Red-footed Tortoise Price Breakdown (Ownership Costs)

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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The Red-Footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) is a species of tortoise that is found in Central and South America. They are a popular pet tortoise due to their attractive coloration and ease of care.

They are generally considered to be easy to care for and make good pets for people who are new to reptile keeping.

The price for a Red-Footed Tortoise can vary depending on the age, sex, and condition of the animal.

What to Expect – This blog post will provide a price breakdown for purchasing a red-footed tortoise, as well as ownership costs and information on the care and feeding of these interesting creatures.​

Red footed tortoise price breakdown (Buying + ownership costs)

Red-footed tortoise monthly cost list
Red-footed tortoise ownership monthly cost

The Red-Footed Tortoise is one of the more popular tortoises for sale in the United States.

They are beautiful animals and make great pets, but there are some things you should know before buying one.

We will break down the price of a red-footed tortoise, as well as what owning one will cost you.

Quick Owerview

COMMON NAMES:Red-footed tortoise, redfoot tortoise, redleg tortoise, Savannah tortoise
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Geochelone carbonaria
ADULT SIZE:10 to 16 inches, up to 30 pounds
LIFE EXPECTANCY:Up to 50 years in captivity
COST:$150 to $500
OWNERSHIP MONTHLY COST:$30
Red-footed tortoise price breakdown (Buying + ownership costs)

How Much Does A Red-Footed Tortoise Cost?

The red-footed tortoise is one of the most popular types of pet tortoises. They are easy to care for and have a long lifespan of around 50 years.

The average price for a red-footed tortoise ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the sex and age of the tortoise.

Tortoises that are older or female tend to be more expensive than those that are younger or male.

Cost to own a Red-Footed Tortoise

In addition to the cost of the tortoise, you will need to provide a suitable home for it. A basic tortoise habitat costs between $50 – $600 and a monthly cost of $30.

This includes a tank or enclosure, substrate, food and water dishes, and a hide area.

ItemInitial CostMonthly Cost
Red-Footed Tortoise $150 to $500
Enclosure$70- $150
Heating and Lighting$70- $200
​Water ​Dish$5 – $10
Plants$5 – $10
Hide / Shelter$5 – $10
Other Accessories$10
Substrate$10 – $20
Food$250$15
Power$15
Vet Fees$150 Yearly
Total Cost$575$180
Cost to Own a Red-Footed Tortoise

Tank/Enclosure

A tank or enclosure is needed to house a red-footed tortoise. The size of the tank or enclosure will depend on the size of the tortoise.

The cost for a tank or enclosure can range from $50 to $200.

Some things that will affect the cost are the size of the tank, what type of tank or enclosure it is, and if it is custom-made or not.

Red-Footed Tortoise Tank/Enclosure Specifications

TemperatureProvide a temperature gradient of 78-85°F (26-29°C) and a basking spot that reaches 90°F (32°C). Drop the temperature to the high 60s to low 70s F at night (20-22°C).
Humidity/waterProvide lots of water for drinking and soaking as well as a “hut” or warren where the relative humidity is elevated.
Cage size and designThese tortoises are extremely active. Provide a pair of adults with at least 4 x 8 ft (1 x 2 m) of floor space. Outdoor housing is preferable when the temperature allows.
Cage furniture/suppliesProvide a full-spectrum light source for normal absorption of dietary calcium.
Social structureRed-footed tortoises are social, although breeding males can become aggressive.
Red-Footed Tortoise Tank/Enclosure Specifications

Heat

Tortoises, like other reptiles, require an external heat source to keep warm when the temperatures drop.

When in the wild, they sunbathe; therefore, if you keep them as pets, you’ll need to provide them with a heating source.

Keeping Red-footed tortoise
Red-footed tortoise guide

Some people choose to take their enclosure outside so that they may soak in it, but this may not be feasible in colder climates.

Red-footed tortoises need a warm environment to live in. During the day, red-footed tortoises should have a basking spot of about 90-95F and an ambient temperature range of 75-80F. At night, the light should be switched off, and temperatures may safely drop to 70F.

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The cost for a heating element can range from $50 to $100. Heating pads, ceramic heat emitters, and incandescent light bulbs can all be used to heat a tortoise’s tank.

Light

Red-footed tortoises also need UVB lighting.

This is important for their health because it helps them to synthesize vitamin D3, which is necessary for their absorption of calcium.

Keeping red-footed tortoise at home gear
Keeping red-footed tortoise at home

There are several types of lights, but the most popular is the automated thermostat method to heat their enclosure. Manual or automatic?

Although there are many various types of light, tungsten lamps are recognized for being quite bright and having a long lifespan.

LED bulbs, on the other hand, can be dimmed with an automated thermostat, and they don’t get as hot as other types of bulbs.

The cost for lighting can range from $15- $60 based on its make and the control levels.

Humidity

Red-footed tortoises also need a high level of humidity between 70-80% in their environment.

Providing a water dish that is large enough for them to soak in is one way to raise the humidity, but you can also use a humidifier.

The cost of a humidifier can range from $30 to $200, depending on the size and type you choose.

Substrate

How Much is a Red-Footed Tortoise
Red-footed tortoise

The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of a tortoise’s enclosure.

It can be anything from sand to soil to bark chips, and it needs to be deep enough so that the tortoise can bury itself in it.

The cost of a bag of substrate that is large enough for an adult red-footed tortoise can range from $10 to $20.

Food

The bulk of pet care expenses goes to food. The good news is that the tortoise’s diet is considerably less expensive than ordinary pet foods.

It might cost you anywhere from $250 to a little more each year if you include nutritional feeds like vitamins in addition to yearly expenditures.

Smaller species are less costly to feed than larger ones, of course. Live insects can be purchased for as little as 25 cents, and most pet stores will have a variety of food options available.

For a well-balanced diet follow:

  • 60% greens
  • 30% fruits
  • 10% vegetables

Food A red-footed tortoise can eat

Red-footed tortoises are primarily herbivorous, although they will consume carrion and slow-moving invertebrates like slugs and snails if necessary:

  • The majority of the diet should be made up of dark leafy greens and broad-leaf graze.
  • Provide a variety of chopped vegetables, hay, berries, and other fruits as well. Tropical fruits like banana, mango, and papaya are favorites of red-footed boobies.
  • Every 1-2 weeks, give a small amount of animal protein (such as low-fat dry dog food or earthworms).

Vet Costs

In addition to all of the above costs, you will also need to factor in regular veterinary care.

Cost to own a Red-Footed Tortoise
Red-footed tortoise annual cost

Reptiles require check-ups every few months and depending on the state you live in, a permit may be required in order to own one.

The average cost for a vet visit where a red-footed tortoise is concerned is $150 per year.

This cost can increase if your tortoise requires medication or surgery.

Additional Accessories

The cost of a few additional accessories can help to make your tortoise’s home more comfortable and enriching.

A water dish, food dish, hiding spot, and climbing branch can all be purchased for around $10.

Conclusion

Red-footed tortoises make interesting and low-maintenance pets for those who are prepared to provide the proper care.

The cost of owning a red-footed tortoise can range from $180 to $300 annually, depending on the size of the tank or enclosure, type of food, and vet bills.

The largest expense is typically the purchase of a tortoise habitat, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $200. Food is another regular expense; red-footed tortoises will eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and insects.

The cost of feeding a tortoise ranges from $5 to $15 per month. Vet bills may also be necessary, depending on the health of the tortoise. Annual costs for a red-footed tortoise typically range from $150 to $300.

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