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Does your Russian tortoise eat commercial tortoise food?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by qiangzhu, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. qiangzhu

    qiangzhu Member

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    I have a Russian and my friend has a Russian too. Both of them never eat any commercial tortoise food, including Mazuri and Zoo Med. I put the tortoise food in front of them in different style, original, moisture, powder but they always ignore the food.

    I tried mix the tortoise food with greens. But it even stopped eating greens when it found there is tortoise food mixed inside.

    Both of our Russian tortoises are from Petco. Based on information from the forum, Russian tortoise in Petco is usually wildly caught. Is that because of this? Does anyone own the captive breeding Russian tortoise? Does the captive-breeding Russian tortoise eat commercial tortoise food?
  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I have 2 wild caught Russians and one absolutely loves mazuri and the other wont eat it and will turn down greens that have even a little mazuri mixed in. Weird, huh?
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  3. qiangzhu

    qiangzhu Member

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    I have experience for Burmese Star, Sulcata, Radiata. All of those at least like Mazuri (some don’t like Zoo Med because Zoo Med is made by grass and may not taste good). But all of them are hatched by captive breeder and that’s why I guess it is because my Russian is wildly caught. But it looks one of your wildly caught Russian also likes tortoise food
  4. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    Mine doesn’t eat any of it, I tried pre alpin, Mazuri and even Komodo tortoise food which most eat but he still won’t touch any of it.
  5. qiangzhu

    qiangzhu Member

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    Is yours also from Petco? Is it wildly caught or captive breeding?
  6. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Most of the Russians on the forum are wild caught. A captive born tortoise raised with Mazuri gets used to the taste from an early age; they get used to whatever they are fed after birth, whether it’s good or bad.

    A wild Russian may get used to the taste over time. For all you know, your friend’s tortoise was raised in an area where he ate something that reminds him of Mazuri.Or he just likes the taste of the molasses that’s in it.

    If you wet a piece and let it soak, then mix the tiniest tiniest bit in and see what happens. You can mix it with a little cucumber juice/pulp; that sometimes helps. If he gets some in his mouth occasionally, he will may make an association with it over time. (Maybe a long time.)

    If you are feeding him a varied diet otherwise, along with providing outdoor time and a good sized enclosure I wouldn’t worry too much about the Mazuri. It’s intended to be a supplement, not a primary food.

    Just keep trying every so often, especially in the spring when they warm up and get ravenous.

    My tortoise tried a food this year I’ve been offering FOUR years! It can happen. Your tortoise is going to live decades longer, you’ve got time on this one. :)

    Oh, PS, my tortoise lives exclusively outside where she can browse from the yard in addition eating the many foods we offer. She doesn’t care for anything dry and since she’s outside, I don’t think she’ll ever make the transition. If she doesn’t like something, she’ll just destroy the yard. :/ Because her diet is so varied I ever never worried about it though.
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  7. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    P.S Mazuri does contain a good amount of fiber so if that’s not in the diet, there are other ways to find it:

    A squash plant or melon or cucumber is cheap to buy easy to grow; the leaves and stems have a lot of fiber and most tortoises love them.

    You can also look around—including at your neighbors—for more weeds, grape leaves, hibiscus leaves, mulberry leaves, cactus.

    Are there any ethnic stores near you? They sometimes offer foods we think of as “weeds” that are good food sources.
  8. qiangzhu

    qiangzhu Member

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    My Russian don't eat too much food, not just Mazuri. Basically, I tested many kinds of food. Only Dandelion Green, Chicory Endive, Romaine Lettuce and Escarole will be actively eaten by her. And she like these four and will eat them all if I give to her.

    I also tried weeds in my yard, rose leaves, mustard green, turnip green, sweet potato leaves, rye grasses and even the plants grown by this mix seeds (https://www.tortoisesupply.com/TestudoMix) which is branded to be used by Russian tortoise. For all of these mentioned above, she will just eat very a small amount and then she won't eat anymore, which means she doesn't like these things.

    I am just feel a little exausted how to make the Russian to eat diversity food
  9. Viola B

    Viola B Active Member

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    Keep offering the greens. It takes time and patience.
  10. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    My 4 Russians all wild caught will not touch the stuff, my RF on the other hand loves the stuff. Since I grow my own food it is not a big deal.
  11. Tony B

    Tony B New Member

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    Can Russian tortoise eat Alfalfa ?
  12. Viola B

    Viola B Active Member

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    Keep trying the different weeds, one day your tort will surprise you and eat it. It takes time and patience.
  13. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    They can have a little during the year. It’s a high protein plant so you don’t want to feed much of it.
  14. Tony B

    Tony B New Member

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    High protein is bad,thank you.
  15. The Hutt

    The Hutt New Member

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    My guy hated ZooMed so much he decided to burrow underneath his food, get it on top of his shell and flip it all over the enclosure.
  16. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Plant protein is ok for tortoises, it's animal protein most species of tortoise is not supposed to have.

    The only manufactured tortoise diet I use is Mazuri and my Russians don't like it.
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  17. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Mine will eat mazuri if it is the only thing. Hibiscus blooms will make him come out in the rain to eat. What a little poophead!
    Tony B likes this.
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