Are all varieties of Opuntia cactus OK for tortoises?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Michael Bird

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
90
Are all varieties of Opuntia cactus OK for tortoises, or just certain types? I'd like to obtain some cactus that I can plant and grow here in northern Utah where we have very cold winters and very hot summers from (-20 to +110 Fahrenheit).

The state government has a site with a listing of drought tolerant plants that will grow in the area (http://www.waterwiseplants.utah.gov/ ), and one that they recommend is Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris) which looks a lot like the pictures of Prickly Pear that I have seen on this site although with yellow flowers instead of red, and as a bonus it is also spineless. However, since it's not the same variety that other people have mentioned for tortoise food, I'd like to make sure it is safe before I buy some for Gracie my Jordanian Greek.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,106
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I have fed several varieties to my tortoises and never had a problem. I also feed them organ pipe cactus once or twice a month.
 

elegans

Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
326
All opuntia's are OK for tortoises. Some have spines, others do not. But no worries, as they eat the ones in the wild with spines. We just make their lives better by saving them that trouble. I grow two types of "spineless" Opuntia that the tortoises love. I will try to post picts in the next couple of weeks. Best wishes as always Douglas
 

Michael Bird

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
90
Thanks for the information! I know that they can eat around the spines. It's just easier for us and them to not have them in the way. I'll grab a Beavertail Cactus from the local garden shop and see if Gracie likes it. :)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,106
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Michael Bird said:
Thanks for the information! I know that they can eat around the spines. It's just easier for us and them to not have them in the way. I'll grab a Beavertail Cactus from the local garden shop and see if Gracie likes it. :)

They are all full of chemicals and pesticides when they come from the nursery. Rinse it heavily, plant it, and only feed out the new growth after a couple of months.
 

Michael Bird

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
90
I was planning to do that anyway, but I appreciate the reminder. I'll make sure it's clean before I let her try it.
 

elegans

Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
326
I would not feed out any "Nursery" plants for at least 90 days as many use granular systemic pesticides that last right around 90 days. "Trust Me" I have been in the horticultural industry since 1983. Douglas
 

geekinpink

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2010
Messages
182
i tried it again, but this time i cut it out in small pieces, she loves them now lol

I've just planted a lot, since she seems to enjoy it now...but my dog decided to pull everything out of the pot :( so glad this plant does grow easy.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top