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Starting from scratch

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Violanna, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Violanna

    Violanna Member

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    So we are getting our tortoise next week from the local pet store. They say it’s a Greek, but I’ll get that confirmed once we have it.

    That said our indoor enclosure for winter is finished and I’d like to plant a few edibles in there both for decoration, diet, and to give more hiding spots. I’m little concerned with this being a store bought tortoise that it will be difficult to adjust to a fresh diet, so I only want things that are 100% safe. I did buy some of the food the store feeds it, so I don’t shock digestion. I love some ideas on things that I can plant in the enclosure even if they will be completely eaten in a week. I’m starting with a few pansies that I don’t expect to last. I want an aloe plant also, probably in a raised pot, I also have seen spider plants are good.. but they look exactly like other plants that I’ve seen are poisonous..help?

    I also would love ideas of things I can look for and grow outside. We will do veggie treats but I’d really like to do a mostly fresh picked diet. Thanks ahead of time

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  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Active Member

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    Hi! Congrats on your new tortoise!
    Have you read this care sheet?

    www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/

    This is a good read too...

    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

    I don't know much about Greeks as I have Russians but I hope you find some good info in those links. Beware that pet stores give terrible care instructions and information. There is also lots of bad info online. This forum is very trustworthy though. There is a whole diet section that would be helpful too. I also recommend the tortoisetable.uk as a good place to start. They tend to be overly cautious with what to feed but like I said... it's a good place to start. Have fun! Post pics when you get your tort.
  3. Violanna

    Violanna Member

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    That’s the site I’m using as a reference I’m totally ignoring anything the pet store tells me. The only reason we are getting one there is it’s our first one, and it’s a gift for my son.
  4. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Welcome!

    I’m not much good with indoor enclosure ideas but if you are looking to grow a pre selected, varied and appropriate fresh diet, I strongly encourage buying one of the commercial tortoise seed mixes on the market, either from Tortoise Supply or or Carolina Pet Supply. They’ll be labeled either as “broadleaf” or testudo blends. Grow them in a raised bed or a large planter. If you want to plant single seeds, they sell plenty of those as well but for a single tortoise, a blend is the way to go.

    You’ll need to work in some additional fiber. Plant a hibiscus bush or a mulberry tree; grow some squash vines when it’s warm. You’ll have access to a hispanic market near you; they will sell cactus, labeled nopales. It’s excellent tortoise food. You might still have to add in a dried food source, to supplement fiber. Mazuri is the most common one. Get the smallest bag you can.

    I’m glad to see you’re steeled with patience! Tortoises can take a loooooong time to turn their food preferences around but they won’t starve themselves.
  5. Violanna

    Violanna Member

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    Thank you! I had no idea there were tortoise seed blends! All my local garden suppliers have already stopped carrying seeds for the season so I’ve been struggling to find plants I know are safe. Too often I’ve seen plants mislabeled in Home Depot and Walmart, so I’m very nervous to buy just ANYTHING. And unfortunately we don’t have many edible weeds on my property, we have wild flowers galore, but so far the only one I’ve identified is morning glory which is unsafe
  6. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Lots of flowers grow on plants that are safe! There are a billion (approximately) safe foods that don’t show on the primary lists we use here, or on the website the “Tortoise Table,” which we strongly encourage owners to check out. There are just too many plants in the world to track in a single place. :)

    If you know the name of what is growing near you, you can search this site and get plenty of feedback from experienced owners as to whether others feed it. If you have no clue what a plant is, take a few good pictures and post them to the subforum here, called plant identification; we can help you out.
  7. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Be aware of store bought plants. They are often treated with pesticides and other chemicals. They should not be fed to torts for at least a year.
  8. Violanna

    Violanna Member

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    I live in farm country so I have a bunch of organic nurseries near by
    Cheryl Hills likes this.
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