Help please

Steve Clark

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We have just adopted 2 leopard tortoises. One is female 40yrs old and other is Male 25 yes old. We have had them for 4 weeks and they haven't pooped yet. They are indoors as it's quite cold here still and they are fed spring greens (cabbage)mainly, with cucumber and tomato (they love that) mixed in. We bathe them every other day, but I am concerned about the lack of poop now. Could the change of home be affecting them.
 

Yvonne G

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Cabbage isn't a good food to use as a staple. it is a goiterigen and could cause health problems down the road.

See if you can find some edible weeds to offer the tortoises: fillaree, clover, prickly letuce. . . and barring that get some endive and escarole from the produce market. They aren't getting enough fiber in their diet.

I know they're big and you expect them to know when to drink, but I'll bet if you sit them each in their own tub of warm water and leave them there for an hour or more, you'll see poop.
 

Yvonne G

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I should also mention that a healthy digestive tract for tortoises depends upon the tortoise being able to do a lot of walking, so if your indoor facilities are small that may be your problem.
 

Steve Clark

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Cabbage isn't a good food to use as a staple. it is a goiterigen and could cause health problems down the road.

See if you can find some edible weeds to offer the tortoises: fillaree, clover, prickly letuce. . . and barring that get some endive and escarole from the produce market. They aren't getting enough fiber in their diet.

I know they're big and you expect them to know when to drink, but I'll bet if you sit them each in their own tub of warm water and leave them there for an hour or more, you'll see poop.
Thanks for that. I will try a long soak tomorrow when they wake up. It's a bit of a worry as they are lovely beings and I wouldn't want to do the wrong things for them. We are novices at this and took them as they couldn't stay where they were for medical reasons.
 

Steve Clark

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I should also mention that a healthy digestive tract for tortoises depends upon the tortoise being able to do a lot of walking, so if your indoor facilities are small that may be your problem.
We put them outside during the day when it warms up, and they have our quite reasonably sized garden to walk around, but Shelley (the female 40) doesn't wander much. Mr big (Male 25) is into everything especially after a bath. Lots of pee and some urates, from both, just no poo
 

Tom

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We put them outside during the day when it warms up, and they have our quite reasonably sized garden to walk around, but Shelley (the female 40) doesn't wander much. Mr big (Male 25) is into everything especially after a bath. Lots of pee and some urates, from both, just no poo
All excellent advice form Yvonne. In addition I would ask, what temperatures are you keeping them at? They need to be warm night and day. They need to be able to warm themselves up into the 90s during the day too. Since you are having a problem, I'd shoot for at least 80 degrees as a minimum day and night.
 

Steve Clark

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Tom. They are outside during the day to give them more room. At night we have them in the living room with us, and they sleep beside the radiators (which my wife always has on). Unfortunately everywhere is closed and I cant get materials to build a home for them, as we are not allowed out. We have heat lamps and UVB light but only makeshift boxes to house them. It's the best we can do during the current situation. I know temperature matters, and will do better when supply stores reopen. Difficult times and it's not ideal for these poor animals
 

Steve Clark

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Mar 27, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Middlesbrough, England
Cabbage isn't a good food to use as a staple. it is a goiterigen and could cause health problems down the road.

See if you can find some edible weeds to offer the tortoises: fillaree, clover, prickly letuce. . . and barring that get some endive and escarole from the produce market. They aren't getting enough fiber in their diet.

I know they're big and you expect them to know when to drink, but I'll bet if you sit them each in their own tub of warm water and leave them there for an hour or more, you'll see poop.
Yvonne. What is endive and escarole I presume these are greens and this is what they are called in America. I have never heard of them. Would they have more common names? Thanks
 
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