A Critique of the Redfoot Care Sheet

cdmay

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In the following I will attempt to review and critique the Redfoot Care Sheet that is published on this Forum by Redfoot NERD.
I will say at the outset that I feel Mr. Kilgore (Redfoot NERD) means well and that he cares about his animals. However, there are some errors, both great and small that need to be addressed. I have copied his Care Sheet and will comment to specific statements in blue BOLD italics.


REDFOOT TORTOISE CARESHEET

ALL Tortoises on the planet require that 4 parameters be "IN BALANCE".

Temperature - Humidity - Lighting - Diet

Redfoot tortoises require the same parameters - UNIQUE from EVERY OTHER tortoise.
In other words = Redfoot tortoises are 'totally-different' than say Russian tortoises.
Different continent.. climate.. diet, etc.

"Redfoot tortoises require the same parameters - UNIQUE from EVERY OTHER tortoise."
This statement is self-negating...on the one hand NERD is claiming that redfoot tortoise are the same as all other tortoises while simultaneously claiming that they are completely unique.

While he is correct in saying that red-footed tortoises are very different from Russian tortoises, red-footed tortoises are actually NOT unique in the tortoise world. The Bell's hinge-back tortoise fills the very same ecological niche as red-footed tortoises in much of their range in Africa. They consume many of the same food items and live within many of the very same habitats and micro-habitats.
Likewise, the elongated tortoise of Asia lives a very similar lifestyle in much of its range in Vietnam, Thailand and India. The Forsten's tortoise does as well.




BASICALLY THESE "BASICS" ARE FOR THE FIRST COUPLE YEARS -
you will find I tell WHY and then What when explaining ..
how to keep everything "IN BALANCE".
+++

This may seem like a lot to read and sometimes repeated - only to help
make it better understood!

This following Caresheet was created in 2005. Does it work you might ask?
It has 'started' literally hundreds of hatchlings -
these are just a few examples.. shown 3-4 years old -











****

Chances are you've not seen many "Captive Raised" like these !!!
The animals depicted in the photos are indeed nice looking. But they are neither remarkable or rare in captivity anymore. NERD'S claim that 'you've not seen many "Captive Raised" like these' indicates that only he--or those who follow is regime--can get these results. It is insulting to those of us who do so-- and have done so for decades without ever even hearing of NERD.

** DIET **

I use the size of their head as a guage to how much is fed..
I figure their stomachs are about the same size..
maybe even smaller!

This statement is completely misleading. A small tortoises' EMPTY stomach might be the size of its head but their stomachs are designed to expand far beyond this size when eating. NERD is here implying that one should only feed enough to fill the animals head.
FEED:
hatchling's 1X ( size of head ).. every-day -
juvenile's [ 4" - 6" SCL ] 3X .. 'every-other day' -
adult's [ 6+" SCL ] 6X .. every 3rd day.
Over-feeding is too common.. and easy to do!
RESIST OVER-FEEDING.. which causes health issues!
This is another misleading, throwaway line. Over-feeding bad foods is what causes health issues. A tortoise will only eat as much as its stomach can handle. They stop eating after this point. It is the constant diet of inappropriate foods that will make them sick in time.

Keeping them 'hungry' is better than feeding too much!!!
+++

Feed your hatchling "once" daily.. whatever they don't eat at one setting..
discard.. PERIOD.. too much is bad for their kidneys!

This admonition is simply 100% wrong. First, these animals are browsers in nature and thus will consume appealing food items as long as they are active. They may eat and then rest a short distance from their food source--such as a flowering or fruiting tree or shrub, and then return and continue to eat later.
The statement 'too much is bad for their kidneys' is laughably inaccurate-- and in fact I'm pretty sure biologically impossible too. As long as the animal is not severely dehydrated or consuming toxic food items their little kidneys will be quite safe.

A good plentiful water source is Vital also!

DO NOT RUSH THEIR GROWTH!!

