Can Russian's be housed together?

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littlelotusgirrrl77

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Okay I keep reading statements that Russian's can't be housed together if it is only 2. Is that true? What happens? How can I make a safe temporary enclosure if I need to separate my tortoises? They have been together for over a year but Stormageddon seems to be harassing Rose. Not sure really if they are boys or girls... Thinking Rose might be a boy.
 

wellington

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No they usually can't. Bullying can lead to serious injury or death. You need to set up another enclosure like the one they are in now and move one to its new home.
 

mattgrizzlybear

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They don't do well in pairs or groups unless provided many basking spots and A LOT of room to roam and graze.


Also provide many food dishes
 

Tom

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It is physically possible for two russians to live together and be okay. Its just not very likely. Chances are better if they are babies, but even that is no guarantee. Rather than risk injury or chronic stress, the safe bet is to just house them separately. The problems your are noticing now are only going to get worse.
 

tyrs4u

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My adults might be an acceptance but the 'love' each other, when my kids were young that was different but they grew out of it strangely
 

kanalomele

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I think we discussed this on the facebook page as well. In general rts cannot be housed in pairs, especially once one of them is reaching sexual maturity. There may be some relative sort of peace before then as the territories and dominance is established pretty quickly. The only way to be somewhat successful with an adult mixed gender group is -space. They will need a very very large enclosure in order to establish territories and get away from one another. Visual barriers and breaks in the sightline help but truly its about the room to roam. For one of the smallest species they naturally roam one of the largest territories in the wild. Two mixed gender adults and you will have a very harassed female. Two females will fight for dominance and territory. One male to two or more females in a large enclosure and there will be some peace but not lots.
 

JoesMum

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Re: RE: Can Russian's be housed together?

kanalomele said:
I think we discussed this on the facebook page as well. In general rts cannot be housed in pairs, especially once one of them is reaching sexual maturity. There may be some relative sort of peace before then as the territories and dominance is established pretty quickly. The only way to be somewhat successful with an adult mixed gender group is -space. They will need a very very large enclosure in order to establish territories and get away from one another. Visual barriers and breaks in the sightline help but truly its about the room to roam. For one of the smallest species they naturally roam one of the largest territories in the wild. Two mixed gender adults and you will have a very harassed female. Two females will fight for dominance and territory. One male to two or more females in a large enclosure and there will be some peace but not lots.

I could not have put this better myself and will only add that rts will fight dirty. They bite and they draw blood as well as the usual mental bullying. The less dominant tort withdraws and may well die.
 

kanalomele

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JoesMum said:
kanalomele said:
I think we discussed this on the facebook page as well. In general rts cannot be housed in pairs, especially once one of them is reaching sexual maturity. There may be some relative sort of peace before then as the territories and dominance is established pretty quickly. The only way to be somewhat successful with an adult mixed gender group is -space. They will need a very very large enclosure in order to establish territories and get away from one another. Visual barriers and breaks in the sightline help but truly its about the room to roam. For one of the smallest species they naturally roam one of the largest territories in the wild. Two mixed gender adults and you will have a very harassed female. Two females will fight for dominance and territory. One male to two or more females in a large enclosure and there will be some peace but not lots.

I could not have put this better myself and will only add that rts will fight dirty. They bite and they draw blood as well as the usual mental bullying. The less dominant tort withdraws and may well die.

Thanks Joesmum. I completely agree with your observations on the agressiveness. Even in my very very large enclosure I have to break up fights within my group daily. I think its just in their nature to be naughty little rascals.
 

Lucymay

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I have 4 RTs, 3 of them live together is a very large outdoor enclosure. The 4th & youngest one has his own room (also outdoors). I've tried to put the 4th in with the others but it does not work out. The other 3 always attack him. It is so surprising to me how the 3 can live together so nicely and not accept the 4th.

I guess that's just nature :tort:
 

SpdTrtl

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Great advice already given but I will add my 2 cents as well.

I have 3 russians that were originally housed together when I purchased them. The pet store employee told me they got along great and never saw them "fight". That turned out to big a big fib!
I would catch the bigger one picking on the 2 little ones from time to time.
At first I would pick him up and just move him to the other side of the enclosure and he would be fine but then one day I saw him RUN, yes, RUN! after one of the little ones in attack mode so that was my awakening.
I still keep the little ones together and they seem so much more at peace now. I watch them sleep with their little legs out instead of all smushed in fear inside the shells. I suspect that one day as they get older I will have to seperate them as well.

My advice is that they should not be housed together.
 

MikeCow1

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I have four Russians that share an outside enclosure. Usually they get along fine. But, at the moment I had to separate my male as he's just getting too aggressive with one of the females. She keeps turning around but, instead of trying to mount her, he'll just keep chasing around and try to bite her head and legs. Then, he'll go mount a rock. No one said he's too bright. IMO, two will never work, but three or more sometimes will. Pictures of the tails would help here, too
 

Jacqui

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My Russians too seem to be an exception. I have had them for over twenty years in varying groupings, and various animals both inside and out. The only bad behavior is one year I had the whacking of each other's shell between two males. It last a couple of days and then stopped and has never repeated. Outside enclosures are large with lots of sight barriers, inside not so much so. They have been both burmated/hibernated and not.

It very much depends on your animals and how you have them set up.
 
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