Stars Eating Cactus Pads

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Interesting, thanks.

Jamie

PS- I planted ten pads in sandy soil a month or so ago, and haven't seen any new growth ... should I dig them up to feed to my Darwin or just give them more time?
The cacti have a special way of growing that differs from other plant species. They need heat and long days, and the spectrum of sunshine and brightness that comes from spring and summer. They sit there dormant in winter in most cases. As long as they get full sun and lots of heat, they should start showing new growth in the next few months as we move into spring.

Give them more time.
 

Stoneman

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I've pondered that many times, but desert tortoises eat the fully spined versions of this daily and come to no harm. The fully spined opuntia has been introduced to Madagascar and the local farmers use it to protect their crops from the local wildlife by encircling their fields with it. The local radiata tortoises just walk right up and eat it, spines and all. So even non-native species can eat it with no problems. When I get glochids in my hands or forearms, I sometimes use my teeth to get them out and hen spit them away. I've never had a glochid or spine get stuck in my teeth or lips. I wonder if saliva helps prevent getting stuck by the little glochids?

I don't have the answer, but I've been feeding it to all of my tortoises for many years and I haven't seen any issue yet.
I have a hypothesis. I wonder if the fluids soften the spikes. Cacti are dry plants, but perhaps if the spines get wet, they are like spagetti. Hard and stiff when dry, flexible and lacking the ability to hold the rigidity to penetrate. It could be testable by soaking some spines in water. Unfortunately I do not have any nearby, or I would test it. This still does not dispute the fact that they are still potentially poking their mouths while eating them. There is no way they would become soft instantaneously.

Our insides are very interesting. I have heard of people chewing and eating glass, over time. Without health detriments. My understanding of how the digestive system works leads me to believe this would instantly be the end. Shows how little I know.

Thanks for the info Tom, that's fascinating.
 

Blackdog1714

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Interesting, thanks.

Jamie

PS- I planted ten pads in sandy soil a month or so ago, and haven't seen any new growth ... should I dig them up to feed to my Darwin or just give them more time?
The first year is bellow the soil line growth. Be patient that will get running this coming season
 

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