New Desert Torts 🥰

Alex and the Redfoot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
1,707
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
It is not an absolute no no. Yes, it contains oxalates that interfere with the tortoises calcium absortion, but it can still be offered OCCASIONALLY, AS A PART OF A VARIED DIET. So not a absolute no no, but something you should be careful with and make sure you are not feeding too much.
Will from Kapidolo Farms and Markw84 explained the topic of oxalates somewhere. In short, some foods have very high calcium content and even if they contain oxalates they still provide more than enough digestible calcium. I hope, I'm not mistaken, but opuntia pads are the example of such. Oxalates also don't pose the risk of bladder stones in tortoises and raphides (sharp oxalate crystalls) doesn't seem to bother tortoise either.
 

Petey G

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2024
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Springs, CA
@Petey G - Thank you for being receptive. So many new members become offended and argumentative when we don't say what they want to hear. I'm glad you're open and listening. You may not believe us, or change your ways, but you're listening. That's good!!!
Hi Yvonne, I have ordered Turtles of the World by Jeffrey Lovich and am trying to gather as much info as possible. These two torts were born in captivity and have been kept together for five years as ambassador tortoises brought to schools. After that, a brief period with a family before being re-homed again to my yard. I really want to do what’s best for these two and (to this point) have not seen anything remotely aggressive in their behavior toward each other.

Please share any useful links that you may have that you feel are the best resources.

Attached is a pic of their habitat.

I would love to have a phone conversation with you but not sure possible. Food and feeding are my top concern at the moment. I’m trying to seed/plant their habitat so 80% of the time they can self-feed, including a patch of irrigated Bermuda grass. I have a calcium supplement, straw and a bag of Mazuri. They both seem to enjoy the small, shallow pond which is refilled by the irrigation daily. And also like being hand-fed the occasional grape or melon.

Thank you!!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3321.jpeg
    IMG_3321.jpeg
    3.4 MB · Views: 1

EppsDynasty

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
876
Location (City and/or State)
Canebrake Ca
Hi Yvonne, I have ordered Turtles of the World by Jeffrey Lovich and am trying to gather as much info as possible. These two torts were born in captivity and have been kept together for five years as ambassador tortoises brought to schools. After that, a brief period with a family before being re-homed again to my yard. I really want to do what’s best for these two and (to this point) have not seen anything remotely aggressive in their behavior toward each other.

Please share any useful links that you may have that you feel are the best resources.

Attached is a pic of their habitat.

I would love to have a phone conversation with you but not sure possible. Food and feeding are my top concern at the moment. I’m trying to seed/plant their habitat so 80% of the time they can self-feed, including a patch of irrigated Bermuda grass. I have a calcium supplement, straw and a bag of Mazuri. They both seem to enjoy the small, shallow pond which is refilled by the irrigation daily. And also like being hand-fed the occasional grape or melon.

