Feeding mushroom/green bean?

sorciere

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Hello!
Can I feed my torts green bean or shiitake mushroom as a source of protein instead of live feeds? Of course just once or twice a month.
My new female elongated tort is a true picky eater. She ignores cucumber, broadleaf plaintain, pumpkin, green bean... Only chooses yellow food: papaya, banana, yellow hibiscus (not eating the red one nor the leaf). And shiitake! I gave her green bean and shiitake, she only ate shiitake. 😓
Thanks for your advice!
P.S: Here is a vid of her chomping on yellow hibiscus. It was such a relief finding out what she likes 10 days after her arrival.
http://instagr.am/p/B-r2y5dJdq9/
 

Yvonne G

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Just keep trying different greens until you find something she'll eat. There are plenty of edible weeds sprouting this time of year. You might try chopping the greens up into very tiny pieces and mixing it with the yellow foods she'll eat., wetting it so it sticks to the food.
 
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Hi sorciere! I am pretty much new to tortoise keeping so take my advice with a grain of salt.

I feed my little elongated hatchling Mazuri LS ( lists 12% protein content), Mazuri turtle pellets(40% protein content), and hard boiled eggs. I feed the Mazuri LS about once a week and I try and feed one of the other two sources once a month.

I got my hatchling eating the Mazuri pellets by softening them in water and mixing them in with fruits the first few times. I gradually reduced the fruit content and now he happily eats the pellets alone. I still soften them though. I spoke to a vet who introduces his hatchlings to Mazuri by softening them with grape juice instead of water and slowly reducing the amount of grape juice until they eat it plain.

And since I am still learning if there is anything incorrect about my current practices please let me know! I will not be offended, I am just trying to do my best!
 

sorciere

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Thank you for your replies! I’ll try to feed her various greens.
And silly me. I have just found out the Diet and food subforum. Digging into it now.

Hi sorciere! I am pretty much new to tortoise keeping so take my advice with a grain of salt.

I feed my little elongated hatchling Mazuri LS ( lists 12% protein content), Mazuri turtle pellets(40% protein content), and hard boiled eggs. I feed the Mazuri LS about once a week and I try and feed one of the other two sources once a month.

I got my hatchling eating the Mazuri pellets by softening them in water and mixing them in with fruits the first few times. I gradually reduced the fruit content and now he happily eats the pellets alone. I still soften them though. I spoke to a vet who introduces his hatchlings to Mazuri by softening them with grape juice instead of water and slowly reducing the amount of grape juice until they eat it plain.

And since I am still learning if there is anything incorrect about my current practices please let me know! I will not be offended, I am just trying to do my best!
I have bought LT 20, a kind of pellet food available here. I had to crush them and sprinkle on fresh food. Half of the pellet left after my male tort finishing the cucumber. Have never softened them though. I’ll give it a try.
Thanks for the advice!

B975BB27-4609-48E9-9F43-EBB08D6752AF.jpeg
 

sorciere

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I'm glad I could help! It is also nice to see others who care for indotestudo here. It seems like not many people do.
I think because elongated is not a popular tortoise pet in the US or EU. It’s very common in my country, Vietnam, since it’s native here. Many Vietnameses keep it as pet.
But, unfortunately, we don’t do science-based researches on how to raise them properly. Like, people feed them tomato and cabbage a lot. So did I. Until I found out the Facebook groups like Tortoise care & advice, Tortoise keepers, and this Tortoise forum. I have learned a lot. Never thought that one day I could read research papers on tortoise 😅. (Thanks to the quarantine, I got time)
Hope that our dear torts will grow well and we all will be safe in this tough year.
 

