Russian Tortoise--pooping in small "nuggets"?


New Member
Jul 17, 2016

Below I've attached some pictures--my Russian tort Ivan, who I've had for around 4 or 5 years, and what his poops have been looking like recently.

For the past couple of weeks, his poops have been coming out in these small "nuggets" rather than continuous, larger pieces. At first I wasn't too worried, because my time with Ivan has shown me that the timing/nature of tortoise poop is usually sort of arbitrary and unpredictable! The actual substance of the poop itself seems healthy--firm, dark green/brownish in color--but I'm starting to get a little worried that there just isn't enough of it. I'm used to seeing much larger poops from Ivan. Are these "nuggets" anything to be concerned about?

As for husbandry, I've been keeping Ivan indoors for the past few months because the winters here in Boise can be pretty severe temperature-wise (in the summer/spring, I keep him outside during the day). In the daytime, I keep his enclosure at 80+ degrees fahrenheit and around 35% humidity. I've been soaking him about 2 times a week. Since it's cold outside and there aren't many weeds growing this time of year, his diet recently has consisted of mostly store-bought greens or spring mixes. Kale, chard, etc. with some carrots thrown in every once in a while, and supplemented with Mazuri. He hasn't been eating a ton lately, which seems normal for him this season, but I'm still used to seeing larger (and more) poops from him.

I don't think it's dehydration, because his urates have seemed pretty healthy, and I've been keeping up on his soaks. He seems pretty active and alert, like in the picture below which is from an indoor walk from earlier today. My guess right now is that he hasn't been getting enough fiber, but I wanted to pose this to the Tortoise Forum and see what folks think.

Much thanks for any and all advice!

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