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Turtles & Tortoises Discussion Forum This forum is for the purpose of discussing any topics concerning the turtles and tortoises of the world.

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Old 04-13-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
Russian or Greek?

Hello everyone!

Now that we have moved to a state where it's legal to own a tortoise, I'm wanting to add one to our collection of reptiles!

While I love how beautiful Redfoots are, I think I want something that requires less humidity and stays a little smaller.

We live in SC now, so the summers can be brutal (hot and humid) if it's anything like where I lived in TN that is just 3 hours away.

We've already had a 90 degree day, but it's back to the 60s and 70s now.

We're renting a house, but we do have a spacious back yard that has plenty of grass, clover and dandelions, so we could put a pen back there.

I know I will want to start out with a hatchling, and one that is fairly easy to care for since torts will be new to me. I also want one that will have a good personality and that doesn't mind other people. My hubby and 2.5 year old son and eventually our 4 month old son will want to interact plenty, as well.

Will some of you with experience chime in and provide me with a reliable care sheet? Some of the ones I'm finding don't match up.

Thanks so much!
Old 04-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
Care of Russians and Greeks is very similar, with Greeks being slightly more sensitive to environmental conditions. Have you considered Hermann's? Of the three, they have the most friendly, outgoing personality. Hatchlings are fairly easy to come by. Of course, you have to be extremely careful keeping a tortoise outdoors for the first few years. Even if the pen is escape-proof, they are easily picked up by hawks, cats, racoons, etc. Also, you have to provide for full drainage to prevent drowning, while not having any escape gaps.
I would plan on keeping it indoors for a few years, or getting an adult. Their lifespan is as long or longer than ours.
I have Hermann's and Egyptians. They are in an outdoor pen April-October, 6X6, with a heated small doghouse, several hides, a concrete birdbath top for water, areas of deep mulch for burrowing. I plant a multi-lettuce garden (outside the pen) to grow food. Anything planted in the pen will be trampled or eaten. They are also fed clover and dandelions.
In the winter, they are kept in the basement, in a kiddie pool w/ 6 inches of sand, heat lamps, and UV.

Old 04-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
Personally i would go with either russians or hermans (ive havent worked with greeks). Russians are very easy to come by, even as wc's they do very well in captivity and are very active. Hermans are just like what Noelle said with their personalities, they warm up to their keepers very quickly.
Old 05-04-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
I love my Russians. My male has such a great personality. He'll chase me down when I walk into their pen outside, wanting food.

If you get an adult they're easier to care for in comparison to starting off with a baby. They live a good while, so you don't miss out on the life of a 4-5 year old adult. Either way, Russians are a great starter tortoise.

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