Outside Time Causing Stress?

notveryraven

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Hey y’all! You guys were so helpful when it came to peanut that I have to reach back out and ask a couple of questions.

first would be, does she absolutely need to be eating pellets? I cannot get her to eat them, even when making a paste and mixing it with her fave clovers. She will literally wipe it off and pick out the ones that don’t have pellet mix on it. I have tried different brands of pellets and even got her the gourmet kind that has hibiscus and fruit pieces. I’ve heard it is important for them due to the fiber and nutrients but she refuses. This is also true with calcium powder. She will not consume it, no matter how many “tricks” I’ve tried.

the most important question, for me personally, is - am I causing her stress? I’ve been taking her outside for about an hour or so every day (it’s still pretty chilly here in Colorado most of the day) and since I’ve been doing this, she burrows in the corner of her cage until all of the substrate is moved and then will continue to claw at the glass for as long as 30-45 mins. I am worried that outside time may be causing her to feel stressed in her cage? Am I misguided here? Is this normal Russian behavior?

she has, finally, began to self soak and having regular bowel movements, though she is still clearing some urates out every now and then.

I would like to get her a bigger tank when we move to our new house In the summer but we don’t have the room for it currently and this is the tank she came in. It’s a 50 gal and she is probably right at a pound maybe a little less? Could this be causing her any stress?

thanks in advance for all of your help!!!
 

wellington

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Cover the glass with something so she can't see out.
Going outside is not stressing her it's going back into a cage. In the wild they roam many miles. However, getting outside is much better then not getting outside. The more you can do it the more she will get use to it.
As for pellets, no you don't have to feed them. My adult Russian will not eat them either. Just be sure to give a wide variety of a proper diet and she will be fine.
As for calcium. A proper diet and added calcium is not really needed. However, when you do give it, it's just the tiniest of a pinch. I found scraping a little calcium of a cuttle bone, the ones they sell for birds, was better excepted then the powder stuff.
 

wellington

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Also, an adult Russian will need a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure. Hopefully you will have room at that point as a 50 gallon aquarium won't do.
 

notveryraven

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Cover the glass with something so she can't see out.
Going outside is not stressing her it's going back into a cage. In the wild they roam many miles. However, getting outside is much better then not getting outside. The more you can do it the more she will get use to it.
As for pellets, no you don't have to feed them. My adult Russian will not eat them either. Just be sure to give a wide variety of a proper diet and she will be fine.
As for calcium. A proper diet and added calcium is not really needed. However, when you do give it, it's just the tiniest of a pinch. I found scraping a little calcium of a cuttle bone, the ones they sell for birds, was better excepted then the powder stuff.
I have one of those tortoise calcium/cactus block things but she doesn’t touch it. The cuttle bone idea is great I’ll have to try that out!! She definitely prefers to eat outside and doesn’t show much interest in her food regardless of what it is, but she does munch here and there. Thank you!!!!
 

wellington

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I have one of those tortoise calcium/cactus block things but she doesn’t touch it. The cuttle bone idea is great I’ll have to try that out!! She definitely prefers to eat outside and doesn’t show much interest in her food regardless of what it is, but she does munch here and there. Thank you!!!!
You could try scraping the block you do have first. However, my russian and leopards never took too those when I tried them.
 

notveryraven

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Also, an adult Russian will need a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure. Hopefully you will have room at that point as a 50 gallon aquarium won't do.
We are custom building our new house so yes it will have an abundance of room for a new tank!! When we got her I thought her tank may be a little small, but it’s proving to be more obvious that that’s the case!
 

notveryraven

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We are custom building our new house so yes it will have an abundance of room for a new tank!! When we got her I thought her tank may be a little small, but it’s proving to be more obvious that that’s the case!
Also, an adult Russian will need a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure. Hopefully you will have room at that point as a 50 gallon aquarium won't do.
We inherited her from another family whose son quit taking care of her so we have had to do lots of work and give her lots of love to get her even this active so I am excited to see what a bigger tank will be like for her
 

jsheffield

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Some of my torts simply do not enjoy the outside... they hid and dropped weight like crazy when I forced them to go outside, so I stopped.

All of my Russians seem to like outside time though, so who knows... maybe offer more hides and such.

For your inside enclosure, I'd consider a stock tank... Rubbermaid makes a 300g one which is a nice size... I found one on craigslist for $60 at a local farm (just needed a scrubbing).

