My tortoise doesn't seem to like weeds so much...

harrythetortoise

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I recently started introducing Harry weeds from outside (chemical-free), such as: dandelions, violets, plantain, deadnettle, chickweed. He is about 7-8 months.
He LOVES the flowers of dandelions and violets, but nibbles at the others and goes back to his hide or to bask.
I got him in Dec of last year and have been feeding him grocery foods such as "dandelion leaves", cactus, "chicories", kale, endives, escarole, "zoo med grassland pellets" once in a while, etc.
Is he just not used to the new foods? Should I start mixing in both grocery greens and the weeds?

I weigh him every Saturday. Last Saturday he was 74g. For the first time since I got him, he lost weight, and yesterday weighed 72 g... I feel so bad!
 

harrythetortoise

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Virginia
I recently started introducing Harry weeds from outside (chemical-free), such as: dandelions, violets, plantain, deadnettle, chickweed. He is about 7-8 months.
He LOVES the flowers of dandelions and violets, but nibbles at the others and goes back to his hide or to bask.
I got him in Dec of last year and have been feeding him grocery foods such as "dandelion leaves", cactus, "chicories", kale, endives, escarole, "zoo med grassland pellets" once in a while, etc.
Is he just not used to the new foods? Should I start mixing in both grocery greens and the weeds?

I weigh him every Saturday. Last Saturday he was 74g. For the first time since I got him, he lost weight, and yesterday weighed 72 g... I feel so bad!
 

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ZenHerper

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Flowers are yummy - given the choice, it is not surprising they go first.

Try chopping everything down very small and mixing well so that the flowers can't be picked out of the pile.

Wild-grown weeds are stronger flavor and texture than cultivated greens produced for the (picky) human market. Transition more slowly by chopping and mixing.

Be sure that your other environmental parameters are Optimal...temps out of range will prevent your tort choosing more robust leaf options.
 

harrythetortoise

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Flowers are yummy - given the choice, it is not surprising they go first.

Try chopping everything down very small and mixing well so that the flowers can't be picked out of the pile.

Wild-grown weeds are stronger flavor and texture than cultivated greens produced for the (picky) human market. Transition more slowly by chopping and mixing.

Be sure that your other environmental parameters are Optimal...temps out of range will prevent your tort choosing more robust leaf options.
Thank you, I will start chopping and mixing!
 

Sarah2020

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Yes chop fine and mix. Also they eat when warm so ensure basking is provided and the environment heat and light is set up correctly. If it sleeps in the hide then you an try in morning to bring it out and place under basking lamp and have fresh food prepared and in the enclosure so they can eat even ready.
Well done for weighing as this is a great way to check growth and flag issues.
 

harrythetortoise

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Yes chop fine and mix. Also they eat when warm so ensure basking is provided and the environment heat and light is set up correctly. If it sleeps in the hide then you an try in morning to bring it out and place under basking lamp and have fresh food prepared and in the enclosure so they can eat even ready.
Well done for weighing as this is a great way to check growth and flag issues.
Thank you! Watching him grow has been my joy🤩
Heat and humidity are set up well and have not changed. I will keep an eye on his weight change next week... hopefully the decrease in the weight was only temporary!
 

Tom

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I recently started introducing Harry weeds from outside (chemical-free), such as: dandelions, violets, plantain, deadnettle, chickweed. He is about 7-8 months.
He LOVES the flowers of dandelions and violets, but nibbles at the others and goes back to his hide or to bask.
I got him in Dec of last year and have been feeding him grocery foods such as "dandelion leaves", cactus, "chicories", kale, endives, escarole, "zoo med grassland pellets" once in a while, etc.
Is he just not used to the new foods? Should I start mixing in both grocery greens and the weeds?

I weigh him every Saturday. Last Saturday he was 74g. For the first time since I got him, he lost weight, and yesterday weighed 72 g... I feel so bad!
Tortoises are creatures of habit. They tend to shun new things and eat what they are used to eating. It takes weeks or months to slowly introduce new foods. Be patient. Keep trying. Start with tiny amounts of the new stuff mixed in with finely chopped old favorites.
 

harrythetortoise

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Tortoises are creatures of habit. They tend to shun new things and eat what they are used to eating. It takes weeks or months to slowly introduce new foods. Be patient. Keep trying. Start with tiny amounts of the new stuff mixed in with finely chopped old favorites.
I will! Thank you. Going to pick up his favorite greens from H-Mart today.
 

RosemaryDW

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Two grams isn’t even a poop’s worth. :)

I know it’s hard when it’s your first tortoise but try not to worry about very small fluctuations of growth, especially when you’re weighing him every week.

H Mart has some really great things to try: ong choy; squash leaves (sometimes); yam pea (sweet potato leaf); aa choy; Malabar spinach; something that may be marked as Chinese mallow or just plain mallow. Also turnip leaves without the turnips themselves. A much better tortoise feeding option than a general Asian market, at least in my area.
 

harrythetortoise

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Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Two grams isn’t even a poop’s worth. :)

I know it’s hard when it’s your first tortoise but try not to worry about very small fluctuations of growth, especially when you’re weighing him every week.

H Mart has some really great things to try: ong choy; squash leaves (sometimes); yam pea (sweet potato leaf); aa choy; Malabar spinach; something that may be marked as Chinese mallow or just plain mallow. Also turnip leaves without the turnips themselves. A much better tortoise feeding option than a general Asian market, at least in my area.
Thank you for your reassurance! I will try not to freak out so much 😊
Unfortunately the H-Mart I go to doesn't stock mallows anymore - maybe it is a seasonal thing?
I chopped the weeds&flowers today and mixed the zoo med pellet with it and he has eaten a great deal more than before. I am so relieved.
I got some grocery greens this evening, and will mix them in with weeds tomorrow.
 
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