FEEDING SCHEDULE.. first 2 days "greens alone".. next day "fruit alone"..
next 2 days "greens alone".. next day "fruit treat" - pineapple or something different..
next day "animal protein" ALONE.. ( NOT Mazuri.. protein level too low & not animal source ).
Sprinkle re-hydrated cat food with Calcium Carbonate powder (no D3).
"Chop/slice" everything small enough.. "bite-size"

On "greens" day we do not feed fruit because they often sort thru
and only want to eat the fruit.. like a kid and candy


-- Again.. these are all at least 6 months/3"
+++

" Diet-options "
In order of calcium content:


Grape Leaves, Dandelion Greens, Curly Endive ( not Belgian ) / Chicory,
Escarole, Collard Greens and last but not least.. Hibiscus (blooms & leaves).

Although a variety is good no doubt..feed what is available per season..
or what the "Produce Mgr." can order for you..
you may be surprised what you can get when you ask!
No reason to feel that you are betraying your baby
because you can only find a few things in the winter.. for example!

About "Half?" of my redfoot tortoise's diet consists of fruit & protein.. combined!
A source of animal protein is vital also..
{ redfoot tortoises are much more carnivorous than most believe or will accept! }
.
Here is another gross inaccuracy. That red-footed tortoises 'require' animal proteins is a fallacy that has been perpetuated by one person repeating what another person said, who got that idea from another misinformed person, who copied another persons article about pet tortoises, and so on. That's how such misconceptions become ingrained. Added to that is the fact that red-footed tortoises, being designed to ingest small dead animals as they encounter them, will indeed consume animal proteins like crazy. So keepers think, 'Um, boy I guess they really must have it'.
Ultimately we have NERD making the claim that 'redfoot tortoises are much more carnivorous than most believe or will accept!'
Here are the facts as discovered by actual field observations made by unbiased researchers where these animals actually live...
In the study:
FOOD HABITS AND NOTES ON THE BIOLOGY OF
CHELONOIDIS CARBONARIA (SPIX 1824) (TESTUDINIDAE, CHELONIA)
IN THE SOUTHERN PANTANAL, BRAZIL
the authors collected the animals and then waited for them to produce scats (that means they waited till they pooped) and then examined the individual scat.
In this region both sexes consumed mostly fruits-with their seeds, plant matter, fungi, invertebrates and dead animal parts. But please take this point to heart--the vertebrate 'animals' they consumed consisted of parts of small dead birds (that had likely been left behind by a predator), and part of a snake skin.
The number of scats these items were found in was 3. That's not a lot is it?
Invertebrates were far more commonly ingested but still, the overall percentage of these things in the diet was small.
In this study:

Flexibility of digestive responses in two generalist herbivores, the tortoises Geochelone carbonaria and Geochelone denticulata
the authors repeatedly referred these animals as 'generalist herbivores' and not omnivores. This is because the amount of animal proteins they ingested did not rise to the level where one would call them omnivores--and certainly not carnivores!
I could go on but suffice it to say, in NONE of the numerous dietary observations that have been published in recent years in any way point to red-footed tortoises 'needing, or requiring animal protein'.
Thats none=not a single one. Further, the studies have been conducted throughout Brazil and in various habitats.


Their main source of D3 is derived from their diet...
I'm fairly certain that this is up for debate as well.
I also ( per Andy Highfield ) - http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/webdiet.htm
use a "weight-management" type dry catfood every 7 days or so..
well moistened until soft.. and "dowsed" with pure Calcium Carbonate powder (no D3)..
( wait until your hatchling is 6 months old/over 3" or so before "supplementing"
with protein and calcium on a weekly basis )
Always remember.. protein and calcium goes a long way!
Andy Highfield's recommendations are not based on anything actually discovered in nature and are in fact completely arbitrary. Mr. Highfield is not regarded as an authority on red-footed tortoises by professional tortoise breeders or knowledgeable long term keepers. That he has written a book about tortoises in no way means one should take his advice outright! There are many books and magazine articles out there that are chock-full of misinformation.
While there was a time when I myself advocated the feeding of commercial cat food I no longer do. Regardless of what formula one chooses, virtually all cat foods are very high in fats for a reptile. In fact, this is an area where one might indeed risk kidney failure if feeding too much of this stuff.

