Question about Food for Russian Tortoise

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Hamburger15

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I was just doing some reading. I feed my Russian Tortoise primarily greens. Green collards, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, etc. I through carrots sometimes in there. He gets about 4 oz in the morning, and then a little more later in the day (about 2 oz of food). I put a little sprinkle of calcium in his food. However, I don't know how much calcium to give him. Should I be giving him anything else? Any protein? How often and how much calcium should I be giving him? Thanks.
 

dmmj

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no animal protein, they get it from the greens. As for calcium I think sprinkling (lightly) his food three times a week won't hurt, also provide a cuttlebone for him.
 

jeffbens0n

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Just make sure you mix it up. Provide him with a wide variety of dark leafy greens, give him some weeds from outside also if you are able.
 

GBtortoises

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Russian tortoises will do well on a diet of primarily leafy greens. The list of foods is almost endless that they can and will consume. The key to maintaining good health is quality and variety. A partial lists of greens that Russians can be fed includes: clover, dandelion, crown vetch, broad and narrow leaf plantain, chicory, lambsquarter, purslane, sow thistle and many other wild weeds along with escarole, endive, romaine, mustard, collard & beet greens, swiss chard, green and red leaf lettuce, kale and sparingly spinach and cabbage. There are also many more greens available.
Generally Russians aren't eager vegetable eaters but a small percentage, 10-15% of their whole diet can be offered for additional vitamins and minerals. Again the list is long including some of the following: squashes, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, green & yellow beans, peas and corn. No additional protein should be fed to them. With a good varied diet they should get all they need naturally from their foods.
Fruit should not be part of their diet.
The opinion on calcium needs and amounts required vary amoung keepers. I do not sprinkle any calcium on my tortoises food but offer it seperately in the form of either powder or cuttlebone (depending upon tortoise size) for them to consume as they want to. I have found over the years that different species and different ages of tortoises consume varying amounts at different times of the year and during their growth process.
As well as the above Russians will occasionally consume hay too. Many do not, but some do infrequently. A good timothy hay, occasionally some alfalfa hay and others can be offered. I have often watched my Russian tortoises pick through the hay for dried flowers and leaves.
Clean fresh drinking water should either be available at all times, or the tortoise should be watered (soaked) every two three days or both in order to remain well hydrated.
 
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