Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Calcium

Malti is a South American redfoot tortoise. She is also a reptile, and like all reptiles, she needs a little help to get sufficient calcium and then to absorb and use it to grow strong healthy bones and shell. I've been keeping parrots since I was eight, so I'm no stranger to the odd white …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Pyramiding

While it is true that the technical term "pyramiding" sounds like it refers to the mysterious great pyramids in Egypt, in this particular case it refers to the shape of a turtle or tortoise shell under some very particular conditions. Unfortunately, these conditions are not ideal ones for shell formation. So the term "pyramiding" actually …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Bathrooming

Like all living beings, Malti has plenty of bathrooming to do. But since Malti was the first tortoise I've ever lived with, and she has only one bathroom opening (in her tail) just like my parrot, Pearl (his is under his tail), I guess I just assumed it would all come out together (pee and …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Shell Scratches

The first time I saw Malti back up next to a rock and start rubbing her shell against it, it took me a bit to figure out what was going on. But then I realized....she is growing! Her shell itches! My parrot, Pearl, experiences a similar issue when he molts out old feathers and then …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Opportunistic Feeding

When I first brought Malti home, the breeder reassured me that she was "eating voraciously" and that this was a sign of good health in hatchling tortoises. Later, as I began to (er) devour books about redfoot tortoise care, I learned that the red footed tortoise is what breeders and biologists like to call an …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Environment

One (of many) things I didn't know when I brought Malti home was that different shelled beings need different types of care. For example, some tortoises thrive in desert environments. They like dry air with low humidity and high heat. Other tortoises, (for instance, red footed tortoises), hail from tropical climates. Wild redfooted tortoises live …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Veterinary Care

There are pros and cons to raising a tortoise from a tiny hatchling. The main pro is that you get to learn. Unfortunately, this is also the main con. I made a lot of mistakes in raising Malti, who was only just over a month or so old when she came home with me. As …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Diet

Malti loves to eat. I mean....she LOVES to eat. When I take her box turtle brother, Bruce, out of his enclosure and put him down on the lawn, he runs around on the lawn. When I take Malti out of her enclosure and put her down on the lawn, she immediately dips her head and …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Size at Maturity

When most people think of tortoises, they think massive. Huge. Oh so big. Like a very small vehicle or a very large rock. In these cases, they are usually thinking about the giant Galapagos tortoises, which can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds at maturity and live 170+ years. Malti won't ever get that big (WHEW). But....the …

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Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Girl Versus Boy

When I went to pick Malti up from her breeder, he presented me with a small plastic container. Inside the container were two VERY tiny tortoises. One of the tortoises was even smaller than the other, and quite quick while running and scampering around the little container. The other tortoise was a bit quieter, slower, …

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