How I researched to establish caresheet..

MichaelaW

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Great posts, both redfoot nerd and cdmay. The best keepers are the ones that take the time to do the research.
 

Anyfoot

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Ok, this thread has raised a few thoughts and questions for me.

We know that the redfoot cover a vast varying terrains with varied climates. Wet and dry Savannahs,arid,maintain range, tropical forest lines etc.

If we sent 3 men out to different areas, lets say an arid, wet savannah and the tropical forest line to study and then imitate this in captive care. Assuming all 3 men had some savvy, they would each end up with slightly different methods of raising healthy reds. All would not be wrong but different.
How does the next new member on this forum care for his/her newly bought redfoot taking into account all these different care methods? It gets mind boggling for a newbie who just wants to raise a healthy pet.
To explain how to care for a redfoot to the next new member who logs in here on the forum saying( "I've just bought a new redfoot from the reptile shop and need advice on care") in detail of every scenario would be very overwhelming.
To imitate every possibility in a small enclosure would be impossible.
So a generalization is needed to help newbies, I would have thought.
This in a nutshell is , humidity,diet,lighting and temps.
Now going back to redfootnerds care sheet, he showed how he derived to come to care and rear healthy reds with what we could class as a generalization of redfoot care. Yes his research for weather(for example) was not zoomed in to every area the redfoot habitates in. It was a generalization that created a method that works for any new members to follow. Its probable amongst all you top end keepers of decades that there are tiny areas of a general care that you won't agree on. So what. The aim of this thread was hopefully to help newbies. In time (like me) that newbie may start researching more in depth of specifics to localities. But for the early days/months/years its about getting newbies on the right track to good healthy torts.
I don't know anything about caring for a leopard Tortoise. If I woke up tomorrow morning and decided that I wanted a Leo. I could read Toms care sheet go to the reptile shop, buy all necessary equipment and a leo, by the end of that same day I would be on the road to raising a healthy Leo. I don't see that option for a potential redfoot keeper in this redfoot section. We need a basic care sheet pinned form you guys(the experts) to help newbies. It may have examples of 2 or 3 feeding methods that all work or slightly different substrate options etc etc.

Now for my questions.

I've noticed on a couple of occasions Pete mention basking. I've seen my adults basking but never my juveniles.
Do juveniles bask in the wild?

I was under the impression that even in the arid areas where carbonaria habitate there was stills months of rainfall certain times of the year. I thought throughout their habitats wet seasons could be anything from 4 months to 9 months long per year. Is this correct?
I was planning in my new enclosure to imitate a 6 to 8 month period of wet season, feeding higher friut and protein levels as they have a growth spurt. Then a 4 to 6 months dryer period backing off with fruit and protein levels to imitate a slow or none growth period. Am I way off with this thought process ?

Lastly, what may seem a wierd question, hypothetically speaking.
If I was to go to Bolivia collect a Bolivian redfoot and release it in Colombia, would this Tortoise thrive aswell as the Colombians?
 

allegraf

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I agree that there are certain parameters that the reds need to thrive. The problem is that most keepers live in different areas of the world and have to adjust their set up accordingly. This is why I always encourage new keepers to get in touch with other keepers in their geographical area to find out what works for them and how they have set up their reds. The requirements to keep a red in Nevada is going to be significantly different than those in New England or Sweden.

They are tough little buggers (at least when they reach a certain age-NOT HATCHLINGS) that are pretty forgiving to their environment. We all want to do the best we can and that is why these kind of discussions are priceless.
 

cdmay

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Ok, this thread has raised a few thoughts and questions for me.


Now for my questions.

I've noticed on a couple of occasions Pete mention basking. I've seen my adults basking but never my juveniles.
Do juveniles bask in the wild?


I was under the impression that even in the arid areas where carbonaria habitate there was stills months of rainfall certain times of the year. I thought throughout their habitats wet seasons could be anything from 4 months to 9 months long per year. Is this correct?
I was planning in my new enclosure to imitate a 6 to 8 month period of wet season, feeding higher friut and protein levels as they have a growth spurt. Then a 4 to 6 months dryer period backing off with fruit and protein levels to imitate a slow or none growth period. Am I way off with this thought process ?

Lastly, what may seem a wierd question, hypothetically speaking.
If I was to go to Bolivia collect a Bolivian redfoot and release it in Colombia, would this Tortoise thrive aswell as the Colombians?


Some brief answers to your questions. In order:

Yes...but neonates and juveniles bask much more cryptically. This is why they are so hard to find.

Yes, even in dry thornscrub or the Gran Chaco there are periods of high rainfall and lush growth, but it's seasonal.