Find a DRY Catfood with the highest PROTEIN % you can find - what I used back then
Is no longer made. A weight management is usually the best.
+++

LIGHTING:
Redfoot tortoises are near "Rainforest" tortoises.
They live on the edges of the forest.. which means they don't need a "basking" area.
+++

Boy, is that second line a whopper! Red-foot tortoises inhabit many various types of habitats throughout their gigantic range. They can be found in forest of all kinds--including forests that are leafless for much of the year, they can be found near beaches, in mangrove swamps, in fields, in grassy wet, and grassy dry areas, in deep forest and on and on.
The statement 'They live on the edges of the forest...which means they don't need a "basking" area' is yet another nonsensical, self-negating statement. If they are living along edges of the forest, it means they ARE NOT LIVING in the forest! They are in fact living where they can obtain sunlight and in many cases, warmth. Sadly, Mr. NERDS inability to see this simple fact--or admit that he might be wrong, is what contributes to his lack of credibility.

This UVB thing has been an issue with all of the "scientists" today..
I wonder how many 2nd generation hatchlings they have created -
meaning... how much actual "hands-on" experience do they have???

The answer to that question sir, is a lot more than you do.
+++
The rest of the Care Sheet is not terrible advice although it is very narrow in scope.
My last comments regarding Terry Kilgore's Redfoot Tortoise Care Sheet have to do with the way it's written.
I counted 47 exclamation points(!), 23 instances of him using ALL CAPS IN A STATEMENT which comes across as him shouting at the reader. There are an "over abundance" of quotation marks, (parenthesis) and the like.
In short, the entire paper reads as if it was written by a fifth grader texting her friends. It's not professional in any way and actually makes the entire Tortoise Forum family seem juvenile.
I certainly hope I have not offended anyone--my intent is to correct fallacies.
 

Yvonne G

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While I appreciate the points you made to correct information, I'm afraid you have contributed to the non professional, juvenile tone. How much better it would have been if you merely stated your corrections and science and left your animosity towards Terry out of the mix.
 

Relic

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Care Sheets are good in theory - captive reptiles are often from regions of planet earth that the owner is starkly ignorant about. The advice in the typical pet store is abysmally incorrect the majority of the time, so the reptile owner has to search out the information needed to successfully care for their animal. The internet has a plethora of information - and that is often the problem. Some information dates from 50 years ago when most reptiles for sale were recent imports, stressed-out, and full of parasites. Some information is of recent vintage, provided by keepers/breeders with decades of husbandry experience and perhaps even field experience in the animals' native habitat. It is information that has been critiqued by others, refined by other perspectives, and verified by numerous people with similar results. THAT is the information that is golden. I think cdmay has made some valid points above, and refining/revising the Redfoot caresheet would be a wonderful thing. If the goal is to help redfoot owners give their animal(s) the very best care, then a re-write is probably in order, but egos might be bruised a bit...
 

cdmay

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Pretty sure that I expressed no animosity towards Mr. Kilgore. I try to give credit where credit is due.
I can live with my direct, if occasionally juvenile way. I tried to add a bit of humor to what is a serious subject for me.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I suppose it comes down to how @Redfoot NERD took the criticism.
You are both valuable contributors.
And we do need a Redfoot care sheet for our little forum here.
It can be...And must be updated every now and again or it will soon be as helpful as one of those 30 year old library books that have let a lot of us down in the past. The kind of crap that I myself read as GOSPEL back in the days before forums. Or at least before my ability to find them.
I know a lot of us can relate to that.
 
Last edited:

Redstrike

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My additions to cdmay's critique are few and denoted via red text.

In the following I will attempt to review and critique the Redfoot Care Sheet that is published on this Forum by Redfoot NERD.
I will say at the outset that I feel Mr. Kilgore (Redfoot NERD) means well and that he cares about his animals. However, there are some errors, both great and small that need to be addressed. I have copied his Care Sheet and will comment to specific statements in blue BOLD italics.


REDFOOT TORTOISE CARESHEET

ALL Tortoises on the planet require that 4 parameters be "IN BALANCE".

