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My Russian torts top 10 favourite foods so far, what's yours?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by lymcBoris, May 16, 2019.

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  1. lymcBoris

    lymcBoris Member

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    Hi all. We've had our gorgeous 20 month old Boris for a month and a half now and I'm really getting in to identification of weeds for him here in Scotland. I love trying him with new weeds that I find as the season progresses into summer. It's so satisfying when he really likes one. So here are Boris's top 10 favourites so far that I thought I'd share. Hopefully you can share your torts favourites. All have been checked on the Tortoise table website as safe.

    10. Catsear
    9. Ribwort Plantain
    8. Pink Purslane flowers
    7. Nipplewort
    6. Dandelion
    5. Opposite leaved Golden Saxifrage
    4. Welsh Poppy
    3. Aloe Vera
    2. Common Dog Violet (beautiful little flower - I feel bad picking it)

    And drumroll for the top fave food of Boris is.......

    1. The mighty Bugle! - he devours the entire stem in minutes!

    Obviously all of the above are fed as part of a very varied and mixed diet and some only in moderation, i.e Aloe Vera and his beloved Bugle, but boy does he love that Bugle. I'm sure there will be many more favourites to come as more summer flowers bloom, but just had to share as it's so enjoyable. And my friends are getting a bit tired of my rambling and veering off on walks while they are in mid conversation with me, as I spot a new flower for my sweet little tort's breakfast
    Thanks, Lynne
    puffinboots, NinjaTorts and Greta16 like this.
  2. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    You obviously have never tried hibiscus flower, grape leaves, dandelion flower. Hibiscus is tortoise crack
    C. Nelson likes this.
  3. lymcBoris

    lymcBoris Member

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    He loves Dandelion flowers, but no not tried hibiscus or grape leaves yet. I'm growing a load of seeds that I ordered from shelled warriors, so looking forward to those. I wouldn't even know where to find grape leaves? I'll need to get some safe hibiscus!
  4. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My redfoot loves dandelion greens but refuses their flowers....

    J
  5. lymcBoris

    lymcBoris Member

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    Such different palate's .
  6. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Mazuri and dandelion flowers. If he spots a dandelion flower, he runs straight to it, lol.
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  7. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My little dude will run through a brick wall for Mazuri.
  8. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    All of them, lol. After four years outside, our Russian will eat near anything, it feels like.

    Outdoors in our yard her year round favorites are yarrow, desert primrose, and a wild snapdragon that is more like a shrub. If we could keep buttercups alive, they’d top the list. She has plenty of flowers to choose from, other than the flowers on the primrose she only seems to intensely care for rose petals and the flowers from our tacoma stans.

    From foods brought in I’d say her favorites are bittermelon leaves and zucchini (marrow), the fruit, not the leaves, which she oddly does not care for.

    I’d have an easier time figuring out what she does not like!
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  9. Greta16

    Greta16 Active Member

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    What does your desert primrose look like. I have 2 different types in my garden, 1 I've read is a no feed.
  10. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Desert primrose doesn’t look much like cultivated or the wild primroses on your side of the country and it’s actually a completely different plant. And listed as a safe to feed. It’s common here in Southern California landscaping because it’s drought tolerant. This is the variety most people grow, close up.

    B10FEE02-3508-4FEC-85B9-B0F7ED57DE49.jpeg

    Desert primrose is a western desert tortoise food. It’s like crack to my Russian. Her first year she just like the flowers, the second she liked the entire plant, and the third she started eating it even during those months when it wasn’t flowering or even actively growing.
  11. Greta16

    Greta16 Active Member

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    Mine is def different.
  12. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    Definite signs of being addicted.
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  13. el_mechacontext

    el_mechacontext New Member

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    Dandelion, hands down. My Russian really likes the color of carrots and will bite absolutely anything with that orange hue, but we don't feed those to him too often. I never thought to feed him hibiscus, grape leaves or violets! We have a bunch of those around us.
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  14. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    If those plants are not on your property, please make sure they're pesticide-free
  15. el_mechacontext

    el_mechacontext New Member

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    Hmm, I haven't really checked on that, so that might be a good idea. Might you know of any good store-bought alternatives I could use until I confirm that?
  16. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    It's not the easiest thing to do but if you can work up the courage to ask your neighbors, do it. My neighbors down the street have a wild grape that grows massively. They don't do anything to it and they are delighted to have me take some leaves.

    It's probably the same for many hibiscus owners; they are so hardy (at least where I live) there isn't much need to use pesticides.

    Since you're in a big city, you may have some other options near you in ethnic grocery stores. Do you have any hispanic, Asian or Persian markets nearby? Other cultures eat things we consider weeds.
    el_mechacontext and lymcBoris like this.
  17. C. Nelson

    C. Nelson Member

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    I planted red clover and my Russians love that! Their favorite is dandelion and hibiscus. In the winter, they love radicchio and endive.
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  18. Farcryjj

    Farcryjj Member

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    Mine favors blueberries and dandelion flowers.
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  19. lymcBoris

    lymcBoris Member

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    I didn't think fruit was good for Russians? Or do you mean the flowers?
  20. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    Fruit indeed is not good for russians
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