No, you're not way off in your thought process--but you are overthinking. It would be far too difficult to do what you describe in your home and it simply isn't necessary. As Allegra pointed out, they're tough. And I would add, adaptable too. No wonder they inhabit such a wide variety of habitats.

Last question. Yes a Bolivian red-foot tortoise would do fine in Colombia. But then I would have my doubts about a Colombian red-foot thriving in the harsh Bolivian (or Paraguayan) Chaco where freezing temperatures and long dry periods occur during the year. Could be wrong though.

I think that the reason many of us with years of experience with this (and other tortoise species) of tortoise have chimed in is because we realize that speaking in absolutes, i.e. 'you MUST do this' or 'this is the ONLY way to achieve success' can be misleading and discouraging.
 

Turtlepete

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@Anyfoot, as far as generalizing their care, I see nothing wrong there. I wasn't pointing out what I did to try and invalidate Terry's care sheet in any way; I'll say again, the results he provides validate it well enough for me. I simply mentioned it just for curiosity's sake, really. It would have little benefit for a "newbie" to read, and that wasn't the intention of it; really just to provoke some discussions, which I suppose I succeeded in.

I agree with Carl and Allegra (and they have a LOT more experience then me in the matter, obviously). Redfoots really are not that difficult to care for…quite adaptable "tough little buggers". Terry's care sheet summed it up pretty well in that aspect; there are really only four or five parameters that need to be met for a healthy tortoise.

I think, when discussing what happens "in the wild" we need to understand that what they experience in the wild is not by any means the ideal environment for them 12 months out of the year. Climate and environment is always changing, and perhaps at a more rapid pace in recent years, and all wild animals will struggle to adapt to this. Just because a species occurs in an environment does not mean that environment is perfect to suit their needs; with many species, we can often do much better at this in captivity, in a controlled environment.

I do wonder what the different diets of captive and wild redfoots do though. For example, redfoots in the wild would pack on fruits and fungi such during the wet season and then not eat much during the dry season. This, I would imagine, provokes some sort of seasonal-dependent growth rates. In captivity on the other hand, we pack on nutritious food pretty much 12 months out of the year.
 

Turtlepete

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Some brief answers to your questions. In order:

Yes...but neonates and juveniles bask much more cryptically. This is why they are so hard to find.

Carl, you mention (I think somewhere in this thread) that redfoots more often inhabit the dryer savannah and the transitional areas between forest and savannah, rather than the forest itself. I've heard this before, but it always provokes the question for me, where do the hatchlings go? I can't see hatchlings and young ones faring well off in a more open savannah, and the forest seems like the perfect nursery in this scenario. Do the adults know to venture into more dense foliage to deposit their eggs?
 

cdmay

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Turtlepete...hatchlings are obviously very small animals and thus they can disappear into almost anything. And anywhere.
Savannahs, forest edges and so forth are not as open--or barren, as you would suppose.
I've seen photos of tortoises in coastal savannas in Suriname where the grass and sedges appear to be waist high. Trust me, even the adult tortoises can vanish in that stuff!
In actual fact, the ground inside of rainforest areas is far more open and clear than the ground of forest edges, savannas and other less dense types of forested regions.

Some of this is going off topic a bit...but then it started with how to prepare a care sheet.
I would argue that many keepers are highly interested in such information, just as many others are not.
My personal trend is to learn as much as possible about the animals in their various wild habitats--and then extrapolate that down to my captive care. It's all useful information to me. Plus, it's just downright interesting too!
 
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Tom

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At THIS point, SOMEONE is screwing around with 'Nerd.

Nah. I don't think so.

Its a tortoise forum. We are most definitely talking tortoises. I'm enjoying this discussion and learning a bunch about RFs.
 

lisa127

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Some brief answers to your questions. In order:

Yes...but neonates and juveniles bask much more cryptically. This is why they are so hard to find.

Yes, even in dry thornscrub or the Gran Chaco there are periods of high rainfall and lush growth, but it's seasonal.

No, you're not way off in your thought process--but you are overthinking. It would be far too difficult to do what you describe in your home and it simply isn't necessary. As Allegra pointed out, they're tough. And I would add, adaptable too. No wonder they inhabit such a wide variety of habitats.

Last question. Yes a Bolivian red-foot tortoise would do fine in Colombia. But then I would have my doubts about a Colombian red-foot thriving in the harsh Bolivian (or Paraguayan) Chaco where freezing temperatures and long dry periods occur during the year. Could be wrong though.

