Variety For My Baby Tortoises Diet

Destben

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Hello,
I was wondering what kinds of things I could use to switch up my tortoise's diet a little. Right now he/she eats Spring mix, Collard Greens, and/or Kale. He/She also gets mazuri tortoise pellets (the ones you soak). Lately he/she has been eating mostly the pellets and leaving most of the greens. I would like to find something she loves as much as the pellets, but I don't trust google to give me a safe answer anymore. This is due to the fact that everything that I read about the enclosures was wrong except what I learned from you all on here and now my tortoise is doing great so I don't want to mess it up by reading something that isn't right.
 

JoesMum

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There’s a really good list of stuff in this thread by Tom

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Tortoises know what they like and like what they know and weaning them onto new foods can be difficult.... especially if they’re hooked on “tortoise crack” like Mazuri.

To introduce a new food you have to take it very slowly. Your tort is behaving like a child that only wants to eat chips and chocolate - you're the parent in charge!

Here's a step by step guide:

1. Chop the foods your tort will eat very small and wet them

2. Chop a tiny amount of new food very small and mix it with the rest. The water will stick it together so the new stuff cannot be picked out.

3. If your tort eats everything, at the next feed increase the amount of new food very slightly and decrease the liked food by the same amount.

4. If your tort refuses to eat then leave the food in place for 24 hours and then replace with fresh in exactly the same proportions.

Very gradually, over weeks not days, your tort will start accepting the new food as normal. Take it slowly and don't try to hurry it. A hungry tort will give in and eat.

Your tort can go a long time without food, but not water. A thirty minute soak is essential on days when there is a hunger strike.
 

JoesMum

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Dandelion, plantain, clover, opuntia cactus pads, lamb lettuce, viola flowers and leaves. Etc, etc...

Here is a link for you,

http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk
Yes The Tortoise Table Plant Database (TTT) is reliable.

Write a list of the plants that grow around you and those that you can buy and search for them on TTT. If you can't identify something growing outside, post a picture in our plant ID forum and someone will tell you what it is :)
 

Destben

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Dandelion, plantain, clover, opuntia cactus pads, lamb lettuce, viola flowers and leaves. These are the things my baby Tortoise loves eating.

Here is a link for you,

http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk

He/She likes cactus pads but even the really thin strips she had a hard time ripping into. How do I know it's ripe? I ordered it from Tortoise Town and I really didn't like their service.
 

Destben

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There’s a really good list of stuff in this thread by Tom

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Tortoises know what they like and like what they know and weaning them onto new foods can be difficult.... especially if they’re hooked on “tortoise crack” like Mazuri.

To introduce a new food you have to take it very slowly. Your tort is behaving like a child that only wants to eat chips and chocolate - you're the parent in charge!

Here's a step by step guide:

1. Chop the foods your tort will eat very small and wet them

2. Chop a tiny amount of new food very small and mix it with the rest. The water will stick it together so the new stuff cannot be picked out.

3. If your tort eats everything, at the next feed increase the amount of new food very slightly and decrease the liked food by the same amount.

4. If your tort refuses to eat then leave the food in place for 24 hours and then replace with fresh in exactly the same proportions.

Very gradually, over weeks not days, your tort will start accepting the new food as normal. Take it slowly and don't try to hurry it. A hungry tort will give in and eat.

Your tort can go a long time without food, but not water. A thirty minute soak is essential on days when there is a hunger strike.

This is very helpful thank you!!!
 

Destben

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I forgot I recently got a Wheat Grass plant but he/she doesn't really like that either.
 

Destben

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Babies don’t really eat much grass. Tom recommends snipping a very small amount into tiny pieces with scissors, wetting the rest of the food and mixing it with it.
I will give that a try tomorrow. He/She only recently has been neglecting eating the greens. How good for your tortoise is Mazuri Tortoise diet? Is it something I should be feeding him/her regularly? Right now its daily.
 

Tom

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I forgot I recently got a Wheat Grass plant but he/she doesn't really like that either.
You are running into a common problem. The problem is that most breeders take the easy way out and feed their hordes of babies romaine or spring mix because its easy. They don't take the time and effort to introduce all the right weeds, leaves, flowers, grass and other good stuff. If the breeder didn't take the time to do this, you will have to. Only it will take you months to accomplish what should have been accomplished in the first week of life outside the egg. Keep trying and don't give up. Your tortoise's long term health depends on it.
 

Destben

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She is being picky about calcium too. She doesn't like the spray or the powder and will eat little to none on those days that she gets it. I saw a flavor spray at the store that is supposed to entice them into eating would that be a good thing to try on it?
 

