Red Foot outdoor temperatures

Fred Savill

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Hi everyone, my name is Fred Savill and live in Kent in UK.
I bought a Red Foot about 4 years ago and was told he was about 3/4 years old at that time. His name is Harry 2. He is a big lump that currently weighs in at 8lb 2ozs. (Harry 1 was a spur thigh that got stolen from my back garden some 10 years ago. . Have since installed 6ft wooden fencing with concrete gravel boards that a tortoise could not dig under.
Harry 2 is in the garden 24/7 during summer and has a large tortoise table in a spare bedroom/office during winter.
My question is: As he hates (with a vengeance) being indoors what is a comfortable temperature for him to operate in outside?
It is currently 13,14,15 degrees c (not sure equivalent in Fahrenheit).
Would very much appreciate any experience/knowledge that anyone has. i could just leave him in garden till he hunkers down but not that brave.
Thanks in advance.
Fred Savill. UK
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings. Considering Redfoots are from South America, they require some nice warm ambient temps year round. Your temps of 13C (about 55f) are far too cool ( per all of the care sheets ive seen & read).

➡️ https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-caresheet.172531/

✅✅ Mid- upper 80's F is fine "in their hide".. low 80's F is ideal ambient temperature - there is NO "basking" area temp. difference!!!

Based on this your temps should at a minimum be 26C or so. Id say move Harry in today before it gets sick you don’t want him “honkering” down cause it’s too cold.

good luck & happy torting
 

Canadian Mojo

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If he's in the sun, 14-15 is fine for a while. RF's have dark shells and absorb heat very well. Based on my experience with ours, they seem to be quite good at regulating their internal temps by moving in and out of the shade as necessary. He will go hunt slugs in the Hosta patch for 5 or 10 minutes and then come out into the sun and do a lap or two to warm up and then go back to hunting.

What I do this time of year is let ours out if it's sunny and check on him with the infrared thermometer every 10 minutes. If he starts consistently stay below 23C, it's time for him to go in. That usually happens when he's had enough hunting and decides to have a nap because he will always seek cover to do that.
 

Fred Savill

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Dec 30, 2018
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Location (City and/or State)
London. UK
Greetings. Considering Redfoots are from South America, they require some nice warm ambient temps year round. Your temps of 13C (about 55f) are far too cool ( per all of the care sheets ive seen & read).

➡️ https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-caresheet.172531/

✅✅ Mid- upper 80's F is fine "in their hide".. low 80's F is ideal ambient temperature - there is NO "basking" area temp. difference!!!

Based on this your temps should at a minimum be 26C or so. Id say move Harry in today before it gets sick you don’t want him “honkering” down cause it’s too cold.

good luck & happy torting
Thanks for your feedback.
Harry 2 functions well at 20c. He has been born and raised in UK and we hardly ever reach the tempatures you quote, yet he still charges around the garden like a mad thing. Even had to pull a dead mouse out his mouth the other day, he wasn’t happy to let it go. I know that Red Foots do carrion eat meat in the wild, but didn’t know if mouse had been poisoned, so couldn’t take the risk.
i wouldn’t keep him out overnight as definitely too cold, but felt need of your experience for day times. So confused about what to do right now.
 

Fred Savill

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Location (City and/or State)
London. UK
If he's in the sun, 14-15 is fine for a while. RF's have dark shells and absorb heat very well. Based on my experience with ours, they seem to be quite good at regulating their internal temps by moving in and out of the shade as necessary. He will go hunt slugs in the Hosta patch for 5 or 10 minutes and then come out into the sun and do a lap or two to warm up and then go back to hunting.

What I do this time of year is let ours out if it's sunny and check on him with the infrared thermometer every 10 minutes. If he starts consistently stay below 23C, it's time for him to go in. That usually happens when he's had enough hunting and decides to have a nap because he will always seek cover to do that.
Many thanks for your reply. What you described is exactly how Harry2 operates. I will take your advice and only put him out on sunny days. I will apologise to him but absolve myself of any responsibility saying you told me to!!.
Regards.
 

Canadian Mojo

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Many thanks for your reply. What you described is exactly how Harry2 operates. I will take your advice and only put him out on sunny days. I will apologise to him but absolve myself of any responsibility saying you told me to!!.
Regards.
I find that an infrared thermometer makes it easy. With it I'm willing to put him out on days that I might not be willing to try, like if it's only partially sunny.

And tell Harry2 whatever you need to, I can handle the disapproving glare from another tortoise. ;)
 

Jan A

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Many thanks for your reply. What you described is exactly how Harry2 operates. I will take your advice and only put him out on sunny days. I will apologise to him but absolve myself of any responsibility saying you told me to!!.
Regards.
Be stern if needed. I have these talks with Houdini as well. Although when it gets below about 78F, he's ready to go in.
 

Canadian Mojo

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Be stern if needed. I have these talks with Houdini as well. Although when it gets below about 78F, he's ready to go in.
Our guy guy is pretty predictable; by late afternoon the sun is blocked by trees, combine that with a full belly and him dropping below 75F (23C), and he's off to bed in his Hostas. I suspect the dropping temperature and light levels trigger an instinct telling him night is coming and it is time to find a safe place to hide.