I think that the reason many of us with years of experience with this (and other tortoise species) of tortoise have chimed in is because we realize that speaking in absolutes, i.e. 'you MUST do this' or 'this is the ONLY way to achieve success' can be misleading and discouraging.
This is the only way to do this is misleading? Really? You must do this is misleading? Redfoot nerd is definetely NOT who I think of when I think of people on this forum saying you must do something a certain way.
 

cdmay

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This is the only way to do this is misleading? Really? You must do this is misleading? Redfoot nerd is definetely NOT who I think of when I think of people on this forum saying you must do something a certain way.

So far I don't recall mentioning Red-foot Nerd at any point in this thread. At least not in a negative way.

But in answer to your question yes, speaking in absolutes---saying that 'this is the only way to achieve natural looking captive raised tortoise' or 'you must follow my direction or your tortoises will look screwed up' and things like that, is misleading simply because such statements aren't true. It also puts an unnecessary fear into a new keepers head.
Many, many keepers have achieved perfectly natural looking captive raised tortoises without following any specific care sheet directive--either Red-foot Nerd's or anyone elses. But I would quickly add that care sheets can be, and generally are beneficial.
 

cdmay

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This is the only way to do this is misleading? Really? You must do this is misleading? Redfoot nerd is definetely NOT who I think of when I think of people on this forum saying you must do something a certain way.


Lisa127...you know, I haven't looked at TurtleTary's (Nerd's) care sheet for many years but your post made me take a look at it again.
I must admit that his revised 2010 version is much better and more balanced than his original, which is the one I'm familiar with. In general I think it's a fine care sheet. Really, and Nerd isn't all dogmatic like he used to be. Nice job Mr. Kilgore.
Of course, there are some statements that are simply not true, i.e. "A REDFOOT IS NOT A SAVANNAH TORTOISE!!!" True, red-foots are not savanna tortoises in the same manner that a leopard tortoise or sulcata from Africa are. The African savanna that these animals live in is very different from the ones that red-foots live in. One must understand that there are many types of savanna, but make no mistake--savanna is a primary habitat for red-foots in northern South America.
 

lisa127

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So far I don't recall mentioning Red-foot Nerd at any point in this thread. At least not in a negative way.

But in answer to your question yes, speaking in absolutes---saying that 'this is the only way to achieve natural looking captive raised tortoise' or 'you must follow my direction or your tortoises will look screwed up' and things like that, is misleading simply because such statements aren't true. It also puts an unnecessary fear into a new keepers head.
Many, many keepers have achieved perfectly natural looking captive raised tortoises without following any specific care sheet directive--either Red-foot Nerd's or anyone elses. But I would quickly add that care sheets can be, and generally are beneficial.
I agree with what you're saying. But this discussion is here on redfoot nerds thread so one would think we are speaking in regards to him. Again, i agree that there is not one way to do things. Maybe a few other members (besides terry) need to be told that.
 

Turtlepete

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This is the only way to do this is misleading? Really? You must do this is misleading? Redfoot nerd is definetely NOT who I think of when I think of people on this forum saying you must do something a certain way.

Why do we have to try and find offense where there is none? Discussion on any thread is welcome. Its what a forum is meant for. If you are trying to quash any discussion about the care of our tortoises, I must question why you come onto this forum, because you are attempting to destroy the sole purpose of it. Nobody here has insulted Terry in any way, and I firmly believe no one intends to. We are simply discussing his methods, and if we were unable to discuss someones methods, that would cause me to question the validity of them. The great thing about science is the requirement of peer review, and that firmly applies here as well.
 

cdmay

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Why do we have to try and find offense where there is none? Discussion on any thread is welcome. Its what a forum is meant for. If you are trying to quash any discussion about the care of our tortoises, I must question why you come onto this forum, because you are attempting to destroy the sole purpose of it. Nobody here has insulted Terry in any way, and I firmly believe no one intends to. We are simply discussing his methods, and if we were unable to discuss someones methods, that would cause me to question the validity of them. The great thing about science is the requirement of peer review, and that firmly applies here as well.

Personally, I never intentionally try to offend. But somehow my thoughts just come out that way...
bluto.jpg
 

lisa127

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Why do we have to try and find offense where there is none? Discussion on any thread is welcome. Its what a forum is meant for. If you are trying to quash any discussion about the care of our tortoises, I must question why you come onto this forum, because you are attempting to destroy the sole purpose of it. Nobody here has insulted Terry in any way, and I firmly believe no one intends to. We are simply discussing his methods, and if we were unable to discuss someones methods, that would cause me to question the validity of them. The great thing about science is the requirement of peer review, and that firmly applies here as well.
Things don't come out correctly online. I absolutely do like the discussions and questioning. I adopted my first redfoot this past summer so have been enjoying reading the information. As long as that applies to all forum members. I agree with cdmay in that there is not just one way to do things and one persons way isn't the only way. But that applies to all.
 
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