Russian Tortoise (T. horsfieldi)



Typical Patterned High Yellow


The Russian Tortoise has been in the pet trade for many years but only recently have concerted efforts been made to captive breed them in any numbers.  They are probably the hardiest of the tortoises and are moderately sized (5" to 6" for most males and  8" to occasionally 10" for larger females. These traits plus a very tolerant, friendly personality arguably make them the best beginner species for those looking to work with tortoises. They are very non-aggressive towards people and we've never had one offer to bite. They are not generally head shy and will readily accept gentle head rubs. They quickly associate their owners with "bringers of food" and often come running when they see you approach, in hopes of gaining a snack. They require a modest sized cage (40 gallon "Critter Keeper" tank size) kept moderately warm and dry to be happy and healthy.  Their general care is the same as that found on our "Tortoise Care"  page. The exception is that they are much more cold tolerant than any other tortoise species we work with. In fact in order to bred them, you need to hibernate them at temperatures below 60F. This is the only tortoise species we keep that we allow to get that cold.  

Our First Russian Laying Our First Russian Egg


Near Yearling Hatchling New Hatchling


 We let our breeding group go in early 2012 to help fund the purchase of some exceptional juvenile Indian Star tortoises to help that project get better established. We will slowly build back up a small group of select individuals as we come across them.  We buy moderate sized groups of 4" Russians each spring to acclimate for our customers and we'll pull a few form those as the opportunity arises.

Our current girls are still a year or so out from reaching breeding size but usually have access to hatchlings from affiliated breeders for our customers. They sell out fast, so you may wish to get on our "Wanted" list ahead of time. We also usually have well acclimated imported adolescent (4") wild -collected specimens available year round for resale. If you're looking for a good quality well established Russian for a pet or future breeder, please let us know.   


We ship based on the prevailing weather patterns between us and you. Usually we can ship most weeks, but when large storms/severe heat/cold are forecasted, we prefer to hold off.   Please see  "Deer Fern Farms Ordering / Prices" for ordering information.


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Copyright 1992-2015 by  Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text