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  1. Madkins007

    How much should a tortoise be fed?

    I TOTALLY FORGOT to mention that in my 2 bowl system that Bowl 1 is about the size of the tortoise's shell, and Bowl 2 is the size of their head.
  2. Madkins007

    Creative ways of giving an apartment tortoise more roaming space?

    Like it says in my signature, I don't have any torts now and haven't for a few years. If I run across the photos (they are on CD right now), I will post some.
  3. Madkins007

    How much should a tortoise be fed?

    With my redfoots, I used a 'two bowls' system. Bowl 1, offered every day or two (or less as they get bigger but are not breeding or pregnant), is about the size of the shell and is filled with the really good, basic stuff. For a redfoot, this was dark leafy greens, squash, bell peppers...
  4. Madkins007

    Soft catfood portions...???

    While there are some avid supporters of canned and kibble pet foods for tortoises, it is only a mediocre food option. Fats, fillers, oils, calories- it is quite a bit for the tort. Having said that- it is also perfectly OK as an occasional option in reasonable amounts. Think of it more in terms...
  5. Madkins007

    Eggshells for Calcium, plus a question or two

    1. Dosage: Tortoises should get about 1.8 to 3mg of calcium per kilogram of tortoise (Mader, Douglas R., DVM, ed. Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Saunders Elsevier, 2nd Edition 2006. 1,242 pages.) A 1lb tort should get about 60-100mg a day. Good luck getting that all measured out! Overdoses are...
  6. Madkins007

    Red foot tortoise protein source

    Field studies of redfoots in the wild, by people like Moscovitz, shows that MOST of the 'meat' they get in the wild is from butterflies and termites. (Yes, butterflies. Butterflies in the jungle are EVERYWHERE and they like to lick the salt around the eyes of lots of animals, like torts. A quick...
  7. Madkins007

    Creative ways of giving an apartment tortoise more roaming space?

    My point of view... 1. Free-roaming in a room or apartment- doable, but takes real dedication and planning. Drafts, dealing with poop and pee, other pets, things it can eat that can hurt it, lack of warm basking sites and UVB, etc. etc., etc. I would avoid it, but it CAN be done. 2. Under the...
  8. Madkins007

    Swimming red foot

    Wild redfoots are well-documented swimmers and show no hesitation to swimming small bodies of water for food, etc. There is not a lot of evidence that they 'need' to swim, but I did love letting mine choose to, like Toddrkfl1, by using a large tote tilted up a little.
  9. Madkins007

    Can Torts Hear?

    Come on guys, this has been studied in the field, in labs, on live animals, during dissections, and more. Lots of good, if sometimes hard to read, articles and books on it. Also- why are we debating personal experience under non-controlled conditions when there is so much real research already...
  10. Madkins007

    Do Tortoises respond to their names?

    Your dog will respond to your voice calling it's name on a phone call or recording. It may be confused since it cannot hear or see you, but it will perk it's ears and look for you, and generally respond to any command you make. Turtles and tortoises won't do this. When they seem to be...
  11. Madkins007

    Looking to I.D. turtle I saw as a kid

    My first thought was Yellow Mud Turtle. High domed shell, solid olive green, smallish size, lesser known (so harder to ID) species. Location is about right as well.
  12. Madkins007

    Why are tortoises and turtles so colorful?

    I've tried to hunt boxies in the wild, and they are INCREDIBLY well camouflaged. Similarly, when I would look for my redfoots in a well-planted habitat, it usually took a while to find them all.
  13. Madkins007

    Advantage of using separate UVA and UVB lights rather than a combination bulb?

    Some quick guidelines gleaned over my research: Main point- we are trying to emulate multiple aspects of the sun, and that takes a little work. - Hot spots and 'focused' UVB bulbs do not allow good, even, full body basking. Tortoise Trust had great thermal images of torts basking in typical set...
  14. Madkins007

    Can tortoises really answer to their name?

    It is well documented that tortoises have decently developed hearing structures, but only respond to sounds made by fighting, mating, eggs hatching, and in some species, subsonic sounds carried through the soil. They ARE good with vibrations, smell, sight, memory, and a general sense of time...
  15. Madkins007

    Smashing Mark - a tale of tortoises and terror

    You know, I am still waiting for someone to offer to buy the film rights for this off of me.
  16. Madkins007

    New redfoot (and reptile owner) seeking any and all advice.

    A humid hiding place will help until you can get things dialed in.
  17. Madkins007

    Tortoise weight

    There is a formula for body weight that goes by length rather than age- It takes a little math, but nothing too hard.
  18. Madkins007

    Good protein for Red Foots?

    A few things... 1. Most of the proteins redfoots eat in the wild are butterflies, other bugs, and carrion- and not very much of that. I see a lot of articles (including old ones I wrote) that say something like 10% proteins. This was just a rough average of fecal examinations of wild torts, and...
  19. Madkins007

    Emergency Tortoise Transport

    Mine was a large cooler with a bunch of old towels, and a few hot water bottles for warmth. The idea was to have some layers of towel/blanket, the torts loosely wrapped in a towel, a couple more towels, the water bottles, some more towels and the lid. A few small holes in the top for air and to...
  20. Madkins007

    New tank suggestions for red foot

    The European rule of thumb for torts (that I agree with firmly) is 8 times the shell length by 4 times the shell length at a minimum. This is actual, useable space- not the raw measurements of the tank. The original formula is a little weirder for multiple torts, but the bottom line is 'lots of...