Marginated meat eater?

Charles K

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Jul 5, 2017
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Good morning everyone!

As my little Leif (3 year old marginated tortoise) has been getting bigger (and cant fit under the cupboards or couch anymore) we've been letting him wander the house more. Almost every time I let him out he tries to eat the dogfood! Today we had some old lunch meat that we were giving to the cats. One of the cats dragged it down on to the ground out of the dish and my little Leif started eating that too! I generally keep a pretty close eye on him when he's walking around, but some time he sneaks over to the food and gets a few bites before I notice. Is this something I should worry about? He is getting bigger now. Would he eat bugs and whatnot out in the wild that maybe he is trying to replace?
 

Ink

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Don't let him walk around the house. Does he have an enclosure?
 

Charles K

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Jul 5, 2017
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Don't let him walk around the house. Does he have an enclosure?
He does have an enclosure. He really loves being able to wander the house, though. Why should he not? I've seen that a lot of larger tortoises are free to wander their owner's homes.
 

ZenHerper

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Tortoises on floors:

*get cold and cannot digest, metabolize, run their immune and cardiovascular systems properly
*get cold and develop respiratory infections
*pick up and swallow non-food items
*get stepped on
*get smashed in doors
*fall down stairs
*sneak outdoors and disappear

Just a few of the hazards.

************************

As regards meat proteins: Testudo species in the wild are known to eat invertebrates, insects, and scat from carnivores. Processed dog food and lunch meats are not good choices. For an otherwise healthy and well-hydrated adult animal, a few earthworms or super mealworms a week is fine.
 

Charles K

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
8
Tortoises on floors:

*get cold and cannot digest, metabolize, run their immune and cardiovascular systems properly
*get cold and develop respiratory infections
*pick up and swallow non-food items
*get stepped on
*get smashed in doors
*fall down stairs
*sneak outdoors and disappear

Just a few of the hazards.

************************

As regards meat proteins: Testudo species in the wild are known to eat invertebrates, insects, and scat from carnivores. Processed dog food and lunch meats are not good choices. For an otherwise healthy and well-hydrated adult animal, a few earthworms or super mealworms a week is fine.
I always make sure to get him in his house when he starts to get cold. As for the other hazards they are all minimized already with keeping everyone aware of him being out, having no stairs in our house, and daily sweeping with the roomba. We're very careful with our baby. <3

I don't purposely feed him dog food or lunch meat, I just wanted to make sure he would be okay if he finds an piece now and then.

Has anyone else had their tortoise seek out such things? He knows where the dog food usually is and always tries to get some.
 

Tom

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I always make sure to get him in his house when he starts to get cold. As for the other hazards they are all minimized already with keeping everyone aware of him being out, having no stairs in our house, and daily sweeping with the roomba. We're very careful with our baby. <3

I don't purposely feed him dog food or lunch meat, I just wanted to make sure he would be okay if he finds an piece now and then.

Has anyone else had their tortoise seek out such things? He knows where the dog food usually is and always tries to get some.
In the wild they are opportunistic. Because we meet their nutritional needs in other ways in our captive environments, there is no need for them to be eating meat. While a tiny piece now and then won't kill the tortoise, it is not good for them as their long GI tracts don't handle that sort of food well. Over time, it can do damage.

Tortoises should never be loose on the floor. It cannot be made safe, and it will eventually lead to a disaster. We see it here all the time. Everyone thinks it is safe. If they didn't think it was safe, they wouldn't do it. The problem is that they are wrong. It is NOT safe, and cannot be made safe no matter how careful you think you are being. Most people learn this lesson the hard way and at the expense of the tortoise. They think its fine, and the mean guy on the internet doesn't know what he's talking about, right up until the day they realize they were wrong and its too late. If you don't want your tortoise to die in one of many horrific ways, leave it in its enclosures. If the enclosure is too small, make it bigger. Same thing goes for outside.
 
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