picky eater

RainsOn

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This thread has been helpful but I need some tailored advice.
Digger took a liking to some veggies that I found out he should not have, according to Tortoise Menu.com. (Not sure why I decided to give them to him to start with. Must have read it somewhere - I bought a book. Winter indoors was a challenge with food and when pickings were lean, I reverted to a variety of vegetables. He still ate Spring Mix from the store and got some herbs and his vitamins.)
NOW . . . he wants those veggies and refuses anything else. Last summer, he pigged out on the leaves. He will have an occasional dandelion or strawberry top but he can't live on that. He won't have anything to do with the Spring Mix or any of the house or garden plants I am cultivating: prayer plant, spider plant, wandering Jew or succulents. He ignores, primrose, thistles and various grasses.
Our weather has been cool and stormy with lots of rain and his time outdoors this spring has been limited so far. He gets a warm water soak 3 times a week and is allowed to roam on the floor occasionally. My cat thinks Digger is his pet and the dog runs from him. He is still doing the dance by rubbing his butt against the log he sleeps in and I can see new bright color on his shell.
His terrarium hovers in the high 80's and I keep humidity up with 14 hours of light and heat; dropping to low to mid 70's at night.
I am going to try the carrot soaks and see if that will stimulate him to eat something else.
He is due for his annual check up in July.
Any other advice?
Am I over thinking this? Is it just a matter of time and tough love? :<3: o_O
 

dclockwood

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Mines favorites were Belgian Endive and Kale for a long time. I did see turnip greens on a list here somewhere which he has taken to well. But I have much less experience with tortoises than companion mammals so I am still absorbing ad much as possible. I am hoping to find a tech seminar focused on exotics this year for when I do CE courses.
 

RainsOn

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I also have more experience with mammals - did rehab for orphaned mammals. This amphibian is a total new experience much to his chagrin. I feel like a parent with their first child; it's all experiment for the child.
About two hours after my last post and a trip to the store for Gerber carrots, he started eating the greens again. Isn't it amazing how animals love to make liars out of us?
I think there is a feeding cycle here that is based on weather temps. He ate everything I gave him last summer when he was out in 90+ temps. Since I brought him in, he has gradually gotten picky with fewer leafy options. I am thinking, as he gets warmer with natural outdoor heat, he will eat better.
Thanks for the tips on the greens. Will look for them at the store today.
;)
 

leigti

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Sometimes it takes a tortoise a while to get used to new food. They may not eat it the first two or three times you give it and then one day pig out like it's the best thing ever. I also think most tortoises eat better outside. You can try growing your own food from tortoise seed mixes. They may not eat it at first but eventually they will.
 

RainsOn

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Thanks for the advice. I went through the "seed" thing with disastrous results. He is getting out more these days. He has started eating enough to stay alive (I think) and I am exercising tough love by offering leaves every day with dandelions and cucumber only AFTER he has eaten leaves.
Not sure which of us is more stubborn. - :rolleyes:
 

Yvonne G

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I always try to entice a picky eater with some romaine, or even iceburg lettuce. You try anything to get them eating again. But they can go without food for a very long time, and waiting a few days to see if he'll eat again, is not out of line. If you try to entice with lettuce and all that's wrong is he was too full to eat that day, then you're starting the bad habit where he'll hold out for more lettuce.
 

RainsOn

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Isn't it amazing how stubborn they can be for so little a creature??? :mad:
He has met his match in me - with the help of Tortoise Forum. :cool:
He is definitely NOT too full. When he gets to go outside, he grazes in his habitat. Our weather has been so rainy and unseasonably cool that his transfer to outdoors 24/7 has been delayed. I swear he is pouting. :rolleyes:
You can't tell me these little people don't have personality. They think, too.o_O
 

ZEROPILOT

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Eating is a good sign. It's a sign that you just have a stubborn and spoiled tortoise. Mix it up finely chopped, the good with the "bad" and use less and less of the bad.
I had a serious Mazuri addiction that I remedied this way.
 

Lyn W

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My leopard couldn't get enough of fresh grass, dandies and plantains etc last summer then over winter we had to rely somewhat on Florette crispy salad and ground dried grass, Now the weeds are back he isn't too keen on them and will actually pick them out - I wonder why!!:rolleyes: He has been spoilt rotton - so doing as others have suggested weening him off the salad mix by mixing in the weeds and he is gradually having more and more. They really can be like spoilt children can't they?:)
 

RainsOn

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P.S. We found something new that he likes - and can have. Kale! He is eating this along with the spring mix and a few greens and flowers from the yard. Still not devouring like he did early winter (when he stopped trying to sleep 24/7) but I'm thinking our cold, rainy weather may have something to do with it. Even though he is inside, I think their biological senses are keen enough to tune in on the outdoor conditions; especially, since he gets out on a sunny afternoon. o_O
I soaked him in carrots for the first time - just for health maintenance, and let him roam my studio for awhile. It was a little funny: I put him in the carrots and he stool still with his neck stretched as to ask, "What the heck is going on?" :D
 
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