Red Footed Tortoise Size?

Redfooted tortoises are native to the dry and wet forests and grasslands of Central and South America. A popular pet with striking shell coloring and markings, redfooted tortoises are long-lived and relatively easy to care for. If you’re thinking of getting one, expect to make a significant investment in equipment, food, and your living space for what could be a 50-year commitment.

The main daily chores involve feeding, water bowl changes, and cleaning up pet wastes. In captivity, these cute tortoises act shy, hide often, or burrow; this is usually a stress response when around predators.

As a rule, you should prevent small children from handling turtles and tortoises, mostly due to the possibility of spreading salmonella . This bacteria lives in the intestinal tract of most reptiles, and it can cause illness in humans. Good hand-washing hygiene can prevent bacterial infection. They feel most secure in a hiding spot where they fit tightly, such as a tree trunk, sometimes wedging several tortoises in at once.

Also, in the wild, redfooted tortoises often display social behavior, such as sharing food and gathering in small groups. You can sink a shallow water pan into the ground but make sure the tortoise can safely climb out of it. If nighttime temperatures drop to 70 F or lower, heat the outdoor shelter to 70 F or bring in your tortoise to an environmentally controlled indoor enclosure.

Vitamin D3 helps the tortoise absorb calcium, which is crucial for bone structure and growth. All indoor enclosures should include a 10 percent fluorescent UVB tube light with a reflector to spread the UVB rays downward to the tortoise. A pan of water should be provided at all times for your redfooted tortoise to walk into as well as a dig box of moist organic dirt or sphagnum moss at least 6 inches deep. Different vegetables and fruits that are good to feed regularly include carrots, parsnip, sweet potato, papaya, figs, and hard melons.

They can eat about 1 ounce of animal protein once every two weeks in the form of moistened low-fat cat food or lean meat. Shell rot: Infectious disease caused by bacteria or fungus, appears as flaky patches on the animal’s shell; usually requires antibiotics Vitamin A deficiency: Can appear as swollen eyes or ear infections; antibiotics required for ear infection treatment Parasitic infections: External parasites are visible and can include ticks or mites; internal parasite like roundworms potentially visible in feces; both treatable with antiparasitic medications Due to habitat loss and capture for the pet trade, this tortoise‘s wild population has declined significantly.

How long does it take for a red-footed tortoise to reach full size?

These tortoises grow to an adult length of 11 to 14 inches and weigh 20 to 30lb by the time they are ten years old.

How big is a 2 year old red foot tortoise?

Again, you can see that 2 years into its life and almost 4 inches in length with no pyramiding.

What size tank does a red foot tortoise need?

A single red foot tortoise will need at least a 55-gallon terrarium and may require even more space when fully grown. Multiple tortoises will need a larger habitat, too. Make sure your tortoise’s terrarium has a screened lid.

Is a red-footed tortoise a good pet?

A popular pet with striking shell coloring and markings, red-footed tortoises are long-lived and relatively easy to care for. If you’re thinking of getting one, expect to make a significant investment in equipment, food, and your living space for what could be a 50-year commitment.

Redfooted tortoises are a wonderful pet that have steadily gotten more popular over the years. And the more you learn about them, its not hard to see why!

Named for the brightly colored scales on their legs, the redfooted tortoise ( Chelonoidis carbonarius ) is a beautiful reptile that flourishes in captivity. They have an easy-going temperament and are more active throughout the day than other tortoise species, making them a joy to watch!

In the wild, redfooted tortoises are endemic to several regions throughout Central and South America. They can inhabit a range of environments, including dry savannahs and wet forests. Thanks to their docile nature and relatively easy care requirements, theyre a low-maintenance pet tortoise that can be with you for decades!

The life expectancy of a redfooted tortoise is heavily impacted by the care they receive. The plastron is also shallower, but it offers more protection to the tortoises rear end. However, you have to invest some time initially to create the perfect habitat and care schedule.