Temperature - Humidity - Lighting - Diet

Redfoot tortoises require the same parameters - UNIQUE from EVERY OTHER tortoise.
In other words = Redfoot tortoises are 'totally-different' than say Russian tortoises.
Different continent.. climate.. diet, etc.

"Redfoot tortoises require the same parameters - UNIQUE from EVERY OTHER tortoise."
This statement is self-negating...on the one hand NERD is claiming that redfoot tortoise are the same as all other tortoises while simultaneously claiming that they are completely unique.

While he is correct in saying that red-footed tortoises are very different from Russian tortoises, red-footed tortoises are actually NOT unique in the tortoise world. The Bell's hinge-back tortoise fills the very same ecological niche as red-footed tortoises in much of their range in Africa. They consume many of the same food items and live within many of the very same habitats and micro-habitats.
Likewise, the elongated tortoise of Asia lives a very similar lifestyle in much of its range in Vietnam, Thailand and India. The Forsten's tortoise does as well.

Phylogenetically, Redfoots are related to yellowfoot and Chaco tortoises. Though unique at the species level, they are not phylogenetic isolates. Indeed there has been some recorded overlap between redfoot and yellowfoot tortoise's distributions (especially in the recorded northern portions of their ranges) and some interesting niche portioning has been observed when this has occurred. So it could be argued that their needs may overlap with yellowfoot tortoises, to a limited extent.


BASICALLY THESE "BASICS" ARE FOR THE FIRST COUPLE YEARS -
you will find I tell WHY and then What when explaining ..
how to keep everything "IN BALANCE".

I'm not sure what "IN BALANCE" means, there is no context here. Furthermore, I don't like that I'm periodically being shouted at (via all capitals)
+++

This may seem like a lot to read and sometimes repeated - only to help
make it better understood!

This following Caresheet was created in 2005. Does it work you might ask?
It has 'started' literally hundreds of hatchlings -
Without the survival rates on these hatchlings, how do we know it's worked for the hundreds you started? This is egotistical gibberish.
these are just a few examples.. shown 3-4 years old -











****

Chances are you've not seen many "Captive Raised" like these !!!
The animals depicted in the photos are indeed nice looking. But they are neither remarkable or rare in captivity anymore. NERD'S claim that 'you've not seen many "Captive Raised" like these' indicates that only he--or those who follow is regime--can get these results. It is insulting to those of us who do so-- and have done so for decades without ever even hearing of NERD.
To the contrary, I can recall at least 6 tortoise owners that have demonstrated similar results without abiding to the outlined care sheet you have provided.

** DIET **

I use the size of their head as a guage to how much is fed..
I figure their stomachs are about the same size..
maybe even smaller!

This statement is completely misleading. A small tortoises' EMPTY stomach might be the size of its head but their stomachs are designed to expand far beyond this size when eating. NERD is here implying that one should only feed enough to fill the animals head.
FEED:
hatchling's 1X ( size of head ).. every-day -
juvenile's [ 4" - 6" SCL ] 3X .. 'every-other day' -
adult's [ 6+" SCL ] 6X .. every 3rd day.
Over-feeding is too common.. and easy to do!
RESIST OVER-FEEDING.. which causes health issues!
This is another misleading, throwaway line. Over-feeding bad foods is what causes health issues. A tortoise will only eat as much as its stomach can handle. They stop eating after this point. It is the constant diet of inappropriate foods that will make them sick in time.

Keeping them 'hungry' is better than feeding too much!!!
+++

Feed your hatchling "once" daily.. whatever they don't eat at one setting..
discard.. PERIOD.. too much is bad for their kidneys!

This admonition is simply 100% wrong. First, these animals are browsers in nature and thus will consume appealing food items as long as they are active. They may eat and then rest a short distance from their food source--such as a flowering or fruiting tree or shrub, and then return and continue to eat later.
The statement 'too much is bad for their kidneys' is laughably inaccurate-- and in fact I'm pretty sure biologically impossible too. As long as the animal is not severely dehydrated or consuming toxic food items their little kidneys will be quite safe.

A good plentiful water source is Vital also!

DO NOT RUSH THEIR GROWTH!!

