What exactly to feed Russian tortoise- supplements and needed nuitrition?

elliotmarie

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
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20
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
Getting my Russian tortoise tomorrow!! So sorry I’m asking so many questions but I don’t want to hurt him or anything.

I made a mix of Russian tortoise approved green veggies to offer him daily plus a feed in moderation food to encourage him a little in his new home over the coming weeks. I’m really nervous about getting him the right diet! I’ve read lots about cuttlebone or powdered supplements but there’s some conflicting info. What EXACTLY do I need for his diet to get him the best nutrition and everything?

I really really appreciate it!! I think I’ve got the rest covered but if you have any tips or things I should remember please don’t hesitate to let me know! Thank you!!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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Southern California
The best diet for them is a wide variety of broadleaf weeds. You can grow your own, or scavenge them from out in the world. Here is a small starter list of some of the many things that make good food items. With a good mixed diet of weeds, leaves, and flowers, you really don't need much supplementation at all. If you are feeding grocery store greens, you'll need to amend them one way or another, and you'll need to give a pinch of calcium twice a week.
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food
 

jsheffield

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Sep 29, 2018
Messages
2,334
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
In the winter, my Russian gets fed a fair amount of mixed greens from the grocery store (since all of the weeds in NH are currently under a foot of snow), and I supplement with a mix of dried plant matter that I sprinkle on top and/or rehydrate.

The dried plants I use are: hibiscus, wakame, rosebuds, mornings, nettles, raspberry leaf, and calendula flowers.

I also feed butternut squash (I use frozen and cubed from the market) 1-2 times a week along with either Mazuri or Zoo-Med Grassland feed 1-2 times per week.

In the summertime, my guy spends a lot of time in his outside enclosure and so I feed him much less of all of the above because he's like a lawnmower out there.

Good luck!

Jamie
 
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