Baby Yellowfoot Tortoise

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  1. happy and healthy

    Posted by haleigh paul on 21st Jun 2016

    I got my baby yellow foot today and he or she is already eating and exploring its enclosure, defiantly recommending this site for people.

  2. Commander Spunky

    Posted by Justin on 31st May 2013

    Received my yellowfoot tortoise a few days ago and he/she is already climbing and running around the habitat. Was barreling around and excited moments after I opened the package, which was expertly packed. Couldn't recommend this site enough, thanks tortoise supply, I couldn't be happier!

  3. Yes, buy one

    Posted by Unknown on 9th Aug 2010

    My tortoise is great. It loves salad. But I donated it to my local zoo! (:

  4. Happy Healtny Tortoise H.H.T

    Posted by Unknown on 7th Jun 2010

    My yellow foot Tortoise is great happy fun and funny. Best pet ever! I would recommend this tortoise and site to anyone!!


Common Name: Yellowfoot Tortoise
Scientific Name: Geochelone Denticulata
Current Size: 2-3"
Average Adult Size: 14-18"
Area of Origin: Northern South America

Description: Gray shell color, usually with drab yellow spots in the centers of each scute of their shell, which are present from hatching (the black color grows in with age). The skin is gray, generally with yellow spots on the front and rear legs. Head color is generally black skin with yellow scales on the head. We consider them "watermelon" shaped; somewhat elongated and rounded, no matter which angle you're looking at them from. They are occasionally confused with redfoot tortoises by some dealers, and in extremes of either species, they can look very similar. The scalation on the head is probably the easiest way to determine the differences, as the yellowfoots will have two long scales on top of their noses, where redfoots are comparatively smaller. 

Habitat: Naturally these tortoises exist in a shaded jungle habitat, almost all with moderate to high humidity and moderate temperatures. They have a strong preference for water, and are usually found in close proximity to it. They need humidity in captivity to do well, and babies in particular should be kept humid to ensure proper smooth growth. They do not hibernate, but will go through a winter slow down period during cooler weather and shortened daylengths. This winter slowdown is not really natural for them, but they are tolerant of it in captivity. As adults, they can safely handle body temperatures as low as 50 degrees at night as long as they are able to heat up into the 70's during the day. Summer highs up to 95 degrees can be tolerated as long as there is a cooler, shaded retreat the tortoise can get into. Moisture is not a problem in warmer temperatures (a cool mud hole on a hot day), but in cooler weather and on cold nights, the tortoises should be kept dry.

Diet: This tortoise is naturally a browser, and will wander about munching on broadleaf plants and fallen fruit the majority of its natural life. They are known to eat meat in the wild, seen eating dead animals, worms and snails. In captivity, yellowfoot tortoises will eat almost anything well, such as leafy weeds and clover (dandelions are a favorite), fruit, vegetables and they love Mazuri tortoise diet.

Adult Behavior: Adult yellowfoot tortoises are quite variable in their personalities. Captive bred yellows tend to be much more personable and interactive than wild caught specimens. Over time, WC yellowfoots will usually come around, but it can often take years for them to settle in. They are usually unaggressive towards eachother and can usually be kept long term in mixed-sex groups. They are not damaging to their environment, rarely digging holes or burrows. Most yellowfoots will eagerly come to their keepers looking for food once they are comfortable in their environments.

Our Current Care:  During cooler weather or indoors, these tortoises are kept indoors on 2-3" deep moistened coco coir substrate with a humid hidebox that they can get into at night. We raise them in cheap, simple plastic tubs that can be purchased at WalMart or Target, generally 3 to 4 square feet in size for babies. Temperatures in the room fluctuate between 75 at night up to 85 during the day, but we keep the hidebox heated to around 80-85 at night with a heat pad beind it, or a red bulb placed overhead.

Diet consists of spring mix greens with many other leafy greens, fruit and veggies offered in rotation to that (mulberry, bell pepper, apple, pear, melon, mango, papaya, endive, grape leaves, hibiscus leaves, and diced cactus pads). We like to also add moistened Mazuri tortoise diet as well as ZooMed's Gourmet Tortoise Food a few times a week, usually mixed and mashed into the leafy greens. The addition of the commercial diets take care of most or all of the supplementation needs, or you can sprinkle the food lightly with a calcium supplement 2 or 3 times a week and a multivitamin supplement 1-2 times a week. We also throw a pinch of our herbal hay on top of whatever they are eating almost daily, which adds variety and flavor and scent to everything.

The tortoises are removed from their enclosure and soaked in a separate 1/4" deep pan of warm water daily or almost daily for 30 minutes each time. We don't generally use water dishes in the enclosures because of the risk of drowning (yes, we have lost babies to drowning when they flipped over in 1/4" of water).

Being a tropical species, they don't need intense lighting, but they need lights on during the day and off at night to maintain a normal day/night cycle. We use full spectrum UVB lights, which we suggest for the growth of pretty, healthy tortoises, and use a simple spot bulb or ceramic heat emitter for heat in a small part of the enclosure to give them a "hot spot" around 90-95 degrees that they can get into if they want to warm up.

While these tortoises prefer higher humidity levels (60-90%), we don't use the "closed chamber" method (keeping airflow very restricted to increase humidity to the point that clouds form in the enclosure). It is very risky if/when temperatures get below about 80, and mold, shell rot, and respiratory problems become a lot more common in those conditions. We keep them open top in the warm area, and enclosed, warm and humid within the hide (like they would be in the wild). They are free to choose the conditions, temperatures, and humidity levels they want within that setup.