Luckily, once you establish a routine and understand what these tortoises need, its smooth sailing moving forward. Here are the most important care guidelines to keep your redfooted tortoise happy and healthy. You can keep them in a decorated vivarium or a tortoise table if your home stays warm.

This means creating thick, unclimbable walls that extend at least a foot into the soil to prevent digging. Expert Tip: You will definitely want to utilize a screened top if there are natural predators in your area (there usually are). Whether you create your tortoises new home indoors or out, there are several items you need to include in their habitat setup.

Redfooted tortoises are powerful diggers and like to burrow for safety and solace from the sun. All of these substrates are diggable and hold onto moisture to keep humidity levels high. Redfooted tortoises are cold-blooded animals that will regulate their body temperature by moving to warm and cool areas.

Expert Tip: These reptiles can tolerate temperatures as low as 70 degrees at night. Temperatures lower than 70 degrees put the tortoise at risk for illness. The substrate material and plants you choose will help keep the humidity level high.

You can also spray the enclosure down daily or invest in a misting system if you want to automate the process. Avoid any deep pans that could make it difficult for the tortoise to access. Theres a good chance that the tortoise will defecate in the dish, so cleaning it will reduce the risk of illness.

Waxworms, bloodworms, mealworms, crickets, earthworms, and other insects work fine. Swiss Chard Watercress Dandelion greens Carrots Grapes Endive Parsley Zucchini Papaya Peaches Feed your tortoise daily and dont provide them with more food than they can eat in 15 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the food with calcium and multivitamin supplement powders about two to three times a week. The most common health concerns these tortoises experience are shell rot, respiratory infection, and metabolic bone disease. It can weaken the shell, cause flaky patches, and even lead to death if not treated.

Tortoises can experience inflammation in their respiratory system, leading to discharge, swelling, and pain. Metabolic bone disease is a serious condition that affects tortoises without proper UV exposure. When you first bring your new redfooted tortoise home, theyll likely spend most of their time in hiding.

During the day, redfooted tortoises scavenge for food, burrow to get comfortable, and bask under the light. Theyre not huge fans of it and while its not very common, these tortoises are capable of biting you (their beaks can hurt).

Some of the most popular pet tortoises in the United States are the redfooted tortoises of South America. Redfooted tortoises are easy to acquire, are simple to take care of, remain a size that most can easily handle, and they show amazing colorations on their head, legs and shells. Redfooted tortoises are native to moderate climates and have shown an ability to adapt to various climates and habitats in captivity. Redfooted tortoises low cost, combined with a curious personality, make them tortoises that are commonly sought after by first-time tortoisekeepers.

Captive-bred baby redfooted tortoises are available from many sources, including local pet stores, reptile expos and directly from breeders. The container itself isnt as important as the furnishings put into it, which include substrate, lighting, temperature gradients and cage furniture.

High temperatures are generally not going to be a problem provided that the tortoise has a shaded area to escape to if desired and constant access to water to soak in and drink. We keep our adult redfooted tortoises outdoors in Las Vegas with temperatures of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit occasionally and have had no losses to heat. Keep in mind the fact that our redfooted tortoise jungle is sprayed with sprinklers several times a day, which lowers the overall temperature in that area and raises humidity.

Redfooted tortoises are kept outdoors year round in some parts of the country where nighttime lows in the winter are 20 degrees (including here in Las Vegas). It is absolutely required that these tortoises are checked on each evening to make sure they get into a heated area and do not fall asleep out in the open and become exposed to cold temperatures at night. As adults, redfooted tortoises can safely handle body temperatures as low as 45 degrees at night as long as they are able to heat up into the 70s during the day.

Moisture is not a problem in warmer temperatures (a cool mudhole on a hot day), but the tortoises should be kept dry on cold nights. For best results, purchase an alert, active redfooted tortoise with bright, clean eyes, or buy one from a reputable source that will guarantee (at least) a live arrival. In the early stages, it can sometimes be corrected by raising temperatures and lowering humidity for a week or two, but if it gets to the point of bubbling or foaming at the mouth or nose, a vet should be consulted.

