Advice for Marginated baby tortoise


New Member
Jul 24, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Hi, I have recently been offered a Marginated baby tortoise from a rescue centre about 6 months old and wonder if living in the UK is the best environment for this species. The weather being the main problem, does it ever stop raining?? and with it being so unpredictable. I have done quite a lot of research and although I would love to adopt this tortoise, I am concerned about the right care for this tortoise as I know they can suffer from shell rot too if left outside. I know the outdoor housing should have lots of slate and rocks for the tortoise to walk on, slate which we have lots of so thats a bonus for when the sun does come out. Or do I adopt the Horsefield or Hermann?

there are two marginated for adoption.

Hope you can help, thank you!!


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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Feb 27, 2009
Location (City and/or State)
The Catskill Mountains of New York State
Keeping a Hermann's or Horsefieldi (Russian) tortoise would have no different care parameters than a Marginated does. Those as well as any of the other Testudo species have nearly the same care requirements. If you don't have ideal conditions for a Marginated then you don't have ideal conditions for a Hermann's or Russian either. In actuality the conditions you describe would be the worse for Russians than the other two species. The chances of shell rot developing are not nearly as common as you'd think. However, all of the mentioned species do require considerable periods of warmth and dryness in order to not be constantly wet. They also require that heat to warm their bodies up to activity level temperatures that facilitate digestion and movement.
I am in the U.S. but I know for a fact that thousands of tortoises of many species are being kept outdoors very successfully in the U.K. and have been for many decades. So it can be done. I would suggest seeking out some U.K. keepers and asking them what they do. There are a few reptile websites based in the U.K.where you may be able to find help from also.

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
If you adopt a baby or very young tortoise, you will need an indoor enclosure anyway for most of its early years.
Have a look at
and (care for Marginated and Hermann's is essentially the same).
Many UK owners keep older Testudo species in their gardens all year round with no problems. They hibernate through the worst of the winter. Shell rot should not be a problem.