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Thread: Best Tortoise species for beginners?

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    Exclamation Best Tortoise species for beginners?

    I'm looking into Tortoise species for beginners. I'm looking for a small Tortoise. I was thinking 3 toed box turtle or something similar. The smallest Tortoise (from what I have read) is the Egyptian Tortoise. But the site I was looking at said that the Egyptian doesn't make a good beginner Tortoise? Why is this?

    Anyways, I'm looking for SMALL Tortoise species, I can't do ones that eat crickets, etc. I'd like herbivores. I live in Virginia so our summers are hot and our winters cold. Maybe Tortoises that are used to arid climates will work? Basically I'm looking to know what are some small, beginner Tortoise species that would work well for Virginia climate? I'd also prefer species that eat primarily veggies and fruits. Any help would be great in aiding me in my research

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    Russians. Small. Can live outside year round (they will burrow and hibernate). Grazing species. Cheap.

    Egyptians are small but one reason I wouldn't suggest them for a beginner outright is they are expensive!

    You can do some research on Tortoise forums. Lot's of folks over there with a whole world of knowledge on tortoises. I'm there as well with the same name as here.

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    I agree with Tiger. Russians are easy. Or Hermanns. I have Egyptians, and they're not really for beginners. The may need to be brought in for the colder months, unless you can provide an outdoor basking area sheltered from the snow and cold. I have a Hermanns, too, and when she's outside and the temps drop a bit, she burrow under and try to hibernate. But to hibernate them safely takes some preparation (likely making sure they are totally 'empty').

    Noelle

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    I agree with Tiger. Russians are easy. Or Hermanns. I have Egyptians, and they're not really for beginners. The may need to be brought in for the colder months, unless you can provide an outdoor basking area sheltered from the snow and cold. I have a Hermanns, too, and when she's outside and the temps drop a bit, she burrow under and try to hibernate. But to hibernate them safely takes some preparation (likely making sure they are totally 'empty').

    Noelle

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    Russian Torts are way easy I have one a female and they are very hardy they do not get hugh Hermanns are another one that is great too have like rcarichter said Egyptians and even box turtles really are not for a beginners pet trutles.

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    How how nobody mentioned Greeks? Meg must not have seen this thread.. haha. I have one (he's my first tort) and I adore him. He's very easy to care for. They stay small, do not need to hibernate, and eat almost totally vegetables (no live food necessary). They do to have a high humidity area of their enclosure to keep from pyramiding, but this is the case for most of the species already mentioned here.

    Edit: If you're looking to keep your tort outside year round a Greek may not be suitable. I was reading back through the thread and wasn't sure if that was the case. They would probably get too cold and perhaps too hot as well (I'm unfamiliar with Virginia's climate). I keep mine indoors for most of the year except spring, some of summer, and fall - when the temperatures are more stable and warm, but not blazing hot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliethegr8t View Post
    How how nobody mentioned Greeks? Meg must not have seen this thread.. haha. I have one (he's my first tort) and I adore him. He's very easy to care for. They stay small, do not need to hibernate, and eat almost totally vegetables (no live food necessary). They do to have a high humidity area of their enclosure to keep from pyramiding, but this is the case for most of the species already mentioned here.
    Opps I forgot to mentioned the greek torts lol.

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    To be honest, the only tortoise that should be outdoors year-round is one that is native to your area, which is illegal in many states.


    Noelle

    Edit: I'm speaking of areas that go into a winter freeze. Not Florida.

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    Thanks for all the replies! I've done much more research. I'm going with either an Eastern Hermann's or a Russian. But I'm looking for some experienced owners to tell me more about them. I'm looking for a very personable, friendly, mild mannered tort. I'm more into learning about personality quirks and such before I decide on a species So which do you prefer, and why? Which in your opinion seem to be more personable and friendly? I've heard that Russian's can recognize the person who feeds them, and may even follow you around. I'm looking for a species that wouldn't mind being handled a bit and fed (I know I risk getting nipped because they don't have the best aim, but I don't care) Which species would better fit the bill?

    And yeah, after much research I've decided the Egyptian wouldn't be a good first time tort for me, lol. My baby will live inside with me, with a proper enclosure and proper heating sources. In the summer I plan to build him or her an outdoor enclosure to spend a few hours of sunlight in and nibble on the dandelions. But I can't let it live outside because I live in an apt. I'm still learning how to build my own enclosure and learning about the right kinds of light and heating, etc. it'll be another year or two before I decide on a species and before I've decided I've done enough research to pick out the proper sorts of equipment and supplies and such. As you can see I never jump into anything and I'm very thorough with my research. So for now if you guys could just aide me in picking a more personable species, that would be awesome. Also, are there any differences between personality between different sexes? Other than the males being more aggressive to other torts? Do females seem more easy going and personable? I ask because I want a female, they tend to generally stay smaller than males. But if the males are more friendly (in your experience and opinion) I'll opt for a male

    Thanks again for all of the help guise

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    I have a female Hermann's. She definitely comes to me(or anyone else) for food, or just to see what I'm doing. (The Egyptians could care less.) In the winter, when she lives indoors, she loves to 'go on safari' in my son's bedroom. Yes, all hazards must be removed, and he stays in there with her. But she loves to climb through towels, stuffed animals, etc. I just put her in a tub of warm water to poop first, and she's good to go! I would never do this with the Egyptians.
    I doubt there's any difference between the sexes if you're only getting one. I recommend buying a hatchling. First, they're amazingly cute. But they're no more trouble, in fact easier to care for. There are usually quite a few out there on the forums from good sellers.

    Noelle

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