Raising REDFOOT Hatchling to Adults - Do's & Don't's

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Redfoot NERD

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Even tho' no one can or wants to "re-invent the wheel".. there have been care 'changes' over the past years that have proven to work for every tortoise known to man! Since I've not worked with 'all' of them.. even tho' I've kept several.. I'll try to as simply as I know how to explain how to raise redfoot tortoise hatchlings that will eventually become "proven" adults.. that produce hatchlings that look like this..

SUSANC.jpg



.. and grow to look like this now.. [ we're looking at carapace growth/smoothness ]..

05BEAUTY.jpg


If this is what you want your hatchling to grow to look like.. read on - OR - go to one of the links in my signature. Virtually everything I'm about to say here can be found thru-out the 2 caresheets below.

Turtletary caresheet http://www.turtletary.com/redfootcare.htm - started the "care" process.. Redfoots.com http://www.redfoots.com/redfoot.htm - has more "detailed" info. Keep in mind redfoots.com is totally different.. now a FAQ type site.. don't expect to go and chat! If you don't read this first [ chances are ] you will come away unhappy at best! When you do read this you'll be glad you did.. and it becomes very informative..

http://redfoots.com/smf/index.php?topic=30.0

When you choose to care for a redfoot hatchling "for life" you most realize their care is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than what "most" tortoises require. Not more difficult.. just different. To make this more difficult and confusing.. there have been [ and still are ] those in the past that attempt to "paint all tortoises with the same brush"!! Which is what I did. I read and relied on "those" caresheets------ and did virtually everything wrong - for redfoot tortoises - I'll explain.. see if any of this sounds familiar:

1] I raised redfoots with leopards! [ great start huh? ] No one said to 'mix' continents [ where they originate from ].. I just did it. I live where it's hot and often humid for about 6 months out of the year. Hot was great for both.. humid was not for leopards. [ The 'mixing' of natural bugs was the greatest danger.. but that's another issue. ] Here's the kicker..

2] All I fed them was romaine lettuce.. kept them inside at less than 80F on hay and provided a UVB bulb. I'm amazed either species survived! Which brings up another thought.. if your tort isn't doing well after "proper" set-up - chances are he wasn't started right and was shipped/sold too young [ had yolk-sac and/or egg-tooth ].

3] I was raising a redfoot like a "Notheastern hemisphere" tortoise.. and they are from the "Southwetern hemisphere"! Did you get that? Too cool.. too dry.. no fruit.. no animal protein.. too much light!!!

Believe it or not.. Andy did get some of it right.. http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/feeding_redfoots.html
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/trophab.html
I don't know about any other "out-dated" info posted by the Tortoise Trust - I do know that the "basic" DIET guidelines is what I use now.

4] Are you ready??? Although it's true - I added 'high-calcium' greens.. fruit a couple times a week.. and animal protein [ after 6 months and/or 3" carapace ] once a week - the most important thing you must do for redfoot tortoise hatchlings is keep their carapace "humid".. PERIOD!!! {This concept - keeping a humid hide for 'virtually' every tortoise on the planet - is finally being accepted and proven true}

SOOOOO... before the "system" as Crazy1 calls it.. No calcium rich greens.. no fruit.. no animal protein.. low temps and low humidity.

All I did that made the difference.. was added what was missing and eliminated the UVB that "omnivorous" redfoots don't need because they get the "D" vitamins from the animal protein part of their diet.

I have placed a "balanced-PLAN" to the system to keep it simple and easy to follow. As Andy's article states.. the seasons change [ wet or dry.. not temps to speak of ] which impacts the availability of certain foods. When we keep them in captivity we off-set the "natural" 'plan' of things! Which comes to the conclusion.

Since we are making food available "at will" we must be carefull to NOT OVERFEED! In fact outside mine have to hunt for the food.. which can be done inside too!

Over the years I've been blessed with several hatchlings that are now living all over the US. Everyone that stays with the "system" has identical results.

Besides almost 10 years "experience" of raising and now breeding redfoot tortoises.. I have friends that live in South America and breeder friends that have maintained redfoots for 20+ years. Great sources of info!

Havafunwun

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Jacqui

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Thank you Nerd for taking the time to give us such a complete one stop location to see how you have come up with your current opinion on how Redfoots should be raised.
 

