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Is our 5yr old Turtie a boy or girl??

ZEROPILOT

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She gets fresh figs when in season. I will try papaya, which she has refused to eat, and cantaloupe if I can get a ripe one or ripen it at home. She has eaten cantaloupe in the in the past but never seeds from it.
For a Redfoot, fruit can make up more than half of the diet.
They can eat a huge variety of foods. So finding easy things to feed should be extremely easy.
 

Diane Berner

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May 29, 2015
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For a Redfoot, fruit can make up more than half of the diet.
They can eat a huge variety of foods. So finding easy things to feed should be extremely easy.
Do you keep females that are laying eggs outdoors? Can you describe where they like to lay eggs? Any suggestions about a redfoot living indoors and nesting?
 

Tom

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I will try leaving her outside in the future but right now it's ranging from the 40's to low 60's 70's durin the day. I think that' s too cold to be outdoors right now. Let me know what you think.
Night temps don't matter because the tortoise will be locked up safely in the warm 80-85 degree box. 60 or 70s and sunny is also fine for day time because they can warm up in the sun, and they can always go back in the box to get warm too. Most winter days here are as you described and all of my adult tortoises of all species live outside full time with their heated night boxes.
 

Diane Berner

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Night temps don't matter because the tortoise will be locked up safely in the warm 80-85 degree box. 60 or 70s and sunny is also fine for day time because they can warm up in the sun, and they can always go back in the box to get warm too. Most winter days here are as you described and all of my adult tortoises of all species live outside full time with their heated night boxes.
Thanks for the information. That makes me more comfortable about putting her outside
 

ZEROPILOT

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Do you keep females that are laying eggs outdoors? Can you describe where they like to lay eggs? Any suggestions about a redfoot living indoors and nesting?
They lay in corners, under bushes and on other areas that are general shaded and away from tortoise traffic.
Loose soil often attracts them to lay in a certain area, but afterwards, they tamp down the soil and pee on it as they do so. So that area often shows little signs of disturbance.
I've seen Redfoot in less than ideal enclosures such as yours. A female may just lay eggs on the surface of the substrate or damage the eggs trying to bury them deeply enough.
Knowledge has taught me that in my situation...leave the eggs alone.
The "wild method" hatch rate is about the same as my incubator hatch rate here in south Florida.
 

Diane Berner

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Thanks for the information. Sje jas tried multiple areas of her habitat to dig a nest. Warm side or cool side they've all been tried. I've added a lot more substrate so I hope that helps.
 

OkAdiza

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Oct 7, 2019
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Virginia
Sometimes when I try to help, some people think I'm a big jerk. Maybe its the lack of tone from the typed word, or maybe I'm just bad at diplomacy and sugar coating things? Either way, I mean well, so I'm glad when people aren't offended.

Fire ants need to be eradicated. @ZEROPILOT has suggested good tips for that in the past, so let's see if we can get his help on this here. He's in FL, so fire ants are a constant problem there.

Raccoons and other predators are not a problem for a tortoise as large as yours that is safely locked away in its heated night box each night. Every night I make sure the tortoises are in their boxes and latch the doors shut. Every morning, I unlatch and drop open each door.

They eat sticks and rocks when there are dietary deficiencies or imbalances. Do you feed mostly grocery store greens? That will do it. Try adding some more weeds, leaves, flowers and plants of the right types. I avoid grocery store foods when possible. If you must use grocery store foods, favor endive and escarole are your mainstays. Use arugula, cilantro, dandelion greens, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens and more for variety. Also go online and order up some "MinerAll" from a company called "Sticky Tongue Farms". To be clear, this isn't a calcium deficiency, so adding calcium sometimes makes it worse. MinerAll is a balanced mineral supplement and it usually stops the stick and rock eating behavior within a week or two.

Hard ground is not a problem for tortoises. They can dig in ground so hard that my pick axe makes sparks when I hit it. We have ground so hard here that the blade of my shovel just bends when I jump on it, instead of penetrating the ground. Females empty their bladder reserves to help soften up the ground where they want to dig too. I wouldn't worry too much about that, but you can always go around and break up the ground and add some better dirt to a few areas around the enclosure. You'd be surprised how easily they can dig down and how far.

