Making Food for winter time feeding

Turtulas-Len

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My tortoises are getting bigger and feeding a varied diet during winter can sometimes be a pain to achieve. Last year I tried freezing colocasia stems for the yellow foot, the red foot, and the manouria tortoises, that worked out real nice, will do it again this fall. This year I bought an electric lawnmower with a bag to collect everything that grows in the front yard that I have been working on for years to get a good balance of different plants for tortoise food that looks as good as any of the neighbors yard when cut. I cut the yard at the highest setting when using the gas mower, which is above box turtle height. the highest setting on the electric mower is only 2.5 inches, so I only get cuttings from certain areas. I dry the cuttings in paper bags and clothes hampers. Today I re-moistened some that was completly dry, by soaking in mazuri water, warm water with a little disolved old type mazuri in it. All the sulcatas (execpt Sylvia) ate it, and Roberta my leopard was looking for more, she is a big grass eater anyway. I will keep drying yard cuttings this fall. Fathers Day weekend I put some cactus fruit in ice water in a closed jar and placed it on a door shelf in the refridgerator. They look like they did the day I picked them. I think I will do some more. The begining of August I did the same thing with young tender cactus pads and so far no change in the way they look. More time will tell how long they will stay fresh enough to use as food. The reason Sylvia didn't eat any is because I haven't figured out a good way to offer it to her. The reason for trying the clippings is, I have not found a good hay for tortoise food in my area to buy.
 

Turtulas-Len

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I opened the 2 jars tonight to see how they fared, the fruit has been refrigerated for over 4 months and the pads for 3 months. I think just keeping them in cold water worked fine, they are still nice and firm, I will offer some as food tomorrow to see what the tortoises think about them. cactus jar.jpg cactus.jpg cut cactus.jpg
 

Blakem

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Thanks for experimenting for all of use to see.
 

wellington

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I have never heard of keeping the cactus or fruit in water like that. Something I will need to try. Now for the grasses and weed clippings, you put them in paper bags, but what is the hamper for? And where do,you keep the clippings until you feed?
Thanks for sharing, I want to try this.
 

Turtulas-Len

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I have never heard of keeping the cactus or fruit in water like that. Something I will need to try. Now for the grasses and weed clippings, you put them in paper bags, but what is the hamper for? And where do,you keep the clippings until you feed?
Thanks for sharing, I want to try this.
The hampers are used in the early process of drying, they are not necessary but for me they work, they allow for great air circulation and easy mixing up of the wet grass to reduce the chance of it molding. hamper.jpg After a while drying in the hamper I move the clippings tothose large heavy duty paper bags that are used for yard debris. When I am sure the clippings are dry I store the bags in sheds and the garage to keep them dry until needed.
 

Yvonne G

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Very interesting about the cactus. I would have thought it would rot.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Along with the Star tortoise an Impressed, a mee, and the yellow foots have eaten the refrigerated cactus, so it must smell and taste OK to a tortoise. Since I only did the 2 jars I am not going to feed everything off quick,( i could feed it all off today) I'm curious on how long it will keep once they are opened and some removed every day or so.
 
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