The Tortoise Chef

Kapidolo Farms

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I flavor them with different things. The first thing was Aloe juice (100% pure juice). Then I tried mashed opuntia cactus. In both cases enough to thoroughly moisten the pellets so they break up readily.

Some time later I started using cold brew hibiscus tea. The hibiscus used for tea is a different species than the one commonly found in gardens. I put some hibiscus in a yogurt container or other small plastic tub, pour cold water over it, just enough to cover, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, then use that water to moisten/soften the pellets. Now it's both colored and flavored. Rose hips work well too.


How do you get yours to eat the pellets? I have a Sulcata and a Herman’s tortoise and they won’t touch them. They mostly get their leafy greens.
 

DawnVaughn

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Thank you for your advice. I will try that. I have softened some with water and put it in a blender with Romain and bell peppers. It hasn’t been touched. I’ll try it like that.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I have never tried blender-ing things, I see it's not so uncommon. You loose some of the fiber effect. Not too weird a thing to do for just hatched tortoises, but still seems un-necessary. They are living off yolk for awhile even after hatching. Many babies will eat solid food right away, and even their egg shell, in a few cases, while still not fully hatched.

Soaking can be a double edge sword of a habit in preparing foods. Many nutrients are water soluble, and if you use too much water some of the nutrients can be lost to the 'extra' water. I have gotten pretty good at estimating how much water is needed. I also manually break the pellets up and mix with greens - chopped to the size that works for the tortoises.


Thank you for your advice. I will try that. I have softened some with water and put it in a blender with Romain and bell peppers. It hasn’t been touched. I’ll try it like that.
 

JeffR

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This is a thread about what you actually feed out. @Yvonne G , my 'tortoise wife', posted this scrumptious fare with a description here http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/live-naked-people.126107/page-19#post-1472245

View attachment 204330

Other wonderful meals by other members are @Anyfoot here http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/live-naked-people.126107/page-11#post-1371343 TFO said the file was too big to repost your image.

I started a thread some time ago about 'grocery store greens good' here http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/grocery-store-greens-good.81609/

I do "get it" that free range/graze is great for a few tortoises in a very large outdoor enclosure. But I have more tortoises than outdoor enclosure, so the grocery store is the tortoise food life for me.

I buy at Restaurant Depot and some wholesalers who will sell COD to some weird guy that wants to buy case quantities for tortoises. Sometime Costco and Smart and Final have better prices. H-Mart a limited national grocery chain (Korean foods, bigger than most grocery stores though, their produce section is bigger than a small grocery store) has many wonderful things for a tortoise chef.

I don't know if Julia Child would approve of the title "tortoise chef" but that's okay.

This thread is about grocery store greens prepared to be a good diet.

@RosemaryDW please share your culinary tortoise talent.
 

RosemaryDW

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Thank you for your advice. I will try that. I have softened some with water and put it in a blender with Romain and bell peppers. It hasn’t been touched. I’ll try it like that.
I don’t think sulcatas or Hermans should be eating bell peppers regularly, they are pretty high in sugar. Did you get that feeding advice from this forum? I’m no sulcata expert so I will hope an experienced owner will speak up.
 
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I soak the dried dandelion or hibiscus overnight in extra water and poor it off to soak a mixture of laying crumbles and zoo med pellets. My Herman’s have learned to love it (months of offering) but I’m still working on my leopard to love it. It Sure adds to variety. But so darn hard to get them used to things. I have experimented with a lot of things at kapidolo farms and enjoy the options. (Even if the torts don’t)
 

Salspi

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Sorry if you have already covered this, but are my jade plant leaves safe to feed to my tortoises?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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The tortoise table is suggesting feed modestly due to oxalates. Oxalates are NOT an issue.
As long as the tortoise has free choice of foods, no 'moderation is needed. I have found most tortoises do not seem to find this plant appetizing. Many sedums seemed to be preferred. Or opuntia cactus, which also has a good fiber profile and a great deal of calcium.

Sorry if you have already covered this, but are my jade plant leaves safe to feed to my tortoises?
 

Salspi

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thank you - so if i just put a few plants in the enclosure and let them decide if they want to eat it, that should be an ok idea? Or can they over indulge on their own?
 

KarenSoCal

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thank you - so if i just put a few plants in the enclosure and let them decide if they want to eat it, that should be an ok idea? Or can they over indulge on their own?
You can just put the plants in and let them decide, within reason. You don't want them to eat so much jade plant that they don't want dinner. But I don't think that happens very often.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Over indulge on their own, is possible. Like people and donuts, it comes down to the individual. If some is available among a wide range of things to eat, and a tortoise goes nuts for it, maybe once in a while that is okay, but also informative. That tortoise is thinking it needs something that's in the jade plant.

There are several sorta obscure references to this genus of plants being fodder. I have requested some through research gate.

here is one about rhinos eating it in a blog. https://trees.org.za/feeding-rhinos-and-offsetting-carbon/

Further, I can't see into the the future. Your tortoise will tell you something through its behavior and the outcome of it's eating the jade plant. It's on you to tell us, TFO readers, what your tortoise tells you.


thank you - so if i just put a few plants in the enclosure and let them decide if they want to eat it, that should be an ok idea? Or can they over indulge on their own?
 
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