Yes on the x-ray. This is the only way to know how serious of a problem we are dealing with. Some people can also palpate the tortoise and feel foe eggs manually. I don't trust that method and don't use it myself. If you feel an egg, hey, that's great. Not feeling an egg though, means that you just didn't find one from the outside. Doesn't mean they aren't in there.
Tom, were those super market greens: endive, escarole, arugula, cilantro, specific to Red Foots or for tortoises in general? Are those ok for a Hermann’s?
 

DesertGirl

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That's going to be tough to provide that much substrate in the habitat I have. How about a box in the habitat filled with substrate. Do you think that would work? I know she hates when I change anything around in her habitat. I know I need to get her a bigger place to live. I'm saving for an animal plastics cage. I live in Texas and right now it' s a little to cold to be outside. It's in the 60's at night. Also veey dry here so there's no humidity.
Where in TX is there no humidity? Lived there for 60 years and always seemed humid to me.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Tom, were those super market greens: endive, escarole, arugula, cilantro, specific to Red Foots or for tortoises in general? Are those ok for a Hermann’s?
Those greens are good for any species of tortoise, whenever grocery store foods must be used. I prefer weeds, leaves, flowers, grasses and succulents whenever possible.
 

OkAdiza

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Oct 7, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Those greens are good for any species of tortoise, whenever grocery store foods must be used. I prefer weeds, leaves, flowers, grasses and succulents whenever possible.
Thank you, I want to do the more weed, leaf/flower route, but always good to know safe alternatives.
 

MPappagallo

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Myrtle Beach, SC
View attachment 282614 View attachment 282615 Hi everyone,
Our Redfoot is doing great...grown alot since my last post. Weighs about 10lbs and is 13inches long... so far I've always thought Turtie (his name ) is a male but I thought I would let the experts help figure this out ... recently there has been some digging going on in the substrate... I would just die if suddenly -he- lays an egg!
Congratulations! It's a girl!
 

luke2431

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Jun 2, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
pensacola, fl
View attachment 282614 View attachment 282615 Hi everyone,
Our Redfoot is doing great...grown alot since my last post. Weighs about 10lbs and is 13inches long... so far I've always thought Turtie (his name ) is a male but I thought I would let the experts help figure this out ... recently there has been some digging going on in the substrate... I would just die if suddenly -he- lays an egg![/QUOTE
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Aug 23, 2016
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315
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Oregon Coast
When I was a selfish teen, I bought a random sulcata hatchling at a pet store. But then I just put her into a glass 50 gallon terrarium with my adult russian from petco!!!! What a crime against those poor babies. If I only had cared then the way I do now. Good thing I was no parent to a human baby!
I was not responsible. I refused to allow myself to get my tortoise for 2 years while I studied, planned her encloser, and built a huge table.
 

quasimodo

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Jan 21, 2020
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2
Location (City and/or State)
Chapel Hill, NC
As far as fire ants are concerned.
I have a dedicated outdoors enclosure and my animals only rarely roam outside of it. So I treat my yard with Amdro fire ant granules outside of the enclosure and inside I hide glass jars (Mason jars...Mayonaise jars) with baits inside. These glass jars have screw on metal lids. I poke holes in the metal lids and lay the jars on their sides out of sight.
They are effective and semi waterproof. There's always a lot of rain here in sunny Florida.
It also keeps the poison away from your tortoises and you can add attractant to the poison bait. Cooked meat for the fire ants. (Kentucky fried chicken skin works GREAT) And Jelly for sugar eaters. They all come for lunch.....And die.
Initially, I also sprayed the outside wood of the enclosure with liquid Fire ant killer. But I stopped that practice. I believe that is just overkill.
It has been so effective that right this moment, I don't have any bait in the yard or in the pens.
I have a Fire ant free property.
And that's pretty amazing.
Thanks so much for the fire ant treatment ideas. I've never thought of the bait jars but an amazing idea!
 

Blackdog1714

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Jul 30, 2018
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Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
For your outdoor you could use shade cloth and add a misting system. This could help you add and keep plants. Best of luck to you!
 
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