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#67662 Leopard Or Redfooted Tortoise ?

Posted by wizzasmum on 08 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

I have been wondering what species is more popular redfooted or leopard tortoise?
I have been thinking about breeding tortoises and have narrowed it down to these two,but would need to know which one is more popular so I can get the beast result and maybe try and expand. I have space for summer and winter pens and grass areas available so have all that's needed and have done research on both species. I also have food available as I have a border (area) of dandy lions and tortoise seed mix due to my current tortoises . I also have strawberries and melons growing during the sumer for redfooted tortoises as well as grass for leopard tortoises.
Thanks in advance lance

To be honest, in the uk, neither of these is a good idea. Neither are popular due to the difficulty of keeping them. Leopard tortoises are indigenous to South Africa and therefore it's not easy to give them a good habitat in uk without a great deal of expense. To breed them would definitely result in lots of tortoises eventually looking for new homes. They can't even be rehomed to zoos any more. Redfoots are also not easy to breed in this country due to the difficulty of creating large enough enclosures which need high levels of humidity amongst other problems. I think you need to research very carefully before going ahead with this project. It's a lot more involved than growing weeds, fruit and grass I'm afraid. Hope this helps.

#67634 New Outdoor Enclosure To Shanti And Namaste

Posted by wizzasmum on 03 June 2017 - 07:49 PM

Sabina, it's fantastic. Very lucky tortoise babies. When the blocks are planted up it's going to look even better. Love it :)

#67629 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 03 June 2017 - 10:08 AM

I'm a bit concerned that the outlet isn't giving this information with the tortoises to be honest. Maybe it would be possible for you to pass some links on to them :)

#67624 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:11 PM

Thanks Sue , i think it makes sense - so you would recommend a lamp for those cooler days with the age they are now? ie,2 yr.

Definitely, from hatching to old age. In the uk there's not enough natural warmth to keep tortoises outdoor without heated coldframes or greenhouses. The tortoises would eat at lower temps, but would not digest properly if they couldn't reach a core temp of 30C

#67623 A Little Advice Needed Please

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:03 PM

As you say Claire there's a lot of conflicting advise about, ranging from commercial outlets that want to sell you stuff, to new keepers passing on second hand knowledge, to long term breeders and researchers. I'd say always think of what the tortoise has in the wild, plus how it behaves and try to mimic that as best you can. Pyramiding is most often caused by husbandry and rarely the amount fed, although constant feeding as much as it can eat isn't a good idea anyway. They look very big for two year olds, although pics can be deceiving. A two year old would generally be less than 70 - 80 grams and even less in the wild. In nature they also spend a lot of time hidden in very humid areas, especially overnight, so this needs to be copied too by watering the enclosure so that when they dig down they will remain hydrated. I don't use sand as it's not like their natural habitat sand and can cause eye problems. Looking at your pics I'd say the problem is mainly humidity related. I'd remove the covered area as that encourages them to sleep on the surface rather than below the surface, also make the substrate double the present depth at least. You also need to supplement with calcium/d3 daily, especially when the tortoise is growing too fast. Tiny hatchlings need to be growing at 2-3 grams a month max for healthy growth. Hope that's not too harsh :)

#67620 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 08:52 PM

Thanks Sue that's brilliant help. I will do all you suggest. I will remove the hay and replace the soil sand mix with soil only. Totally understand the growth on pellets concept. They are heavier (80g)! Although the reptile place wasn't sure exactly how old and said almost 2 years , thinks they were born august 2015. So very frustrating. Do you mean remove the covered sleep area? Hopefully by doing this they will wake up naturally with the daylight and come out. The enclosure has a wired lid cage to which we added a section of Perspex to create a cloche environment so they have both basking warm and normal no cover. I will measure the temp under there to check in sunlight its warm enough. It has been warm this week though so im guessing on a normal spring summer day it may not reach 30 if the sun isn't out. Would this matter and would i need to consider a heat lamp? Presume the night time temp is less an issue as it rarely goes below 12 c at night. Ok so daily baths and keep offering the fresh food and keep handling to a minimum. Sorry for all the questions! I hope we haven't made a mistake. I would hate to lose the little things from rubbish husbandry before us.

Yes sorry, covered area (iPad had a blip). The total temp doesn't need to be 30, just the basking spot. Under normal sunny day conditions they can reach a core temperature of 30 just by basking. This is the difference between natural sunlight and artificial lamps. It's called thermoregulation. When I pick my torts up in the garden they are often quite warm, even though other objects around are not. The shell is 'designed' to take in heat this way. Cloudy days will still produce uvb, but not enough heat, which is where the lamps come in and why the tortoises need to make their own choice. It's impossible to grow young tortoises in the uk without added heat, otherwise we would have a wild population of tortoises. 12 degrees and even lower over night is fine. Ground level in the Med is still quite cold overnight, so this is part of their natural habitat. Hope this makes sense.

