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Picky eaters

Zeus;s Mom

New Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Lincoln, NE
My two Russian Tortoises (Mozart and Ludwig) are picky eaters. I tried introducing them to kale and then bell peppers along with their spring mix, carrots, and red leaf lettuce (slim pickings at the grocery store right now). Do I continue adding the peppers and kale hoping they will like it or forget it?
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
231
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Bell pepper, kale, and carrot are not natural foods for this species.

The eat mainly what are called broadleaf weeds. In the foods store the nearest thing would be endive (the spear-like one) and dandelion. Dandelion, of course, can be found sprouting wild this time of year, as well as chicory and plantain over the next few weeks.

You can find several care guides and conversations about RTs here:

 

Zeus;s Mom

New Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Lincoln, NE
Bell pepper, kale, and carrot are not natural foods for this species.

The eat mainly what are called broadleaf weeds. In the foods store the nearest thing would be endive (the spear-like one) and dandelion. Dandelion, of course, can be found sprouting wild this time of year, as well as chicory and plantain over the next few weeks.

You can find several care guides and conversations about RTs here:

Then I have been looking at the wrong care sheet all this time. Thank you.
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,388
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Yes; there are all kinds of out of date plant lists floating around; it’s hard to know which one is right. The bell pepper and carrot have more sugar than your tortoise can digest. A bite every now again is fine.

Kale is in the brassica family, which contains things like turnips, radishes, broccoli, collards, cauliflower, mustard and much more. Brassicas, or their leaves for things like turnips are fine in moderation. They are high in calcium and reasonably good fiber. But they should not be the primary part of your tortoises diet. At the grocery store you can focus on the bitter lettuces: chicory, radicchio, endive.

Take a look at our Russian care sheet for food ideas: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/.

If you can only feed grocery store foods, you may wish to think about a supplement food, like Mazuri. It has the fiber and some other nutrients your tortoise needs. Just as a supplement.

You should not be housing two tortoises together; they are bullies. One of them may be bullying the other enough that it doesn’t get to the food. Tortoise bullying behavior is often not recognizable to humans, check this page out: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/.
 

Zeus;s Mom

New Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Lincoln, NE
Yes; there are all kinds of out of date plant lists floating around; it’s hard to know which one is right. The bell pepper and carrot have more sugar than your tortoise can digest. A bite every now again is fine.

Kale is in the brassica family, which contains things like turnips, radishes, broccoli, collards, cauliflower, mustard and much more. Brassicas, or their leaves for things like turnips are fine in moderation. They are high in calcium and reasonably good fiber. But they should not be the primary part of your tortoises diet. At the grocery store you can focus on the bitter lettuces: chicory, radicchio, endive.

Take a look at our Russian care sheet for food ideas: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/.

If you can only feed grocery store foods, you may wish to think about a supplement food, like Mazuri. It has the fiber and some other nutrients your tortoise needs. Just as a supplement.

You should not be housing two tortoises together; they are bullies. One of them may be bullying the other enough that it doesn’t get to the food. Tortoise bullying behavior is often not recognizable to humans, check this page out: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/.
Thank you for the help. I am Nebraska and we are several months away from good outside weeds.
 
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