Yvonne G

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I wish we could have such an informative care sheet for ALL the types of tortoises listed on the home page. Easy to find and easy to read.

Yvonne
 

Itort

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Back in 1974, I got my first RFs (subadults). Over the next 30 years, working with limited knowledge, I learned or was taught by by this very forgiving trio on proper care and husbandry of theses guys. Back then there was limited info and I tried to recreate diet and habitat via research on tropical SA. Eventually I hit on a winning care process. After losing these guys to a house fire I decided to get somemore and met Terry. Lo and behold he had hit on the same process and explained it very well. Terry knows it and is more than willing to share.
 

Jacqui

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emysemys said:
I wish we could have such an informative care sheet for ALL the types of tortoises listed on the home page. Easy to find and easy to read.

Yvonne

I like that idea however I have major problems unless we also quite clearly show the site is not saying this care is the only way that works. That this is just one way and yes a good way to care for your Russian, your Leopard, your whatever, but reminds folks to research and read what others have to offer in way of tort care. This care sheet is a wonderful example, just look at the hot debating we have been having over it the last several days and even many times in the past.
 

Redfoot NERD

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This is in response to a Q? that I supposedly had not answered.

"I am just impatient and would like to know in detail the mistakes that have occured. I would love a conversation on the phone about this subject with them really... Did they feed 60% fruit and something bad happened??? Did they try more protein and something bad happened?


I was told that meant.. 'What did you do or not do then that is different now'. For whatever reason I didn't understand that.. and am answering it now.

Terry K
 

Redfootedboxturtles

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Terry thanks for posting this!

Your care sheets have not only helped me raise hatchlings but all help correct issues with adopted adults! You are always there for anyone who is need of help with their redfoots! Thank you!
 

Redfoot NERD

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OF COURSE JACQUI..

There will always be those that have to Q? everything and/or analize 'til they're paralized! And then have the gall to accuse me of claiming my way is the only way. Of course those that do.. probably haven't actually read anything or just listened to one of 'those' that couldn't stand it when someone came up with and documented a system that works really well - that produces smooth and healthy 3+ year old hatchlings! Where are the pics of theirs???

I've shown pics of mine at hatching.. 6 months.. 1 year.. 18 months.. 2 years.. etc., etc. up to last week ---- and "they" still insist that a newbie should research to get contradicting and confusing info.. and once again the redfoots suffer and the newbie spends too much time and money -- AND THEN comes to me to ask how they can fix their sick and pyramided redfoot.

I actually heard of someone that posted [ somewhere else.. a redfoot "group" ] that they tried my care and their redfoot died soon thereafter. These little guys are "TUFF".. and it takes a ' l o n g ' time for them to die. Can you imagine what their poor little guy must have gone thru before it finally died? How was that my fault?

And I've had several that have refused to read this.. http://redfoots.com/smf/index.php?topic=30.0 - and then gave me grief because I deleted or moved their post there. Or they can't post the way they used to!

And isn't it a shame that I actually have to say these things -- like as if I have to "defend" something that has been proven to work by several others also.. that have been breeding and caring for redfoots for decades.. either in a 'natural' [ outside ] and/or inside environment.

Of course this is only my opinion.

FWIW...

NERD

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Yvonne G

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I don't understand what brought all this on. The last posts in this thread were upbeat and grateful and posted way back in July?????

Yvonne
 

Redfoot NERD

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emysemys said:
I don't understand what brought all this on. The last posts in this thread were upbeat and grateful and posted way back in July?????

Yvonne

Brought what on Yvonne? I am replying to Josh's post.. that referred to this post.. http://tortoiseforum.org/new-to-red-foots-t-4292.html..
trying to prepare those that do all the research.. for the contradiction they will find. And what others have and will say.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate y'all who are in agreement and post upbeat and grateful posts. And I appreciate the fact that you realize that that's not the reason I posted the above-- to get the praise of others. [ not a week goes by that I get an email asking how to help with a redfoot that has been "treated" based on old wrong outdated info ]

Good Q? Yvonne.. thanks.

Terry K
 

Redfoot NERD

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Yvonne I suspect VBgecko was looking for facts and not just an opinion. Everyone has an opinion.

