Adopting 2 Redfoots. Advice.

k_nworb

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Hello everyone! Adopting 2 Redfoots soon. Anxious newbie here with my first post. Please be gentle!

Background and concerns will follow along with photos current owner sent me. I'm from Iowa.


Background:

My friend and his husband decided to sell their home after retiring and live in a RV to travel the country. Unfortunately they are unable to take their two Redfoots with them because of space, and as an animal lover, I gladly offered to give them a new home. I’ve grown up with all sorts of animals and the only experience I’ve had with reptiles are bearded dragons (years ago in highschool).

I will be taking over their care in a week or so and have been obsessively researching this forum regarding correct and proper husbandry. My friend has had them for 2 years and once he brings them over to my place, he will go over their routine as well as providing everything he has including their enclosure they currently live in.


Concerns:

I don’t know their age, sex, or exact sizes yet but from what I’ve seen on this forum I’m worried their enclosure is very small and needs a lot of improvement, he told me the dimensions are 37"x25"x13". He’s had them both living together in the same enclosure.

Concerns are inconsistent temperature and humidity control (open enclosure – see picture), needs a larger and more shallow soaking dish, needs more plants and logs for hiding spots, mix of different substrates? The pyramiding on the shells concern me too. Please let me know.


I apologize my information is vague and a lot is unknown at this time, wanted to get a head start with what I have and make any quick adjustments I can once they’re in my possession. I want them to be healthy and happy.


I’ve already been in contact with someone who will be building an enclosure that’s similar to Ernest Johnson’s video
(thanks to a ton of advice given to others on this forum!!). What would be the ideal dimensions for them? I’d be putting them in my living room and would prefer to make the enclosure longer to fit along my walls – so would 3 x 6 be enough? While their new home is getting built, the current one will need to do for now.



Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide! Will give updates when I get them.
 

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ZEROPILOT

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Much of my RF tortoise keeping is based on early information from Mr. Johnson as well. He was ahead of his time in several things including advocating a higher percentage of fruits fed.

That enclosure needs to be used for some other animal and you will need two separate closed chamber enclosures. A pair can not be ethically kept together. And that enclosure is way too small for just 1.
A closed chamber can trap in warmth and humidity.
Your goal will be an ambient temperature of 80 to 88. With 82 to 84 being perfect. You also need humidity of over 70% constantly. By looking at these two, you can just see the past horrible level of care.
Please search CLOSED CHAMBER enclosures and see what other members have done. See if one of those ideas would suit your situation.
Mine all live outdoors. But that's not possible just anywhere. Make the temporary home as large as you can while waiting for the new enclosure to be built. And make the new enclosures at leat 100sf each. Heavily planted for shade and with a water pool or a shallow tray for soaking. Redfoot love water and shade.
 
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k_nworb

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They do need to be separated and each have a much bigger enclosure then what's pictured.
Follow our caresheet and @ZEROPILOT can help a lot with any questions along with many other RF owners on here.
Those were my thoughts, too. Which is why I wanted to halt on making the CLOSED enclosure in case I needed to have 2. Appreciate it!
 

k_nworb

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Wow….good that you are adopting these guys. That little pre-fab tortoise box is really not good at all for one RF let alone two. Good luck….I’ll let @ZEROPILOT jump in.
I know my buddy had good intentions but it's still frustrating when you see people take in animals and not follow up with essential and breed-specific care. I knew immediately when I saw his enclosure and their size that something didn't seem right. They found the right home with this momma!
 

k_nworb

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Location (City and/or State)
Des Moines, Iowa
Much of my RF tortoise keeping is based on early information from Mr. Johnson as well. He was ahead of his time in several things including advocating a higher percentage of fruits fed.

That enclosure needs to be used for some other animal and you will need two separate closed chamber enclosures. A pair can not be ethically kept together. And that enclosure is way too small for just 1.
A closed chamber can trap in warmth and humidity.
Your goal will be an ambient temperature of 80 to 88. With 82 to 84 being perfect. You also need humidity of over 70% constantly. By looking at these two, you can just see the past horrible level of care.
Please search CLOSED CHAMBER enclosures and see what other members have done. See if one of those ideas would suit your situation.
Mine all live outdoors. But that's not possible just anywhere. Make the temporary home as large as you can while waiting for the new enclosure to be built. And make the new enclosures at leat 100sf each. Heavily planted for shade and with a water pool or a shallow tray for soaking. Redfoot love water and shade.

I had been reading up on the forums on whether the 2 living together was good or bad and was getting conflicting answers. I was going to wait for responses on this thread to make the decision of having 1 or 2 enclosures. So 2 it is!

Thank you so much for the information! I will continue to search for closed chamber enclosures and see what others did.
 

wellington

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Much of my RF tortoise keeping is based on early information from Mr. Johnson as well. He was ahead of his time in several things including advocating a higher percentage of fruits fed.

