Your Redfoot Tortoise enclosure you’ll need to provide several things when you’re making your tortoises home and all of them must be in place in order for your tortoise to thrive.
Here are some pointers for creating a good redfoot tortoise enclosure.
Outside versus Indoors
First, you need to decide whether your redfoot will live outside or indoors. Redfoot tortoises need high humidity (60 to 85% or so) and temperatures that don’t go much below 60 (70 for hatchlings) or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a warm, humid climate, consider making an outdoor redfoot tortoise enclosure – most redfoots do best living outdoors if conditions allow.
Of course, that won’t be possible if your climate is cold, arid or otherwise severe. In that case you’ll need to create an indoor redfoot tortoise enclosure and try to replicate the right conditions.
Redfoots aren’t huge, but they do need a spacious habitat. The minimum size for a redfoot tortoise enclosure is 6’ x 6’, but the bigger the better. They need space to wander and roam because exercise is critical to your tortoises overall health.
Food and Water Dishes
The food and water dishes you put in your redfoot tortoise enclosure should be shallow, heavy, and tip-proof.
Redfoots tend to soak in their water dishes in addition to drinking out of them, so base the size and depth of your water dish on the size of your tortoise.
Make sure it isn’t too deep or it could turn into a drowning hazard – especially for hatchlings and juveniles.
Instead of a deep dish or bowl, use a suitably sized plastic plant pot saucer.
Placing your redfoot’s food on a rough surface like an outdoor paving tile will help keep its beak trimmed.
Outdoor Redfoot Tortoise Enclosure
As long as the temperature doesn’t fall below 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit (70-75 for hatchlings) redfoots can live outdoors.
Bring them inside and put them in a temporary habitat whenever it gets too cold.
An outdoor redfoot tortoise enclosure should get sun but also have some shady areas.
It must be sturdy enough to keep out predators like cats, dogs, coyotes and raccoons, but it also needs to prevent your tortoise from escaping.
Make the walls high enough that your redfoot can’t climb over, and roof the enclosure with chain-link fencing, chicken wire or sturdy screening.
Plant some grasses and plenty of edible live plants. They’ll provide tasty tidbits as well as some additional shade.
Add a weatherproof shelter (a plastic dog house works well because it’s easy to clean) so your redfoot can get in out of the rain.
Big rocks or logs will give your redfoot some hiding places.
Indoor Redfoot Tortoise Enclosure
These are a bit more complicated. Don’t make the common mistake of using an aquarium – the walls are far too high and they don’t provide enough roaming room or air movement.
And because they can see through the glass they’ll spend time trying to go through it which causes stress to your Redfoot.
An aquarium is the absolute worst possible Redfoot Tortoise enclosure, so don’t let the pet store clerk talk you into one.
Here’s a quick video showing you our hatchling/yearling enclosure.
Some owners use jumbo-sized plastic storage containers or children’s wading pools, while others recommend building a wooden “tortoise table.”
Cover the bottom of the enclosure with a layer of substrate. Cypress mulch, play sand and a large clump of peat moss or sphagnum moss work well as the substrate of an indoor redfoot tortoise enclosure.
Never use cat litter – it creates health problems for tortoises.
High humidity is essential, so use a humidifier or hand mister to keep the substrate damp or better yet, cover the top of the enclosure with plexiglass, which will keep in the humidity and heat.
Add some shady hiding spots for your tortoise.
When the lamps are on, your tortoise should have a cool area (around 75 degrees), a warm area (80 to 85 degrees) and a hot area (90 degrees, for basking).
Natural sunlight is always best, so on warm days let your redfoot roam in your backyard, under constant supervision.
So follow thee tips and your Redfoot Tortoise enclosure will meet their needs for years to come.