Question about introducing new tortoise to old tortoises

jdeshote9

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Pearland
Hi all. I have 2 older red foot tortoises about 40 to 45 years old that I have owned for about 30 years. I just received a new 4 year old from a family who's son was going off to collage and needed someone to take over his care.
My question: Should I be concerned about my older tortoises and any aggressive behavior the may have towards the new one. I have had the little guy quarantined for about a month even though he came from a single tortoise home.
I am feeling ready to make an introduction and would like to know if there is anything I need t watch out for.

Thanks in advance for any information you are willing to give.
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,399
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Hi all. I have 2 older red foot tortoises about 40 to 45 years old that I have owned for about 30 years. I just received a new 4 year old from a family who's son was going off to collage and needed someone to take over his care.
My question: Should I be concerned about my older tortoises and any aggressive behavior the may have towards the new one. I have had the little guy quarantined for about a month even though he came from a single tortoise home.
I am feeling ready to make an introduction and would like to know if there is anything I need t watch out for.

Thanks in advance for any information you are willing to give.
First of all, I would quarantine longer. 3 mos if no problems at all observed and good healthy weight and gains. I am very careful about introducing anything from outside my personal collection. I also have fecal tests done when I get a new tortoise to see what type of parasites it may carry. I repeat the fecal about 1 mo prior to my end of quarantine objective and then a final fecal before I would introduce. It would be good to have a fecal done on your existing tortoises to see what they carry. Many tortoises carry pinworms and some flagellates with no issues. Once introduced and put together, whatever one has, the others will soon. So use the fecals to make that decision.

As far as aggression, that is something you need to monitor and watch for. You don't mentions sexes. Is potential breeding an issue for you? Redfoot can get along but there are also some that simply do not and are quite aggressive to any other intruder. So I would monitor and introduce with caution.
 

jdeshote9

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Pearland
First of all, I would quarantine longer. 3 mos if no problems at all observed and good healthy weight and gains. I am very careful about introducing anything from outside my personal collection. I also have fecal tests done when I get a new tortoise to see what type of parasites it may carry. I repeat the fecal about 1 mo prior to my end of quarantine objective and then a final fecal before I would introduce. It would be good to have a fecal done on your existing tortoises to see what they carry. Many tortoises carry pinworms and some flagellates with no issues. Once introduced and put together, whatever one has, the others will soon. So use the fecals to make that decision.

As far as aggression, that is something you need to monitor and watch for. You don't mentions sexes. Is potential breeding an issue for you? Redfoot can get along but there are also some that simply do not and are quite aggressive to any other intruder. So I would monitor and introduce with caution.
My older tortoises consist of a male and a female. Lay eggs every year. Have not been lucky enough for them to be fertile though. I appreciate your input regarding fecal test. That is a most definite and I will take your advice. As I said, I have had my tortoises for as long as I can remember and would hate to do something stupid that would put their health at risk. I have been lucky so far. Never once have I had an issue with their health and would like to keep it that way.
I am thinking the new one is a male only because is spots are large. I have not noticed the dip in the bottom of his shell. Thinking that that may come later. I will wait 2 more months before introducing them and in the mean time do the fecal test on all 3
Thanks for your input I really appreciate it.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Besides the fact that its very stressful for tortoises to live in pairs, specially one male to one female, unless there is a big size difference, you either got lucky or the stress is causing infertile eggs.
Anyway, I wouldn't add the new one if he is not close in size to the others. I also would not add him if it is a Male. Two males on one female is double as bad as one on one.
If you decide to add him anyway, keep a very close eye on the two older ones not getting along and for bullying among them all.
 

jdeshote9

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Pearland
Besides the fact that its very stressful for tortoises to live in pairs, specially one male to one female, unless there is a big size difference, you either got lucky or the stress is causing infertile eggs.
Anyway, I wouldn't add the new one if he is not close in size to the others. I also would not add him if it is a Male. Two males on one female is double as bad as one on one.
If you decide to add him anyway, keep a very close eye on the two older ones not getting along and for bullying among them all.
Thanks for your advice. My 2, 40+ year old's get along really well. They have been together for 30 some odd years. I would have never thought that stress was playing a roll in the eggs not being fertile. I had decided that they were probably from different regions and that was the cause. What would you suggest to bring down stress levels? More females?
I am not positive of the sex of the new one. He is 4 years old from what I was told and there is a big size difference.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
If you don't want to seperate them, then yes, more females would help a lot. A male can put a lot of stress on one female. That's the only one he has to mate with. You are lucky she hasn't gotten sick or died. Is they are the same approx age and he is a lot bigger then her, then there is a lot of stress there. Bullying in tortoises isn't always obvious to those that don't know what to look for.
I would not add another make though. That will not only cause her horrible stress but the two males will likely fight.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top