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Taking outdoor grasses/plants indoors to tort table

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Morla_theancientone, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Morla_theancientone

    Morla_theancientone Member

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    I have been reading a lot of threads on here since rescuing my sulcata. I have read that one of the best things you can do is to go outside and pick grasses for them (as long as your yard is pesticide free) and bring them in to offer as food. I have tried just taking clippings and bringing them in for her but they wilt under her heat lamps within an hour or two and she shows no interest.

    Today, on a whim, I went outside and dug up a few of the plants she usually munches on when I take her for "walks." I grabbed some white clover and dandelion and a couple other grasses and weeds and planted them in a pot with organic soil and buried the pot in her tort table so it looks to her as if they are growing there. She immediately poked her head out of her burrow and came over to nibble a bit.

    I was just curious as to how many have tried this tactic since it's essentially free food and how much luck they've had with it. Is it feasible for me to just go uproot some outdoor "weeds" and plant them in her enclosure to munch on every other day or so? She seems to enjoy it. I know for certain my yard is pesticide free and I checked the plants for signs of pests. Is this a bad idea?
    Prairie Mom likes this.
  2. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    It works fine if the enclosure is big enough (or else you'll have to get new plants every day). I've never fed my torts, just got some new weeds when they were eaten up. You don't even need a pot, just leave enough soil around the roots and put it into the substrate.

    I wonder why so many here only have one or two inedible potplants and a food dish in their enclosures, it looks totally unnatural and the torts can never taste really fresh weeds.
  3. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Yep, i do this all the time for our young sully in his indoor enclosure. All kinds of grass, weeds, etc i dig up by the roots with a trowel, wash the dirt off just to be safe, and plant back down in the substrate. I'm Able to create little outcroppings of grass/weeds that our sully nibbles on during his roaming adventures in his enclosure.
  4. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    I hope more people will give it a try, especially for small tortoises it's so much fun to climb over and hide under the weeds and dig in between the roots. :)
    gh2.JPG gh1.JPG

    And the best: it's all for free, but now I have those strange, rectangular holes everywhere in my garden. :p
  5. Morla_theancientone

    Morla_theancientone Member

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    Good! I'm so glad I brought this up then, because I haven't seen a thread about it. It just made sense to me and then after I did it I thought I'd best check with you all first. :) I really do wonder why more people don't do it !!
  6. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

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    @Cowboy_Ken talks about doing this with his shovel ;)

    I've done it too. Dig up a patch and set it in the enclosure.. in a few days put the patch back outside in the same hole (if done right it will re grow) and get a new patch!
    gingerbee likes this.
  7. WithLisa

    WithLisa Well-Known Member

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    I never thought about such a simple solution. Brilliant, no more holes this year! :cool:
    Cowboy_Ken and Team Gomberg like this.
  8. Chantel

    Chantel Active Member

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    I brought in some broad leaf plantains and planted them in the enclosures. Boy does changing the environment set her off! Pacing and exploring like never before. I am not sure if it's happy or stressed.
  9. ShannonC

    ShannonC Active Member

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    I do it regularly with mine......just dig up the weeds they like to eat, plant in the enclosure, and replace as needed.....FREE!! LOL I also feed them in their dish, but I feel they are happier grazing.
    Chantel likes this.
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