Red-Footed Tortoise Behavior and Temperament

These animals are not high-maintenance, as long as you set up their enclosure correctly the first time with proper lights, heat source, humidity, and put everything on timers. The main daily chores involve feeding, water bowl changes, and cleaning up pet wastes.In captivity, these cute tortoises act shy, hide often, or burrow; this is usually a stress response when around predators. In general, they prefer not to be handled but are docile and easy-going. Despite not having teeth, their beaks are strong, and they can bite. While bites are rare and usually unintentional, it can hurt.As a rule, you should prevent small children from handling turtles and tortoises, mostly due to the possibility of spreading salmonella. This bacteria lives in the intestinal tract of most reptiles, and it can cause illness in humans. Good hand-washing hygiene can prevent bacterial infection.Unlike some other breeds of tortoise, the redfooted are relatively active during the day. In the wild, they spend most of their time digging and foraging. If they’ve eaten a large meal, however, they can spend as long as a week resting.Wild redfooted tortoises are prolific burrowers. They burrow to seek shelter, cool down from the heat, and to hide from predators. They feel most secure in a hiding spot where they fit tightly, such as a tree trunk, sometimes wedging several tortoises in at once.Also, in the wild, redfooted tortoises often display social behavior, such as sharing food and gathering in small groups. They’re not overly territorial of nesting or feeding sites unless two males are competing over a female.

Housing the Red-Footed Tortoise

An ideal enclosure for the redfooted tortoise is a sturdy, escape-proof enclosure outside. This species is native to tropical areas and prefers a humid climate. Set up a sprinkler or mister to increase the humidity if needed. This tortoise loves a muddy wallow or puddle for cooling off. You can sink a shallow water pan into the ground but make sure the tortoise can safely climb out of it.If possible, provide a shady area densely planted with vegetation for a cool retreat. A doghouse-type shelter can also work as a shady spot. The walls of the enclosure should be about 16 inches high and even go a few inches below the ground to prevent your redfooted tortoise from digging and escaping.You can house this tortoise indoors, but you will need a large enclosure (roughly 4 feet by 8 feet though larger is even better).For cleaning, spot clean or scoop out pet wastes. Clean and disinfect the water container daily.

Heat

As cold-blooded creatures, all reptiles need to regulate their body temperature. They need a thermal gradient or spectrum of temperatures so that they can keep their body temperature at an optimal level. The average daytime temperature—whether outside or indoors—should be 85 F to 90 F. The tortoise will also need a basking spot that reaches up 95 F.If the temperature drops lower than 80 F, you will need to add a heat source. If nighttime temperatures drop to 70 F or lower, heat the outdoor shelter to 70 F or bring in your tortoise to an environmentally controlled indoor enclosure. Temperatures lower than 70 F put the animal at risk for developing a respiratory infection or hypothermia.Redfooted tortoises do not hibernate, but they may start to slow down during the colder months, even if housed indoors.

Light

Full-spectrum ultraviolet light is necessary for an indoor enclosure since your tortoise will not get unfiltered sunlight. Tortoises require UVB rays to synthesize vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 helps the tortoise absorb calcium, which is crucial for bone structure and growth. All indoor enclosures should include a 10 percent fluorescent UVB tube light with a reflector to spread the UVB rays downward to the tortoise.

Humidity

These tortoises do well in 50 percent to 70 percent humidity. A pan of water should be provided at all times for your redfooted tortoise to walk into as well as a dig box of moist organic dirt or sphagnum moss at least 6 inches deep. Use a hygrometer or humidity gauge inside the cage to monitor moisture levels accurately.

Substrate

Most pet owners use a substrate or bedding to line the bottom of the cage. In the case of tortoises, they need it for digging. Use cypress bark, orchid bark, or sphagnum moss as a substrate, which also helps retain humidity. Paper will also work and is easy to clean. Change the substrate every one to two weeks to prevent mold and excessive bacterial growth.