Thank you!!
I'll answer this one since no one is.
@Petey G you have TORTOISES not TURTLES big difference. This brings to mind my Grandmother. She helped raise me and always would say "There are 2 things in this world Wants and Needs."
You WANT your info to be right but your Tortoises NEED the right info ... again 2 different things. I think you have fallen into the fairy land where because it's some well named BUSINESS "It must mean ALL their info is right." You are going to have a point in time where you realize that "They were wrong" about the genders, at this exact point in time YOU are going to have to make a decision ....Do I read, research, learn for myself or am I going to keep puking out false information because "The Living Desert told me so." Just because they are in Coachella or Joshua Tree don't mean squat. To allow an animal to be bullied "Whether you believe it or not" is animal cruelty. And it doesn't matter if you saw it or not, I remind you "You are not a Tortoise Behavioral Expert."
I hope you are still in the camp of "I'm not bent outta shape" when you realize "Your expert is far from it." Stick around awhile and you'll realize we're far more interesting than a hole in the wall.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
1,707
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
I'll answer this one since no one is.
@Petey G you have TORTOISES not TURTLES big difference. This brings to mind my Grandmother. She helped raise me and always would say "There are 2 things in this world Wants and Needs."
You WANT your info to be right but your Tortoises NEED the right info ... again 2 different things. I think you have fallen into the fairy land where because it's some well named BUSINESS "It must mean ALL their info is right." You are going to have a point in time where you realize that "They were wrong" about the genders, at this exact point in time YOU are going to have to make a decision ....Do I read, research, learn for myself or am I going to keep puking out false information because "The Living Desert told me so." Just because they are in Coachella or Joshua Tree don't mean squat. To allow an animal to be bullied "Whether you believe it or not" is animal cruelty. And it doesn't matter if you saw it or not, I remind you "You are not a Tortoise Behavioral Expert."
I hope you are still in the camp of "I'm not bent outta shape" when you realize "Your expert is far from it." Stick around awhile and you'll realize we're far more interesting than a hole in the wall.
@EppsDynasty This sounds offensive, even if it makes sense. Petey G is willing to learn and really cares about his tortoises. We all want the best for our tortoises and a warm welcome is really important for new keepers to stay on TFO and learn. Please, take a look at Yvonne's post earlier to compare. I understand your emotions and closely watch your threads on exceptional care of your tortoises, but yelling at newcomers just doesn't feels right.

P.S. - The book covers all Chelonia species including tortoises. It's not only about water turtles. "Turtles" in the title means any species of Testudines.
 

EppsDynasty

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
876
Location (City and/or State)
Canebrake Ca
@EppsDynasty This sounds offensive, even if it makes sense. Petey G is willing to learn and really cares about his tortoises. We all want the best for our tortoises and a warm welcome is really important for new keepers to stay on TFO and learn. Please, take a look at Yvonne's post earlier to compare. I understand your emotions and closely watch your threads on exceptional care of your tortoises, but yelling at newcomers just doesn't feels right.

P.S. - The book covers all Chelonia species including tortoises. It's not only about water turtles. "Turtles" in the title means any species of Testudines.
Thanks for the clarification on the book. This was not yelling. This is however a perfect example of how society and people in general just disregard any information that they don't know or agree with. Petey G was given info that he/she didn't like so it's wrong. And then to prove how wrong it was he/she claimed all of this info is wrong because it did not come from the The Living Desert. No one responded to the last post because it was going to be a response saying again your not right and no one wanted to be offensive. I don't hide from the truth, and if that's offensive O Well. I am no expert at ID of a species or Gender but the difference is I am open to saying "I am wrong" or "I have been given terrible advice and I believed it" No person is an "expert" if they refuse to keep learning or refuse to learn things contradictory to their beliefs. I believe this is kinda what Tom was saying about repeating the same old info. Pointing out where someone is wrong is not "Offensive" it's real life. We all are wrong plenty of times every day, the problem arises when you don't want to face that because of "Feelings." @Petey G I hope this didn't deter you from the Forum but instead shows you the level of care for the care of tortoises there is here. The people here will stop at nothing to ensure the Best care is given to any tortoise even someone else's, that's real love of an animal.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,408
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Thanks for the clarification on the book. This was not yelling. This is however a perfect example of how society and people in general just disregard any information that they don't know or agree with. Petey G was given info that he/she didn't like so it's wrong. And then to prove how wrong it was he/she claimed all of this info is wrong because it did not come from the The Living Desert. No one responded to the last post because it was going to be a response saying again your not right and no one wanted to be offensive. I don't hide from the truth, and if that's offensive O Well. I am no expert at ID of a species or Gender but the difference is I am open to saying "I am wrong" or "I have been given terrible advice and I believed it" No person is an "expert" if they refuse to keep learning or refuse to learn things contradictory to their beliefs. I believe this is kinda what Tom was saying about repeating the same old info. Pointing out where someone is wrong is not "Offensive" it's real life. We all are wrong plenty of times every day, the problem arises when you don't want to face that because of "Feelings." @Petey G I hope this didn't deter you from the Forum but instead shows you the level of care for the care of tortoises there is here. The people here will stop at nothing to ensure the Best care is given to any tortoise even someone else's, that's real love of an animal.
I don't think Alex and the Redfoot was getting after you for telling it like it is, they were saying your delivery was a bit harsh.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
1,707
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
I don't think Alex and the Redfoot was getting after you for telling it like it is, they were saying your delivery was a bit harsh.
Yes, it was only about the delivery. Thank you!

