What were your reasons?

TC_Romeo92

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Jan 7, 2021
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Lafayette, TN
Hey gang, so I just wanted to make a post to see what all of your thoughts and reasons behind getting/keeping torts? Why you chose to keep redfoots, whether that's your only species if you do keep a variety, what propelled you to keep redfoots?
I don't currently own a shell baby but I'm taking steps to getting one and I've got my eyes set on the redfoot. For me I love all tortoise types but Iam drawn to the medium/larger species. One of my reasons is my location, I live in Tennessee which tends to have some pretty humid summers, but as of late our winters have mid 30s and we've seen as low at 14°F this year. At least where I'm at. So my thoughts are a tortoise that can spend the most of the year outdoors and then come into a converted shed indoor enclosure for the winter. We only have 1.5 acres and about half is woods and steep down hill. The other thing is I find them beautiful. Dark but with spots of flashy color. Essentially narrowing me down the redfoots, I love a good Sully but I'm just sure I'm comfortable with keeping such a big dozer of an animal in what is essentially .5 acre yard.
Any what lead you to get a redfoot?
 

Vintage

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Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
26
Location (City and/or State)
Toronto
Hey gang, so I just wanted to make a post to see what all of your thoughts and reasons behind getting/keeping torts? Why you chose to keep redfoots, whether that's your only species if you do keep a variety, what propelled you to keep redfoots?
I don't currently own a shell baby but I'm taking steps to getting one and I've got my eyes set on the redfoot. For me I love all tortoise types but Iam drawn to the medium/larger species. One of my reasons is my location, I live in Tennessee which tends to have some pretty humid summers, but as of late our winters have mid 30s and we've seen as low at 14°F this year. At least where I'm at. So my thoughts are a tortoise that can spend the most of the year outdoors and then come into a converted shed indoor enclosure for the winter. We only have 1.5 acres and about half is woods and steep down hill. The other thing is I find them beautiful. Dark but with spots of flashy color. Essentially narrowing me down the redfoots, I love a good Sully but I'm just sure I'm comfortable with keeping such a big dozer of an animal in what is essentially .5 acre yard.
Any what lead you to get a redfoot?
I grew up hearing my mother's stories about a pet tortoise they kept in their backyard in Scotland. Ever since then I wanted to have a tortoise of my own someday. Eventually a few years ago someone gave me a small Russian tortoise but it turned out to be sick. I spent months trying to get it to eat, taking it back and forth to the vet but it just got worse and died.

I live in a high rise apartment in Canada so I don't really have the option of keeping a tortoise outside, except for maybe 2 months out of the year. I still wanted a tortoise, so I started doing research to see if there was a species that I could keep year round. I found out about the South American tortoises that require high humidity and tropical conditions. At first I was a bit intimidated at the idea of maintaining those conditions, but I already had a huge plastic tub with tight fitting lid so I decided to use it to build a closed enclosure. I installed two CHE's in the lid (with reptile lamp fixtures) and I use a humidistat/thermostat with a mister to keep the humidity and temperature up. I have a UVB and an LED light on timers. It's actually a pretty low maintenance setup and I plan to make it bioactive with springtails and isopods, to clean up the waste (I had a brief attack of fruit flies when I first set everything up). I found someone local who was selling a 2 year old redfoot. I probably won't get another one but I know the option is there.

Another thing I like about the redfoot is that they eat a wide variety of foods which are cheap and easy to get. The Russian could only eat weeds, grasses etc and not grocery store greens. Anyway the one I have now eats all sorts of things, pellets, fruits, veg, greens, mushrooms, and I even give her a bit of soaked dry "weight loss" cat food once a week for protein. She goes crazy for smelly fishy foods like sardines or canned fish cat food. I don't have much trouble getting her to eat, though once in a while she skips a day.

Finally I do like the look of these torts - the colours on their shell and bodies, and the shape of their heads. They have big, intelligent eyes and they raise their heads like little old ladies to sniff the air (especially when I put the food dish down!) I soak my tort every day for around 45 minutes, they get pretty active in the water plus they poop there and not in the cage (their poop smells awful). It's fun watching her splash around or just poke her face up above the edge of the "pool" to look around. The only minor regret for me is that I can't see her inside her cage and it's a pain to raise the huge lid, plus it lets out the humidity. I'm actually thinking of installing a "tort cam" so I can view her from outside the cage. I just need to find one which can stand the humidity and condensation. When summer finally comes I do plan to take her outside and let her roam around.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Jul 16, 2014
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23,259
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South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Someone I worked with had a pair of pretty large Redfoot in an aquarium.
After months of mistreating them. He asked if I wanted them.
I agreed. I'd always been a sucker for unloved animals.
I made them an enclosure outdoors. But kept them together as a pair (no internet back then. And I used books from the public library)
Eventually I sold them.
Many years later, I found that I missed them. So I bought one. A small female I found in a 10 gallon aquarium on sawdust at a flea market (still have her)Then two a few years later. One was very ill. It cost me a lot of money to get healthy.
I didn't know. Then I was given and bought a few more.
Over the years I've kept dozens. I often take in and rehome them. Sometimes they need vet care.
The climate here is ideal for keeping Redfoot outside year round.
Eventually I put together a group of 6 females that all get along together. That took time.
Now, I think I'm done.
I think.
 
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Tankersowner

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Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Inland Empire, CA
I have an adult redfoot male. I ended up picking a Redfoot because they are manageable size and are very unique. I had a Russian tortoise growing up, and while small tortoises are fine I like bigger tortoises. Redfoots are big enough where people will react with "woah he's big" whenever they see my tortoise. But they still don't get big to the point where you need a super large yard to house them. Redfoots are absolutely gorgeous with their dark shells and light scutes, as well as their colorful leg markings. It's quite unique in the the tortoise world. Redfoots are second only to Leopard tortoises in the looks department in my opinion. Furthermore, they're a forest species, are omnivorous and are semi-social where housing them in groups is possible from what I've heard. These characteristics gives them a "cool" factor. My own tortoise is very outgoing, and quickly got used to me. Whenever I'm fussing around his enclosure like cleaning his water bowl he'll come out of his hide to inspect what I'm doing (Probably hoping for more food). Like others have said, the humidity requirements can be daunting, especially if you live in a dry climate like me, but I find having a proper closed enclosure with the right substrate helps a lot. Otherwise my Tanker has been a relatively undemanding pet. He will eat ANYTHING I give him, and boy does he love to eat.

In terms of keeping other species I plan to pick up a leopard tortoise soon, but a few years down the line I'd love to have a cherryhead redfoot too. I actually wanted a cherryhead initially because of their coloring, but full grown adults seem hard to come by and didn't want a hatchling as my first tortoise in years.
 
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