1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

How to winter a tort?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Mikeysmama, Nov 6, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    Winter is coming so I have been reading about things to feed baby Sheldon. I got a great list of store bought leafy greens from Carol and have surfed the database. I've noticed that most are feed in moderation, cannot be feed at the same time or with a varied diet.. At the moment his majority is spring mix and variations of the dandelion family leaves and flowers. I bought some kale to toss once in awhile. I guess my question is what is considered moderation in this instance? i. e. Kale every other day and mustard greens in between? Will he get bored with the same things? I'm planning a tort garden in the spring and possibly drying food for over the next winter ..? Any ideas on winter "meal plans" lol
  2. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    15,461
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lancaster
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I didn't know you got your new little one. I'm so happy for you. You can just watch to see what your little Sheldon likes the best. But then try to add some things too so there's no fixation on a single food. Use the favorite food also if you need to give the darling brat something they can't say no too
  3. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    LOL!! he is a stinker! It will just be a week tomorrow, I was waiting to mention it until I knew everything was good, HE IS AWESOME!! Eats a ton the hides, he's getting comfortable around us now and my son will hold leaves for him to eat, it's so cute! Ok, I'll see what else I can find while I'm out ! Thank you!
    Gijoux, Samantha Graham and Cathie G like this.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    46,152
    Likes Received:
    26,581
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Spring mix and other grocery store foods are not a great diet. Those things lack fiber, lack calcium, some of them have the wrong Ca to Ph ratio, and some of them have compounds like goiterogens that are to be avoided or not fed too often. Spring mix in particular is low fiber because it is "baby" greens. If you must use grocery store foods, you should favor endive and escarole as the main staples. Then use lots of variety to round out the diet. Cilantro, kale, collard greens, mustard and turnip greens, etc. Soak and mix in some ZooMed Grassland pellets for variety and fiber. It will take some time to get the tortoise to accept this, or any new food, so start with just a tiny amount mixed in at first. I also highly recommend and "herbal hay" to sprinkle on top. I like the one from tortoisesupply.com.

    Try to use broadleaf weeds, leaves, flowers, and other such things. There are tons and tons of weeds in SC. Take some samples to a local garden center for ID help. Kudzu is good to feed some times. Hostas. Lots of good stuff grows in the south.
  5. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    I give him cat's ear/dandelion leaves and flowers everyday I have 4 or 5 species of hosta, an impatient rose bush if he can eat that, holly hock leaves... I'll do more I'f those and less spring mix
  6. Viola B

    Viola B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2018
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    109
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    So glad you have your little Russian tortoise. They are so enjoyable. My Merlina, is now 17 mos old and is one of Carol,s babies.
  7. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    Me to! They are so funny!! We just love him like crazy! That's so cool, how big is she?
    Gijoux, Samantha Graham and Cathie G like this.
  8. Russiantortylady

    Russiantortylady Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location (City and/or State):
    Vermont
    I asked a couple of weeks ago about substrate that you can buy at Home Depot that is less expensive than the zoo -med repti-bark. Does anyone know or remember what it is? I know it was some sort of mulch or bark??? TIA
  9. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    I thunk it's orchard mulch
    Gijoux and Samantha Graham like this.
  10. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    6,532
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    You can get both orchid bark or Cypress mulch at home Depot.
    Gijoux and Samantha Graham like this.
  11. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    6,532
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    I pick things like hibiscus flowers and leaves, and dandelion over the summer and dry them out and jar them for the winter months. You can also find a good selection of food items from @Kapidolo Farms IMG_20191111_072253371.jpg
  12. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    YES!!! this is exactly what I want to do! how do you dry them and how do you rehydrate?
    Gijoux, Samantha Graham and Cathie G like this.
  13. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    6,532
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    I just take the leaves or flowers and spread them out evenly on a cardboard box for about 2 weeks. You have to spread them out evenly so they're not piled up or I've found they'll mold. When I jar them I add a couple packets of dessicant to get any remaining moisture. Most times I don't rehydrate them I just sprinkle it on whatever else I'm feeding. Sometimes I soak them in warm water for a few minutes then strain the water off.
  14. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,237
    Likes Received:
    1,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Richmond, VA
    I got some hibiscus from Kapidolo Farms and rehydrate it with my Mazuri before I feed and my russian loves it
  15. Mikeysmama

    Mikeysmama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2019
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    SC
    that's awesome! where do you get the desiccant. I have a food dehydrator, want site I'f I should use it for that lol
    Gijoux, Samantha Graham and Cathie G like this.
  16. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    6,532
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    I work at a warehouse and have access to it but I'm sure you could probably find it on Amazon or eBay though. Not even sure it's necessary but I do it anyway.
  17. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,237
    Likes Received:
    1,958
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Richmond, VA
    The disposable handwarmers do the same
  18. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    15,461
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lancaster
    Or he...cause sometimes she will just flash you later. Then you'll find out the truth of whatever that thing is...
  19. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    15,461
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lancaster
    Small Pet Select has a product for rabbits called Vita-Licious Essentials. I just sprinkle a bit now and then on my russian's food. It's all dried herbs and flowers. The smell wakes him up in the winter and he'll come out to eat.
  20. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    15,461
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Lancaster
    Can you reuse the ones already in the packages that we buy? I get a little packet every month with my inhaler and other things too.
Similar Threads: winter tort
Forum Title Date
Russian tortoises Can a Russian Tortoise Survive a Winter in the North if Hibernating? Oct 9, 2019
Russian tortoises Russian Tortoise in Winter Take II Aug 27, 2018
Russian tortoises Should i hibernate my baby tortoise this winter? Sep 10, 2016
Russian tortoises Feeding a tortoise all winter long if hes not being hibernated? Jul 15, 2011
Russian tortoises Wintering a coastal Russian Nov 8, 2019

Share This Page