Food varieties..

Shorty

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
44
Location (City and/or State)
San Miguel CA
So I recently read the post about bladder stones I was bawling that it's a possibility.....

In the post it talks about not feeding to much "grocery greens"... I only buy organic no gmo greens for my Petie (honestly he eats better veggies than we do). The variety I rotate through are spring mix, baby kale, arugala with a mixed in diced squash of some sort. For water I soak him 3x weekly, I see him drink water by dunking his head often and so far he has regular poopies

But now I am very very worried about bladder stones.... What can I do to avoid them and keep my Petie healthy??? What variety could I add to his diet (and where can I find this items-please keep in mind I live in a rural area).
 

RosemaryDW

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Welcome Shorty!

I’ve read through your recent posts and it sounds like Petie was pretty dried out when you got him; that’s why he’s drinking so much. Perhaps he was a little hungry as well, and that’s why he’s going to the bathroom so much, more food than usual. Good signs. He won’t need soaking so much after a couple of weeks, just access to water.

People have different opinions but we’ve not actually seen much evidence of true bladder stones in Russians. That’s not to say it never happens but I wouldn’t worry about it as your top priority. Your top priority is actually ensuring his setup is right, in terms of size, lighting, and security. Everything else comes second. Your tortoise can go much longer without food than he can without the right lighting and heat. Take a look at the enclosures section as well as the Russian care sheet: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/.

As for food, he is going to need more fiber and less squash. Squash are a good food but they are actually fruits(!) and fruits have more sugar than he should eat on a regular basis. His digestive system can’t handle it.

Looks like you are in a very small town? That’s going to make finding his diet a little more challenging. You should be able to find cactus (nopales) at any Latino grocery store. Lots of fiber and calcium. It’s not something to feed every day but definitely a good one to mix in.

If you are near a hardware store, a nursery, or maybe even at your grocery store there are squash plants for sale; the kind you would plant in your own yard. Try a zucchini; the leaves, stems and flowers are all great for him and anything you buy at the store is safe for him to eat. Even if it doesn’t live very long, you can just buy another one; they’re cheap.

Do you have access to any large, natural (Whole Foods-ish) or other ethnic markets? There are often better choices there than a “regular” American grocery stores.

You may need to supplement with a prepared food, like Mazuri. You might not like the sound of pellet food but the good ones contain fiber and lots of other things Petie needs. Many of our most experienced owners feed them, again, as a supplement, not as a primary food.

Right now you can check you own grocery store’s lettuce section for chicories, which include radicchio, frisee, escarole, and endive. They will be at the far end of the lettuce and more expensive than the lettuces you buy for yourself. He should be eating more of these than the arugula and kale. Both of those are also good foods but should not make up the larger part of your diet. With the arugula and kale you can rotate in radish and turnip tops, for variety.

Finally, take a look at what is growing outside you or nearby. Are there any empty fields that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides? Do you have a yard with a grapevine or a rosebush that isn’t sprayed? What about a neighbor or a friend with a garden? Once you get more comfortable with what you can buy at grocery stores or online you can start to learn about what’s around you.

You absolutely do not need to feed all these things all at once; Petie can manage a while without more variety in his diet. For now, again, go work on your enclosure.
 

Shorty

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
44
Location (City and/or State)
San Miguel CA
Welcome Shorty!

I’ve read through your recent posts and it sounds like Petie was pretty dried out when you got him; that’s why he’s drinking so much. Perhaps he was a little hungry as well, and that’s why he’s going to the bathroom so much, more food than usual. Good signs. He won’t need soaking so much after a couple of weeks, just access to water.

People have different opinions but we’ve not actually seen much evidence of true bladder stones in Russians. That’s not to say it never happens but I wouldn’t worry about it as your top priority. Your top priority is actually ensuring his setup is right, in terms of size, lighting, and security. Everything else comes second. Your tortoise can go much longer without food than he can without the right lighting and heat. Take a look at the enclosures section as well as the Russian care sheet: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/.

As for food, he is going to need more fiber and less squash. Squash are a good food but they are actually fruits(!) and fruits have more sugar than he should eat on a regular basis. His digestive system can’t handle it.

Looks like you are in a very small town? That’s going to make finding his diet a little more challenging. You should be able to find cactus (nopales) at any Latino grocery store. Lots of fiber and calcium. It’s not something to feed every day but definitely a good one to mix in.

If you are near a hardware store, a nursery, or maybe even at your grocery store there are squash plants for sale; the kind you would plant in your own yard. Try a zucchini; the leaves, stems and flowers are all great for him and anything you buy at the store is safe for him to eat. Even if it doesn’t live very long, you can just buy another one; they’re cheap.

Do you have access to any large, natural (Whole Foods-ish) or other ethnic markets? There are often better choices there than a “regular” American grocery stores.

You may need to supplement with a prepared food, like Mazuri. You might not like the sound of pellet food but the good ones contain fiber and lots of other things Petie needs. Many of our most experienced owners feed them, again, as a supplement, not as a primary food.

Right now you can check you own grocery store’s lettuce section for chicories, which include radicchio, frisee, escarole, and endive. They will be at the far end of the lettuce and more expensive than the lettuces you buy for yourself. He should be eating more of these than the arugula and kale. Both of those are also good foods but should not make up the larger part of your diet. With the arugula and kale you can rotate in radish and turnip tops, for variety.

Finally, take a look at what is growing outside you or nearby. Are there any empty fields that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides? Do you have a yard with a grapevine or a rosebush that isn’t sprayed? What about a neighbor or a friend with a garden? Once you get more comfortable with what you can buy at grocery stores or online you can start to learn about what’s around you.

You absolutely do not need to feed all these things all at once; Petie can manage a while without more variety in his diet. For now, again, go work on your enclosure.
Thank you so much for your response!!!! That greatly helps
 
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