[hr]emysemys said:Hi DAV46:
Welcome to the forum!!
Your tortoise is a beauty.
Let me share with you some of my experience with this type tortoise.
I have two males that I received when they were just a couple months old. They hatched in 2000. These tortoises grow much faster than the sulcata, which, as you may know, is a VERY fast growing tortoise. My two Aldabs just graze. I don't feed them at all. Last year I started giving them one meal a week of Mazuri because I was worried that there wasn't enough nutrients in the grass they graze on. They both weigh around 130lbs.
Well, this year, I've noticed that they don't seem to be as strong on their legs as I would like them to be. One of them doesn't really drag himself, but he doesn't get up high when he walks. And now, last week the other one dips to the ground when he raises that back leg to walk forward.
I did some research on the tree growing in their pen and found out that wax leaf privet is toxic. I've been seeing lots of leaves in their poop lately.
Also, I suspected a calcium deficiency.
So I called out the vet, who agreed that the privet is toxic, however, she felt that the symptoms more mimic the lack of calcium.
So, moral to the story...if you only graze your tortoise, you really do need to figure out some way to supplement calcium and other vitamins and minerals. Its much easier to keep them healthy and growing right than it is to correct a problem.
To anyone else reading this thread, this really only applies to a very fast-growing type of tortoise that grows large quickly. I've been only feeding my desert tortoises the grass and weeds in their habitat for many, many years with no calcium def. problems.
thats why i love my Galapagos tortoise! she has a great personality, and isnt shy once she gets to know you, and you touch her the right way!Very shy when young and can really take off the other direction when approached. As he/she gets larger seems to be more curious for a minute or two before high tailing it the other direction!