How I Cured my Picky Eater

AllieKat1997

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F1110FD1-CCC2-4683-8D73-F36CB9700083.jpeg So I have a golden Greek tortoise and we, unfortunately, have to substitute a little bit of his food with store-bought food. Which is how my problem started - Lumos got addicted to Romain Lettuce. *Face Palm* I tried everything - straight up removing the lettuce: he wouldn’t eat, and on day four I called it, and fed the poor, stubborn, guy. So, I tried to chop it up as finely as possible (it wasn’t much for possible, Lumos wasn’t impressed). Soooo on a last ditch effort to cure is picky eating and to get him on better, more tortoise-appropriate, diet I got a food processor. I really didn’t think it would work, nothing else did, but low n behold he gobbled up the lumpy, gross-looking mass that posed as his food. He didn’t just like it - he loved it! With this technique (can I call it that?) Slowly, very slowly, I was able to incorporate more tortoise-friendly food into his diet without him seeming to notice. He still gets a couple of grocery-store food items but in our location we just can’t help it. I also went ahead and was able to put his tortoise pellets (which he despised) into the processor. The machine turned the pellets to a golden dust, and Lumos probably doesn’t even realize that the pellets are involved. Overall, for a picky eater, I’ll take it. For $20 Lumos is now eating a far better tortoise-appropriate diet. I highly suggest trying a food processor if you have a picky eater of your own.

(I’m sure soemone else discoverer the power of a food processor but I had to share! Picture is below but it’s a bad one, I tried, and the reason he’s on a white cardboard platform is to try and keep bedding out of his food and water.)
 

Toddrickfl1

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I did something similar for a little while the only downfall I noticed when feeding the finely chopped/mush like food everyday is after a few weeks my tortoises beak started growing longer. Lead me to think that them biting and ripping and tearing of food helps with the beak. Now I do it about twice a week, but not everyday. Just to make sure he's eating food he wouldn't normally.
 

AllieKat1997

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I did something similar for a little while the only downfall I noticed when feeding the finely chopped/mush like food everyday is after a few weeks my tortoises beak started growing longer. Lead me to think that them biting and ripping and tearing of food helps with the beak. Now I do it about twice a week, but not everyday. Just to make sure he's eating food he wouldn't normally.
That is a very good point! I’ll make sure to check his beak. I usually give him the food processor mash when I have time so twice a week or so he’ll get his normal mix - not in the processor. Thanks for the warning!
 

Gillian M

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Well done, @AllieKat1997 !

Even I have an extremely picky tortoise (Oli). Ed @ZEROPILOT sent me mazuri from the USA as it's not available here in Jordan. (Thanks Ed!) However, I am still having difficulty with Oli: he refuses to eat it unless I "force" him to. Incredible how stubborn tortoises can be.
 

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Well done, @AllieKat1997 !

Even I have an extremely picky tortoise (Oli). Ed @ZEROPILOT sent me mazuri from the USA as it's not available here in Jordan. (Thanks Ed!) However, I am still having difficulty with Oli: he refuses to eat it unless I "force" him to. Incredible how stubborn tortoises can be.
That was a very long time ago.
I currently have a LOT more if you want some.
 

LaLaP

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Well done, @AllieKat1997 !

Even I have an extremely picky tortoise (Oli). Ed @ZEROPILOT sent me mazuri from the USA as it's not available here in Jordan. (Thanks Ed!) However, I am still having difficulty with Oli: he refuses to eat it unless I "force" him to. Incredible how stubborn tortoises can be.
Hey Gillian! I'm curious what your "forcing" method is. Both my torts go through fazes of not eating. So far we eventually get through it but I'd like to know how to force them if it ever comes to that. Thx
 

AllieKat1997

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Well done, @AllieKat1997 !

Even I have an extremely picky tortoise (Oli). Ed @ZEROPILOT sent me mazuri from the USA as it's not available here in Jordan. (Thanks Ed!) However, I am still having difficulty with Oli: he refuses to eat it unless I "force" him to. Incredible how stubborn tortoises can be.
Lumos wouldn’t even look at mazuri, so I bought him something similar (Zilla land turtle and tortoise pellets) these pellets are a lot smaller than mazuri. With my food processor now I feel confident trying mazuri again. Once it’s shedded to dust Lumos just didn’t care, lol. There is SO much personality in such a small (for my golden Greek at least!) package. Perhaps a food processor or something similar would work for Oli. If you do use mazuri in a processor I’d wet it down for a few minutes first. I’m not sure how big of a chunk the machine can handle. The Zilla food I use is smaller than a pinky nail.
 

Gillian M

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That was a very long time ago.
I currently have a LOT more if you want some.
Oh....... thank you so much your kindness, Ed. For the time being, I have some. Will let you know once this "monkey" finishes it.
But, I'll tell you on one condition: that I pay for it this time. Agreed?
 

Gillian M

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Hey Gillian! I'm curious what your "forcing" method is. Both my torts go through fazes of not eating. So far we eventually get through it but I'd like to know how to force them if it ever comes to that. Thx
Well, I have been hand feeding him for years. I do not mind that, even though one is not always in the mood.

I mix the lettuce (his favourite) with mazuri and begin. He begins to eat, but once he realizes that there's something he doesn't like in there, he stops eating immediately! He's been driving me nuts, believe me.
 

