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Should My Russians Be Growing More?


Active Member
Nov 18, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
Hello everyone :) So I was just wondering if my Russian Tortoises should be growing faster and bigger. I have heard of people's Russians growing an inch in a year, and it seems that it would take 5 years for mine to grow an inch!

I have had the black male for about a year, and the other female for about two years. The first year with the female, I made a couple of beginner mistakes and did not know of this forum. The second year, I bought the male , improved the diet, and they lived in separate adjacent pens.

This was their diet the year of 2019 with both of them:

Spring- basically all weeds, treats of hibiscus and rose.

Summer: most spring weeds had died bc of heat, fed a rotation of Fl pusley (weed), Kale, Romaine with TNT, cactus, mulberry, hibiscus, rose.

Fall- some newly sprouted fall weeds, some squash and zucchini, different grocery store greens, mulberry leaves, hibiscus and rose.

These pictures were taken before hibernation in December. They were not kept on sand for long and I have recently purchased two more females so I don't have a pair :)

These two pics are the female's two year growth
IMG_1081 (2).JPG

These two pics are the male's growth from one year. So little it seems.
IMG_1092 (1).JPG

Thank you for any replies. If any of you have any pictures of your russian at a year or any stage of growth I would love to see!
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jun 25, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
Hi! Your tortoises are probably close to full grown and might not get too much bigger. Sometimes female Russians can get quite large but not always.
I have 2 wild caught males so I don't know exact age but one is at least 18 years old and is 507 grams. The other is at least 5 years old and is 477 grams.

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Russian tortoises are a small species. I doubt there's a russian alive that would grow an inch a year.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Okay thank you, that sounded strange when I heard it
An inch a year would be referring to a hatchling, and it is still a very tough idea. I've had some go from a tiny hatchling to 4" in one year, and I've had others that were 3" and only put on a little bit of growth over the course of a year.

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