Good luck!

Jamie
 

Tom

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Hey y’all! You guys were so helpful when it came to peanut that I have to reach back out and ask a couple of questions.

first would be, does she absolutely need to be eating pellets? I cannot get her to eat them, even when making a paste and mixing it with her fave clovers. She will literally wipe it off and pick out the ones that don’t have pellet mix on it. I have tried different brands of pellets and even got her the gourmet kind that has hibiscus and fruit pieces. I’ve heard it is important for them due to the fiber and nutrients but she refuses. This is also true with calcium powder. She will not consume it, no matter how many “tricks” I’ve tried.

the most important question, for me personally, is - am I causing her stress? I’ve been taking her outside for about an hour or so every day (it’s still pretty chilly here in Colorado most of the day) and since I’ve been doing this, she burrows in the corner of her cage until all of the substrate is moved and then will continue to claw at the glass for as long as 30-45 mins. I am worried that outside time may be causing her to feel stressed in her cage? Am I misguided here? Is this normal Russian behavior?

she has, finally, began to self soak and having regular bowel movements, though she is still clearing some urates out every now and then.

I would like to get her a bigger tank when we move to our new house In the summer but we don’t have the room for it currently and this is the tank she came in. It’s a 50 gal and she is probably right at a pound maybe a little less? Could this be causing her any stress?

thanks in advance for all of your help!!!
There is no "trick" to introducing new foods. You are moving too fast and starting with amounts that are too large. No torotise just walks up and eats a new and novel food. It takes weeks or months of mixing in tiny amounts of the new stuff to get them used to the new stuff. Same with the calcium powder. Just a tiny amount mixed in. So little that it is hardly noticeable. Just a few flecks on the greens will do it. Over time, as the animal begins eating it, you can gradually add more and more of the new stuff, but it takes a long time. Very gradual process. If you can provide a wide variety of broadleaf weeds, leaves, and flowers all year, then you don't need supplemental pelleted foods. In your climate, I don't think you can do that year round. The supplemental foods will help get proper fiber and nutrition into your tortoise during the winter months when you are reliant on grocery store greens.

Outside time in a safe enclosure is great. I wouldn't stop doing that whenever weather permits. Your problem is the tiny indoor enclosure. Your tortoise needs something larger right now. Not months down the road.
 

notveryraven

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Colorado
There is no "trick" to introducing new foods. You are moving too fast and starting with amounts that are too large. No torotise just walks up and eats a new and novel food. It takes weeks or months of mixing in tiny amounts of the new stuff to get them used to the new stuff. Same with the calcium powder. Just a tiny amount mixed in. So little that it is hardly noticeable. Just a few flecks on the greens will do it. Over time, as the animal begins eating it, you can gradually add more and more of the new stuff, but it takes a long time. Very gradual process. If you can provide a wide variety of broadleaf weeds, leaves, and flowers all year, then you don't need supplemental pelleted foods. In your climate, I don't think you can do that year round. The supplemental foods will help get proper fiber and nutrition into your tortoise during the winter months when you are reliant on grocery store greens.

Outside time in a safe enclosure is great. I wouldn't stop doing that whenever weather permits. Your problem is the tiny indoor enclosure. Your tortoise needs something larger right now. Not months down the road.
I appreciate your advice. As I stated above, we know very little about her other than what we were told. I was told by her previous family she had no problem accepting pellets and calcium and greens, but it has come out that they were exclusively feeding her romaine and very rarely anything else (including supplements). The calcium I got from them was expired and completely full (same with the pellets) so I am skeptical of the quality of care she was getting. They got her from a pet store around four inches big and have had her in cedar bedding until we got her and I changed it out. I have been introducing things super slowly for her since she had such a restricted diet, but again I only know what I have been told and what I can observe. Sweet girl has been getting a lot of love here, though. She’s more active than I’ve ever seen her and totally accepts shell rubs and head pets. When we first got her, she was very inactive, wouldn’t eat, wasn’t drinking water. After regular soaks and her passing SO MUCH urates over the first week we got her she seems much happier now.
As for her tank, we are currently working on a solution. This is simply the tank she came in and while I had my suspicions it may be too small, the internet seems to be definitely confirming that. We are currently trying to find a space so we can have an immediate solution for her, we are just unfortunately pretty limited in our square footage until we move.
thanks again for your reply!!!
 
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