Adopting/rescuing Russian Tortoise this weekend

hcl113083

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Sep 18, 2020
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Hi All-
I am adopting/rescuing a Russian Tortoise this weekend. I have cared for many animals before, but this will be my first Russian Tortoise. I know (s)he is coming with its current housing/food/lighting etc, but since I haven't seen any of it yet I'm not sure if it is the correct lighting/diet etc. As such, I am trying to prepare as much as I can for transitioning my new friend to its new home. I live in New England so having a year round outdoor area isn't going to work (today is a high of 60!). I would love to setup a large garden tray in the house for him/her to graze in. I'm thinking of putting in this Russian Tortoise Forge Mix (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C43Y6LT/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) and do dandelions and endive frisee too. What do you experts know that I don't and that I should be thinking of to make sure (s)he will be happy here for a long, long time.

I don't want to overwhelm the poor thing not knowing its background, but want to make sure it has what is needed as quickly as possible.

TIA!
 
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TortoiseWarrior

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Welcome
 

crimson_lotus

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good news is, the weather in the northeast is great for a russian. you may want to also think about brumating them at some point (not this year, they will need to acclimate and you have to make sure they are 100% healthy first)

the garden tray sounds lovely as well! just don't be surprised if it's gone almost immediately.
 

hcl113083

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good news is, the weather in the northeast is great for a russian. you may want to also think about brumating them at some point (not this year, they will need to acclimate and you have to make sure they are 100% healthy first)

the garden tray sounds lovely as well! just don't be surprised if it's gone almost immediately.
Thanks for the heads up! I have been shocked with how much she is eating. I wasn't sure if it was because she may not have had the right diet previously or if they just eat that much. I was feeding 2 smaller meals a day, but today opted for 1 larger meal (the size of her shell) and almost all was gone in 20 mins. I'm excited we are supposed to have warmer weather this week so I can put her in a pen outside and she can munch on some of our clover.
 

hcl113083

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Sep 18, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
MA
good news is, the weather in the northeast is great for a russian. you may want to also think about brumating them at some point (not this year, they will need to acclimate and you have to make sure they are 100% healthy first)

the garden tray sounds lovely as well! just don't be surprised if it's gone almost immediately.
Sorry...another question. You mentioned NE weather is great! What is the coldest temp you would bring your russian out in? I would love for her to get natural sunlight as I am sure she hasn't had any, but didn't know if low 60's were too cold for a quick (10 min or so) outside play date.
 

crimson_lotus

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Thanks for the heads up! I have been shocked with how much she is eating. I wasn't sure if it was because she may not have had the right diet previously or if they just eat that much. I was feeding 2 smaller meals a day, but today opted for 1 larger meal (the size of her shell) and almost all was gone in 20 mins. I'm excited we are supposed to have warmer weather this week so I can put her in a pen outside and she can munch on some of our clover.
I don't have a russian - I have a redfoot which is a more tropical species. I can say that she is not fully grown yet and literally eats plants down to the roots when I put any in her enclosure. Maybe alternating the tray with another, or picking it yourself and putting it on a slate might be best.

Sorry...another question. You mentioned NE weather is great! What is the coldest temp you would bring your russian out in? I would love for her to get natural sunlight as I am sure she hasn't had any, but didn't know if low 60's were too cold for a quick (10 min or so) outside play date.
NE weather is great for russians as they can tolerate colder climates. I think 60 is an OK night temperature but they should have the option to warm up if necessary. night boxes are an option: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/

maybe someone with more experience in particular with russians can chime in
 

hcl113083

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I don't have a russian - I have a redfoot which is a more tropical species. I can say that she is not fully grown yet and literally eats plants down to the roots when I put any in her enclosure. Maybe alternating the tray with another, or picking it yourself and putting it on a slate might be best.



NE weather is great for russians as they can tolerate colder climates. I think 60 is an OK night temperature but they should have the option to warm up if necessary. night boxes are an option: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/

maybe someone with more experience in particular with russians can chime in
Thanks! I think I will wait to bring her out until later this week then when it's supposed to be closer to 80. I'm going to keep her indoors this fall/winter, but would like to build her an outdoor pen for next spring/summer. One step at at time. lol
 

Duckster RT

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May 3, 2019
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Welcome. Great information and great ppl here. One great thing is temperature reading “laser gun”. You can get a accurate temperature on everything. I find it helpful. Even for the water when soaking.
 
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