Redfoot

Status
Not open for further replies.

Avarice29

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
51
I've been looking at a lot of pictures of their beautiful torts and I think I have the bug. I've found myself wanting one... But out of a lot of wonderful torts... I really want a Redfoot tortoise.
I already have 2 desert tortoises, if I provide enough space could I care for a Redfoot?
My desert torts live outside, if I were to get a Redfoot, it would be inside and of course outside to graze on my grass and get some California sun.
For the members who have had Redfoot tortoises, could you help me with some questions I have?

1. What type of lighting should I have set up? How about their humidity needs?

2. What type of housing would they thrive in?

3. Is their diet similar to desert tortoise (could I feed them the same food like spring mix, mazuri and other fruits n veggies?

4. Should I start off with a hatchling or one that's a bit older?

5. This might not matter, but would gender matter? (Don't plan to breed them... Not anytime soon anyways)

If I have more.. I will ask... But that's all I can think of at the moment.
 

RedfootsRule

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
938
Location (City and/or State)
Miami, Florida
1. A light that gives out uvb and a basking spot lamp with temps in the low 90s for basking at one end of the cage. The humidity should be a steady 80%.

2. That depends. For a hatchling, a substrate of spaghum moss with a deep pile in one corner for burrowing in. This makes hatchlings a lot more comfortable. For a juvenile (5" plus) (if unable to house them outside) I would say cypress mulch with a hiding place full of spaghum moss. I like to make ponds for them out of small pieces of pond liner and small pebbles on the bottom. For adults, outdoor housing is a must as large amount of a year as possible.

3. A redfoot tortoises diet should consist of 65% leafy greens like turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, 25% fruits such as peaches, strawberries, papaya, mango, pinapple, plum, canteloupe, and 10% squashes (butternut, acorn, yellow, zuchinni).

4. A hatchling that is about a month old is pretty easily manageable as long as you follow a few guidelines. (Daily soaking and feeding). If you do your research, I would suggest starting with a hatchling.

5. If by would gender matter your referring to personality, I would say no. Some males are friendlier then females, by some females are also friendlier then males. However, unless your getting the hatchling from a breeder that temperature sexes them, you won't know they're gender until they're a few years older.

I hope I answered all your questions.
 

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
1. What type of lighting should I have set up? How about their humidity needs?
I have an 18" 10.0 reptisun in my 4' X 2' enclosure (Mines just a little guy, >3" SCL so for now it works great! :) ) but really anything with a UVB output is good as some keepers don't even bother to have one if they get enough time outside every day. I use a Ceramic Heat Emitter and a thermostat to keep his basking spot at 93F and a in substrate heat rope to keep the ambient temp in the lower 80's. At night I turn of the CHE and the heat rope keeps things right around 75F. I try to keep my humidity at 75% until I finish my top for my tank (you've got to make sure you stay on top of the humidity, especially if you get a hatchling). Once I get that top finished, I'm hoping for an easy 85-90% all the time.

2. What type of housing would they thrive in?
I have mine in a 4' X 2' modified aquarium (Sides aren't so tall, so airflow is encouraged and glass is covered so he doesn't feel so crowded). But it is a pain to keep the humidity up because of the low sides. I have 4 different hides in there, 2 ceramic pots on the cooler end, 1 ceramic pot right under the heat lamp (filled with Sphagnum Moss) and a Popsicle stick Hide (also filled with Sphagnum Moss) that I made him. He really like the Popsicle one the best so far.

3. Is their diet similar to desert tortoise (could I feed them the same food like spring mix, mazuri and other fruits n veggies?
I'm not really familiar with the eating habits of Deserts but I feed my Cherry Head a weekly rotation. Spring Mix (days 1, 2, 5, and 7), Fruit (days 3 and 6), Zoo Med Forrest Tortoise Diet (day 4) and I trade a spring mix day (day 7) with moist cat food every other week. I took this from redfoots.com (a little modified) but Terry has been raising redfoots for years and has great results. Also tortoiselibrary.com by Mark is a great resource. I kind of mix and match between the 2 to fit my specific set up.

PS Zoo Med FTD and mazuri's are pretty similar as far as nutritional value go. I chose Zoo Med because it's less expensive but I'm sure that either work great. It just can't be an every day menu item because it makes them grow too fast.

4. Should I start off with a hatchling or one that's a bit older?
I started of with a 6 month old but that's only because that's all the breeder had. Like RedfootsRule said, as long as you are careful and do your research there's no reason you can't start with even a 1 month old.

5. This might not matter, but would gender matter? (Don't plan to breed them... Not anytime soon anyways)
Sex is always a question until they are a couple years old. I don't know what mine is (hoping for a girl) but it really doesn't matter as far as I've read. Girls do tend to get a little bigger than males though, but you should still plan for a big tort so you don't run out of space.

Sorry for the verbal diarrhea, this is just everything I've learned over the past few months of researching and owning a cherry head. I'm definitely by no means an expert and have many questions of my own. I've only had mine for a little over a month now but he seems happy and he's growing and looks healthy. Anyways, this is what I learned and I really hope this helps you out!
 

turtletania

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
341
Sorry to resurrect this post.... but my yellow foot is now spending A LOT OF TIME in the water.... is this normal?
 

abclements

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
765
turtletania said:
Sorry to resurrect this post.... but my yellow foot is now spending A LOT OF TIME in the water.... is this normal?