Food and Water

In the wild, redfooted tortoises are omnivores. They eat a more extensive range of foods than many other tortoises. Leafy greens, fruits, and other vegetables make up their main diet.The ratio for a well-balanced redfooted tortoise diet is 60 percent dark leafy greens and grasses, 15 percent vegetables, 15 percent fruit, and 10 percent tortoise pellets or animal protein. Feed the amount of food they will eat within 15 to 30 minutes, or you can estimate the amount of food to offer as being equal to the size of the shell. Feed them daily, in the morning, usually around the same time every day.The best dark, leafy greens for redfooted tortoises include dandelion greens, endive, mustard greens, and escarole. Avoid feeding large amounts of kale, spinach, and broccoli, these can be offered, but only in tiny amounts.Redfooted tortoises tolerate fruit better than many other tortoise species. Different vegetables and fruits that are good to feed regularly include carrots, parsnip, sweet potato, papaya, figs, and hard melons. They can eat about 1 ounce of animal protein once every two weeks in the form of moistened low-fat cat food or lean meat. Add calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to their food three times a week. You can also offer tortoise pellets that are enriched with vitamins and minerals.Replenish its water pan daily with fresh, filtered water.

Choosing Your Red-Footed Tortoise

Redfooted tortoises are prone to several medical conditions that are treatable by an exotics veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.

Lifespan

The life expectancy of a redfooted tortoise is heavily impacted by the care they receive. While some uncontrollable factors could have an effect, their overall health and well-being are largely dependent on you. Failing to meet their needs could result in disease and a potentially death.

Appearance & Colors

Redfooted tortoises are beautiful creatures that are pretty easy to identify. Just take a look at their legs! Like other tortoises, the legs and body are covered in thick armor-like scales.Most of the scales are dark brown, black, or gray. However, more vibrant scales peak through to add a pop of gorgeous color. Most often, these colorful scales take on shades of red. However, you might also see orange or yellow depending on the regional varieties.Their shells are eye-catching, too. They have a loaf-shaped carapace. Each scute typically has a dark brown, black, or gray perimeter. Typically though, the raised center is significantly lighter( usually it’s a pale yellow). This color combination creates a stunning three-dimensional look!These tortoises have a squared-off head with a flat top. Their faces may be a bit lighter, making their strong beaks more visible. You may also see some brighter patches of skin with the same coloration as the scales on their legs.

Average Size

Generally, males are larger than females. However, females don’t lag behind too much in terms of growth and size. Both have a fairly average growth rate for a tortoise.

Red-Footed Tortoise Care

Most owners will tell you that redfooted tortoise care is a piece of cake. For the most part, it’s not difficult at all! However, you have to invest some time initially to create the perfect habitat and care schedule. That’s where you can’t coast.Luckily, once you establish a routine and understand what these tortoises need, it’s smooth sailing moving forward.Here are the most important care guidelines to keep your redfooted tortoise happy and healthy.

Enclosure Size

One of the most important things to establish early on is the right enclosure. These tortoises can live indoors, but they will need a large home.However, If you live in a warm climate it’s better to keep them in an outdoor enclosure.When keeping them outside it’s important to create a predator-proof and escape-proof environment. This means creating thick, unclimbable walls that extend at least a foot into the soil to prevent digging. The walls should be at least 16 inches high.

Habitat Setup

Whether you create your tortoise’s new home indoors or out, there are several items you need to include in their habitat setup.You can use cypress bark, orchid bark, sphagnum moss, coconut coir, or an additive-free topsoil mix. Soil and sand mixtures work well, too. All of these substrates are diggable and hold onto moisture to keep humidity levels high.Live or artificial plants are great additions to the enclosure as well. They provide some shade and can help with humidity levels.There are no major requirements in terms of plant species, but try to stick with plants the tortoise would normally eat (here’s a great resource to get you started). Avoid anything that’s potentially dangerous or toxic.You can create this by adding an appropriately sized hide box. It can be made from wood or molded plastic. Make sure that the box is big enough for the tortoise to get in and turn. But other than that, keep it relatively confined.

