Cuttlebone vs eggshell vs supplements vs other bones

LeahK

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Aug 28, 2020
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Berkeley CA
I am more curious with how this relates to testudo, but any information is welcome. My Russian does not touch cuttlebone, and it's fine since he's an adult, but since I have a hatchling hermann's coming, I have been trying to figure this out.

Do you have preferences for how you give calcium or other nutrition to your tortoises? Are any of these better or worse options than the other? If you have offered bones or egg shells, how have you prepared it?

In my own diet, I like to stick to "natural" food sources over supplements, but I am not sure if that's a good thing to project onto tortoises :)
 

MichaelL

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Nov 18, 2018
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947
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
I am more curious with how this relates to testudo, but any information is welcome. My Russian does not touch cuttlebone, and it's fine since he's an adult, but since I have a hatchling hermann's coming, I have been trying to figure this out.

Do you have preferences for how you give calcium or other nutrition to your tortoises? Are any of these better or worse options than the other? If you have offered bones or egg shells, how have you prepared it?

In my own diet, I like to stick to "natural" food sources over supplements, but I am not sure if that's a good thing to project onto tortoises :)
For my adults, I just leave a couple piles of pieces of broken cuttlebone and crushed eggshell in different parts of their outdoor enclosure. My male has never touched them. When my female was laying eggs though I would see her eat some of the eggshell pieces I provided. She preferred that over cuttlebone. I give them a varied diet and they have the option of the cuttlebone/eggshells so I don't really worry. My babies however will occasionally nibble on pieces of cuttlebone. I don't think you should worry too much about your hatchling's calcium intake as long as some pieces of cuttlebone are available. They know when their body needs it and babies eat it more readily than adults. You also should sprinkle some calcium powder/ powdered cuttlebone on the babies greens a couple times a week.
 

LeahK

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
73
Location (City and/or State)
Berkeley CA
For my adults, I just leave a couple piles of pieces of broken cuttlebone and crushed eggshell in different parts of their outdoor enclosure. My male has never touched them. When my female was laying eggs though I would see her eat some of the eggshell pieces I provided. She preferred that over cuttlebone. I give them a varied diet and they have the option of the cuttlebone/eggshells so I don't really worry. My babies however will occasionally nibble on pieces of cuttlebone. I don't think you should worry too much about your hatchling's calcium intake as long as some pieces of cuttlebone are available. They know when their body needs it and babies eat it more readily than adults. You also should sprinkle some calcium powder/ powdered cuttlebone on the babies greens a couple times a week.
That’s really helpful, thank you! I’ll probably stick to cuttlebone for my tortoises for now.

Out of my own curiosity, what kind of eggshells do you use? Just chicken? Are they raw or boiled?
 

MichaelL

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Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
947
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
That’s really helpful, thank you! I’ll probably stick to cuttlebone for my tortoises for now.

Out of my own curiosity, what kind of eggshells do you use? Just chicken? Are they raw or boiled?
No problem! I just used regular chicken eggs from the store. Whenever I would either fry an egg, or boil one, it doesn't matter. I would just take the discarded shell, wash it thoroughly, and crush it up a little and put it in the little pile in the pen. I usually discard the eggshells in my compost but used some for the tortoises. Hope that helped!
 
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