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Transitioning to dry grasses from 'wet' foods.

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Kapidolo Farms, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Nov 7, 2012
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    Location (City and/or State):
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    I have not observed what I'll describe in the wild (as precisely as I describe it here), but have seen it in outside backyard tortoises as well as inside kept tortoises.

    They on their own accord do not select dry dead plants over live ones, cut up or growing. Think about it, the eating of dry things is learned behavior or done initially in extreme conditions.

    The tortoise is going about it's business looking for food, I don't believe there is a signal inside that says 'eat dry dead plants'.

    There are no English Estate gardeners keeping up appearances out there where tortoises roam. No Japanese wonder gardens where every dead leaf of anything is picked up right away.

    So - the tortoise is going along eating some of this and some of that, and as picky as they can be, they will over time ingest some dead dry stuff along with the fresh green. As the area's season goes from wet to drier, they may end up eating ever so little more per day, until one day it's mostly dry dead stuff.

    This is how you have to engage your pet tortoise with dry dead stuff, slowly over time. Animal trainers call this bridging, going from one outcome of a behavior to another. The behavior is eating, the outcome is eating wet fresh plant to dry plants.

    The weird thing that some tortoises do that seems to suggest it might not always be a slow transition is when they identify the new food as some kind of feces, they are all little $hit eaters, that is a strong driver that defies slow transition. I think that is both the brilliance and horribleness of the original Mazuri.

    I have had some pretty stubborn tortoises, but over time, they go for it.
    smjohns, Tortlelover65 and RosemaryDW like this.
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