Temperature & Lighting

Redfooted tortoises are cold-blooded animals that will regulate their body temperature by moving to warm and cool areas. This means you’ll need to create a temperature gradient.The basic ambient temperatures should be warm.On one side of the enclosure, create a basking spot.Another important thing to have is a UVB light. Tortoises kept outdoors will get all of their UV rays from the sun. However, indoor tortoises need simulated UV from special lamps. Install a 10-percent UVB lamp with a reflector for adequate spread.

Humidity

High humidity levels are a must.Invest in a hygrometer to monitor the humidity closely. Too much or too little moisture in the air could lead to health problems later on (more on that later).The substrate material and plants you choose will help keep the humidity level high. You can also spray the enclosure down daily or invest in a misting system if you want to automate the process.

Water

A water dish will also help maintain humidity in the habitat. That said, redfooted tortoises will also use the dish to soak and get comfortable. They love a muddy wallow or puddle to rest in.Place a large and shallow dish of water. It should be large enough for the tortoise to climb in. Avoid any deep pans that could make it difficult for the tortoise to access.

Handling Them

Redfooted tortoises are omnivores. In the wild, they are natural-born scavengers that will eat a wide range of foods.It’s important to create a balanced diet with a lot of variety. However, you should focus more on leafy greens and vegetables. Ideally, their diet should be split up like this:Exercise caution when it comes to protein. You can provide the occasional gut-loaded insect. Waxworms, bloodworms, mealworms, crickets, earthworms, and other insects work fine. You can even provide chopped up animal meat.Plant-based foods are the most important thing to focus on. Using the percentage guide above, you can use some of the following foods to create a well-balanced meal.Feed your tortoise daily and don’t provide them with more food than they can eat in 15 to 30 minutes. A good guideline that many owners use to figure out portions is matching the size of the meals to the size of the shell.Sprinkle the food with calcium and multivitamin supplement powders about two to three times a week. For younger tortoises (less than a year old), provide those supplements daily.

Red-Footed Tortoise (

Some of the most popular pet tortoises in the United States are the redfooted tortoises of South America. Redfooted tortoises are easy to acquire, are simple to take care of, remain a size that most can easily handle, and they show amazing colorations on their head, legs and shells. Redfooted tortoises are native to moderate climates and have shown an ability to adapt to various climates and habitats in captivity. Redfooted tortoises’ low cost, combined with a curious personality, make them tortoises that are commonly sought after by first-time tortoisekeepers.

Red-Footed Tortoise Availability

Redfooted tortoises are bred on a large scale in the U.S., generally in the humid southern states, where it is easier to keep them outdoors year round. Captive-bred baby redfooted tortoises are available from many sources, including local pet stores, reptile expos and directly from breeders.Redfooted tortoises are still imported from the wild, mainly from the Suriname and Guyana localities. They are also farm bred in large numbers in South America and shipped into the U.S. after they reach 4 inches in size. Generally these farm-bred animals have somewhat pyramided shells, whereas the wild-caught red-foots are usually smooth shelled. Because of the U.S. 4-inch law, anything smaller than 4 inches in size can be assumed to be U.S. captive bred and born.Tyler Stewart8-year-old captive-bred female cherry-head redfooted tortoise.

Red-Footed Tortoise Size

Redfooted tortoise hatchlings measure approximately 1½ to 2 inches in carapace length out of the egg. Growth rates are variable depending on many factors, but are mostly based on the amount and quality of food they are taking in as well as the temperatures they are exposed to.Redfooted tortoise adult size is generally somewhere between 11 to 14 inches in length, with some exceptions to this rule. We have had females as small as 9 inches in length lay eggs, although it is more likely with females in the 11 to 12 inch range. Like most tortoises, redfooted tortoises grow rapidly for the first five to 10 years, and then their growth slows with age.

