Is this eating regime sufficient for my Sulcata?

Jenna524

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Central Valley, CA
My Sulcata, Toki, is about 15 pounds and less than 10 years old. Everyday he mainly eats grass and whatever weeds are growing in the yard. I also planted some Tesudo mix that is available for him to eat, and he chooses to eat it a couple times a week.



When my raised bed veggie garden overflows, he will munch on the leaves that hang over (leaves only: squash, cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon). These leaves are seasonal, and in limited quantity since I protect the plant so I can get a harvest.



Basically he’ll go a whole day on weeds and grass, and an occasional leaf or two a day.



Once a week I give him a plate of a few small opuntia cactus pads, and a few hibiscus flowers and leaves. I try to give him orchard grass once a week with his cactus and hibiscus, but he won’t touch it.



I keep a cuttlebone on his feeding plate all the time, but he only occasionally eats it. (It looks more like he broke it than ate it). And I’m not sure if he really gets much from it. And he has a water heater pan full of water, but I’ve never seen him even touch it. (I try to soak him once or twice a week in a different container).



He also eats the cat poop that stray cats leave in our yard (we don’t own any other pets besides our sulcata).



He seems to be eating grass and weeds whenever he wants to all day. And also takes a couple of long naps under a rose bush as well. His poop looks healthy, and his urates look normal.

Is it okay that he mostly eats grass and weeds daily, and only has a ”special plate” of food once a week? Should I be offering cactus and hibiscus more often? What else should be included in his diet and how frequently?
 

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Yvonne G

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Try to pick up the cat poop before he gets to it. If your neighbors de-worm their cats it could poison your tortoise.
 

Jenna524

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Central Valley, CA
Try to pick up the cat poop before he gets to it. If your neighbors de-worm their cats it could poison your tortoise.
Thanks for the info. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll try to pick up what I can find. It may be hard to do since we can’t always find it as well as Toki.
 

Yvonne G

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Thanks for the info. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll try to pick up what I can find. It may be hard to do since we can’t always find it as well as Toki.
I understand! Seems the only way I find it is with my bare hands when weeding the flowerbeds.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Toki looks great especially her beak. I feed my sulcatas a larger variety of different food items during the summer because where I live sometime the winters are brutal and have to depend on store bought food for them to supplement their diet. Your not doing anything wrong but a little more variety might help. I said her because I think Toki is a female.
 

Tom

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My Sulcata, Toki, is about 15 pounds and less than 10 years old. Everyday he mainly eats grass and whatever weeds are growing in the yard. I also planted some Tesudo mix that is available for him to eat, and he chooses to eat it a couple times a week.



When my raised bed veggie garden overflows, he will munch on the leaves that hang over (leaves only: squash, cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon). These leaves are seasonal, and in limited quantity since I protect the plant so I can get a harvest.



Basically he’ll go a whole day on weeds and grass, and an occasional leaf or two a day.



Once a week I give him a plate of a few small opuntia cactus pads, and a few hibiscus flowers and leaves. I try to give him orchard grass once a week with his cactus and hibiscus, but he won’t touch it.



I keep a cuttlebone on his feeding plate all the time, but he only occasionally eats it. (It looks more like he broke it than ate it). And I’m not sure if he really gets much from it. And he has a water heater pan full of water, but I’ve never seen him even touch it. (I try to soak him once or twice a week in a different container).



He also eats the cat poop that stray cats leave in our yard (we don’t own any other pets besides our sulcata).



He seems to be eating grass and weeds whenever he wants to all day. And also takes a couple of long naps under a rose bush as well. His poop looks healthy, and his urates look normal.

Is it okay that he mostly eats grass and weeds daily, and only has a ”special plate” of food once a week? Should I be offering cactus and hibiscus more often? What else should be included in his diet and how frequently?
Your tortoise looks good and the diet sounds ideal. I wouldn't change anything.

What concerns me is the size. Any sulcata nearing 10 years old should be much larger than that. At least 50-60 pounds even if female. Do you keep the torts warm at night? Do you have a heated night box for right time and colder winter days? Like this:
 

Jenna524

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Central Valley, CA
Your tortoise looks good and the diet sounds ideal. I wouldn't change anything.

What concerns me is the size. Any sulcata nearing 10 years old should be much larger than that. At least 50-60 pounds even if female. Do you keep the torts warm at night? Do you have a heated night box for right time and colder winter days? Like this:
We just adopted Toki in July. At the time we weren’t told a definite age. We were told he could be as young as two or maybe older. So we are kind of guessing. I think maybe he’s closer to 3 or 4 then? How old would you think that size is? (14 inches shell, about 15 pounds, male—for sure)

Also, we built a house from one of your night boxes, and he has a heater that hasn’t dropped below 77 degrees at night.
 

Jenna524

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Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
Toki looks great especially her beak. I feed my sulcatas a larger variety of different food items during the summer because where I live sometime the winters are brutal and have to depend on store bought food for them to supplement their diet. Your not doing anything wrong but a little more variety might help. I said her because I think Toki is a female.
I hope to plant some grapes in the spring. Do you have some favorite plants you like to give your tort?
Toki is definitely a boy. I was actually wondering that myself recently, until today he proved to me he’s a boy. 😂
 

Tom

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We just adopted Toki in July. At the time we weren’t told a definite age. We were told he could be as young as two or maybe older. So we are kind of guessing. I think maybe he’s closer to 3 or 4 then? How old would you think that size is? (14 inches shell, about 15 pounds, male—for sure)

Also, we built a house from one of your night boxes, and he has a heater that hasn’t dropped below 77 degrees at night.
3-4 is a good guess on the age I think.

I like to keep the night box set to 80 most of the year. 77 is okay in July, August, September since its near 100 degrees outside every day. In winter I set it up to 86 since the days are often not all that warm.

You are really doing well with the diet. My compliments to the chef. :)
 

Jenna524

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Location (City and/or State)
Central Valley, CA
3-4 is a good guess on the age I think.

I like to keep the night box set to 80 most of the year. 77 is okay in July, August, September since its near 100 degrees outside every day. In winter I set it up to 86 since the days are often not all that warm.

You are really doing well with the diet. My compliments to the chef. :)
Thanks! I think I’ll go with that age. And thanks for the tips on the house and temp! It’s working very well! Toki must like it too, because he puts himself to bed at night in it.
 

MenagerieGrl

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As @Yvonne G had mentioned, I would spend more time clearing the cat POOP, that cannot be good.
Cats harbor parasites, so, your kinda damned if you do and damned if you don't regarding "wormer" . Cat poop with Parasites is NOT good and Cat poop with Wormer is NOT good, either.
Additionally, Toxoplasma, a parasite that can be found in cat feces, is the culprit in some sea otter deaths in California.
 
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