FEEDING SCHEDULE.. first 2 days "greens alone".. next day "fruit alone"..
next 2 days "greens alone".. next day "fruit treat" - pineapple or something different..
next day "animal protein" ALONE.. ( NOT Mazuri.. protein level too low & not animal source ).
Sprinkle re-hydrated cat food with Calcium Carbonate powder (no D3).
"Chop/slice" everything small enough.. "bite-size"

On "greens" day we do not feed fruit because they often sort thru
and only want to eat the fruit.. like a kid and candy


-- Again.. these are all at least 6 months/3"
+++

" Diet-options "
In order of calcium content:


Grape Leaves, Dandelion Greens, Curly Endive ( not Belgian ) / Chicory,
Escarole, Collard Greens and last but not least.. Hibiscus (blooms & leaves).

Although a variety is good no doubt..feed what is available per season..
or what the "Produce Mgr." can order for you..
you may be surprised what you can get when you ask!
No reason to feel that you are betraying your baby
because you can only find a few things in the winter.. for example!

About "Half?" of my redfoot tortoise's diet consists of fruit & protein.. combined!
A source of animal protein is vital also..
{ redfoot tortoises are much more carnivorous than most believe or will accept! }
.
Here is another gross inaccuracy. That red-footed tortoises 'require' animal proteins is a fallacy that has been perpetuated by one person repeating what another person said, who got that idea from another misinformed person, who copied another persons article about pet tortoises, and so on. That's how such misconceptions become ingrained. Added to that is the fact that red-footed tortoises, being designed to ingest small dead animals as they encounter them, will indeed consume animal proteins like crazy. So keepers think, 'Um, boy I guess they really must have it'.
Ultimately we have NERD making the claim that 'redfoot tortoises are much more carnivorous than most believe or will accept!'
Here are the facts as discovered by actual field observations made by unbiased researchers where these animals actually live...
In the study:
FOOD HABITS AND NOTES ON THE BIOLOGY OF
CHELONOIDIS CARBONARIA (SPIX 1824) (TESTUDINIDAE, CHELONIA)
IN THE SOUTHERN PANTANAL, BRAZIL
the authors collected the animals and then waited for them to produce scats (that means they waited till they pooped) and then examined the individual scat.
In this region both sexes consumed mostly fruits-with their seeds, plant matter, fungi, invertebrates and dead animal parts. But please take this point to heart--the vertebrate 'animals' they consumed consisted of parts of small dead birds (that had likely been left behind by a predator), and part of a snake skin.
The number of scats these items were found in was 3. That's not a lot is it?
Invertebrates were far more commonly ingested but still, the overall percentage of these things in the diet was small.
In this study:
Flexibility of digestive responses in two generalist herbivores, the tortoises Geochelone carbonaria and Geochelone denticulata
the authors repeatedly referred these animals as 'generalist herbivores' and not omnivores. This is because the amount of animal proteins they ingested did not rise to the level where one would call them omnivores--and certainly not carnivores!
I could go on but suffice it to say, in NONE of the numerous dietary observations that have been published in recent years in any way point to red-footed tortoises 'needing, or requiring animal protein'.
Thats none=not a single one. Further, the studies have been conducted throughout Brazil and in various habitats.


Their main source of D3 is derived from their diet...
I'm fairly certain that this is up for debate as well.
I've commented on this previously with Redfoot NERD more times than I care to recount. He has admitted his tortoises are outdoors 6-7 months/year and therefore they obtain UVB radiation and the ability to synthesize D3 from this exposure. For some reason he fails to recount this in the care sheet and when discussing this with others on the forum. Instead he vehemently regards diet as the sole provider of D3. Though they can obtain some D3 from their diets, it is likely they utilize both the diet and the sun for generating and storing (Vitamin D3 is lipid-soluble) this critical vitamin. From the literature I've read, these tortoises do not live underground and are exposed to sunlight, which means they synthesize D3 via UVB. Further, the amount of D3 derived from animal proteins is probably not a lot since they scavenge carcasses - so I remain unconvinced that dietary D3 accounts for their ability sequester Calcium. They need sunlight and UVB, but if you want to treat your torti like mushrooms, I wish you good luck!
I also ( per Andy Highfield ) - http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/webdiet.htm
use a "weight-management" type dry catfood every 7 days or so..
well moistened until soft.. and "dowsed" with pure Calcium Carbonate powder (no D3)..
( wait until your hatchling is 6 months old/over 3" or so before "supplementing"
with protein and calcium on a weekly basis )
Always remember.. protein and calcium goes a long way!
Andy Highfield's recommendations are not based on anything actually discovered in nature and are in fact completely arbitrary. Mr. Highfield is not regarded as an authority on red-footed tortoises by professional tortoise breeders or knowledgeable long term keepers. That he has written a book about tortoises in no way means one should take his advice outright! There are many books and magazine articles out there that are chock-full of misinformation.
While there was a time when I myself advocated the feeding of commercial cat food I no longer do. Regardless of what formula one chooses, virtually all cat foods are very high in fats for a reptile. In fact, this is an area where one might indeed risk kidney failure if feeding too much of this stuff.