There are actually those that consider the facts.. documented with chronological pics.. are still opinions. Can you or anyone tell me how that can be? How is "If you want yours to look like this.. do this" an opinion or claiming it's the only way to do it?

Terry K
 

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Terry, your system DOES work, as you have documented with chronological pictures, and I use it as do many others on this forum. So far my Pio is looking good. But.....there are other breeders on different forums that do sell Redfroots that use a much different approach to raising them. Therefore, they have a much different opinion then you do. Their babies and adults are just as beautiful, colorful, and healthy as yours. Some of these breeders offer them UVB lighting while inside. Almost everything they do is different than your method. Also, some have been breeding them just as long as you have. IMO, your's is the easiest way with good results, and that is why I use it. Therefore, if different breeders have different methods of breeding and raising redfoots, with the same good results, that makes for "different opinions".
 

Redfoot NERD

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terryo said:
Terry, your system DOES work, as you have documented with chronological pictures, and I use it as do many others on this forum. So far my Pio is looking good. But.....there are other breeders on different forums that do sell Redfroots that use a much different approach to raising them. Therefore, they have a much different opinion then you do. Their babies and adults are just as beautiful, colorful, and healthy as yours. Some of these breeders offer them UVB lighting while inside. Almost everything they do is different than your method. Also, some have been breeding them just as long as you have. IMO, your's is the easiest way with good results, and that is why I use it. Therefore, if different breeders have different methods of breeding and raising redfoots, with the same good results, that makes for "different opinions".

Where are you finding this info Terryo? Let me see what you/they claim? What results.. after well over 3 years.. do they have? How do their hatchlings raised by their methods look.. over time? - especially the first year! Because without any documentations - well - they're opinions aren't they?

You can't bring 'statements' to the table without proof.. because then it IS an opinion.. with empty claims. Don't anyone fall for them.

When you bring 'statements' to the table backed by proof.. then they are facts! You can rely on them.

Your set-up is an exception because you have created the perfect "micro-climate" for Pio.. with all of the needed elements: Temps.. Humidity.. Diet and Light. You're right.. it is that simple!!!

Terry K

BTW.. how is the "marbling" on Pio coming along???
 

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Well, Terry, I can only give you names of breeders that I read about on the net. They all show pictures of their babies, and adults. There are many, and I am sure you know who they are.
Pio's marbling is starting to show. I am very excited about that. Can you or anyone tell by this picture if Pio is a male or female? According to pictures that I have seen, he looks like a male....or is it too soon to tell. He is 14 months old now.

029-1-1.jpg


026.jpg
 

Redfoot NERD

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Well, Terry, I can only give you names of breeders that I read about on the net. They all show pictures of their babies, and adults. There are many, and I am sure you know who they are.

Terry I may know some or all of them.. but where are the pics of what their "care-methods" produce the first year, second and third year??? None of them have ever shown 'proof' - just what has been believed to work!!! Or in other words.. their opinions.

Having good looking adults that produce a few good looking babies does not mean their "care-methods" are going to produce good looking 3 year-olds.

I am trying to help everyone new to keeping redfoot tortoises with an easy and 'least expensive' way of going about it. Spending money on high-priced UVB bulbs isn't it.. they get the D3 in the wild almost entirely from their diet. Over-supplementing is not needed when the diet is balanced.. which includes a source of animal protein, feces and fungi! And a consistent high temperature and humidity.. with a place to hide.

I have contacted some of these [ asking for their source of info and results ] and get no response or "Don't you have anything better to do than question me?"! And some of these you know and give me grief on their redfoot 'groups/forums'. I've invited them to a phone conversation and they refuse to respond. I often wonder why that is.

So all I ask here is.. as we do on Redfoots.com.. that when you make a statement bring along your "source". More and more are becoming wise to the fact that words are cheap.. they want to see results!

Terry you know that it's not even smart to even try to guess the sex of a 4" redfoot. They almost always 'look' like females for the first 3-4 years. And of course there are always exceptions.

Pio is looking good.. you will most likely see a difference in his marbling by Christmas!!!

Nerd
 

-EJ

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Terry, you really need to read the book in the suggestion I posted. There is a ton of conflicting information to what is popular among RFs.

The book is very well researched.
 
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