Outdoor Cherryhead Questions

AMA904

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For those who haven't seen any of my previous posts, I live in Jacksonville, FL and am in the process of building an outdoor enclosure for the tortoise I will be getting in late July/early August. I will also be building a heated hide box for when the weather is cooler. The entire enclosure will be covered for protection. I will be planting carnations, violas, strawberry clover, and testudo mix. My original focus was on a Hermann's, but I have since learned and realized that my mix of sun and shade is better suited for a redfoot.

On to my questions...

With the plants that will be readily available in the enclosure, how often do I need to provide additional feedings and/or additional food variety?

I will have a cuttle bone, what other vitamins or supplements will I need to provide? How often?

Is it safe to keep a young tortoise outside at night as long as it has a properly heated hide box? I plan to use Timothy hay inside the hide box as well.

If i do need to bring the tortoise inside at night, do I need to provide additional humidity? Or will the exposure during the day be enough?
 

KevinGG

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I don't have much experience starting tortoises. You should pm TerryO. She is a member who has raised two redfoots. Here's what I do know. You still need to feed it regularly. Allow it to eat what it can in ten minutes than remove food. Either everyday or every other day . Daily soaks are a good choice as well. I would go with just sprinkling a good calcium on top of food but again I haven't raised tortoises. I have only rescued adults. Now this I'm not sure but I think humidity would still need to be present in the tank because in the wild totem rouses burrow which provide more humidity . Also I don't know if Timothy hay is the best option in the hide since they do require humidity. But please do contact someone with better more knowledge . Austinsturtlepage.com is a great source for caresheets. Good luck
 

allegraf

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The problem with hatchlings they need a more stable environment, temp/humidity than a yearling or larger tort all the time. Keeping a hatchling outside in north Florida is not ideal as the night time temps fluxuate from the hot days. A heated box is not going to be enough to maintain the overall environmental needs. You may want to have an indoor enclosure for the nights until the tort get larger and less sensitive to environmental factors.
 

AMA904

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The problem with hatchlings they need a more stable environment, temp/humidity than a yearling or larger tort all the time. Keeping a hatchling outside in north Florida is not ideal as the night time temps fluxuate from the hot days. A heated box is not going to be enough to maintain the overall environmental needs. You may want to have an indoor enclosure for the nights until the tort get larger and less sensitive to environmental factors.

If I bring the tortoise inside at night, do I need to provide additional humidity or will the exposure during the day be enough?

At what age or size is it safe to leave it outside at night provided there is a heated box?
 

Mvptortoise

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If I bring the tortoise inside at night, do I need to provide additional humidity or will the exposure during the day be enough?

At what age or size is it safe to leave it outside at night provided there is a heated box?
Heyyyy. I'm from jaxs too. If your going to get ur redfoot from one of the locate pet shops let me know. There's a shop you need to avoid
 

AMA904

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Heyyyy. I'm from jaxs too. If your going to get ur redfoot from one of the locate pet shops let me know. There's a shop you need to avoid

Hey MVP. I wasn't planning on getting one from any local pet stores, but I would still like to know which one you think I should avoid. Thanks.
 

Mvptortoise

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House or reptiles. The owner is awesome. Knows his stuff. But just way to much stock to take well enough care of all of them. I have had bad pet buying experience from them. Really nice people though
 

N2TORTS

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Here some various examples of outdoor living spaces and hides within..........to help with some ideas.


Larger Hides for outdoor living of larger species (notice the two different door sizes' planed for maturity size)


"Insulated as well"

Can be closed and locked at night ...


Outdoor Hide with side wall acting as ramp......including "hinged" top for easy access
that can be locked up at night and maintain "heat".
Outdoor set up for my groups of Reds , various pens for different species, size and segregation.
Potable Hide that can be Moved around the yard according to seasons and exposure.

Multi-units/Pens Completely Caged in using "Black Wire"

JD~
 

KevinGG

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I don't have much experience starting tortoises. You should pm TerryO. She is a member who has raised two redfoots. Here's what I do know. You still need to feed it regularly. Allow it to eat what it can in ten minutes than remove food. Either everyday or every other day . Daily soaks are a good choice as well. I would go with just sprinkling a good calcium on top of food but again I haven't raised tortoises. I have only rescued adults. Now this I'm not sure but I think humidity would still need to be present in the tank because in the wild totem rouses burrow which provide more humidity . Also I don't know if Timothy hay is the best option in the hide since they do require humidity. But please do contact someone with better more knowledge . Austinsturtlepage.com is a great source for caresheets. Good luck

Hah it spell checked tortoises and put totem rouses!
 

kathyth

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Personally I would not keep hatchling Redfoots outdoors. I keep mine in closed chambers and only put them outside when the weather permits.
As mentioned their heat and humidity needs to be controlled.
You can buy or make closed chambers.
I would not use hay for Redfoots. It does not hold moisture and does mold.
I use cypress mulch. Examples of homemade closed chambers.image.jpg image.jpg
 

AMA904

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Thanks Kathy. I decided that I will be bringing the tortoise in each night, at least for a while, to avoid the night time drop in temperature. I do plan on having the tortoise outside during the day though (unless it's too cold) as the weather here in Florida seems to be very appropriate for them most of the year.
 

Mvptortoise

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Thanks Kathy. I decided that I will be bringing the tortoise in each night, at least for a while, to avoid the night time drop in temperature. I do plan on having the tortoise outside during the day though (unless it's too cold) as the weather here in Florida seems to be very appropriate for them most of the year.

I'm sure on your time frame for getting your hatchling. But I found a local guy in jaxs that has some hatchling. For an awesome price. The only one I have seen is a "lemon head". Not a cherry head like u have mentioned. But I'm going tonight to pick up a male for myself.
 

DixieParadise

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AllegraF is a breeder of RFs and she gave some very sound advice. I just put my yearling Bolivians outside yesterday. I have found that hatchlings or anything under a yr need those constant temps and humidity. I am even bringing mine inside when the night temps fall below 70 for them.
 

AMA904

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AllegraF is a breeder of RFs and she gave some very sound advice. I just put my yearling Bolivians outside yesterday. I have found that hatchlings or anything under a yr need those constant temps and humidity. I am even bringing mine inside when the night temps fall below 70 for them.

AllegraF has been great with her advice. I do plan on bringing the tortoise inside at night for the time being. It will probably be a very long time before it stays outside at night.
 

allegraf

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Thanks, Guys! AMA-you might want to pm jrcrist on this forum. He is up in Florida, near you I think, maybe in the panhandle. His outdoor temps are likely closer to yours than mine are, he can steer you in the right direction. He also breeds regular redfoots if you are interested.
 

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