Find a DRY Catfood with the highest PROTEIN % you can find - what I used back then
Is no longer made. A weight management is usually the best.
+++

LIGHTING:
Redfoot tortoises are near "Rainforest" tortoises.
They live on the edges of the forest.. which means they don't need a "basking" area.
+++

Boy, is that second line a whopper! Red-foot tortoises inhabit many various types of habitats throughout their gigantic range. They can be found in forest of all kinds--including forests that are leafless for much of the year, they can be found near beaches, in mangrove swamps, in fields, in grassy wet, and grassy dry areas, in deep forest and on and on.
The statement 'They live on the edges of the forest...which means they don't need a "basking" area' is yet another nonsensical, self-negating statement. If they are living along edges of the forest, it means they ARE NOT LIVING in the forest! They are in fact living where they can obtain sunlight and in many cases, warmth. Sadly, Mr. NERDS inability to see this simple fact--or admit that he might be wrong, is what contributes to his lack of credibility.

This is further testament to the inaccuracies of D3 coming exclusively from their diets.
This UVB thing has been an issue with all of the "scientists" today..
I'm a scientist and I can tell you I have a lot of experience conducting experiments, little of this care sheet would hold rigor under scientific scrutiny and yet you feel the need to insult those that have the ability to conduct the scientific method by placing their discipline in quotations and condescending them in the following sentences (below). What's your problem with science and those who are practitioners of such a powerful tool to explore our world? Does this add any credibility to what is dogmatically presented in the care sheet? I vote no; rather I think it further reduces the credibility of this sheet, especially considering all the inaccuracies cdmay has already indicated.
I wonder how many 2nd generation hatchlings they have created -
meaning... how much actual "hands-on" experience do they have???

The answer to that question sir, is a lot more than you do.
Science is conducted through hands-on experimentation to test theoretical frameworks. It's evident you have no idea what you're talking about.
+++
The rest of the Care Sheet is not terrible advice although it is very narrow in scope.
My last comments regarding Terry Kilgore's Redfoot Tortoise Care Sheet have to do with the way it's written.
I counted 47 exclamation points(!), 23 instances of him using ALL CAPS IN A STATEMENT which comes across as him shouting at the reader. There are an "over abundance" of quotation marks, (parenthesis) and the like.
In short, the entire paper reads as if it was written by a fifth grader texting her friends. It's not professional in any way and actually makes the entire Tortoise Forum family seem juvenile.
I certainly hope I have not offended anyone--my intent is to correct fallacies.

I echo cdmay's concerns and extend his disappointment at the lack of professionalism (see science discussion above as one of many examples). For this reason, I can't help but feel such a poorly written document that is overabundant with factual inaccuracies, dogmatic opinion, and blind conviction speak more to Redfoot NERD's ego than to the responsible care of redfoot tortoises.
 

Relic

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One other thought - since there are so many experienced RF keepers/breeders represented here - it makes more since to have a collaborative Care Sheet composed, instead of a single member creating the entire document based on a single point of view and narrow range of experience. Sure, there will be differences of opinions on different aspects of husbandry, but I think that can easily be incorporated into the document as "this member has experienced this, while another member has experienced this..." I also think that references to published works from respected researchers would help provide a level of confidence in the snippets of factual information provided. It might be a pain to coordinate, but the end result might be impressive and very helpful.