#67613 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 06:18 PM

In the channel isles you don't need certificates, assumed you were in the uk. I don't know the centre you are dealing with obviously, but wouldn't trust the one I know of in Jersey. I'm afraid Reptile centres only want your money and the fact they are keeping them the way they are only goes to show they don't have the animals best interests at heart. Tortoises will naturally go into hide areas if that is their only option, but digging down as they would in the wild is much better for them. 35 degrees is actually a bit hot for them, so they will hide away, their optimum core temp is 30 degrees. Did the shop give you a care sheet from the breeder? This should have mentioned, feeding, habitat, depth of soil, behaviour etc. I'd not use playsand as it's not like the sand in their natural area and cause eye problems. Hay too is quite dangerous and can cause respiratory problems. I know of no genuine breeders who would use pellets, but again the problem you have there is that as certs are not needed, they could have come from anywhere and I do know that on Jersey there are imported tortoises being sold. The tortoises in the pics look to have been grown very fast, which they would on pellets. I'm just guessing they are much heavier than 50 grams. I would dig the little one up each day, keep giving warm baths before feeding and remove the co feed area, so they can see correct light levels each morning. A healthy tortoise won't starve itself, so keep the temps to 30-32 degrees in the basking area and lower everywhere else. So long as they are taking water on board, they will be fine. If there are signs of illness in the little one then get him to a specialist Reptile vet, but otherwise give him a few weeks to settle.

#67611 Newbie Concerned With Health

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 12:48 PM

Did the centre tell you who the breeder was? They should always do this if they advertise them as uk bred, as if there is a problem, the breeder can often help. To be honest there are very few genuine breeders who sell to commercial outlets due to the incorrect care advise they usually give. You don't need an enclosed sleep area, this is just wasted space as tortoises prefer to dig under the substrate which also encourages good shell growth. If the centre kept them in tanks, this is another sign their origin might not be as stated, your cert should give you an idea. Please don't offer pellets food, a good centre will not sell you this. Long term they can cause kidney damage and even add to dehydration issues. So long as your tortoises are healthy they will accept decent food eventually. Keep hydrated by bathing to prevent dehydration. It could be that they are just settling in, but it could also be a problem with previous husbandry. Just to give you an idea, an 18 month old would weigh less than 50 grams. Tortoises are not generally a good pet for children, as they dontreally need human interaction, so too much attention would certainly see them hiding away initially. Do you have pictures of them?

#67607 Transition From Indoors To Outdoors

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:30 AM

Thanks Sue!
I like the idea to let them think they are escaping.
I will post on the forum some pictures of the outdoor enclosure soon. 

Looking forward to pics. I'm sure there will be some good ideas for other members as you've put such a lot of thought into this :)

#67606 First Time Hibernating Advice

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 June 2017 - 10:28 AM

Well done for making a wise choice. He's a mere baby in the tortoise world, but as you say, he would have probably set a better overall growth pattern if he'd started earlier. This won't make it any harder though as it's a natural process. If you are using a fridge, it doesn't matter what time you do it as you are in control of the temps. If using natural methods though, you need to be guided by the weather. Mine usually start wind down in October and go in in November, coming back out in March sometime. This is how I do mine www.tortsmad.com/hibernation.htm There is always someone around to help you though. Do you have photos of your tortoise? Hope this helps.

#67602 Transition From Indoors To Outdoors

Posted by wizzasmum on 01 June 2017 - 09:55 PM

When I do mine Sabina I choose a warm day, pop them in the heated area and let them think they are escaping I don't take any notice of ambient temps overnight at this time of year, unless we are forecast any freak weather. I only ever use a pulse thermostat on incubators as it's realistic to have temperature changes overnight in the wild too

#67600 Hi All

Posted by wizzasmum on 31 May 2017 - 12:56 PM

2 male horsfield juveniles. Around the size of five year olds

#67586 Some Advice Would Be Appreciated

Posted by wizzasmum on 29 May 2017 - 07:02 PM

Its going to be quite some time before I can get electrics outside to the greenhouse. The problem is that the house is surrounded by around 4ft of concrete on all sides and the south facing area of the garden is also patio and concrete till the back where the outside enclosure would be. This makes it an extremely expensive and major overhaul to get a cable buried to where its needed. Is a coldframe not enough to provide  a warmer area?
Would I therefore be better using the indoor enclosure and moving the entire thing outside on warm sunny days so I wouldn't be stressing out the tort by moving from one space to another?
Thanks for all the advice.
I have now found a local breeder after looking through various sites

No a cold frame alone is not enough. If the weather was poor with no sun for more than a day, temps would dip much lower than is needed to sustain a tortoises life, particularly a tiny one. Moving the whole cage inside and out would be slightly better, but still stressful to a point, as the ambient temps would change. I would say, if you cant commit to this fully, them best wait until you can. It would be ok to keep hatchlings indoors for their first season, but only if you are certain you could add electrics sometime in readiness for next year after hibernation. It's not worth finding it can't be done once the baby is in place.

#67566 Tortoise Gender

Posted by wizzasmum on 26 May 2017 - 12:36 PM

I never separate until things get impossible. Nine times out of ten, once domimance is established, they usually settle.

#67514 Woodchip Or Bark?

Posted by wizzasmum on 09 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

No problem. Petshops rarely give good advice re tortoises otherwise they wouldn't sell much lol