As English is not my mother's tongue, it's tough sometimes to clearly and precisely express what's on my mind.
 

Renee_H

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2024
Messages
53
Location (City and/or State)
Glendora, Ca
This is a tough topic because misinformation abounds. While I don’t believe most out there seeking info are doing anything other than trying to do things the right way I think it’s important to keep an open mind. This is even further complicated when trying to determine the good sources from the bad. Science is constantly changing and what was known to be the best at the time it was published is often proven wrong. I am a nurse and let me tell you over the past 20 years I have seen so much change as far as treatments techniques etc. This is why as a licensed professional I am required to have on-going continuing education not only from the board of registered nursing but from the county I work for. When it comes to housing pets I feel safe saying the majority of the pet world doesn’t take it as seriously as many on this forum do. To some pet owners they think a gold fish living months to 2-3 years in a bowl or 10 gallon tank is “normal” and keeping a tortoise in a fish tank is “normal” because “the pet store sold it to them, they must know what they are doing!” Take this post for example, if I didn’t have the science and research experience I do I might take a place like The Living Desert as an authority and be willing to easily disregard “strangers” on the internet at face value. Even with my scientifically based profession I originally thought a 200ish sq ft enclosure would be appropriate for a leopard tortoise because the internet told me 100sq ft per animal was needed and I was doubling that 🫣. We all have to start somewhere and commit to continuously learning and growing as new information becomes available. I appreciate the passion of the dedicated members here and hope the OP does stick around. TBH I don’t know how some of you keep coming back and regurgitating the same information over and over again. I joined a few Facebook tortoise groups and figured out very quickly I had no patience to be there and no intention of posting. How am I such a tortoise snob already when I’ve only been around a few months and, ahem don’t even own a tortoise. It’s important as humans that we develop the ability to change our way of thinking overtime as new information is made available. What’s wrong now was not known to be wrong, but when you know better you should do better.
 

EppsDynasty

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
876
Location (City and/or State)
Canebrake Ca
Yes, it was only about the delivery. Thank you!

