Please help with my spring mix selection

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GregUnd

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My local store was out of ReadyPac so I went with central market brand organic spring mix. I picked out all of the identifiable spinach, but I kept coming across this one particular leaf, it tastes a lot like spinach, but doesn't look like it. I think it's either a beet top or Red Chard, can anyone identify it? Also, there wasn't a lot of spinach in there, just a handful of leafs. As I am new to tortoise diets, can you please help me determine if this is an acceptable diet.

The contents are: Red romaine, green oak, red oak, green leaf, lolla rossa, red leaf, little gem, tango, green romaine, tat soi, red chard, red mustard, arugula, beet tops, frisse, and radicchio.

Thanks a bunch!
 

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John

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I think everyting else is probably o.k, the spinach is the worst, the chard won't kill him and small amounts are probably o.k but he doesn't need it. Now that its spring here I don't use store produce at all, my torts get grass,weeds, mazuri and cactus.
 

GregUnd

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To try and make his transition from Tyler Stewart's place to his new home as easy as possible I tried to mimic the diet he was used to. Tyler was feeding him Ready Pac spring mix daily, with mazuri mixed in 3 days a weeks. Since my local store was out of ReadyPac I got him "the good stuff" from central market, roughly $3.50 an ounce of organic spring mix. After taking out all the spinach and red chard, I was left with about 3.75 ounces of goods out of 5 ounces. He seemed to enjoy it VERY much, he actually sat and ate for over 35minutes.... Man is he strong, I've got 4 inches of cypress bedding in his "living quarters", he pushes the cypress out of his way like nothing and can burrow down to the bottom with his butt up against a wall! I have yet to see how he does this but I'm very interested in how... I can see burrowing down that far facing a wall, but with his butt against the wall.... I dunno.

Tomorrow I'm gonna research what kind of plants I can plant in his enclosure, he seems like he needs something in there to stimulate him, I've thought very seriously about getting him a buddy too.
 

tortoisenerd

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Agree to pick out spinach and red chard if you can (I use it for my salad). I would much prefer that organic brand with more variety. Any kind of lettuce mix should be very recognizable to him. Do watch as sometimes they list a lot of stuff but only include a portion if it (more to be aware exactly what you are feeding). I have even found ingredients added that are not listed. The more variety you can add to the spring mix (after this initial time) the better.

Torts don't need buddies. I'd see how you do with one adult Sulcata before adding another. Torts just aren't that active/stimulated, especially babies. Watching them eat is the best part of the day. :) That said, the larger enclosure and the more cage furnishings, the better, as long as you can keep increasing the size as he grows. I like plastic plants as they are much easier to deal with, but there are many safe plants to put in an enclosure (its just a bit tough to get them to grow indoors in substrate). Look for organic or plant for seeds. Second choice is stuff from a nursery meant for humans (veggie and salad type plants). Avoid non-organic nursery plants as even after re-planting or washing, they can have high pesticide levels for a year.

Congrats on the tort!
 

Laura

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he doesnt Need a buddy.. but if you can afford to have two seperate enclosures with all the lights etc.. then go for it!
if they come from the same place, you can house together.. but not all torts want a friend or get along with others...
 

Madkins007

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While a lot of people would have you discard chard and spinach, there is not much reason to worry about it in a balanced, varied diet.

The big concern in these plants is oxylic acid, which binds with calcium to make it unavailable. It only binds the calcium in that food- it does not seek and destroy other calcium, and a small amount of oxylic acid is actually helpful- the bound calcium crystals help clean out the system and actually allows better iron absorption.

You should also know that vitamin A helps offset the problems of oxylic acid, and both spinach and chard are high in vitamin A.

Chard contains about 0.68mg in 100 grams of food, and spinach has 0.65. Lambsquarters has about 30mg/100g- a much higher dose. Rhubarb has between 1.43 and .86, depending on how you measure it (and there are several different ways to do so.) (www.elook.org/nutrients, and http://oxalicacidinfo.com/)

Wild tortoises often eat plants that are so full of oxylic acid that they are listed as toxic for humans, but do not affect the tortoise at all.

The claim is that excess oxalates can deprive the tortoise of calcium- not a problem in a balanced, varied diet- and that excess oxalates can build up and cause bladder stones or similar problems. This is not supported by clinical research. It is likely that it happens in a dehydrated tortoise, but then the dehydration is the key issue, not the oxalates. (source- Dr. Douglas Mader "Reptile Medicine and Surgery")

Spring mix is usually a bit low in calcium anyway. Sprinkle it lightly with calcium powder once in a while, and that alone will counteract the nasty oxalates. Problem solved!
 

Yvonne G

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Tortoises are solitary creatures. The only time they come together is when looking for a mate. At other times, they'd just as soon not have to share their hiding place or food. Redfoot tortoises seem to get along quite well in groups, but other tortoises would just as soon not have company. That doesn't mean that they CAN'T be kept together, just that they prefer not to.
 
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