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  1. 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.
  2. Madkins007

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

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

    Tortoise weight

    There is a formula for body weight that goes by length rather than age- https://sites.google.com/site/tortoiselibrary/health-and-medical/healthy-weight-and-size It takes a little math, but nothing too hard.
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. Madkins007

    News paper as substrate?

    One issue with newspaper is lack of traction. In the old days of the hobby (70's), there were lots of horror stories of tortoises that had splayed limbs and were functionally crippled due to the lack of traction.
  8. Madkins007

    Commercial Tortoise Food Questions

    A few semi-random thoughts... 1.) A long term study for tortoises would involve, what, about 30 years? That would be a tough thing to fund. 2.) Mazuri does not recommend wetting their product as it will wash out some of the water-soluble nutrients. 3.) This study does not answer your questions...
  9. Madkins007

    Target training?

    Remember- torts have poor/selective hearing. They see, hear, and smell well, and can recognize patterns and they can also sense vibrations. If using a sound, make sure it generates enough vibration for them. I called mine by hitting a stick driven into the ground with another stick.
  10. Madkins007

    Basic Redfoot Care, by Madkins (Posted for review and critique.)

    It appears that nothing has been done to post an alternate care sheet yet. Is there anything else I can do to help?
  11. Madkins007

    Best Book on Redfoot Tortoises

    Vinke and Vetters is the absolute best overall, but not very focused on actual cares. Mike's is fantastic for actual cares. The Tortoise Library was originally an attempt to make a 'book' that could be kept updated. Sadly, I have not been able to update it for some time for a weird variety of...
  12. Madkins007

    Diet question

    First, let's note a few basics. 1. Wild and captive diets are very, very different from each other. A wild redfoot will range more than a football field to find food every day, and needs more calories than one in someone's backyard does. Their wild foods are generally lower in calcium and...
  13. Madkins007

    Tips for my cherry hatchling!

    Also consider a lot more shade. Redfoots are shy and hiders. The Tortoise Library, if you can find it, has a lot of info in it.
  14. Madkins007


    A few things to understand about Mazuri- most of which you can also find on their site (https://pims.purinamills.com/BusinessLink/media/Mazuri/ProductSheet/5M21.pdf?ext=.pdf)... 1. It is recommended that you not wet or soak it. Doing so will leech out the water-soluble nutrients and increase...
  15. Madkins007

    How interactive/fun are tortoises?

    A healthy tortoise will spend 90% of its time hiding, sleeping, and eating. They barely interact with other tortoises and animals (although forest species like redfoots are more social than many others). SOME individuals become rather puppy like, coming to be fed, following you, etc. Many...
  16. Madkins007

    How To Tell What is Expert Advice?

    Also, with many questions, the better-informed posters can provide sources for their information. Having a healthy, breeding herd is a good solid recommendation, but it is important to remember that what works for one does not work for everyone. My favorite way to say that is that the problems...
  17. Madkins007

    Painting on shell :(

    Oddly enough, paint on scutes is not really a big deal (but still not a good idea!). It is paint that CROSSES scutes that messes up the growth patterns (remember- scutes grow on the outside edges). If you NEEDED to get the paint off, I would use cotton swabs and nail polish remover working in...
  18. Madkins007

    Does my tortoise recognize my voice?

    You can find lots of interesting research on tortoise hearing. They actually have decent ears, but only respond to sounds that might involve hatching eggs or mating/combat sounds. So how do they recognise you? Sight, vibration, smell (especially the food you are bringing), and probably even...
  19. Madkins007

    Turtle dehydration rate

    One of the most basic elements of a reptile is that they have waterproof skin. Soaking may have some benefits, but they are not going to hydrate to any significant extent that way. Since it did not get used to hydrating in the soak, there is not a risk it will dehydrate just because they are...
  20. Madkins007

    True giant yellow foot tortoises

    I wonder... ligers get really big because the gene that controls size is at a different location on the lion and tiger DNA. I wonder if this is what happens if red and yellow foots cross in nature? I know there is not a lot of evidence of this, but what if almost all external characteristics are...