Short vacation and tortoise not eating


Mar 1, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Alabama
Before anything is said I know that everyone says don’t leave them alone. The “but” is I didn’t have anyone that I could rely on anyway. So here is the story with questions to follow.

I have 3 adult female Redfoot and 6 Russians all above 4.5 inches in separate enclosures. Each enclosure is planted with approximately 18 different types of plants all edible and automated watering. I left all the tortoise in the enclosures when I left on Wednesday and returned Sunday night. When I returned I checked to make sure the Redfoot were all there (easiest to see) and all was good. The Russians were hard to find so only located a couple in the dark. This morning went to check them and it looks like a weed eater had been used in the Russian enclosure. They mainly consumed Pansies, Petunias, Cactus, Aloe, Kale and Kalanchoe plants and a few weeds. They didn’t eat any of the grasses from what I can tell. The Redfoot enclosure looks completely untouched except 2 small Kale plants that had been eaten on one side. I made them some Mazuri pellets and placed them near it and they went right to eating.

I can’t figure out what is going on with the three Redfoot they will eat almost anything I put on a plate or in a dog dish but don’t seem interested in planted foods. They also have a small pool to swim in but I have never seen them use it and the water is still clean.

  1. Anyone else with a tortoise that seems to be institutionalized to a wooden box indoors?

  2. How do I get them to eat the enclosure plants?


Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
If you're set on them eating your outdoor plants put those in a bowl and slowly offer less and less until they're eating plants all on their own. A few days on food strike is not a danger to a well hydrated adult tortoise.


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I take mazuri, soak it really good in enough water that there is water left over. I then smash up the mazuri really good, so there are no big chunks. I then take all of it, including the water and I spread it over the plants/weeds I want them too graze on. As they try to eat the mazuri they smell, they get the plants. Doing this a few times, should have them eating the plants without the use of mazuri.

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