From what I've read about the Amazon rain forest, it can go down to high 60's - low 70's (low 20C's) at night. At those temperatures he's going to be pretty sluggish so it makes sense that he'd head for safety before it got to that point.
 

Fred Savill

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
London. UK
Our guy guy is pretty predictable; by late afternoon the sun is blocked by trees, combine that with a full belly and him dropping below 75F (23C), and he's off to bed in his Hostas. I suspect the dropping temperature and light levels trigger an instinct telling him night is coming and it is time to find a safe place to hide.

From what I've read about the Amazon rain forest, it can go down to high 60's - low 70's (low 20C's) at night. At those temperatures he's going to be pretty sluggish so it makes sense that he'd head for safety before it got to that point.
It’s great to connect with someone with a sense of humour, so many tortoise people are too intense!!!
Harry 2 has been in the garden again today as it’s been 22c. I think he has worn himself out as we Brought him in for the night and he settled straight down in his sleeping hut.
could I ask you how fast Houdini gets around? I believe that Harry 2 can teleport from place to place as I’m sure tortoises shouldn’t move as fast as he does!! One moment at top of garden next minute at bottom .
?
 

Canadian Mojo

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It’s great to connect with someone with a sense of humour, so many tortoise people are too intense!!!
Harry 2 has been in the garden again today as it’s been 22c. I think he has worn himself out as we Brought him in for the night and he settled straight down in his sleeping hut.
could I ask you how fast Houdini gets around? I believe that Harry 2 can teleport from place to place as I’m sure tortoises shouldn’t move as fast as he does!! One moment at top of garden next minute at bottom .
?
Houdini belongs to @Jan A . My guy's name is Tord. My son named him that as a pun on how we tend to pronounce tortoise with a d rather than a t. Technically it's his tortoise.

Tord can motor around pretty good but doesn't seem to teleport. Instead his superpower is the ability to turn invisible. You can literally watch him walk somewhere, go to that exact spot, and still have to hunt around on your hands and knees to find him. When you do find him, he will wait until you turn your back, and then relocate to another hiding spot. Often, it will be a very short distance away. A foot or so, and he's gone again. Other times he will throw you a curve ball and find a new and unexpected place that he never uses.

Waldo has nothing on him.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Our guy guy is pretty predictable; by late afternoon the sun is blocked by trees, combine that with a full belly and him dropping below 75F (23C), and he's off to bed in his Hostas. I suspect the dropping temperature and light levels trigger an instinct telling him night is coming and it is time to find a safe place to hide.

From what I've read about the Amazon rain forest, it can go down to high 60's - low 70's (low 20C's) at night. At those temperatures he's going to be pretty sluggish so it makes sense that he'd head for safety before it got to that point.
It's not that Redfoot can't handle cooler temperatures. (In fact. Mine seem to like it)
It's that complete digestion can't happen at temperatures much below 80°f.
So prolonged periods of not reaching near 80° can cause issues. But short periods, such as at night or for a few days is not going to be an issue.
For the sake of argument or to not cause any confusion, I always advise a temperature or between 80 and 86 for a Redfoot.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Houdini belongs to @Jan A . My guy's name is Tord. My son named him that as a pun on how we tend to pronounce tortoise with a d rather than a t. Technically it's his tortoise.

Tord can motor around pretty good but doesn't seem to teleport. Instead his superpower is the ability to turn invisible. You can literally watch him walk somewhere, go to that exact spot, and still have to hunt around on your hands and knees to find him. When you do find him, he will wait until you turn your back, and then relocate to another hiding spot. Often, it will be a very short distance away. A foot or so, and he's gone again. Other times he will throw you a curve ball and find a new and unexpected place that he never uses.

Waldo has nothing on him.
It's amazing how quickly even a fully grown Redfoot can vanish in the grass.
 

Canadian Mojo

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It's not that Redfoot can't handle cooler temperatures. (In fact. Mine seem to like it)
It's that complete digestion can't happen at temperatures much below 80°f.
So prolonged periods of not reaching near 80° can cause issues. But short periods, such as at night or for a few days is not going to be an issue.
For the sake of argument or to not cause any confusion, I always advise a temperature or between 80 and 86 for a Redfoot.
That's a very good point you bring up. What we are doing in the more northern latitudes this time of year is letting them out for at most a few hours at sub-optimal temps. After that they are going back into a nice toasty enclosure for the bulk of the time.

It's a fine line, saying 70F is okay requires a fair bit of knowledge to actually be okay, but it's definitely beneficial to get them outside when you can.
 

Jan A

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It’s great to connect with someone with a sense of humour, so many tortoise people are too intense!!!
Harry 2 has been in the garden again today as it’s been 22c. I think he has worn himself out as we Brought him in for the night and he settled straight down in his sleeping hut.
could I ask you how fast Houdini gets around? I believe that Harry 2 can teleport from place to place as I’m sure tortoises shouldn’t move as fast as he does!! One moment at top of garden next minute at bottom .
?
Houdini hasn't exhibited superior speed but is a spectacular high stepper. The grass is a little long in his outdoor enclosure which may account for his slower speeds. He also hasn't escaped but not for lack of trying...
 

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