Then again, I may just be hallucinating...
 

Tom

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@cdmay or @Redstrike

Would you guys write up a couple of care sheets outlining your methods for people to follow? I can appreciate that you don't like the current one, and it would be great to have a better one, or two, to refer RF keepers to. Many species sections here have multiple care sheets for readers to peruse. People can read each of them and decide which one to follow.
 

Redfoot NERD

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@Yvonne G - One of my favorite 'one-liners' [ which no doubt will be criticized ] " I've never seen a statue erected to a critic.. but many statues have been erected to those criticized ". Yvonne I have been paid to write.. and have been published in an International publication. And I've gotten many more " Thank You's ".. stating how the caresheet has helped them and their redfoots!

@ZEROPILOT My reaction? - "Show us yours guys. And it's all in how you interpret. And it was written for the "Newbie".. [ a few of which are now contributors / quite vocal here ].

I started typing this before Tom posted.
 

cdmay

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Folks, give him a break. He never professed to be a professional writer.

You know, Yvonne is probably right. While I did mention that NERD is well meaning out the outset, my intention was not to bash him personally. Sorry for the controversy.
But having said this, let’s all be honest here...NERD has been totally dismissive/insulting of those whom he does not agree with on this and other forums for many years. I have read countless posts of his where he is giving his council to a newer keeper and while doing so he insinuates that ‘scientists’ and other academic types are to be ingnored and that he is the real source of accurate information. Time after time he’s done so and he has been given free reign to do so with impunity.
Sooner or later someone will lash back. That’s how life works.

As for my critique, I did get one point wrong...when I mentioned that over feeding artificial diet items such as cat food, I stated that this might cause kidney issues. A Microbiologist and food science friend of mine corrected me this morning by saying that the LIVER is the organ most likely to be damaged by fatty foods.
My bad.

As for NERD having been paid to publish an article, that’s wonderful. But not an indicator of skill or knowledge. I have been offered $$ to write for the same magazine going back for many years but I’ve refused. The publication heavily edits manuscripts to fit their narrative and they also refuse to allow the author to cite his or her references...or at least they did. I never even pick REPTILES magazine up to thumb thru anymore.

As for my writing I too have authored and co-authored numerous articles in the German turtle magazine Schildkroten im Fokus, the international turtle publication RADIATA, and in the peer reviewed Journal of Herpetology. Just sayin.
 
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Redstrike

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@Yvonne G - One of my favorite 'one-liners' [ which no doubt will be criticized ] " I've never seen a statue erected to a critic.. but many statues have been erected to those criticized ". Yvonne I have been paid to write.. and have been published in an International publication. And I've gotten many more " Thank You's ".. stating how the caresheet has helped them and their redfoots!

@ZEROPILOT My reaction? - "Show us yours guys. And it's all in how you interpret. And it was written for the "Newbie".. [ a few of which are now contributors / quite vocal here ].

I started typing this before Tom posted.

This is the same banter I’ve read from you for years. You condescend others and play the victim once you’ve provoked an intelligent response. Go play your fiddle somewhere else.

As for publication, I have multiple papers in peer-reviewed academic journals. I don’t receive money for my writing, rather it’s a contribution to scientific knowledge, it’s clear you neither value nor understand this.

@Tom
Happy to provide a care sheet with a healthy dose of humility and facts. It may take me a bit to get my ducks in a row. I hope others with as much or greater experience as myself provide review/criticism if the moderators approve the care sheet. I think it would be great to have multiple authors and/or care sheets.
 

Cheryl Hills

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You guys just need to lay off. We did not have a Redfoot Care Sheet and one was needed. No One else wrote one but yet you criticize the one person who did! And the moderator. If you were so knowledgeable, why didn’t you write one. Put your pen where your mouth is. At least Redfoot Nerd did what he was asked to do. If you want something different, then you write it!
 

jsheffield

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Being a new owner of a redfoot, I appreciate TFO having a care sheet, and appreciate NERD for offering his.