That enclosure needs to be used for some other animal and you will need two separate closed chamber enclosures. A pair can not be ethically kept together. And that enclosure is way too small for just 1.
A closed chamber can trap in warmth and humidity.
Your goal will be an ambient temperature of 80 to 88. With 82 to 84 being perfect. You also need humidity of over 70% constantly. By looking at these two, you can just see the past horrible level of care.
Please search CLOSED CHAMBER enclosures and see what other members have done. See if one of those ideas would suit your situation.
Mine all live outdoors. But that's not possible just anywhere. Make the temporary home as large as you can while waiting for the new enclosure to be built. And make the new enclosures at leat 100sf each. Heavily planted for shade and with a water pool or a shallow tray for soaking. Redfoot love water and shade.
But with the size of these two pictured is a closed chamber really needed? They look more adult size to me and woukd need an adult enclosure.
 

k_nworb

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But with the size of these two pictured is a closed chamber really needed? They look more adult size to me and woukd need an adult enclosure.
If so, I think it'd be cruel even if I kept one of them. I live in a townhome and space is limited. Think I'm going to look up rescues in the area that would be able to give them a better home.
 

wellington

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Even a closed chamber would have to be pretty big and you need two of them. If you have a basement or a large spare room you could dedicate to them it could work.
 

k_nworb

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Even a closed chamber would have to be pretty big and you need two of them. If you have a basement or a large spare room you could dedicate to them it could work.
No basement but a 2-car garage. I didn't want to do the garage because of the cold winters we get, it's not heated and can get pretty chilly- thought about making a greenhouse as a last resort but really prefer them to be closer in the living space and enjoy watching them play around as we walk by. I do have a spare bedroom that can be dedicated to them but then I'd have to research more on larger closed chamber enclosures. I'm starting to get overwhelmed now!
 

wellington

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No basement but a 2-car garage. I didn't want to do the garage because of the cold winters we get, it's not heated and can get pretty chilly- thought about making a greenhouse as a last resort but really prefer them to be closer in the living space and enjoy watching them play around as we walk by. I do have a spare bedroom that can be dedicated to them but then I'd have to research more on larger closed chamber enclosures. I'm starting to get overwhelmed now!
I think they are too big for a closed chamber. Closed chamber is for hatchlings upto around 3 years or so. You would just have to give them the whole room divided into two spaces and keep humidity up in that room. That's where a green house would help. It's a lot at once. But really its not that hard. If you can fit two 10x12 foot green houses in the room. Lay down tarp on the floor. Place green houses over tarp. All lights can be hung by the poles of the green house. Put in damp orchid bark add plants and a hide water and food and you have a nice humid enclosure. Get the kind of green house you can walk in.
 

ZEROPILOT

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But with the size of these two pictured is a closed chamber really needed? They look more adult size to me and woukd need an adult enclosure.
The need for high humidity remains no matter the age for a RF. Babies need it a bit more. Adults are more flexible. And a fully grown RF would no longer pyramid with less humidity because he's no longer growing.
That being said, providing high humidity in a very large area must be extremely difficult. And doing that indoors is even more so.
The green house idea is fantastic.
I take the humidity for granted because my south Florida tropical climate closely matches Central or South America pretty closely.
I have no experience in keeping RF in an artificial environment. And only limited periods of time in smaller closed chamber enclosures.
 
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wellington

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The need for high humidity remains no matter the age for a RF. Babies need it a bit more. Adults are more flexible. And a fully grown RF would no longer pyramid with less humidity because he's no longer growing.
That being said, providing high humidity in a very large area must be extremely difficult. And doing that indoors is even more so.
The green house idea is fantastic.
I take the humidity for granted because my south Florida tropical climate closely matches Central or South America pretty closely.
I have no experience in keeping RF in an artificial environment. And only limited periods of time in smaller closed chamber enclosures.
Yes I know RF need high humidity throughout their life. The typical closed chamber time has passed for these two in my opinion. Adults should not live in closed chambers. Not the kind at least that are the more common ones posted on this forum. Green houses closed but most of the larger ones needed for the adults have high ceilings/foot print then the typical closed chamber.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Yes I know RF need high humidity throughout their life. The typical closed chamber time has passed for these two in my opinion. Adults should not live in closed chambers. Not the kind at least that are the more common ones posted on this forum. Green houses closed but most of the larger ones needed for the adults have high ceilings/foot print then the typical closed chamber.
I can't even imagine a standard closed chamber enclosure large enough for an adult Redfoot.. A greenhouse seems to be the way to go. Or an outside enclosure with misting sprinklers over head to saturate the ground in the morning and then let evaporation during the day give off humidity. Like I do during the dryer months.
 

TammyJ

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Maybe you could keep just one and make a proper and suitable home for it rather than try to fit two into separate spaces. They really are a lot better off without the other one, and you don't have space for two large humid enclosures, right?
 

wellington

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I can't even imagine a standard closed chamber enclosure large enough for an adult Redfoot.. A greenhouse seems to be the way to go. Or an outside enclosure with misting sprinklers over head to saturate the ground in the morning and then let evaporation during the day give off humidity. Like I do during the dryer months.
I know. That's why I asked when you mentioned them needing a closed chamber. It would have to be very big and expensive and then two of them. Probably a fork lift to move them lol.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I know. That's why I asked when you mentioned them needing a closed chamber. It would have to be very big and expensive and then two of them. Probably a fork lift to move them lol.
Like I said. I take a lot for granted.
If I didn't live here I'm pretty sure I would've never gotten into tortoise keeping. Certainly not RF at any rate.
 

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