As English is not my mother's tongue, it's tough sometimes to clearly and precisely express what's on my mind.
It is all on me .... I am a TERRIBLE communicator. My apologies @Alex and the Redfoot. @Petey G I am more than willing to speak on the phone. I am more than willing to tell you of my experiences of working with "Experts" and how wrong they were. Example: we were given a Sulcata by a Gov. agency and we did our damndest to give it the best care possible, for almost a year. @Tom (with a smile) informed me that it was not a Sulcata but a Desert Tortoise, you can believe my immediate embarrassment followed by a big swallow. I had to dismiss everything I thought I knew and admit I had failed at doing my own research. When we put our feelings into the equation the tortoise always suffers.
We have 2 Desert Tortoises kept together for 30 years (Male x Female) with no problems. The stress of a new home and all that comes with it made the 2 start to exhibit runny nares (nose) which then turned into a change in mucus color, bad. We spent countless hours treating and caring for them (and mostly for peace of mind checking on them constantly), they now are housed separate. If I could give you 1 piece of advice it would be this .... Tortoises don't have human Emotion, Feelings, or exhibit the behaviors humans do. So it is hard to use the "Humans" thought process to guide you, it is soooooo hard to "Think" like a tortoise because they do not think like us.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,596
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
This is a tough topic because misinformation abounds. While I don’t believe most out there seeking info are doing anything other than trying to do things the right way I think it’s important to keep an open mind. This is even further complicated when trying to determine the good sources from the bad. Science is constantly changing and what was known to be the best at the time it was published is often proven wrong. I am a nurse and let me tell you over the past 20 years I have seen so much change as far as treatments techniques etc. This is why as a licensed professional I am required to have on-going continuing education not only from the board of registered nursing but from the county I work for. When it comes to housing pets I feel safe saying the majority of the pet world doesn’t take it as seriously as many on this forum do. To some pet owners they think a gold fish living months to 2-3 years in a bowl or 10 gallon tank is “normal” and keeping a tortoise in a fish tank is “normal” because “the pet store sold it to them, they must know what they are doing!” Take this post for example, if I didn’t have the science and research experience I do I might take a place like The Living Desert as an authority and be willing to easily disregard “strangers” on the internet at face value. Even with my scientifically based profession I originally thought a 200ish sq ft enclosure would be appropriate for a leopard tortoise because the internet told me 100sq ft per animal was needed and I was doubling that 🫣. We all have to start somewhere and commit to continuously learning and growing as new information becomes available. I appreciate the passion of the dedicated members here and hope the OP does stick around. TBH I don’t know how some of you keep coming back and regurgitating the same information over and over again. I joined a few Facebook tortoise groups and figured out very quickly I had no patience to be there and no intention of posting. How am I such a tortoise snob already when I’ve only been around a few months and, ahem don’t even own a tortoise. It’s important as humans that we develop the ability to change our way of thinking overtime as new information is made available. What’s wrong now was not known to be wrong, but when you know better you should do better.
YES! Continuing education.... That hits the nail squarely on the head.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,596
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Yvonne, I have ordered Turtles of the World by Jeffrey Lovich and am trying to gather as much info as possible. These two torts were born in captivity and have been kept together for five years as ambassador tortoises brought to schools. After that, a brief period with a family before being re-homed again to my yard. I really want to do what’s best for these two and (to this point) have not seen anything remotely aggressive in their behavior toward each other.

Please share any useful links that you may have that you feel are the best resources.

Attached is a pic of their habitat.

I would love to have a phone conversation with you but not sure possible. Food and feeding are my top concern at the moment. I’m trying to seed/plant their habitat so 80% of the time they can self-feed, including a patch of irrigated Bermuda grass. I have a calcium supplement, straw and a bag of Mazuri. They both seem to enjoy the small, shallow pond which is refilled by the irrigation daily. And also like being hand-fed the occasional grape or melon.

Thank you!!
I have a shelf full of tortoise books that are just plain full of wrong information. I know and have met several of the authors. Just be aware of that as your read books or watch internet videos.

Growing the food for them to graze on is awesome. That's the best way to go. And the "pond" is fantastic too, as dehydration is a serious problem in this species in general.

Fruit is not good for them. It wreaks havoc on the essentially important gut flora and fauna. You should really skip that.

Straw has no place in a tortoise pen. Its too coarse for them to eat it, and it molds too easily to be used for bedding. You can use some of the grass hays for a DT if you chop it, rehydrate it, and mix it in with other foods. Orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay works best. Fresh green grass is best though.

When we talk about the pair thing, it is not about overt hostility. We are not talking about ramming, biting, chasing, head bobbing and the like. Those are obvious signs of aggression that any one can see. The real problem is the subtle stuff that no one realizes is happening. This is from the are sheet that I linked previously:
9. Pairs: Tortoises should never be housed in pairs. Groups of juveniles can sometimes work, but not pairs. Group dynamics are different than pair dynamics. Whenever there are just two, one will be dominant and the other submissive. The dominant is clearly telling the submissive to "GET OUT!" of my territory, but the submissive can't. This can be seen in animals as primitive as flatworms. Most people do not see the signs in tortoises. Our tortoises don't have the ability to growl. They don't have lips to snarl, or hackles to raise, yet they show their hostility just the same, but in their own way. Following each other, cuddling in a shelter, sleeping face to face, sitting on the food pile... All of these are blatant tortoise aggression. People are looking for biting, ramming and other overt signs. Those overt behaviors do happen in some cases, but more often the two tortoises are just forced to live in each other's space in a state of constant chronic stress, while the owner thinks everything is just fine because they aren't actively attacking and biting each other. It is NOT fine. Keep tortoises alone, which is totally fine, or in groups of three or more, which can sometimes lead to other problems down the road as they all begin to mature. Tortoises do not want or need company. Some species tolerate company better than others, but none should be kept in pairs. For some breeding projects, it is advantageous to raise them up in groups, but never pairs. If you only want two tortoises, that is great. Get two separate enclosures.

