Are Red Foots social?

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kbirt27

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Hi all- I'm a newbie here, haven't even figured out how to add a photo to my profile. I have a new Red Foot, little over 4" which as far as I've red makes him/her about a year old. I just got him about a 3 weeks ago. Ive been soaking up tons of advice just reading all the threads so far but now I have a question I haven't seen much discussion on.

Are these little guys happy living solitary lives or would he be happier to have a brother/sister to share his enclosure with?

Sounds like some people have multiple tort and other people just one. If you have multiple, do they interact with each other regularly?

I feel kind of bad that Touché (my RF) is all alone. I have 2 dogs because I thought my first was lonely. Do torts get lonely?

Any thoughts? Is 2 better than 1?
 

dmmj

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Red foots can live in groups, but they don't get lonely by themselves. He will probably be happy all by himself. Don't get another one because you think he is lonely, get another one because you want one.
 

Tom

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And don't get another ONE, get another two or more. Pairs are not good.
 

kbirt27

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Thanks for the info and reassurance.

I definitely don't have space for 3 or more torts right now so I will hold off on expanding the family.

Just out of curiosity, when they do live in groups what kind of interactions do they have? Do they sleep together, bask in groups, fight over food, play in any way? Or is it more like parallel living?
 

allegraf

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Tom said:
And don't get another ONE, get another two or more. Pairs are not good.


So sayth one tort addict to another budding keeper...the drug of choice...tortoises!
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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allegraf said:
Tom said:
And don't get another ONE, get another two or more. Pairs are not good.

So sayth one tort addict to another budding keeper...the drug of choice...tortoises!

It sounds like the words of an addict, but it is based on firm behavioral observations. With tortoises, keeping two often leads to one getting bullied. Keeping three or more dilutes the aggression among multiple individuals, so no one tortoise gets picked on.

Redfoots seem to be a bit more social than most other types of tortoises, although probably not quite as gregarious as Manouria spp. Still, when in groups, they do seem to seek each other out, even outside of feeding time, suggesting that they actually like each other's company. They don't play the way mammals do, but they may bed down together, so maybe it feels good for them to just hang out.

But again, a keeper needs quite a bit of room, and more than two tortoises to promote more natural interactions. With only two redfoots, unless they have a very large area, the less aggressive one might get bullied to the point of not feeding, not growing normally, getting stressed out, or getting sick.
 

Madkins007

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If you have the room and resources, a small herd (3+) is generally better than one, but they are perfectly OK by themselves.

They generally sleep together, eat together, and sun together. One will often follow another everywhere it goes. You often find that 2-3 of them are almost inseperable.
 

Mgridgaway

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What has been said previously is all true for me. When I put my two redfoots together after quarantine, they became much more active and fun to watch. Now they'll both run to the food dish every time I walk past.

Redfoots are fine by themselves, but I find it much more enjoyable to have two, especially since it's not much extra work.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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Madkins007 said:
If you have the room and resources, a small herd (3+) is generally better than one, but they are perfectly OK by themselves.

They generally sleep together, eat together, and sun together. One will often follow another everywhere it goes. You often find that 2-3 of them are almost inseperable.

That sounds really cute. :)
 

Hustler

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Ive always had them 2 or more so Ive never seen one alone to know how they act.... But Im sure they would be just fine either way. One would be spoiled lol and 2 or more would have a buddy to share with :)
 

Yvonne G

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Hi kbirt27:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

What would you like us to call you?

...and may we know appx where in the world you are?

I know its hard, but we should try to not put human emotions on our reptile friends. They don't think and feel like mammals do. They are perfectly happy to live a solitary life.
 

DixieParadise

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I have 5 redfoots all about the same age (2). Some of them hang out together some stay solitary. They are more active as a herd, but that doesn't mean they are lonely. I have a very large old yellowfoot who is all by herself in a very large enclosure. She moves around and doesn't seem to be bothered that she is housed alone. Before I got her she was kept with a herd a redfoots.
Don't know if this helps you any, but agree with the earlier statement. Get another because You want one not because you feel your tortoise needs a friend.
 

kbirt27

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emysemys said:
Hi kbirt27:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

What would you like us to call you?

...and may we know appx where in the world you are?

I know its hard, but we should try to not put human emotions on our reptile friends. They don't think and feel like mammals do. They are perfectly happy to live a solitary life.

Thanks! You can call me KB if that's not too generic.

I'm in Oregon - cold climate for most torts so I am working with an indoor enclosure. Once I move to a larger space (we're in the process of house shopping these days) I plan to make a nice size table for Touché and then may be able to consider a couple more torts - eventually. For now I have a 45 gallon rubber tub with a 100w MVB over a jungle bed & cypress mulch substrate. My kids and I just finished planting some greens to add to the enclosure - an idea I picked up from the forum. We will rotate these small edible plants into the enclosure. I am much better with animals than plants however so it will most likely become the ongoing addition of new plants after I kill off the old ones.

You definitely caught me on the tendency to apply human emotions to all animals. This is my first non-mammal pet. I really enjoy watching my tort and couldn't help but wonder if being alone was a natural state for him. It seems if they live in groups in nature, then it would stand to reason that it might feel more normal to have some company. I'm really not in a position to expand yet anyhow.

So that leads me to another question. If I decide later I am ready to expand the family, are there any issues with adding a young tort into the enclosure/territory of a bigger/older tort?
 

dmmj

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When ever you house multiples together you always want them to be about the same size, accidents can happen from normal daily life among tortoises.
 

kbirt27

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I will keep that in mind in the future if/when I decide to add on. I am getting a little ahead of myself but I am really looking forward to learning more, gaining confidence and being able to house a herd! :)
 

Madkins007

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With red-footeds, the size differences are not as much a problem as they are with more aggressive or territorial species, but even so, big ones can tromp on small ones, block their access to food, etc.
 

theresal

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I also agree with previous posts that the red foots tend to eat, sun and bed down together. I had 4 red foots and got a 5th. During the quarantine period for the 5th one, I found her to be very picky about what she ate and I adopted her from a single tort home. Then, as soon as I added her to the pen with the other 4, she now eats almost anything I put in front of her. I will also agree with the comment about not getting another unless you want another. Tortoises seem perfectly happy to be alone unlike mammals.
 
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