Tortoise Exercising

Ruby the Tortoise

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Hello fellow tortoises! I have a 14 year old “daughter” Russian Tortoise, and I was wondering how much exercise she needs. Any ideas?
 

Tom

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There is no peer reviewed scientific study with which to answer your question, but the simple answer is: A lot.

In the wild they would walk long distances some days and others they would shelter in place due to weather extremes. Males tend to wander more and further, but females move around too.

In your climate, I think the best strategy would be to have a large indoor enclosure of at least 8x4 feet, and also a much larger outdoor enclosure. Use the outdoor enclosure during warm sunny weather and the indoor enclosure the rest of the time.

They also tend to get a lot of exercise when you soak them. Some of us call that "the tortoise treadmill".

Is there a reason you ask? Any specific problem?
 

Ruby the Tortoise

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There is no peer reviewed scientific study with which to answer your question, but the simple answer is: A lot.

In the wild they would walk long distances some days and others they would shelter in place due to weather extremes. Males tend to wander more and further, but females move around too.

In your climate, I think the best strategy would be to have a large indoor enclosure of at least 8x4 feet, and also a much larger outdoor enclosure. Use the outdoor enclosure during warm sunny weather and the indoor enclosure the rest of the time.

They also tend to get a lot of exercise when you soak them. Some of us call that "the tortoise treadmill".

Is there a reason you ask? Any specific problem?
No issue, but my tortoise doesn’t get too much exercise, and I saw the white ring, so I knew she needs more exercise. How much is what I am wondering.
 

Tom

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Yes, but it is literally the size of your finger. So I was told that she needs more exercise and a little less food.
They can always use more exercise. Can't we all? I can. But no need to starve the tortoise. They are grazers and should be able to eat as much of the right foods as they want. Are you feeding the right foods? Or are you driving to the grocery store for tortoise food?
 

Ruby the Tortoise

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I give her lettuce, kale, and other greens that I have checked to be safe. She does sometimes eat weeds outside, too.
 

bonsai tortoise

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In my large outdoor enclosure I make sure there are hills, branches, and sticks. That way they have to climb over things to get from one side to the other. Nothing huge or insurmountable. You just want to make sure they not totally kept on flat ground. Totally flat surfaces can cause foot problems and don’t really allow for the little bit of exercise they need. Indoors during the winter is a little more difficult because of space but I still make sure that the ground isn’t flat so I’ll put a log or something in there that forces them to use their muscles to get to where the want to be. Plus adding things like that makes your enclosures more interesting and gives the tortoises a little enrichment.
 

maggie3fan

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I give her lettuce, kale, and other greens that I have checked to be safe. She does sometimes eat weeds outside, too.
Where in Oregon are you? I'm in Corvallis, I keep Sulcata and they walk for miles daily. Russians are the same walk and graze walk and graze. My Sulcata eat grass and weeds, and I used to keep Russians and they also eat grass, weeds
 

ZEROPILOT

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Where in Oregon are you? I'm in Corvallis, I keep Sulcata and they walk for miles daily. Russians are the same walk and graze walk and graze. My Sulcata eat grass and weeds, and I used to keep Russians and they also eat grass, weeds
I don't keep Russian tortoises.
Although I had one for a few weeks.
He chased my Redfoot all day long.
(I know...this was before the internet..)
But aren't all Russians very active in general?
Pacing and walking. Climbing and attempting to escape?
 

Ruby the Tortoise

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I don't keep Russian tortoises.
Although I had one for a few weeks.
He chased my Redfoot all day long.
(I know...this was before the internet..)
But aren't all Russians very active in general?
Pacing and walking. Climbing and attempting to escape?
Yes, Russian tortoises... can be rebellious sometimes. I also think that is part of being a tortoise parent, too.
for the other question, I currently live in Salem.
 

Ruby the Tortoise

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Inside or outside? I rarely use the outdoor one, as long as I keep a good eye on her she is fine.
For the inside enclosure, it is about 5 square feet.
 

Sleppo

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The white ring is growth and that’s a good thing. She doesn’t appear to be overweight based off your photos. Tweak her diet a bit so it’s more weed heavy then store bought foods. Tortoise supply has dried dandelion and other blends that are good to mix in too. If you can work on an outdoor enclosure they really thrive outside.
 

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