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growing food ... supplements?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by nicoble, Nov 4, 2019.

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  1. nicoble

    nicoble Member 5 Year Member

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    I have a 3 months old baby russian and live in a winter cold, high altitude state. Frost came early and my garden weeds are dead so ... I am considering growing some food for my baby. Does anyone here have experience with the seed mixes advertised for tortoises ( like from Carolina Pet Supply and others?)- do they sprout well?
    My little guy/gal eats grocery greens right now, nopales/cactus and Mazuri/grassland pellets and he has a cuttle bone but I am thinking about the TNT power to supplement .. Our winters are long and this baby won't get to eat " real" weeds until May - can't raise a picky eater ;-) ??
    Any tips and tricks on how to grow a good indoor food supply are appreciated!
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  2. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I regularly sprout my own wheat grass from wheat seeds... A tablespoon in a tiny Mason jar soaked every day grows to nibble size in a few days.

    I plant the entire jar in my tortoise enclosures, in the substrate, and let the torts nibble them for a week, then replace it with a new jar.

    You could do the same with any type of sprout.

    Jamie
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  3. nicoble

    nicoble Member 5 Year Member

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    I do a lot of wheat grass for my cats but ...the tort has yet to try it ... I offered it young and tender and just put the entire pot in the enclosure - but so far no luck ... I hope I have better luck with some broad leaf weeds
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  4. kanalomele

    kanalomele Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Nutritional supplements are often a good idea for the winter months when weeds become scarce. Adding some extra nutrients to the grocery store foods that many keepers have to rely on in winter is a good way to be confident that they are getting what they need. TNT is a good product but be sure to look at others as well. TortRescue is developed with species specific nutrition needs in mind recognizing that a Sulcata has different requirements than a Redfoot for example.
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  5. Yvonne G

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

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    Yeah, Russians are not great grass eaters, preferring the broad-leaf plants and weeds. You can find a nice selection of dried food items at kapidolofarms.com

    I have used the TNT. It's a good product.
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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I like the seed mixes from tortoisesupply.com They will sprout fine indoors with the right lighting. I also like their herbal hay. Just sprinkle a little on top of the greens for more variety and nutrition. It seems expensive at first, but a small amount will last a single Russian for months. I had a one pound bag to lasted almost a year and I was feeding dozens of tortoises with it.
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  7. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    At least part of the concern I read from @nicoble is to not raise a picky eater. That is some of the theory behind not mixing all the dried loose leaf and flower diet items together. One day these one or two, the next day a different one or two. Keep it a little different day to day. When you ad all these things together, the tortoise still gets great benefit, but looses variety, variety is a meal to meal day to day matter.

    That's why I offer variety packs in the monthly post of diet items from Kapidolo Farms on TFO's market place. BTW, variety packs are now $28.99 each through to the end of the year.
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  8. Dovey

    Dovey Member

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    Tortoise Forage Mix by Natures Seeds. Great for grass grazers. Obviously needs grow lights indoors.
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  9. Dandelion_@_

    [email protected]_ New Member

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    I'm a new member with a Hermann male approximately 6 years old. His name is Dandelion (thought he was female when we first received him as a re-home several years ago). It's cold now in the great white north of New England and I need to solve D's Romaine-stubborn eating habit once and for all, but I'm easily confused by all the forums/advice/etc and new to trying to figure out how to buy things from vendors on this site. Can you help?
  10. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    The seed packs I got from Carolina Pet Supply did very well for me.
    They sprouted and grew very quickly.
    As a bonus, I found that I could cut off the green tops and they would re grow time after time.
    Many of the seeds also grew "people food". So there were turnips and carrots, etc as well.
  11. Vintage

    Vintage New Member

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    I sowed seeds directly into the substrate. They're just coming up nicely after a week and a half. I used oat cat grass seeds (similar to wheat grass but broader leaves), nasturtium seeds (provide broad leaves and edible flowers) and bird seed mixes. For example, cockatiel mix contains small sunflower seeds which sprout and grow into edible greens, and several other kinds of seed which produce broad leaf plants. Don't bother with budgie or finch mixes as they're primarily fine grasses. I live in Canada, so it's a pain and an expense to import tortoise seed mixes from the US or other parts of the world. I plan to try planting pumpkin and squash seeds soon. I may also do pansies because they're edible (even in human salads) and easy to grow.

    I give Moe a variety of organic store bought greens for now (no more weeds outside, too much snow) and he also nibbles on the sprouts and plants in his enclosure. Using up greens before they go bad isn't a problem for me because I also have four rabbits. For variety Moe gets the pellets and dried flowers from Zoo Med gourmet tortoise food. I pick the fruit and carrots out.

    I found a tort supplement recipe that I use, it's a cup of crushed timothy rabbit pellets mixed with a crushed human multivitamin tablet and half a teaspoon of human calcium/d3 powder (which I get from crushing the tablets). I put a pinch on his greens twice a week.
    [email protected]_ likes this.
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