Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

littlefootdoesstuff:

tort-time:

Submitted by teenagegodmomma :

Hi! I was recently given this little dude and I need soooo much help.

I don’t know what he is to begin with. 

I also need to know what to feed him, what to house him in, what the bedding should be, what kind of light to buy, how much light he needs and pretty much anything else I would need to know to care for this tiny guy. 

Right now he is in a hamster cage that is about a foot on all sides and he has a water dish that is big enough for him to soak in (he spends maybe 30 mins every day just chiling in it). It has clay in it and some rocks that he climbs on. I feed him worms that I buy from Walmart. I have just a regular lamp on him when I’m home.

I know this isn’t a good set up but I wasn’t planning on adopting a little friend and I really need some help!

If you could please email me with some advice at amandalyn0629@yahoo.com I would really appreciate it! 

Hey there! So I did some asking around and thanks to @oceanshamen ‘s help it seems like you’ve got a young Chinese Golden Thread (striped neck) turtle hatchling. They aren’t native, but have been found a lot in Florida.  A pond loving turtle that enjoys basking, so a pond/tank, basking platform, and some good UVB/UVA lighting is needed.  Can’t be sure, not seeing him/her in person and not being a vet. I’d say if you acquired him/her you’ll probably want to take a trip to a vet that specializes in exotics to ensure he/she is healthy, parasite free, and verify the set up. 

Anyone else have thoughts?? Answers enabled! 

From Western Mass. Turtle Rescue:

SCIENTIFIC NAME Ocadia sinensis

ADULT SIZE  Male   6” – 8”            Female   10” – 12”

DIET

An omnivorous turtle, but hatchlings and males tend to be more carnivorous feeding on insects, larvae, worms, crustaceans, and carrion, but will take in variety of water vegetation.

Females and older turtles will be primarily herbivorous.

TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)

Air Temperature:  Low to mid 80s F

Basking Temperature:  Mid 80s F to mid 90s F

Water Temperature: Mid 70s F to mid 80s F

Captive-bred specimens usually acclimate readily to proper enclosures and be fairly parasite-free. Imported wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads require deparasitization which may be outside the newcomer’s experience or desire and must consult a reptile veterinarian

CAPTIVE HABITAT

An enthusiastic basking turtle that often spends most of the day basking. A heat lamp and UVB light source are essential. A submersible heater is recommended, but they can withstand cool temperatures when kept in an outdoor pond. It is recommended that they be over-wintered indoors. Some specimens may hibernate as well, but it is not recommended.

RECOMMENDED ENCLOSURE

For adult males, a minimum 55 gallon tank or larger, while females should have at least a 75 gallon tank. They are reasonably good swimmers and the water should be fairly deep, albeit with driftwood or other ‘tank furniture’ to provide resting areas near the surface. Ocadia sinensis are excellent turtles for ponds habitats and easy to care for

CAPTIVE DIET

Hatchlings will feed on insects, worms, dried shrimp, dried fish, turtle/fish pellets and water vegetation. Adults tend to be more herbivorous and will take in Anacharis, water lettuce, duckweed, other aquatic plants and varied leafy greens such as dandelions, romaine lettuce, kale, collards greens and etc. Always keep leafy greens or aquatic vegetation in the tank and feed turtle pellets sparingly two or three times a week to adults.

OTHER INFORMATION

A hardy turtle and a prolific breeder. However, many imported wild-caught specimens have nicks and pitting from shell rot and/or fungus. Due to the stresses of transit in bad conditions, wild-caught turtles may arrive dehydrated and stressed, making examining the prospective purchase or dealing with a trusted vendor necessary. Deparasitization is a must for wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads, while captive bred specimens are fairly easy to care for similarly to other basking species (cooters, sliders and painted turtles). However, mixing species from distant geographical regions is discouraged since it will increase the likelihood of exposing new diseases.

Hatchlings are highly attractive with light grey/green carapace and orange/yellow discontinuous stripes on the three keels. The striking long-tailed hatchlings, are active and popular pet turtles in Asia comparable to the popularity and availability of the Red Eared Slider (RES) of North America.

Even more info here on the World Chelonian Trust site

??

How sure are you? Looks an awful lot like a box turtle hatchling to us. 
His shell is consistent with Littlefoot’s- who we know for sure to be a box turtle.  
He’s definitely not a water turtle because his toes are not webbed. 

Young box turtles eat mostly protein- think bugs, worms, occasionally chicken, eggs… you get the picture. They should also be offered veggies and some fruit but they aren’t likely to want them as fast. Fruit and veggies such as carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, blueberries, banana, strawberries.. ect. 

Thee tank you have him in doesn’t sound too bad- keep in mind the turtle will grow and need more space- but it will work for the time being.  What is the substrate? The soaking in water for 30 minutes a day really throws up the box turtle flag because they love to soak. 

