Couple of Questions for my Two new Red Foots

Status
Not open for further replies.

EddieW

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando
Hey guys. So my two Red Foot's arrived two days a go and I've been doing nothing but research on here for what seems like days and I've learned some great stuff.

However, I still have a couple of areas of concern that I'm not to sure about and would greatly appreciate any and all input.

Oh and to give you some details about my babies, I live in Orlando Florida. They are kept inside for now because they are really tiny they even still have their egg tooth's. They have a heat emmiter on one side of their enclouser (100 gallon Rubbermaid stock) and a Basking light on the other side.

Questions:

1) If I take them outside to play around for an hour or so a couple of times a week, would that satisfy their need for UVB?

2) My feeding schedule has been greens for two days than fruit on the third day. I also bought reptocal to sprkinle on their food once a week. The question is should I be inserting some protein in their diet? And if so, What should I be giving them and how Often?

That's all I have for now. Thanks guys oh and here are a few pictures of the little guys.
 

Attachments

  • Torts2.jpg
    Torts2.jpg
    56.7 KB · Views: 96
  • Torts.jpg
    Torts.jpg
    43.8 KB · Views: 69

starfield

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
196
I would say that the real unfiltered sunshine a few times a week would do your baby lots of good, but to be safe, add a UV bulb inside as well. One can never be too cautious when caring for these little guys.
As far as feeding, I do a spring green mix 7days a week. I add veggies to it one day, fruit another ( sometimes twice per week) and I add a protein once per week, or every two weeks (boiled egg and a mealworm) For more detailed care and feeding instructions, I suggest tortoiseyard.com....Vicki has wonderful care notes and she runs a class act!
Side note, I see that you have the babies on sand as part of their enclosure. Sand is dangerous as a substrate, as it does not hold humidity correctly and the most dangerous part, it increases the chances of intestinal impaction. Even if you dont feed them on it, you know how nosy hungry little baby torts are. I would replace it with a cypress mulch/sphagnum base. I use some coconut fiber as well.
If some of you senior members want to chime in and fill any holes, please do!!!! :)
Hope this helps and congrats on the kiddos, they are very gorgeous..Do you know their parents locality info?
 

EddieW

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando
Thanks stafield. I have cypress mulch and sphagnum moss covering nearly all the enclosure just a small amount with play dirt. I'm going to take it out though if it is a hazard to the torts.

What is the best veggie and fruit to give them? Like highest in calcium and other vitamins.

I know that their parents are in Naples Florida and that's where they breed them, actually the place (reptmart.com) have a pretty state of the art facility.
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
UVB- About an hour a week or so over several short sessions, under unfiltered sunlight is perfectly adequate. They don't need additional UVB with this. Understand, however, that time spent in dark hides, etc. does not count towards this total and tortoises love to hide!

Protein- With the foods we offer in captivity, they really probably don't need much animal protein. The general consensus of the pros is that meat should only be about 5-15% of the total diet. You can offer a very small amount every day, or a bigger chunk once a week or so. My personal preference is a weekly serving of meat no larger than the tortoise's head. I also prefer live worms, bugs, slugs and snails whenever possible, but will also use chicken, 'oily fish', dog or cat food (once in a while), etc.

Substrate- Wild red-foots often pass up to 25% of their feces as sand. Sand itself is not really a problem, but a dehydrated tortoises is. Dehydrated tortoises will not pass sand correctly and that leads to the compactions and blockages.

I really like cypress mulch as a substrate for red-footeds, even young ones, and find that using a single substrate makes managing the habitat easier.

Best fruit or veggie- That would be green figs, followed by papaya and cactus fruits. The thing is that it is less important to find the 'best' option, and go with a variety of good options since no one item will ever offer all the benefits we want.

Beside's Vicki's great tortoiseyard.com, you can find some good articles and links at the Tortoise Library, linked below.
 

EddieW

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
Orlando
Madkins007 said:
UVB- About an hour a week or so over several short sessions, under unfiltered sunlight is perfectly adequate. They don't need additional UVB with this. Understand, however, that time spent in dark hides, etc. does not count towards this total and tortoises love to hide!