Unfortunately, or I suppose it may be fortunate in some ways, you have found the only source of good tortoise info that I have seen anywhere in the world. The books, vets, reptile experts, breeders, pet stores, government agencies, the CTTC, zoos... They all have the same old wrong info. That is why what we are saying sounds so different and contradicts what you have found or been told previously.

We aren't here to upset you. We are just trying to help you and your tortoises. If you keep enough tortoises over enough years, you will learn all the things we are telling you. The problem is that you will have to make the same mistakes we all made to get there. The beauty of this forum is that you can learn all the correct info the easy way, and not have to go through it the hard way, as I and so any others have.
 

EppsDynasty

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
876
Location (City and/or State)
Canebrake Ca
I have a shelf full of tortoise books that are just plain full of wrong information. I know and have met several of the authors. Just be aware of that as your read books or watch internet videos.

Growing the food for them to graze on is awesome. That's the best way to go. And the "pond" is fantastic too, as dehydration is a serious problem in this species in general.

Fruit is not good for them. It wreaks havoc on the essentially important gut flora and fauna. You should really skip that.

Straw has no place in a tortoise pen. Its too coarse for them to eat it, and it molds too easily to be used for bedding. You can use some of the grass hays for a DT if you chop it, rehydrate it, and mix it in with other foods. Orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay works best. Fresh green grass is best though.

When we talk about the pair thing, it is not about overt hostility. We are not talking about ramming, biting, chasing, head bobbing and the like. Those are obvious signs of aggression that any one can see. The real problem is the subtle stuff that no one realizes is happening. This is from the are sheet that I linked previously:
9. Pairs: Tortoises should never be housed in pairs. Groups of juveniles can sometimes work, but not pairs. Group dynamics are different than pair dynamics. Whenever there are just two, one will be dominant and the other submissive. The dominant is clearly telling the submissive to "GET OUT!" of my territory, but the submissive can't. This can be seen in animals as primitive as flatworms. Most people do not see the signs in tortoises. Our tortoises don't have the ability to growl. They don't have lips to snarl, or hackles to raise, yet they show their hostility just the same, but in their own way. Following each other, cuddling in a shelter, sleeping face to face, sitting on the food pile... All of these are blatant tortoise aggression. People are looking for biting, ramming and other overt signs. Those overt behaviors do happen in some cases, but more often the two tortoises are just forced to live in each other's space in a state of constant chronic stress, while the owner thinks everything is just fine because they aren't actively attacking and biting each other. It is NOT fine. Keep tortoises alone, which is totally fine, or in groups of three or more, which can sometimes lead to other problems down the road as they all begin to mature. Tortoises do not want or need company. Some species tolerate company better than others, but none should be kept in pairs. For some breeding projects, it is advantageous to raise them up in groups, but never pairs. If you only want two tortoises, that is great. Get two separate enclosures.

Unfortunately, or I suppose it may be fortunate in some ways, you have found the only source of good tortoise info that I have seen anywhere in the world. The books, vets, reptile experts, breeders, pet stores, government agencies, the CTTC, zoos... They all have the same old wrong info. That is why what we are saying sounds so different and contradicts what you have found or been told previously.

We aren't here to upset you. We are just trying to help you and your tortoises. If you keep enough tortoises over enough years, you will learn all the things we are telling you. The problem is that you will have to make the same mistakes we all made to get there. The beauty of this forum is that you can learn all the correct info the easy way, and not have to go through it the hard way, as I and so any others have.
A lot less harsh than I and far better communication skills .... I'm taking notes.
 
Top