Jerry D. Fife (and carrots?!)

Odin & Thor

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Hello! I have this book written by Jerry D. Fife about Indian star tortoises. In the chapter about "diet", he write that carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers (just to name a few) have some benefits if you give it.

BUT I have always been told that you should NOT feed groceries greens at all. But do you feed it to them?

My tortoises are about a year old by now.

All answers would be much appreciated!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers all have sugars that very few tortoises can handle.
Tomatoes and cucumber also make for a lot of diarrhea.
How old is the book?
I must add that I don't keep Star tortoises...
 

Tom

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This is just one of those things…

If those items make up a very small percentage of an otherwise high fiber good diet, it will be fine. If one or all of those items were to be fed every day in large amounts, it would cause a problem eventually.
 

Yvonne G

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The thing is, sometimes a new tortoise keeper reads something like that and they feed to exclusion of other, good foods. When adopting out a tortoise I NEVER mention lettuce in the list of things to feed because invariably they key into that word, lettuce, and pretty soon that's all they feed the tortoise because it's quick and easy.

When feeding tortoises, don't go for 'easy.' Go for nutritious. Can they have a carrot or a tomatoe or a cucumber once in a while, sure. But just don't get suckered into feeding it all the time because it's so readily available and easy for you.

I'd be willing to bet that in Fife's book he mentioned carrots, etc. as part of a varied diet, and yet you read that you can feed those items exclusively. That's not what he said at all.
 

Odin & Thor

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The thing is, sometimes a new tortoise keeper reads something like that and they feed to exclusion of other, good foods. When adopting out a tortoise I NEVER mention lettuce in the list of things to feed because invariably they key into that word, lettuce, and pretty soon that's all they feed the tortoise because it's quick and easy.

When feeding tortoises, don't go for 'easy.' Go for nutritious. Can they have a carrot or a tomatoe or a cucumber once in a while, sure. But just don't get suckered into feeding it all the time because it's so readily available and easy for you.

I'd be willing to bet that in Fife's book he mentioned carrots, etc. as part of a varied diet, and yet you read that you can feed those items exclusively. That's not what he said at all.

I am well aware that I should not give it to them ALL THE TIME. My question was simply if the book was right about the carrots etc. I would never feed them anything bad! I was just unsure that the info provided in the book was "alright" to follow. Therefor I decided to write to all you amazing people in here instead of just blindly follow the book.

But anyway, thanks for the reply
 

Odin & Thor

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This is just one of those things…

If those items make up a very small percentage of an otherwise high fiber good diet, it will be fine. If one or all of those items were to be fed every day in large amounts, it would cause a problem eventually.

Thank you very much for the reply. I was just really unsure if the info in the book was correct.
 

Odin & Thor

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Carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers all have sugars that very few tortoises can handle.
Tomatoes and cucumber also make for a lot of diarrhea.
How old is the book?
I must add that I don't keep Star tortoises...

It's from 2007. I hears about the things you described above. I was just not sure if I could give it to them once in a while, or if ot wouæd be really nad fpr them! The book desvribes a lot of benefits about feeding ot to them once in a while. But as I mentioned above I habe been told that groceri greens is a big no!

But thanks for the reply!
 

Yvonne G

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I am well aware that I should not give it to them ALL THE TIME. My question was simply if the book was right about the carrots etc. I would never feed them anything bad! I was just unsure that the info provided in the book was "alright" to follow. Therefor I decided to write to all you amazing people in here instead of just blindly follow the book.

But anyway, thanks for the reply

The two Fife brothers are very experienced tortoise people. Trouble is though, the book is probably outdated now and doesn't have the new info we've learned in the past few years. But the food section would never go out of date, so you can take that to the bank.
 

Tom

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It's from 2007. I hears about the things you described above. I was just not sure if I could give it to them once in a while, or if ot wouæd be really nad fpr them! The book desvribes a lot of benefits about feeding ot to them once in a while. But as I mentioned above I habe been told that groceri greens is a big no!

But thanks for the reply!

Different people have different ideas about tortoise nutrition. That book contains Jerry Fife's thought on the matter, at least up to 2007. I know Jerry and his brother Richard too. I've shared a few meals with them over the years at the TTPG conference and had many a pleasant conversation. I've also had the privilege of touring Jerry's facility and seeing his collection too. One thing that should be understood is that Jerry has a huge collection and A LOT of animals to feed on a daily basis. Going around and picking handfuls of the ideal weeds is simply not going to work for a collection that size. He buys things in bulk, by the case, where as someone with an individual tortoise or two can easily just go pick a few leaves and be done. In other words: What he does and what works for his unique situation, may not be ideal for someone else in a totally different situation.

In the star tortoise book, you read Jerry's feeding ideas. Here are my feeding ideas:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
I use less grass for stars, so just scroll down to the food list.
 

kingsley

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The Fife Brothers are very good friends of mine and I live in the phoenix area too ,they are very experienced keepers . That being said I spend a great deal of time in Sri lanka doing feild study on stars. I have find them in bean fields and porduce farms on a regular basis , the farmers consider them a great nuisance , and in my openion they are very opportunistic. I found this little guy in a melon field just this past summer, I dont think a occational treat would hurt them, but definitely not on a regular basis !! I have kept SL stars for over 40 years, and they do best on berbuda grass here in phoenix, I do supplement grape leaves, cactus,mulberry, and hibiscus leaves and flovers. I also find them gorging them selves on an ocational fallen fruit in the wild, and usually image.jpg mango that is extreemly high in sugar.
 
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