Hello from SW-FL

MikeT307

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
I've been a forum lurker for the past few weeks, so I thought I might as well say hello! We do not have a tortoise yet.

The original interest was in sulcatas. They just seemed to have a lot going for them. Like being hardy, big, very common, somewhat social (for a tortoise), and had a really simple diet. The downside is they are burrowers. Living between lake Okeechobee and the Everglades means during the summer rainy season any deeper than maybe 18-24" there will be standing water in a burrow and it could easily collapse regardless of how deep it went. We do have gopher tortoises that burrow here but they native to South FL and better suited for the area. Due to the risk, I'd rather not go with a burrowing tortoise species.

That led me to leopard tortoises. They are pretty similar in husbandry and diet. They also don't really burrow, get relatively large and look nice but seem more susceptible to respiratory problems in cool damp conditions. Maybe the respiratory infection risk is minor but again I'm not sure the two tortoises mentioned from the plains of Africa are ideal for the South Florida environment.

Which led me to the obvious choice of red and yellow foot tortoises. They seem about as good as a non-native tortoise species can get is for the conditions I can offer. Their diet is more diverse than leopards and sulcatas but I have no shortage of chemical free weeds a good size mulberry tree and spineless prickly pear. Plus they look really good!

I plan to aquire a redfoot tortoise in late April. I'll post some pics of the enclosure once it's finished. The outdoor enclosure will be somewhere in the 32' x 10' size.

Thank you all for the wealth of knowledge on the forum!

Mike
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
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Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,383
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Welcome to the Forum!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
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Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
28,925
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Welcome
I'm in south east Florida and this weather is 100%:Redfoot tortoise!!!
Check out my very inexpensive Redfoot outdoors enclosure on YOUTUBE:
REDFOOT HABITAT FLORIDA STYLE
Maybe you'll get a helpful idea from it.
 

MikeT307

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
I will definitely check out the enclosure video. Thanks for the warm welcomes!
 

MikeT307

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
Zeropilot,

Do you happen to have an enclosure build thread on the forum? I really like your use of patio bins as the night boxes/tortoise houses. Nice looking torts too!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
28,925
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Zeropilot,

Do you happen to have an enclosure build thread on the forum? I really like your use of patio bins as the night boxes/tortoise houses. Nice looking torts too!
No.
It's just steel fence pickets hammered into the ground and some pressure treated lumber screwed to it.
 

MPappagallo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
369
Location (City and/or State)
Myrtle Beach, SC
I've been a forum lurker for the past few weeks, so I thought I might as well say hello! We do not have a tortoise yet.

The original interest was in sulcatas. They just seemed to have a lot going for them. Like being hardy, big, very common, somewhat social (for a tortoise), and had a really simple diet. The downside is they are burrowers. Living between lake Okeechobee and the Everglades means during the summer rainy season any deeper than maybe 18-24" there will be standing water in a burrow and it could easily collapse regardless of how deep it went. We do have gopher tortoises that burrow here but they native to South FL and better suited for the area. Due to the risk, I'd rather not go with a burrowing tortoise species.

That led me to leopard tortoises. They are pretty similar in husbandry and diet. They also don't really burrow, get relatively large and look nice but seem more susceptible to respiratory problems in cool damp conditions. Maybe the respiratory infection risk is minor but again I'm not sure the two tortoises mentioned from the plains of Africa are ideal for the South Florida environment.

Which led me to the obvious choice of red and yellow foot tortoises. They seem about as good as a non-native tortoise species can get is for the conditions I can offer. Their diet is more diverse than leopards and sulcatas but I have no shortage of chemical free weeds a good size mulberry tree and spineless prickly pear. Plus they look really good!

I plan to aquire a redfoot tortoise in late April. I'll post some pics of the enclosure once it's finished. The outdoor enclosure will be somewhere in the 32' x 10' size.

Thank you all for the wealth of knowledge on the forum!

Mike
Welcome to the forum! Redfoots are a great choice for your area! They have great personalities and are very sociable. Best of luck to you!
 

kanalomele

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
1,526
Location (City and/or State)
East Bay area
Welcome to TFO! Whatever tortoise you choose there will be someone here to help you out
 

MikeT307

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
Thanks again for the hospitality! I'm trying to absorb all the info I can. I'm about 80% sure we will settle on a redfoot in the next few months.
 

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