Yvonne G

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Let's see if @Kapidolo Farms or @Markw84 have any words of wisdom for you. Will at kapidolo farms knows quite a bit about the Asian tortoises.
 

sorciere

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Let's see if @Kapidolo Farms or @Markw84 have any words of wisdom for you. Will at kapidolo farms knows quite a bit about the Asian tortoises.
Thank you, Yvonne
I have read Will’s post about the C : P ratio and did a little search on the two foods.
Shiitake has 2mg C and 112mg P. Green bean’s ratio is 1:1. So let me forget about the mushroom and will only feed my torts green bean along with opuntia cactus.
The difficult thing for me is the food guide suggest fresh greens from the cold climate. They are not widely available here. So I have to do research on vegetables of Vietnam. Thanks to our Tortoise forum, I’ve got the basic to do it. 💕
The good news today is my torts ate lectuce when I mixed hibiscus flower & leaves with lectuces. However they didn’t care about hibiscus leaves.
Sorry for babbling. I’m a teacher and haven’t got class for 3 months. 😅
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Mushrooms are a good food, but have a horrible C: P ratio. I tumble mushrooms with calcium powder. I see you are in VietNam, maybe you could feed land snail with the. mushrooms.

Any tortoise can be gradually conditioned to eat a wider range of foods.
 

sorciere

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Mushrooms are a good food, but have a horrible C: P ratio. I tumble mushrooms with calcium powder. I see you are in VietNam, maybe you could feed land snail with the. mushrooms.

Any tortoise can be gradually conditioned to eat a wider range of foods.
Thanks Will. Perhaps I will buy some snails for me and the torts 😁
May I have another question about the setup?
I keep them in our tiled yard. But just now I read some said that walking on hard floor is not good for their bone. Is that right?
The yard is not big to setup a large enclosure and my 2 torts are quite big (1.9kg & 1.2kg) to stay in a small one. What should I do? 🤔

068687C7-1EEE-4A4F-9528-94FBA6356E00.jpeg
This is the yard, with lot of tree pot along the side (This pic was taken during a typhoon hence there was flood). They often walk around and stay beneath the pots.
AA76B856-846C-4BDD-91B5-04D266B3EC9A.jpeg
The male’s favourite hideout, under the spider plant.
I made a wooden house and fill it with sand.
138E60DF-CA96-4498-92AF-81C3227811EA.jpeg 5B6B4683-64B7-4BFD-B9A5-622AC094A0B1.jpeg
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Choice will resolve most of the reasoning behind a hard surface not being ideal. If you lay a plank of wood on the tile, get other tiles and put them down (rough) side up, maybe a matted area of palm fronds. The tortoise will use what it finds best. Part of the reason a smooth hard surface is not good is that their feet can slip off the the side and they may start to have a strange posture.
 

Huckleberry

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Thank you, Yvonne
I have read Will’s post about the C : P ratio and did a little search on the two foods.
Shiitake has 2mg C and 112mg P. Green bean’s ratio is 1:1. So let me forget about the mushroom and will only feed my torts green bean along with opuntia cactus.
The difficult thing for me is the food guide suggest fresh greens from the cold climate. They are not widely available here. So I have to do research on vegetables of Vietnam. Thanks to our Tortoise forum, I’ve got the basic to do it. 💕
The good news today is my torts ate lectuce when I mixed hibiscus flower & leaves with lectuces. However they didn’t care about hibiscus leaves.
Sorry for babbling. I’m a teacher and haven’t got class for 3 months. 😅
Hi sorciere,

It looks like you have a beautiful, healthy creature -- congratulations.

I have been keeping elongata in their native range for the last five years. I keep them outside in a natural setting (except when they are very tiny). Here’s a few observations from my experience:

Snails
Garden snails are probably their favorite food. I have some tortoises that are more picky than others, but they all go crazy for snails. The tortoises will hunt for them right at dusk, even digging under logs and rocks, or waiting by a crack in the wall for the snails to come out. I go out on rainy nights and collect 100s of snails to release in their pens.

Mushrooms
They all agree on mushrooms too. Fungi are available year round in their natural habitat and they eat all kinds. I use mushrooms as a staple and they all eat it readily -- even hatchlings only a few days old.

