Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Soaking

From day one of Malti’s and my life together, I knew she needed frequent soaks. Her breeder told me this by writing it down on the care sheet he handed to me on the day she came home with me. I also read about it on the internet, along with related topics like tortoise humidityContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Soaking”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Fences

There is no easy way to say this. Tortoises hate fences. They hate them so much that even if there is a football field’s worth of open roaming space on “their” side of the fence, if they see a fence, they will spend every ounce of energy they have trying to break through it. IfContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Fences”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Curiosity

When I first brought Malti home, I had no idea what to expect. All I had to go on was an adorable photo of a baby redfoot tortoise her breeder had posted on Craig’s List and a few descriptive adjectives, such as “great personality,” “eating well,” et al. Also, I had seen a number ofContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Curiosity”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Squirming

I don’t really like to tell this story, on account of how I think the moment I do, the turtle police will show up and cart me off to wherever they incarcerate delinquent tortoise parents. Sigh. But it needs to be told, on the off chance somebody who has a turtle or tortoise and doesn’tContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Squirming”

Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Farting

I will never ever forget the first time it happened. I was sitting beside Malti while she took a bath in her itty bitty tortoise tub. Then all of a sudden I heard it….the tiniest of oh-so-delicate Tinkerbell farts. At first, thinking I must be hearing things, I looked all around me. There was noContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Farting”

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 whiteContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfoot Tortoises: Calcium”

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” actuallyContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Pyramiding”

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 andContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Bathrooming”

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 thenContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Shell Scratches”

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 anContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Opportunistic Feeding”

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 liveContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Environment”

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. AsContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Veterinary Care”

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 andContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Diet”

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….theContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Size at Maturity”

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,Continue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Girl Versus Boy”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: The Shell

Scientists trying to describe what a red footed tortoise shell looks like often use terms such as “loaf shaped,” “bumpy” and “blotchy colored.” It is no mystery why scientists aren’t in demand to write for beauty magazines. To add (um) fuel to that particular (er) fire, the red footed tortoise’s formal scientific name, Geochelone carbonaria, translates toContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: The Shell”

Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Red Dots

It isn’t too challenging to figure out how the red footed tortoise got its name. There is the tortoise….and then there are all those red dots. Considering this species’ formal scientific name is Chelonoidis carbonaria, that gives us one more good reason to be grateful for simple, easy-to-pronounce common species names. While their common name suggests thatContinue reading “Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises: Red Dots”

About: Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises

Malti, a young lady red footed tortoise who lives here with Bruce, Pearl and me (their mama) here at Casa Feathers n Beak n Shells, has it on very good authority that red footed tortoises are very important beings. In fact, all tortoises – and turtles and terrapins, for that matter – are very importantContinue reading “About: Malti Explains Redfooted Tortoises”


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