Moving Russians outside

swatsx

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
238
At what temp is it safe to move my Russians outside? Right now it's 60s day but still gets to 40s at night
 

Franco F

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
165
Location (City and/or State)
New York, New York
I'm not an expert like some of the great individuals on this forum (and I'm relatively new so take everyone else's advice over mine), but I would say wait until the temperature is persistently above 70 degrees at night
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,803
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
They come from a pretty harsh climate and tolerate lower temperatures than many other tortoises.

Inside, a night temperature of 65 degrees is a common recommendation.

Ours is taken out of hibernation when night temps reach the mid fifties. Her heated night box is kept at 65 but she occasionally digs down outside for the night. I don't worry about it unless it's raining.

Let's see what more experienced owners have to say, though.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,350
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
It doesn't need to be one or the other.

Put them out during the day when its warm and sunny, and bring them in at night to avoid the cold.

Once night temps start dipping below 55-60, they start to lose appetite and go into a sort of hibernation state while they wait for warmer weather.

We have cold nights here, but warm days, so I came up with this to extend my fall, and get them out earlier in spring:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/heating-an-outdoor-russian-night-box.116180/#post-1077261

I don't keep them "warm" at night. Just 60-65. Then they can come out and warm up in the sun during the day. This system worked well for me all year long. I hibernated them all in winter, indoors in a fridge.
 

Kornjaca

New Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
2
:tort:ok so I'm nervous about keeping Kornjaca outside because he is a digger I've put him in a pen in my garden but scared the death out of me when I couldn't find him bc he dug him self into a hole and was buried!!! Is this a. Concern how deep will they go? Little guy I have to tortsit me n my boyfriend take shifts where's jaca?? :eek:
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,803
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
:tort:ok so I'm nervous about keeping Kornjaca outside because he is a digger I've put him in a pen in my garden but scared the death out of me when I couldn't find him bc he dug him self into a hole and was buried!!! Is this a. Concern how deep will they go? Little guy I have to tortsit me n my boyfriend take shifts where's jaca?? :eek:

Russians are likelier to climb out of an enclosure than dig out. You'll want to put your energies into building an enclosure with walls high enough to prevent them climbing out.

They do sometimes dig down at night, But not a huge or deep tunnel; just far enough to get part of their body underground. I imagine yours didn't go too far down; was the top of the shell still exposed?

If he is digging down during the day, he may be too hot. Do you have some hides in the pen, so he can get out of the sun?

Going into winter and hibernation is different; they may dig down deeper at that time. For now, just worry about the enclosure. You can find basic how-tos in the "enclosures" subforum. If you have additional questions, it would be helpful to Include pictures of his enclosure in any post you start in that forum.

P.S. I have "lost" my tortoise when she is less than a foot away; their camouflage really hides them. It's pretty stressful at first but you'll figure out his hiding places over time. :)

ETA it's actually always a little stressful for me when I can't find her because I'm a worrier! But because I know her enclosure is safe, I know she's just out of sight, not escaped.
 

Terri2016

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
13
Thanks and can anyone tell how big a 1 year old look compare to an adult
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
Get a temperature gun. Check the temperature inside the enclosure at ground level. You may be surprised how warm it actually is in there when the air temperatures in the 60s.
 

ethan508

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
88
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Utah
My climate (Northern Utah) has a lot of fluctuation in temperatures in the spring. If I waited until night temperatures are consistently above 55-60°F it might be June before they go outside. That time outside in the 'shoulder season' is a tradeoff between the healthier condition of outside sun/space and the inside conditions of temperature stability. In my opinion (and I'm new to this game) the tortoise needs the ability to get warmed up enough to be active and digest food on a regular basis and you have to prevent exposure to super cold nights. Even on some of our 50°F days, as long as the sun is out my tortoise has been able to find a warm spot in the enclosure (a protected sunny place usually next to the wall) and I've measured her temp in the 80°F (with an IR), she has been actively eating and pooping despite somewhat cool temperatures. If it is overcast, she just isn't as active despite the temperature.

Granted because a week of cool weather isn't uncommon ( despite seeing 70s in early march, it has yet to reach 55F this week), I built a warming house, it looks like a small dog house but with some glass windows to let in sun and a thermostat controlled ceramic heater to prevent frosty nights. Our last frost day averages mid-May (and I've seen frosts in June), so I'm pretty careful to make sure she's in the box before I go to be for the night.

If I'm too far off base a more experience keeper pleas correct me, but I believe the overall benefits of sunshine and space offset some of the downside of spring cold (with the proper due diligence).

P.S. The above is only applicable to Russian Tortoises as they are naturally found in harsher environments than other Testudo species.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
My climate (Northern Utah) has a lot of fluctuation in temperatures in the spring. If I waited until night temperatures are consistently above 55-60°F it might be June before they go outside. That time outside in the 'shoulder season' is a tradeoff between the healthier condition of outside sun/space and the inside conditions of temperature stability. In my opinion (and I'm new to this game) the tortoise needs the ability to get warmed up enough to be active and digest food on a regular basis and you have to prevent exposure to super cold nights. Even on some of our 50°F days, as long as the sun is out my tortoise has been able to find a warm spot in the enclosure (a protected sunny place usually next to the wall) and I've measured her temp in the 80°F (with an IR), she has been actively eating and pooping despite somewhat cool temperatures. If it is overcast, she just isn't as active despite the temperature.

Granted because a week of cool weather isn't uncommon ( despite seeing 70s in early march, it has yet to reach 55F this week), I built a warming house, it looks like a small dog house but with some glass windows to let in sun and a thermostat controlled ceramic heater to prevent frosty nights. Our last frost day averages mid-May (and I've seen frosts in June), so I'm pretty careful to make sure she's in the box before I go to be for the night.

If I'm too far off base a more experience keeper pleas correct me, but I believe the overall benefits of sunshine and space offset some of the downside of spring cold (with the proper due diligence).

P.S. The above is only applicable to Russian Tortoises as they are naturally found in harsher environments than other Testudo species.

Sounds pretty good to me. Do you have a picture of your little tortoise warming hut? I'm thinking about making something like that for my tortoise.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top