Worms are good to feed him, but you need to add variety to his diet. Also, a basking lamp is pertinent! A UVB lamp should be soon to come after it. 

We definitely aren’t positive. I asked around on the mailing list and twitter (where some turtle rescuers reside) and that was the general consensus based on the coloring on the limbs and the shell shape and tail. That said, those I asked deal more with expotics and I’m a tortoise owner. Not as familiar with Boxies (sometimes the details distract from the big picture. ACK).  So glad you all are chiming in. WIll email and make sure this info is getting passed along. 

<3 

It takes a village to raise a healthy shell 😀 Thanks so much for the responses and keep em coming if you have any thoughts. 

rubytort:

Okay guys, help me out. Ruby? Or Ruben? Thanks! I wonder if my haunting suspicion is correct…

Ruby definitely looks like a female to me.  Her plastron is a bit concave  and from the angle of the picture her anal scutes look a little wide but regardless her tail is short and wide. From my experience (reading about it & with russian torts) the tail is the best way to tell once he/she is no longer a hatchling. 

Check out this site on sexing the redfoot tortoise: here

you’re gorgeous either way Ruby! 

anyone else??

rubytort:

Okay guys, help me out. Ruby? Or Ruben? Thanks! I wonder if my haunting suspicion is correct…

Ruby definitely looks like a female to me.  Her plastron is a bit concave  and from the angle of the picture her anal scutes look a little wide but regardless her tail is short and wide. From my experience (reading about it & with russian torts) the tail is the best way to tell once he/she is no longer a hatchling. 

Check out this site on sexing the redfoot tortoise: here

you’re gorgeous either way Ruby! 

anyone else??

rubytort:

Okay guys, help me out. Ruby? Or Ruben? Thanks! I wonder if my haunting suspicion is correct…

Ruby definitely looks like a female to me.  Her plastron is a bit concave  and from the angle of the picture her anal scutes look a little wide but regardless her tail is short and wide. From my experience (reading about it & with russian torts) the tail is the best way to tell once he/she is no longer a hatchling. 

Check out this site on sexing the redfoot tortoise: here

you’re gorgeous either way Ruby! 

anyone else??

rubytort:

Okay guys, help me out. Ruby? Or Ruben? Thanks! I wonder if my haunting suspicion is correct…

Ruby definitely looks like a female to me.  Her plastron is a bit concave  and from the angle of the picture her anal scutes look a little wide but regardless her tail is short and wide. From my experience (reading about it & with russian torts) the tail is the best way to tell once he/she is no longer a hatchling. 

Check out this site on sexing the redfoot tortoise: here

you’re gorgeous either way Ruby! 

anyone else??

Nobel Prize Winning Tortoise Research!! (sort of…)

Last night Harvard University gave out the 21st annual Ig Nobel Prize. Whats that? Well, its a prize handed out by the group Improbable Research  that “collect[s] (and sometimes conduct) improbable research. We publish a magazine called the Annals of Improbable Research, and we administer the Ig Nobel Prizes.” Improbable research is given the succinct definition, by the group itself, as research that “makes people laugh and then think.” Personally I can’t really think of a better type of research (you know.. unless one can cure my MS and/or make Zoya live healthy and happy for the entirety of her, pre-defined by science, appropriate life span). 

Anyway, the Ig Nobel prize is presented annually by their editorial board which is comprised of, fantastically, several Nobel Prize winners and a convicted felon. HA! Why does this matter to Tort-Time readers you ask? Well first off, I think it should matter to everyone because academia needs a sense of humor and I’m glad to know its out there, and second because this years winner clearly appreciated tortoises as much as we do! These fine folks won by asking the question (and doing the research) “when your Red Foot tortoise yawns, is it contagious?”.

Anna Wilkinson, from the University of Lincoln, and colleagues took home the physiology prize for their study examing whether the red-footed tortoise exhibits contagious yawning. They worked hard for it, too. Wilkinson says it took about six months to train Alexandra, one of the tortoises, to yawn on command. Then they looked at whether six other tortoises yawned after she did. No dice. 

The results didn’t surprise the team. While animals from fish to birds to lions yawn, the only ones known to be susceptible to contagious yawning are humans and “higher primates.” The thinking is that the phenomenon is a result of empathy, or inferring how others are feeling. Wilkinson says the findings lend weight to this idea. “It suggests that a relatively high level mechanism may be controlling the behavior.”

So not to worry, your other torties are safe from your early risers yawns! And more importantly, lets stop blaming our torts for our yawns and lethargy. We can only blame this one on our need to stay up all night reading tumblr posts and looking at cute animal pictures online…. Or maybe we need our own UVB light now that the days are shorter. 

There were some pretty fabulous winners in other categories that aren’t so relevant here, but I’d check them out if you get a chance. 

Audubon Magazine

Improbable Research