New Tortoise parent to a juvenile Redfoot

omglostmom

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Joined
Dec 4, 2020
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12
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Maine
Hello, my name is Kat and I live in Northern Maine,
On August 11 of this year I rescued a 3 1/2 year old Redfoot. Recently found out the tortoise is it's a male and the previous owners thought it was female. He didn't weigh much at the time I could pick him up by one hand. His living conditions weren't he best at previous owners , he had a ton of house flies all around him, he's got some pyramiding nothing super big or that can be less moving forward. I have done so much research on Red foots that my head is spinning. His housing situation was a 55 gall aquarium tank. I've taken him to the vet that's how I discovered she was a he. Mr. Attitude gotten a full clean bill of health, he weighed about 2.12 kg. So here's where I get lost, confused and panicky. I'm placing bet you you folks have answered this 1000 times, I'm betting I'm doing more harm then good.

I have everything in his tank at correct temperature, humidity, regular daylight until roughly 4 then I turn the UVB light on until around 8 p.m. During part of the day I let him out for enrichment time, He has a log he moves and climbs over, Mr. Attitude has found himself a man cave under the gerbil cage, he some times does circles in one side out the other, some times he sleeps in there. He's very active and likes to find trouble. He gets a nice warm soak every other day, has a big enough dish so he can turn around in for water. So I have noticed in the last week he's not eating he's eating but not eating. He gets Spring mix, with green peppers, and 2 to 3 pieces of some fruit, and I change the the spring mix to collard green and mustard greens, I try to mix it up so it's not the same food every single day. He completely ignores his food, he'll eat the mazuri pellets but I don't want him to rely on those as his basic diet. I have tried mixing the pellets in with fresh food he'll push the fresh aside, I'm getting panicky because I don't want him to loose weight, IS he just not eating because it's winter?
 

ArmadilloPup

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Jul 15, 2019
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308
Location (City and/or State)
NE Oklahoma
Welcome to the forum!
IS he just not eating because it's winter?

Redfoots aren't a hibernating species, so it's likely something else.

Have you been weighing him? If not, get a digital kitchen scale and start. They can go a long time not eating and still maintain weight. As long as he isn't dropping weight by more than a few grams, he's probably okay and just being moody/picky. The Mazuri pellets are fairly well-rounded for fiber and vitamins, so as long as he is getting an occasional fruit and protein (and calcium like cuttlebone), your boy will be fine. You can wet the Mazuri and blend the greens in real fine and see if he's fooled that way. Another pellet that you can try is Zoo Med (Forest), it has more greens in it like dandelion.

Don't bother with the daylight if it's coming through a tank/window (I'm assuming he's not going outdoors in Maine in December ? ), there's no beneficial UV when it's filtered through glass. You can leave the UV on up to 8 to 12 hours a day, as long as he has plenty of places to hide from the light.

For more opinions, I would recommend going to the redfoot forum and post your question there with pictures of your setup. The introductions forum probably won't pick up until after the holidays.
 

omglostmom

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Dec 4, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Maine
I've tried wet Mazuri with fresh kinda smushing it so it sticks the fresh, he won't touch it. I did get a digital scale 2 days ago. I tried to weigh him but he just doesn't want to hear it, he walks right off it. This is my first winter with him and just trying to figure out what red foots in general are like in the winter. Do they eat less, are they less active or more active type of stuff. thank you for the suggestions
 

ArmadilloPup

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308
Location (City and/or State)
NE Oklahoma
To keep him from walking off of the scale, you can try to find a box or small bucket to balance him on, then just subtract the weight of the object. Tortoise Table shows a good example.

In their home range, winters are fairly mild and they are active year-round.
 

omglostmom

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Dec 4, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Northern Maine
Mr. Attitude is very active I'll give him that. I'll have to see if I have a box and try to weigh him that way. Thank you for the insight. He did eat some of his kiwi this morning, that's a plus , still didn't touch his spring mix.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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My method of weighing...
 

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Vintage

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Nov 6, 2019
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Toronto
They love fishy, stinky foods. When my girl goes off of her food I mix in a bit of canned tuna or salmon cat food, or canned tuna/salmon/sardines, along with her greens, or even fish food shrimp pellets. It works every time for me. It was comical watching her the first time I gave her fish, her head shot upright, she sniffed the air and she practically ran for the dish.

Certain fruits are big favourites. Mango, raspberry and pineapple are very popular at my place. I buy frozen and then defrost them, this makes the fruit more mushy and sweet tasting for them. I also give fresh apple chunks. I feed only fruits once or twice a week. I find if I mix it with greens she just picks the fruit and leaves the greens. I've also found she loves chopped raw mushroom, that can be mixed in with the greens.

"Fruity pebbles" (rep-cal tortoise food) are a good supplement. They smell strongly like fruit. I mix some in with every feeding. I have noticed that my tort is like a child and gets tired of certain foods, then eats them again if she hasn't had them for a while. It's a good idea to offer as many kinds of food as you can and then rotate them. They like some flowers as well, particularly hibiscus. I've even managed to get mine to eat dried hibiscus flowers mixed with her greens.

Re weighing them, most scales have a "tare" function that allows you to weigh the container first and then it automatically subtracts the container weight when you weigh the tort in the container.

Re winter, these are a tropical species so there's no need for them to hibernate or brumate. Their activity level shouldn't change unless the conditions under which they are kept (temperature, lighting, humidity etc.) are changed.
 

omglostmom

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Dec 4, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Northern Maine
Clever way to weigh with the flower pot, thank you for the idea Mrs. Jennifer.

I have tried collard greens and mustard greens Mr. Attitude just turns his nose up them even with mango, or strawberries. I have done Spring mix mostly because it's about the only thing stores close to me sell. Trying to get any type of flower dried or fresh in my area is near impossible this time of year. I have attempted to grow stuff as the kids says Mom that was an epic fail. My scale is from YooBure only had it for a week, I'm still getting use to that. The only thing I can think of that has changed is his temp I'm having a harder time trying to keep the aquarium at 80 and above. It's been a constant 78 I did get an infrared ceramic lamp, it came with a thermometer, I have the probe in the tank and the digital thermometer on the outside. Thank you for your advice.
 
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