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When do you give up on a diverse diet?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by KBeam, Oct 16, 2018.

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  1. KBeam

    KBeam Member

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    A few months ago I took in an ornate box who is delightfully quirky and sassy. At the time she was being fed fancy feast, random turtle food and romaine. I moved her to a premium box turtle food, a limited ingredient cat food, with romaine sparingly, while I introduced new food.

    Over the past two months I’ve tried everything on the box turtle list: meats, fruits and veggies, caught insects and earthworms as well as super worms. She turns her nose up at everything new except pumpkin. She’s actually scared of anything moving! And will bury herself if we put in an earthworm or cricket.

    I’ve also tried mixing new things with the old to no avail.

    She doesn’t mind vitamin spray or calcium dust on her food. Soaks herself in her “pond” daily and seems to be enjoying life. She just had fecal sample tested that my vet said it looked great.

    She’s 4.25” plastron length and she may be a he . How long do you keep trying when the turtle just doesn’t like it? (I just attached the picture because she’s pretty.)

    IMG_5255.jpg
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    You never give up. If the turtle isn't taking to what you are offering, you need to try a different introduction technique.

    I like to use a tiny tiny amount of new stuff all mixed in with the old favorites. I'm talking 1% or less at first. If its all mixed up, they can't even tell its in there. Over time, I up the ratio of new to old. It sometimes takes weeks or months, but this has never failed with any chelonian for me.

    Try feeding your insects pre killed. I used to squash the roach's heads and leave them on top of a pile of other good stuff. Roaches quickly became a favorite food. If you mix some small dead crickets into a pile of that dog or cat food, the turtle won't know it is there. I highly recommend against using wild caught insects for food. The risks are very high and captive bred safer foods are cheap and easy to get.

    Fall, when their minds are thinking of hibernation, is also not the best time to try this. Springtime is when they are most ravenous and more willing to chomp down just about anything.
    wellington and TechnoCheese like this.
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Agree with Tom, keep trying.
  4. KBeam

    KBeam Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I’ll try the dead bug trick. Everyone’s been telling me that they love to hunt, but not this girl (or guy).
  5. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    When I got my boxie, she was scared of anything moving also. I kept putting worms in there with her, I would cut them up small. Now, she goes crazy over them. Keep trying, it will eventually pay off.
    KBeam likes this.
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