Greens
I offer a wide variety of greens. Two staples that grow in their enclosures are Asystasia gangetica micrantha and ipomoea aquatica. They graze on the leaves and stems whenever they want. These are both common weeds in SE Asia.

Monsoon
Obviously, during monsoon season, there are a lot more mushrooms and a lot more snails. This is often when I see more new shell growth and weight gain. This is also the breeding season for elongs. They are much more active in the rain, and spend a lot of time eating, mating, and laying eggs. I provide cuttlebone year round and will give some powdered calcium during monsoon as the females are producing eggs. I can usually tell if a female is getting ready to lay eggs by how much time she spends eating cuttlebones.

Sorry for writing so much here. I hope it isn’t overload. It looks like you are mixing foods which is a great way to ‘trick’ them into eating new things.

I hope you will breed them -- we need more of these beautiful tortoises in the world!
 

sorciere

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Hello I'm back. It was a hectic week.

I'm still in the process of introducing different foods to my torts. I've bought Mazuri and Repcal too. Maybe they knew I was worried about their diet so they never finished all the food, always left about 1/2 to 1/3, although I feed them every other day. 😓

Is it fine if I ask about enclosure in this subforum?
As you know, I have them in the front yard. But lately they have been very naughty and messy. And hence, it smells so bad. We water the plants and the yard every day, and clean right after they poop. Still smell stinky. And so, my parents asked me to take them to the top floor.
The problem is, besides many potted plants, there is a clothing washing area. I'm afraid that they will drink the detergent water. So I'm planning on a water-proof enclosure up there. The bottom layer should be water-proof, then soil for substrate, and of course, some plants and hideout place. But I don't know which material I should use as the bottom of the enclosure. Any advice?

Here is a picture of the top floor. The enclosure is about 5m2, 1,5m * 3,5m. Is that enough space for 20-24cm torts?

IMG_1666.jpg
 
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A quick solution to the waterproof enclosure would be to build a wooden box and use some form of EPDM pond liner. That is how I am building my new indoor enclosure. IMG_20200126_161427.jpg The base I used in this picture is a modified coffee table I was able to buy for $25.

The area that you showed in your picture looks like its out in the open correct? If you created a waterproof surface would there be concerns with flooding with rain?
 

sorciere

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I never thought of the pond liner! Thanks for your suggest.
I guess I’ll line the sides of the enclosure with pond liner, leave out about 10cm for plastic net, make it kinda slope inside. And the water would drain out through the net. Will that work?
I’m also concerned about the surrounding as it’s tiled floor, fences won’t work. 😓
 
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I have an idea! I don't know what you were thinking as far as substrate but I know a guy who uses only cypress mulch and his tortoises are doing well. Here is a picture: radiatesatthevet.jpg
This is inside a building and the mulch is just over the tile with nothing underneath.

Cypress mulch is safe for tortoises but you want to stay away from other types of mulch like pine mulch. I dont know too much about other types but I have read that cypress mulch is safe.

I assume that it rains normally on the roof on your building and there are places for the water to drain correct?

Well if you could get a lot of cypress mulch you could just put it on the tile an since it is just wood pieces it would let the water drain normally and it would not get muddy like dirt or other substrates.
 

sorciere

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It's a wonderful idea! But there ain't no cypress in Vietnam nor anywhere in the SEA. :(
Can I use coco coir or rice hull, or Acacia auriculiformis mulch instead?
 
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Maybe @Huckleberry can chime in here because I think he has mentioned to me before that he uses cypress mulch for his indoor enclosure set ups and this is what he mentioned earlier:
I have been keeping elongata in their native range for the last five years.
So he might be in SEA as well?

I know coco coir is definitely used as a substrate in a lot of keeper's enclosures so that is probably fine, but I have never heard of rice hull before.
 

sorciere

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Good news! I've done some search and there are pet shops that sell ZooMed Forest Floor, which contains natural cypress mulch. 8.8 litre for $17.
 
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