I understand that there are differences of opinion on exactly how to raise redfoots, but think the level of information and debate is of a higher quality here on TFO than it is elsewhere on the internet.

I'll welcome other caresheets as they come and take all of the advice offered as it seems to work with my Darwin, my lifestyle, and my intuition.

I've distilled my own caresheet from thoughts and info I've found here, for my own personal use, and the use of tort-sitters, but haven't been in this world long enough to cost my thoughts on other people yet ... I'm grateful to those who have, and do.

Jamie
 

Redstrike

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You guys just need to lay off. We did not have a Redfoot Care Sheet and one was needed. No One else wrote one but yet you criticize the one person who did! And the moderator. If you were so knowledgeable, why didn’t you write one. Put your pen where your mouth is. At least Redfoot Nerd did what he was asked to do. If you want something different, then you write it!

I will be writing a care sheet in response to this thread. I was not previously asked, though I think it’s important that the inaccuracies and opinions be pointed out for the currently written sheet.

I don’t lay off of people that use condescension and personal convictions to dismiss science and fact.
 

Redfoot NERD

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This is far from being a rebuttal. { am writing while Redstrike posted }

During the late 1990's and early 2000's there was little written on the care of redfoot tortoises. As a result.. my first hatchlings grew pyramided, etc. After asking around I found that redfoot tortoises were from North of the Amazon river in South America - primarily the Guyana / Suriname region and from those farms in Venezuela. At that time.. most of the emails received were about the "Northern" locales because they were most popular at that time. This was before I wrote the caresheet in 2005.

Any statements made in the caresheet were based on info and experience at that time.. which was limited
I found early on that the more I read of the 'scientific' or 'factual' info the more confusing and / or contradicting it became.. for me anyway. So I asked myself - " Why am I spending money on these expensive UVB bulbs when they spend most of the time 'hiding' ? My 'herbivorous' water turtles were basking every chance they got [ because the calcium / D3 from plants was much lower than 'animal protein' ? ] so they had to utilize the sun / UVB . And D3 was added to milk because it 'builds strong bones' .. so it seemed a lot easier and inexpensive to get the D3 into the redfoot tortoise via their diet. " -- Which is what all these emails were telling me also. And by feeding them as much as I had been I noticed a rapid growth between the scutes that didn't seem right.. so it was critical to not overfeed them.

So these "basic" parameters were compiled and a caresheet was written. [ the one on here is even more condensed ].

Yes there are redfoot tortoises all over South America. And yes there is more than one way to get the D3 into them And yes they bask in the morning and evening. And yes I'm not the only one who raises smooth-shelled redfoots. And yes I'm not the only one who has been published. ( I am proud of seeing my hatchling on the cover of REPTILES magazine! )
And yes at my age and health condition it matters not ... my ego is not a factor.

And yes - try to write a caresheet that covers all locales and sizes of redfoot tortoises on the planet that is easy to understand by the majority.
 

TechnoCheese

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Would anyone want me to convert my redfoot Care Sheet into a post? I put it together from info from our redfoot keepers here. I just worry that since I don’t keep redfoots, it might not be in my place.
http://aminoapps.com/p/m9tcj0
If anything, it would be nice if I could get some criticism. I try to keep it updated :)
 

TechnoCheese

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Would anyone want me to convert my redfoot Care Sheet into a post? I put it together from info from our redfoot keepers here. I just worry that since I don’t keep redfoots, it might not be in my place.
http://aminoapps.com/p/m9tcj0
If anything, it would be nice if I could get some criticism. I try to keep it updated :)

Darn, the pictures aren’t showing up for me. There are usually about 43 pictures giving examples and such.
 

jsheffield

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Would anyone want me to convert my redfoot Care Sheet into a post? I put it together from info from our redfoot keepers here. I just worry that since I don’t keep redfoots, it might not be in my place.
http://aminoapps.com/p/m9tcj0
If anything, it would be nice if I could get some criticism. I try to keep it updated :)

Great sheet ... Thanks.

Jamie
 

TammyJ

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I am a published writer myself. Here is my simple and concise Care Sheet for Redfoot Tortoises:

"Do your research and join the best On Line Tortoise Forum there is."
 
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