Gillian M

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Lumos wouldn’t even look at mazuri, so I bought him something similar (Zilla land turtle and tortoise pellets) these pellets are a lot smaller than mazuri. With my food processor now I feel confident trying mazuri again. Once it’s shedded to dust Lumos just didn’t care, lol. There is SO much personality in such a small (for my golden Greek at least!) package. Perhaps a food processor or something similar would work for Oli. If you do use mazuri in a processor I’d wet it down for a few minutes first. I’m not sure how big of a chunk the machine can handle. The Zilla food I use is smaller than a pinky nail.
Thank you for your help.

I'd have to give it a try. Mind you, I'm not all that optimistic .He is a terribly picky eater.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Lumos wouldn’t even look at mazuri, so I bought him something similar (Zilla land turtle and tortoise pellets) these pellets are a lot smaller than mazuri. With my food processor now I feel confident trying mazuri again. Once it’s shedded to dust Lumos just didn’t care, lol. There is SO much personality in such a small (for my golden Greek at least!) package. Perhaps a food processor or something similar would work for Oli. If you do use mazuri in a processor I’d wet it down for a few minutes first. I’m not sure how big of a chunk the machine can handle. The Zilla food I use is smaller than a pinky nail.
Do you know WHAT MAZURI you bought?
The 5M21 is eaten by most tortoises. But the newer L.S.type typically does not.
The 5M21 is only available from Purina in the 25 pound bags.
Usually we get keepers that bought the L.S. because pet shops carry it in smaller bags.
The L.S. doesn't soften easily and most tortoises don't care for it.
It's important to mention that there is a big difference in Mazuri tortoise chows.
 

AllieKat1997

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Do you know WHAT MAZURI you bought?
The 5M21 is eaten by most tortoises. But the newer L.S.type typically does not.
The 5M21 is only available from Purina in the 25 pound bags.
Usually we get keepers that bought the L.S. because pet shops carry it in smaller bags.
The L.S. doesn't soften easily and most tortoises don't care for it.
It's important to mention that there is a big difference in Mazuri tortoise chows.
I have no clue, I noticed people complaining about their formula changing; I bought my mazuri in a container, not a bag, about a year ago. Personally I hated it, and Lumos hated it too! That’s why I switched him to Zilla. I ended up tossing the mazuri. I am wanting to try it again in the future. I’ll make sure to buy the 5M21 variety.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have no clue, I noticed people complaining about their formula changing; I bought my mazuri in a container, not a bag, about a year ago. Personally I hated it, and Lumos hated it too! That’s why I switched him to Zilla. I ended up tossing the mazuri. I am wanting to try it again in the future. I’ll make sure to buy the 5M21 variety.
Foods like Mazuri are certainly NOT required as part of the diet as long as the diet is otherwise varied and complete.
We that use Mazuri do so out of convenience. It's ready to feed as is or wetted and it's great for adding medication or for mixing in other food, etc.
No one should worry about NOT having Mazuri.
Not if other foods are easily obtainable.
 

AllieKat1997

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Foods like Mazuri are certainly NOT required as part of the diet as long as the diet is otherwise varied and complete.
We that use Mazuri do so out of convenience. It's ready to feed as is or wetted and it's great for adding medication or for mixing in other food, etc.
No one should worry about NOT having Mazuri.
Not if other foods are easily obtainable.
Yes I know it’s a additive. Lumos is on a couple grocery store items so I got him the mazuri to add to his diet and make him healthier. Which he didn’t approve of, haha. Just like a kid with broccoli, I suppose. I also bought other things for him like cactus pads (I can’t recall the name of them but I got them from a tortoise breeder) and a tortoise dried grass mixture also from a tortoise breeder. The romaine lettuce was just too tempting. Thankfully so far the processor is working amazing!
 

queen koopa

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I mix the lettuce (his favourite) with mazuri and begin. He begins to eat, but once he realizes that there's something he doesn't like in there, he stops eating immediately! He's been driving me nuts, believe me.
Exactly! My 6 yr old Sulcata will NOT eat hay. She is used to a live Bermuda March to October. Ive done similar food prep but haven’t busted out the food processor. Ive boiled carrot (just 1) and then mashed and mixed into hay. Today I boiled the butts of asparagus, sliced them, and then mixed into hay. She eats about half of what I give her.... same as if I use mazuri as the mix.
 

AllieKat1997

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Exactly! My 6 yr old Sulcata will NOT eat hay. She is used to a live Bermuda March to October. Ive done similar food prep but haven’t busted out the food processor. Ive boiled carrot (just 1) and then mashed and mixed into hay. Today I boiled the butts of asparagus, sliced them, and then mixed into hay. She eats about half of what I give her.... same as if I use mazuri as the mix.
They can be so stubborn! I tried the chop and mash technique and also a food shredder (eh, the ones you have to use by hand and I think are typically are used for cheese) it totally didn’t work. I swear half the time Lumos would give me the dirtiest look, like, “You really think I can’t tell the difference?” And he would proceed to search for lettuce. The processor has been a lifesaver! He doesn’t even glare at me for it. Maybe with the lettuce mixed in it still tastes enough like the Romaine for him not to care.
 
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