Protein- With the foods we offer in captivity, they really probably don't need much animal protein. The general consensus of the pros is that meat should only be about 5-15% of the total diet. You can offer a very small amount every day, or a bigger chunk once a week or so. My personal preference is a weekly serving of meat no larger than the tortoise's head. I also prefer live worms, bugs, slugs and snails whenever possible, but will also use chicken, 'oily fish', dog or cat food (once in a while), etc.

Substrate- Wild red-foots often pass up to 25% of their feces as sand. Sand itself is not really a problem, but a dehydrated tortoises is. Dehydrated tortoises will not pass sand correctly and that leads to the compactions and blockages.

I really like cypress mulch as a substrate for red-footeds, even young ones, and find that using a single substrate makes managing the habitat easier.

Best fruit or veggie- That would be green figs, followed by papaya and cactus fruits. The thing is that it is less important to find the 'best' option, and go with a variety of good options since no one item will ever offer all the benefits we want.

Beside's Vicki's great tortoiseyard.com, you can find some good articles and links at the Tortoise Library, linked below.


Thanks Madkins this is great stuff!!!

I bought some papaya tonight and one of them loved it, the other wouldn't take a bite of it which was weird but I'll keep up with using more variety in the fruit and veggie category.

I will just go a head and part ways with the sand, I though maybe a sandy/muddy section might be nice but It's not worth the risk.

As for the UVB I will go the route of taking them outside for an hour or more each week. I personally never liked keeping the big UVB light shining down on my other red foot all the time, just seemed to irritate him and his eyes were always dry.

Thanks again.
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
Overhead lighting is trickier than it seems. It is all too easy to blast their little bitty tank with more watts than we would use for an entire living room, and then we add heat and UVB to the mix in a way that it is sometimes hard to make everything balance right- especially when wee a big 'all-in-one' bulb.

If you ever DO need to keep him inside for long, consider a typical long fluorescent tube ih low UVB output. Because they spend as much time as they do under it, a low-output UVB is generally enough for many reptiles.
 

bigred

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
3,401
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I think starfield pretty much hit the nail om the head. I use straight sphagnum moss for my adults and hatchlings.
 

UmakeMegiggle247

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
13
i didnt read all the other comments, so I hope I don't repeat anything said. yes they like protein, once a week or once every two weeks. chicken, shrimp, crickets, earthworms... you can even give them catfood that is soft and wet(not the dry food). be careful what catfood, try to get organic, and look at the ingredients and make sure there isn't a lot of corn. my red foot's favorite protein is the chicken formula made by Avoderm. It is my cats' favorite as well. =)
 

LeaderLeprechaun

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
161
Location (City and/or State)
Mississippi
UmakeMegiggle247 said:
i didnt read all the other comments, so I hope I don't repeat anything said. yes they like protein, once a week or once every two weeks. chicken, shrimp, crickets, earthworms... you can even give them catfood that is soft and wet(not the dry food). be careful what catfood, try to get organic, and look at the ingredients and make sure there isn't a lot of corn. my red foot's favorite protein is the chicken formula made by Avoderm. It is my cats' favorite as well. =)

woot you answered a question ive been wondering about shrimp and protein sources, thanks so much for the info
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
As long as it is not fatty, salty, overly processed, full of chemicals, or so on, there are not a lot of meats, fish, eggs or poultry, bugs, or invertebrates red-footed tortoises cannot eat.

Having said that, understand that some things, like oily fish, cause loose and/or smelly stools and they just plain don't need a lot of meat protein in a good diet.

As far as processed pet foods, I avoid them. There is almost always something else around I can use, often something I am eating in a salad- so I don't use it much. However, if you are working with a larger herd, it is often convenient to use pelleted cat food because it is cheap, stable, and easy to feed. The biggest concern is that most reasonably priced pet foods depend heavily on fillers, non-food additives, etc. (even many organics).

As long as it is only a small part of the diet, you can actually use almost any meat-based pet food you want. After all, these guys eagerly eat animal droppings in the wild. There is not much in a SMALL, OCCASIONAL serving of even the nastiest wet dog food that will bother them much.
 

brian4342

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
14
Hi, two things I offer my red foot is pinky mice once a week and as a treat once a month I get some canned iguana food zoomed, my red foot just loves that stuff :p
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top