My guess is that it isn't humid enough in your enclosure, so he feels really dry and wants to do nothing but sit in the water. The other option is that it is too hot. What are your temps and humidity at?
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
Avarice29 said:
I've been looking at a lot of pictures of their beautiful torts and I think I have the bug. I've found myself wanting one... But out of a lot of wonderful torts... I really want a Redfoot tortoise.
I already have 2 desert tortoises, if I provide enough space could I care for a Redfoot?

The care for red-footeds is similar but not identical to a desert tortoise. The big differences are humidity management, which is a real pain in very dry regions, and the broader diet- which is actually easier than many other species.

My desert torts live outside, if I were to get a Redfoot, it would be inside and of course outside to graze on my grass and get some California sun.
For the members who have had Redfoot tortoises, could you help me with some questions I have?

1. What type of lighting should I have set up? How about their humidity needs?

The lighting needs are basically low to moderate sunlight. There should be a pretty decent white balance with some UVB. There should be plenty of shade, but also basking areas. The basic cycle is about 12 hours of light.

2. What type of housing would they thrive in?

Spacious, warm, humid, and well-panted.

3. Is their diet similar to desert tortoise (could I feed them the same food like spring mix, mazuri and other fruits n veggies?

If you are using and are happy with Mazuri supplemented with fresh food, that will work just fine fro red-footeds as well. If you decide to use a more fresh food diet, there is more in the Library, linked below.

4. Should I start off with a hatchling or one that's a bit older?

Entirely personal preference and lots of pros and cons each way. I would suggest a well-started 'yearling' to avoid a lot of the drama, but if you already have tortoise experience, it is not a big deal.

5. This might not matter, but would gender matter? (Don't plan to breed them... Not anytime soon anyways)

As per the old joke- "well, it does to THEM!" It is a non-issue for us, however, since there is no reliable way to know if a young tortoise is male or female.

If I have more.. I will ask... But that's all I can think of at the moment.

Good luck!
 

Avarice29

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
51
Thank you everyone for wonderful replies. I have thought about it, and taken the costs of food, housing and lighting in mind, and I think I am able to keep a new family member!

I think I will start off with a hatchling. Would it be okay to buy a tote from Home Depot and house a redfoot hatchling, not forever, when it gets big enough, it wil have my entire backyard to walk around, explore and graze on my grass.

Just to be clear.. IF he gets enough(I plan on letting the lil guy(or girl, but il use guy for now) for atleast 3 hours daily when there's sun, I don't need to give him UVB light right? Or would I still need to run it?


About humidity, any pro tips on how to keep humidity up? How about an outside enclosure, how could I control the humidity outside? How would I know when humidity is just right?

Any recommendations for a good thermometer to put in the tote(if that works with a hatchling)
 

Redstrike

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
2,709
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Avarice29 said:
Thank you everyone for wonderful replies. I have thought about it, and taken the costs of food, housing and lighting in mind, and I think I am able to keep a new family member!

I think I will start off with a hatchling. Would it be okay to buy a tote from Home Depot and house a redfoot hatchling, not forever, when it gets big enough, it wil have my entire backyard to walk around, explore and graze on my grass.

Just to be clear.. IF he gets enough(I plan on letting the lil guy(or girl, but il use guy for now) for atleast 3 hours daily when there's sun, I don't need to give him UVB light right? Or would I still need to run it?


About humidity, any pro tips on how to keep humidity up? How about an outside enclosure, how could I control the humidity outside? How would I know when humidity is just right?

Any recommendations for a good thermometer to put in the tote(if that works with a hatchling)

Your start-up costs will be greatest -cost of the tortoise, hides, plants, processed foods, lighting, heating, substrate, etc.

The largest tote you can find from Home Depot should be fine as a starting home for your hatchling. Keep in mind, it will be easiest to maintain humidity in a topped enclosure. This tote would probably last it a year or two at the most.

I don't know where you are located, but if your tortoise were outside every day for 1+ hours, I think you would be fine without artificial UVB lights in the enclosure. If it's inside all winter, I'd still have a UVB source regardless but this may not be necessary if it is outside 9 months/year for 3+ hours a day.

I like these thermometers:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MD3MFA/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

You can have humid hides outside, this could simply be a dugout hole in the ground under some sod/plants or could be more like this:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-18736.html#axzz1F2ujU5pl
I generally go with humidity levels no lower than 70% in my indoor enclosures. This can be enhanced with potted plants, heat ropes, and a top. See the tortoiselibrary.com for information on how to boost humidity.

This is my setup for my 4 juveniles:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-45960.html#axzz2ColvsGmP

TerryO here on the forum has some of the best enclosures I've seen using terrariums and lots of plants:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-24768.html#axzz286Syq0IV).

Two very helpful things to do prior to getting your tortoise:

1. Research, research, research! Two of my favorite references are Mike Pingleton's book (http://www.pingleton.com/redfoot/redfoots.htm) and the tortoiselibrary.com.

2. Once you've done all your research setup your enclosure before you get the tort(s). This will allow you to achieve the proper heat and humidity levels for your tortoise(s) before you get them, circumventing a lot of health issues for the tort(s) and reducing stress for you and your animals.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top