Red-Footed Tortoise Life Span

The life span of a redfooted tortoise can vary depending on many factors, but most indications are that they can live for more than 50 years. Tortoises kept in ideal conditions that mimic their natural habitat, without the threat of predation, tend to have higher life spans than tortoises raised in artificial settings.

Red-Footed Tortoise Habitat

Redfooted tortoise enclosures require a sturdy wall at least 16 inches in height above ground, as well as a few inches below ground, to prevent (or discourage) these tortoises from digging. Redfooted tortoises aren’t usually burrowing or digging tortoises, so this isn’t as much of a concern as it would be with other tortoise species. See-through fences and walls should not be used, as the tortoises tend to try to escape through or over these walls if they can see the other side.Tyler StewartRed-footed tortoise enclosures should have walls at lest 16 inches in height above ground and a few inches below ground.Young redfooted tortoises can be raised indoors if the outside conditions are beyond their tolerance. While outdoor housing is preferred anytime the temperatures are in the acceptable range, many people raise their red-foots indoors for the first few years. Probably the best enclosures to use indoors are simple, plastic sweaterboxes or a “tortoise table,” which you can buy or make yourself. The container itself isn’t as important as the furnishings put into it, which include substrate, lighting, temperature gradients and cage furniture. In colder climates, a suitable enclosure can be built in the garage for large tortoises during the winter. These enclosures should be heated enough to keep the tortoises comfortable during the indoor months.On top of keeping a moderate humidity level in the enclosure, all baby redfooted tortoises raised indoors should have access to a humid hiding area where they can snuggle in and get a dose of humidity, much like they would in a natural burrow. This more humid microclimate helps their shells to grow smoothly and helps in keeping the tortoise hydrated. Tortoises raised without proper humidity tend to dehydrate quickly and form “bumpy” shells as they grow.Many different substrates can be used for indoor redfooted tortoise enclosures. For all sizes of tortoise, cypress mulch has proven to be a great bedding. It’s absorbent, safe and relatively low cost. Other good options include coconut coir or peat moss. Outdoor enclosures don’t need fancy substrates, provided that the soil is natural and not tainted with any chemicals or fertilizers.I also include a few large, flat rocks in the enclosure. They help file down the tortoises’ nails and give them a clean surface for food.

Red-Footed Tortoise Lighting and Temperature

Redfooted tortoises that live outdoors are tolerant to various temperature ranges. High temperatures are generally not going to be a problem provided that the tortoise has a shaded area to escape to if desired and constant access to water to soak in and drink.We keep our adult redfooted tortoises outdoors in Las Vegas with temperatures of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit occasionally and have had no losses to heat. Keep in mind the fact that our redfooted tortoise “jungle” is sprayed with sprinklers several times a day, which lowers the overall temperature in that area and raises humidity. The entire area is covered with 80 percent shade cloth.The tortoises themselves can also handle surprisingly cold temperatures, as low as 45 degrees, with no problems. When nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees, a heated hide box should be provided that maintains at least 60 degrees at night (in the 70s is better), or the tortoises should be brought in during those times. Redfooted tortoises are kept outdoors year round in some parts of the country where nighttime lows in the winter are 20 degrees (including here in Las Vegas). It is absolutely required that these tortoises are checked on each evening to make sure they get into a heated area and do not fall asleep out in the open and become exposed to cold temperatures at night.Indoors, redfooted tortoises can be maintained at normal room temperatures: 68 to 80 degrees. They should also have a basking area heated by an overhead light or a ceramic heat emitter. This warm spot should be in the 90-degree range. While some don’t think it’s needed, we provide a UVB light in the indoor enclosures to help them properly process the calcium in their diets. When placed overhead, it will not lead to eye damage as is sometimes claimed. Lights should run 12 to 14 hours a day, and a mild heat source can be used 24/7 under or over the hide box area (small heat pads, red bulbs or ceramic heat emitters work great for this). Lamp timers make the light cycle consistent and easy.Redfooted tortoises exist in a wide variety of habitats in the wild, from grassland to jungle, almost all with moderate to high humidity and moderate temperatures. Red-foots can handle variable amounts of humidity in captivity once grown, but babies should be kept humid to ensure proper smooth shell growth in their first few years.Redfooted tortoises do not hibernate but will go through a winter slow-down period during cooler weather and shortened day-lengths. As adults, redfooted tortoises can safely handle body temperatures as low as 45 degrees at night as long as they are able to heat up into the 70s during the day. Summer temperatures up to 100 degrees can be tolerated as long as there is a cooler, shaded retreat the tortoise can get into. Moisture is not a problem in warmer temperatures (a cool mudhole on a hot day), but the tortoises should be kept dry on cold nights.

