Feeding the Babies

Yvonne G

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Jan 23, 2008
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Clovis, CA
Here in the Central Valley of California, this is a great time for harvesting wild food for the tortoises. This morning I took my plastic bucket and scissors and went around the yard picking and choosing. I came in with an almost full bucket of tortoise food:

tortoise food a.jpg

I rinse it all off in cold water.

tortoise food b.jpg Clockwise, starting with the grass - grass, hollyhock leaves, sow thistle, greens from the garden, filaree, mallow, prickly lettuce, and something else edible I can't think of the name of.

I cut the grass with the scissors:

tortoise food c.jpg

but everything else gets chopped up with a knife. I sometimes add cactus, but this a.m. I added okra:

tortoise food d.jpg

Because most of today's offering is wild from the weed bed, I grated cucumber over it:

tortoise food e.jpg
and mixed it all together. Because grocery store greens are "sweeter" than wild plants, it is sometimes hard to get a baby that has been used to eating grocery store greens, to eat wild plants. The cucumber adds a smell and taste that makes the babies want to eat.

I feed this same mixture to all my babies (leopards, desert tortoises, Texas tortoises, Manouria, Yellowfooted and box turtle. They all eat it, even the baby box turtle. For the last three listed, I add some chopped up fruit or night crawlers (or crickets, etc) to the mixture.
 

Team Gomberg

IXOYE
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Oct 1, 2012
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Southern Oregon
Thanks for sharing this with photos. I hope this encourages others to feed their torts more wild greens too! It's easy enough to do and better for them. Win-Win :tort:
 

Turtulas-Len

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Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Great Advice, Even with the cold winters we have I can find enough good fresh weeds of some kind for the youngsters, unless everything is snow covered.
 

sharpf

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
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We here in Phoenix, AZ had a few great rains this winter so my weed crop is overwhelming! Don't want my Yortie to eat some of them so will need to get out there and remove any not dandelions!
 

sharpf

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
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Wow, thank you so much! We all have to do all we can to help these little critters as we are caring for them outside their natural environment. You sound like you are going to be a real good tort mommie!!!!!
 

sharpf

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
21
My Yortoise the Tortoise is 13 going on 14 in September. I worked at the Arizona State University (ASU) West Campus a few years ago. One day a lady that worked on the grounds of the campus was at home and her CAT came into the house meowing like crazy and made her follow it out to the garden of her home and there was a sweet little hatchling desert tortoise! She brought it into the Life Science department on the campus. They got a terrarium and made him part of their department. Kind of their ambassador! Well, I worked in the copy center on the campus and did 2 rounds a day to each dept. and so naturally was mesmerized each time I went to the Life Science dept. They named him Yortoise the Tortoise, or Yortie the Tortie for short. Man, I could not wait to get to those visits to that department each day! As he grew, I started bringing him items from the salad bar in the cafeteria. Then when I learned they liked Hibiscus leaves and flowers, I would go pick the Hibiscus bushes clean every day! He lived there for 4 years until he was almost too big for the terrarium, as well as the info they received from the main campus, if a critter was not part of a study, it could not be on the campus. So they said they would have to find a new home for him at 4 years old. I said "ok, but you BE SURE they will take good care of him, because he is so special". They said, "relax, you know we will make him happy". Well a couple of days later they said, "We found a good home for him Fran". I said, "you better have or I am coming after you!". They said, " Oh I think we have, he is going home with you Fran!". Oh my heavens, I was so shocked!!!! My bond with him was so strong I felt like he was my son!!!!! He has been with me ever since, and I hope I have been a good mom and caretaker. Now have a trio of hatchlings from another lady who does not know enough to keep her male/female apart! they all have new homes coming!
 
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