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RF won't eat greens

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Dėad Lee, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    I've had my sub-adult RF for about a month now, he will rarely eat any greens, and won't touch the few squashes I've tried. He will eat watermelon, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, strawberries sometime, cherries, and he loves meat, lean roast and albacore. Should I only offer him greens hoping he will eventually get hungry and eat them. I feel bad doing that but he's acting like a spoiled kid. I've tried different kind of greens, escarole, radicchio, zucchini, yellow squash, cilantro, beet greens, dandelion leaves, collard greens, spring mix... He'll look at the greens all day but eat albacore right out of my hands like he's starving. I know he's supposed to eat 70% greens. Any suggestions on something he won't turn down?
  2. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Are tou sure it"s a Russian? Meat seems a little odd for a Russian to prefer.

    At any rate, all those fruits amd meats are bad for him, his digestive track isn't made for them and eventually they will cause health problems.

    Of course he prefers fruit, just as a child prefers candy. But we don't give them candy all the time!

    Since you provide the food, it's easy enough for you to switch him to good foods. Tortoises are very stubborn and may choose to go without eating for some time. That's perfectly fine--they can easily go for weeks or months without food. It will be up to you to be stronger than him!

    Keep him hydrated by bathing, put the food out, and when he gets hungry enough, he will eat.You might try grating a little (very little) grated cucumber on it at the begining; most of them like it.
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  3. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    They are like picky toddlers who goes for candy and junk every time. What works best for me is chopping everything up and mixing into a salad. Fruit is ok for our RFs but not a main source of nutrition. They do need their greens, dandelions, collards, mustard/turnip greens, escarole, endive, radicchio are the base of my babies' diet. I always add little soaked Mazuri mash and toss it in to coat the ckopped greens
  4. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Darn! And they just won't let me finish this post! Kids! Sorry again! Another trick I use is sprinkle bit of those tiny colorful tortoise pellets. They are almost as little as flakes. My babies love those! That and few freeze dried river shrimp on top of their chopped good food (cactus, the good greens, with some radicchio, maybe little papaya, mushrooms if i have some or mazuri, but just a bit of the "other stuff" the majority is greens with cactus which in my tort family is almost a daily staple. Plus i like the cactus for it's slimy consistency. When Tucker was a tiny non-eating hatchling, after all else failing I had started blending their food (he was bitting off bites/chewing awkwardly funny and food was falling out of his mouth, like he was spinning his energy on getting food in his mouth but by the time he could swallow and get it down he'd be too weak to hold it and stuff would just fall out. If you ever tried blending those fiberous greens you know how dry they can be, now add cactus to it and pureed together it helps form things into a ... puree! In my case Tucker took his first real bites out of Mazuri puree where he actually bit a chunk off the pile, and I saw him swallow soon after. He obviously liked the taste of the Mazuri. That was enough for me to start making all kinds of "mazuri recipes" and soon after I was able to start experimenting with different food items and learning about my both babies' food preferences and tastes, which is probably the most valuable lesson for the mom of any picky eater. When you know what they can resist, from that point on it's just a matter of being consistent until you help them develop good eating habit
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  5. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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  6. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    It is a RF tortoise
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  7. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    It's a Redfoot tortoise not a Russian (although I do have a Russian) did I post in the wrong place
  8. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    I have some mazuri, he's not a baby though, he's over 5lbs, does he really need me to puree his food or just until he starts eating better. I don't know anything about his past, but I'd guses maybe the last few months all he got was cat food or something.
    I am sure to keep him hydrated, i auctually do soak him like I do my baby Russian, he seems to like it, he'll soak till the water cools down then he wants out to run lol
    I could puree stuff with some pumpkin, do you think that would be good?
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  9. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    No not puree, if you know he's able to graze like a big boy. I'd either chop things up and mixed coating with some irresistable flavor, or do what you nirmally do just toss the greens in puree of something he likes
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  10. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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  11. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Goodness, no you did not! I saw the "RF" and somehow interpreted it as "Russian Tortoise." My apologies.
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  12. MPRC

    MPRC Well-Known Member

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    Vern, my 12lb male is THE WORST. Mixing and mashing and getting it all smooshed together works in most cases. Start with a TON of the stuff he likes and a garnish of finely chopped greens. If he refuses you used too much greens.

    It took me a YEAR to get Vern to eat anything green that wasn't a pea. He wouldn't even eat peppers. Even now he prefers red lettuce to green and doesn't exactly come running for a salad. Mazuri was our saving grace. I would spread it on the leaves, roll them up like burritos and hand feed it to him to make sure he didn't just pick the mush off the leaves.

    I was persistent, I keep reducing the amount of yummy things and increasing healthy things. Redfoots are pretty forgiving as far as diet is concerned. They can have a lot of fruits and veggies and protein without it terribly messing with their digestive system, just make sure you are offering a lot of long fiber or you may end up with runny poo.

    Good luck....you've got to be more stubborn than they are!
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  13. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    It's all good lol, I auctually had to reread it because I also use RT for my baby and wanted to make sure I auctually did put RF
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  14. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    Yea, my RT will run for a pc of leafy green stuff, LeRoy looks at me like I'm a moron. It's literally the look my dog gives me when I drop the Russian's greens and tell him to eat it. I guess I'm going to start chopping and using the mazuri I have. He is really stubborn, alot like me lol
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  15. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    And this may sound stupid, what's "long fiber" foods, I'm not exactly a healthy eater, i think a pop tart is health because it's fortified vith vitimins :)
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  16. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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  17. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    When i think "long fiber" - "stringy/fiberous" comes to mind. I think the literarure says the fibers have to be at least 1.5-2 " long
  18. Dėad Lee

    Dėad Lee Member

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    All I can think that seem fiberous to me is celery...

    I did mix mazuri with cantaloupe and he ate that yesterday, today I gave him just plain mazuri and he ate that too. I think he's used to eating the mazuri. I'm going to try to get more greens into his diet, but I've been really sick, it's like the plague where I live right now everyone is sick, and today chopping greens just didn't make the list of things to do. At least I finally found something he auctually likes to eat that's a bit more of a rounded diet.
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  19. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about chopping unless you have a sick/weak tort that doesn't take interest in grazing. Mazuri is awesome start! Celeriacs are ok as part of very diverse diet. How about despined cactus pads? Those, collards, turnip/mustard greens plus lettuces (escarole, endive, raddicchio) are the staples in my babies diet. How about mushrooms not the white ones nor the portabellos, but your store may have oysters or shiitakes, or better yet: chantarelles. Possibilities with our RFs are almost endless. I was in fact just reading something that made me wonder that i might be overfeeding mine... they are kinda ... big! But not fat on their fleshy parts... anyway, I hope you get to feeling better very soon. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Take care
  20. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I am going to gloat a little here and say that my RF tortoises have great appetites and eat anything I give them. I like to think it is because from I first got them as hatchlings, I was very careful to offer them small amounts of a variety of greens, weeds and fruit that were recommended on this site! They eat kale, mustard greens, cactus, clover, pumpkin leaves, chocho leaves, pumpkin, banana, mango, water grass, okra, watercress, snails, egg, dry cat food (good quality in small amounts once per week), raspberries.
    I believe that if you start out right, there should not be a problem and you will not end up with a "spoiled" animal which you have to coddle and hover over and worry about. Of course, sometimes the animals we acquire are already "spoilt" by the previous owners and have developed stubborn habits that we will have to break with "tough love" and a proper diet over a period of time, so that eventually, the animal and owner will be comfortable and healthy!
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