his first summer with outdoor time I definitely fed less and let him free eat while outdoors.

At 18 months he weighs close to 500 grams and has just started marbling which I love! He does my some pyramiding but I don’t blame his diet and rather my lack of daily soaking and his love of basking.
973EC1F8-9011-42AA-912F-329C0F4C69C1.jpeg 922EEF29-CE2E-43EC-9AD9-13490E4BC021.jpeg
 

Redfoot NERD

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Who told you?:
Animal protein is bad for redfoot tortoises... and "FORCE SOAKING" an otherwise healthy redfoot.. is good ? Asking for verification?

BTW .. there is a distinct difference between "bumpiness / pyramiding" caused by over-feeding and/or not keeping carapace 'humid and pliable'. Again.. all "FORCE SOAKING" does is scare the poop out of them! Providing a good water source will keep them hydrated.

Why would anyone think it's O.K. to have an obese and bumpy redfoot tortoise - when it takes less work.. costs less in time and money and is better for the tortoise - by doing what has been proven by hundreds of tortoises and who knows how many keepers over the 20 years I've been playing with these.???

I'm not singling out anyone.. or disillusioned into thinking I can change anyone's pre-conceived mind-set that has been deceived by the typical www. internet "researching-world" ... that is contradicting at best! This is the last time I'm saying this...
 

daniellenc

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Personally I can say the kidneys work harder to filter protein metabolites vs. say veggies. However, I have zero evidence that it causes long term kidney damage though it’s been suspected in both humans, reptiles, and other animals. Since I’m not a vet nor have experience studying RF necropcies where diet was documented I can only choose to offer less than you based on my own suspicion. He gets Mazuri twice a week and eats whatever when he’s outside so I limit indoor protein as my own comfort spot to monthly. As far as soaking well I got this info from TFO and it makes sense. They’re a species who naturally thrives in a more humid damp environment. In Maryland I can’t mimic this year round so especially in our dry winters I think providing soaks in addition to a water bowl helps with hydration. I think there’s sufficient evidence to suggest it’s not harmful just by looking at torts who were maintained this way into adulthood so I provide soaks a few days a week. These same torts remain smooth even though they’re free fed so I don’t think either method is entirely right or wrong.

Obviously care for rainforest species in the north is different than say in Florida where the weather is more closely similar to their natural habitat. But please don’t think I’m disagreeing with you at all. Really again I’m just trying to learn how you developed your method and other methods you’ve tried. I’m always eager to learn as much as I can because while my care has been largely shaped by my reading here on TFO and adapting to my dry winters in Maryland I like seeing what others are doing differently.

I also have no clue what an obese tort looks like but want to learn more about the food/pyramiding thought vs. free feeding and soaking. I have one tort who is still young so I have very little to compare him too.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Thank you for the caresheet and sharing your experience. I'm not sold on the not enough humidity causes pyramiding thing either honestly. I've had my Redfoot for a year now and he has gone from about 350g to 930g I started with a closed chamber for about 2 weeks but decided to go with an open top enclosure instead and he is growing perfectly smooth. I've also do not use a UVB lamp. Just a regular 40watt incandescent bulb.
IMG_20181208_161458447.jpg
 
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