Wednesday, December 31, 2008


There he was, my little precious baby Kiwi. So perfect and sweet. He was the size of a quarter and his legs the size of toothpicks.

His yolk sac was still full and he would nurture himself until it was fully absorbed (appr. 1 week later).

I could not believe, this little quarter sized baby was a real Redfoot tortoise. He had everything, even his little egg tooth. (See this pinsized white little thing in the middle of his face?)

I gave him a warm bath for the first time in his short life to clean te egg shell leftovers and to welcome him in his new world. Of course I wasn't prepared, had no pen set up for him yet, but god thanks they can stay for the first week in the incubator. So I made him a bowl, filled with sphagnum moss and put him back in the incubator. He buried himself deep in the moss and slept most of the time.

I drove in the meantime to Wallyworld and got a plastic bin, to petsmart for some more moss and a little hubba hut.

I decorated his first home and installed an UVB lamp so he could catch some sunlight.

I hoped he would feel cozy in his new pen once he has absorbed his yolk sac.


We got some more eggs a month later and placed all of them in bowls, filled with moist vermiculite, in the incubator. The incubator temperature was set at 85 degrees, which is supposed to give an equally good chance of hatching males and females. All together we had 9 eggs, 4 from the first clutch (left bowl, which can't bee seen in the picture) and 5 in the right bowl from the second clutch. The months went by and nothing happened. The first clutch was already for 5 months in the incubator, but no hatchlings yet. I gave up looking every day and a week passed without me checking, then one morning, when I anted to see, if the humidity was still high enough, I leaned over the incubator and didn't trust my eyes. There was a half shell sticking out of one egg!

I was so nervous and excited that I couldn't stop staring at this cute little shell. My first egg had hatched and I felt like I was just giving birth to my first child. I slowly got the lid of the incubator and looked a bit closer.

I noticed the little guy was already fully hatched, and the egg shell was just laying on him, so I got him out to look if he was fully developed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cocoa Part II

Last year in fall I felt it was time for me to lay my first eggs. I was looking for a good spot here and found just the right place.

Under the ivy, that is perfect. I began digging, but the ground was hard and it took me a while until I got a good sized hole.

Not deep enough yet, we still need to work harder.

I had to soften the ground a little bit with pee, that my eggs wouldn't fall too hard.

Here we go, 4 eggs. But I am not done yet. Now I need to cover everything.

That was work. It took me 5 hours from start to this point.


Thursday, December 25, 2008


am Cocoa, the biggest one of our group. I am a very friendly and cuddly
female Redfoot tortoise and love to get scratched by my Mom. She
scratches my shell and my neck and boy, do I enjoy this. I could stand
still for hours when she is doing it. I also love to get a bath every
day. When I live outdoors in the summer, we have bath dishes everywhere
in the yard and Mom showers us every other hour with the garden hose.

the winter we get our daily bath in the kitchen sink. Yeah, that's
relaxing! I could stay for hours in this sink, but when the water gets
cold, Mom takes me out.

Here am I resting in my
outdoor hide. This picture was taken during a hot
summer day. It was so hot, that I didn't want to move at all.

An other view of my favorite hide.

I am hanging out under the UVB heat lamp, T-Rex 100 watt Mega Ray flood
lamp. This lamp has the highest UVB output on the market and helps me
to produce Vitamin D3, that my shell can grow smoothly. Since we grew
so large (I am now 12 inches long) Mom bought us 3 pens, so we have our
own space. Actually our pens are outdoor ponds, filled with soil, Coir
and Cypress mulch. Coir and Cypress mulch can keep the humidy better
than just soil and that makes us feel so good.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We are a family of 4 Redfoot tortoises, 3 adults (Cocoa, Georgy and Daisyboy), 1 baby (Kiwi).

I Cocoa, Daisyboy and Georgy are 7 years old. Georgy and I became parents in May this year and our Baby Kiwi is now 7 months old.