Red-Footed Tortoise Food

Redfooted tortoises are typically eager eaters, rarely turning down a meal. With adult tortoises, we feed them the best mix possible of various fruits, veggies, flowers and leaves. They will also graze on mulberry leaves, grape leaves, hibiscus leaves and flowers. They enjoy Mazuri tortoise diet as much as any tortoise does, and having this on hand works well for a backup plan if you can’t get to the store for fresh greens, and it is a good supplemental diet. Mazuri tortoise diet works well to cover any of the nutritional bases that the other diet may have missed.Tyler StewartFeed adult tortoises the best mix possible of various fruits, veggies, flowers and leaves.We also use spring mixes (particularly with baby redfooted tortoises), which have several leafy ingredients in them, and we supplement with kale, collard greens, turnip greens and any of the darker lettuce types. Cactus pads have become a major part of the diet of many of our tortoises as well. Variety is the key.It is generally thought that redfooted tortoises need more protein in their diet than many other species. While we don’t offer ours a direct source of protein, they probably do take the opportunity to eat an earthworm or a grub if they come across them in their enclosures. Some keepers offer insects as a supplemental food source (waxworms, mealworms, superworms or earthworms). Some even offer baby mice as a protein source in the diet of their captive redfooted tortoises. Mazuri tortoise diet is higher in protein than a normal vegetarian tortoise diet, so by using this in the diets of our tortoises, we think their needs are being met.Feed tortoises from a grass surface, flat rock or concrete, or from a tray.

Red-Footed Tortoise Water

Redfooted tortoises should have water dishes or small ponds in their outdoor enclosures. We use shallow, low-sided dishes that are glazed to make cleaning easy. Cleaning must be done on a regular basis, as most tortoises tend to soak in their dishes and defecate in them. We provide water dishes to our redfooted tortoises all year, although their use of them in the winter is very minimal. We also provide small “mudholes” and puddle-areas that the tortoises can sit in to stay cool during the hot months.When redfooted tortoises are housed indoors, shallow water dishes can be used, but again, they need very regular cleaning. In shallow water, the tortoises usually begin drinking immediately and flush their systems at the same time. Baby and juvenile redfooted tortoises tend to dry out much quicker than larger, more established tortoises. They can also be soaked outside the enclosure in shallow, warm water once or twice a week for 15 to 30 minutes to get fully hydrated, which also helps keep the main enclosure clean. This is a form of “forced hydration” but works well in keeping the tortoise fully hydrated.

Red-Footed Tortoise Health

For best results, purchase an alert, active redfooted tortoise with bright, clean eyes, or buy one from a reputable source that will guarantee (at least) a live arrival. These tortoises can suffer from most common reptile health problems, but respiratory infections and parasites in the case of imported tortoises are the most prevalent.Redfooted tortoises can also be prone to respiratory infections if they are kept in cool or wet enclosures. This is evident if the tortoise has a bubbly nose or raspy breathing or makes a gurgling sound as it breathes. In the early stages, it can sometimes be corrected by raising temperatures and lowering humidity for a week or two, but if it gets to the point of bubbling or foaming at the mouth or nose, a vet should be consulted.