Tom

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She is being picky about calcium too. She doesn't like the spray or the powder and will eat little to none on those days that she gets it. I saw a flavor spray at the store that is supposed to entice them into eating would that be a good thing to try on it?

You should only be using a tiny tiny little pinch of calcium and mixing it in well to pre-wetted greens.

I wouldn't worry too much about it because the Mazuri also has the correct amount of calcium for your tortoise too.
 

Destben

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You are running into a common problem. The problem is that most breeders take the easy way out and feed their hordes of babies romaine or spring mix because its easy. They don't take the time and effort to introduce all the right weeds, leaves, flowers, grass and other good stuff. If the breeder didn't take the time to do this, you will have to. Only it will take you months to accomplish what should have been accomplished in the first week of life outside the egg. Keep trying and don't give up. Your tortoise's long term health depends on it.
I was looking on tortoisesupply.com and saw their Herbal Tortoise Hay and Dried Dandelion Leaf. Is that something you would recommend? I can get dandelion leaves in the yard but not for much longer it is getting too cold out.
 

Destben

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You should only be using a tiny tiny little pinch of calcium and mixing it in well to pre-wetted greens.

I wouldn't worry too much about it because the Mazuri also has the correct amount of calcium for your tortoise too.
That's good to know. I was really worried that he/she wasn't getting enough.
 

Tom

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I was looking on tortoisesupply.com and saw their Herbal Tortoise Hay and Dried Dandelion Leaf. Is that something you would recommend? I can get dandelion leaves in the yard but not for much longer it is getting too cold out.

Yes. That is good stuff and its a good way to amend grocery store greens and make them a little better. Soaked ZooMed Grassland pellets are another good way to amend grocery store greens. Start with a tiny broken piece of one pellet.

If you must use grocery store greens, favor endive and escarole as staples. Kale and collard greens should only be offered once in a while.
 

Destben

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Yes. That is good stuff and its a good way to amend grocery store greens and make them a little better. Soaked ZooMed Grassland pellets are another good way to amend grocery store greens. Start with a tiny broken piece of one pellet.

If you must use grocery store greens, favor endive and escarole as staples. Kale and collard greens should only be offered once in a while.
Thank you this is very helpful! I will go to the store right after work and order the stuff from tortoise supply today as well. Thank you!
 

biochemnerd808

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Good morning. There are so many plants that are safe and healthy for tortoises to eat - offering variety is important to try to give tortoises all the nutrients they need.
The Tortoise Table database (someone posted the link above) is really excellent. They have a mobile app, but personally I like their printable plant booklet best of all.
It's going into the cold season now, but next Spring, you can grow your own tortoise safe weeds from seeds. You can order them individually on Amazon or eBay, or a mix. I personally like the broadleaf seed mix by Tortoise Supply, because it has so many different plants in it. Carolina Pet Supply also has a good mix. And, The Tortoise Lady in the UK has an amazing mix, if you are able to get it to the US.

Because you have a grass eating species, it's also important that you get it used to eating grass. If it's cold in your area already, grass is one plant that will easily grow in a window in a pot. Snip off some over his food daily.
 

biochemnerd808

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On a side note, when you have warm enough weather to grow your own tortoise food outside, you can grow weeds with bioavailable calcium - by adding extra calcium carbonate (from a feed store it's cheap!) To the soil. The plants will absorb it. I also make sure to always grow and feed plants that are naturally high in calcium, such as turnip greens, chickory, mallow, and young grape leaves (in the spring... Once it's summer the grape leaves have too many tannins).
 

algoroth1

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I will give that a try tomorrow. He/She only recently has been neglecting eating the greens. How good for your tortoise is Mazuri Tortoise diet? Is it something I should be feeding him/her regularly? Right now its daily.
Just make sure you don't offer Mazuri WITH the greens etc. My m.e.e. is now going on 6 years old. He eats everything but if Mazuri is there, he'll still take that first. I offer Mazuri a couple of times a month, if I've run out of veggies. Good luck with your baby!
 

Destben

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Yes. That is good stuff and its a good way to amend grocery store greens and make them a little better. Soaked ZooMed Grassland pellets are another good way to amend grocery store greens. Start with a tiny broken piece of one pellet.

If you must use grocery store greens, favor endive and escarole as staples. Kale and collard greens should only be offered once in a while.

IMG_6540.jpg

Torterra is loving the herbal blend and dandelion leaves. I sprinkle them on top of her other food and the herbal blend smells amazing! It even entices Torterra to eat when the calcium and vitamins are added!
 
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