Basic Question - how often feed?

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georgekathe

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I grew up with two large Greeks females, which were fed every day, especially dandelions which they loved, but my last real contact with them was almost 40 years ago, when I moved away from home in England & later to the USA. Now we know more about tortoises - so, how often should I feed a 6" supposedly 4 year old Redfoot?

Question - how often do I feed my Redfoot - every day or every other day & how often fruit, every 3 days sparingly or what? Really hoping for lots of responses.

The person who owned him before me fed him only lettuce & too much fruit, the former in large quantities every day, with no added Calcium. They also used too low a wattage lheat bulb (it was only 75F in his habitat, so I've rectified that).

So I'm rectifying the calcium situation by grinding up a cuttlefish my wife has for her birds, while I wait for Calcium supplement via online purchase.

I'm also starting to feed him more variety, starting with Collard greens, which I'll pick up today & dandelions, which he ate, but unlike the family Greeks, not the flowers with the same voracity as the leaves. I also tried grapes sparingly & he loved them.

After researching & comparing pictures, I discovered he has a mild case of pyramiding (I know its mild as I've seen photos of stage 1 & stage 2, the latter really scary). I'm taking the necessary steps to rectify (ensure calcium, more humidity & less food, but I don't know frequency of the latter).

I understand it is not reversable, but anything else I can do to ensure his pyramiding does not get worse? Responses please.

All for now, can't wait for hotter weather so he can roam around in his large outdoor habitat.

Thanks for responses in anticipation, George
 

DeanS

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I feed 6 days a week and leave 'em to 'graze only' on the seventh...except the youngsters (I offer them Mazuri EVERYDAY)! :)
 

georgekathe

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maggie3fan -

Thanks so much for the link - it is terrific - will read later. Thanks also to the person who wrote it - it will have everything I need. Shame my (new to me) GeeBee already has a slight case of pyramiding, but at least it will get better care form me, especially as I read up on it more.

George
 

Madkins007

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Pyramiding is pretty controversial. We know very high humidity can prevent it, but so can a balanced diet with very good cares. One school of thought is that it is due to poor calcium density in the first year. Over-feeding does not seem to be a big deal, unless you overfed things like fats, sugars, and protein.

The basic issue is to limit fats, sugars, and proteins. There is really no reason to limit things like low-calorie greens, fiber, calcium, etc. There are a lot of diet plans out there that work nicely, I even have a few on my website-
- Basic nutrition- http://tortoiselibrary.com/omni-diet.html
- Diet plans- http://tortoiselibrary.com/dietplans.html
- Shopping list- http://tortoiselibrary.com/omni-diet list.html

My recommendation is to find a plan that offers a good balance of a variety of tasty foods and go with it. Keep in mind, however, that when you read diet plans, that the 'fruits' these guys eat in the wild are a LOT different than the sugary stuff in most stores. You can offer a more natural 'fruit' by choosing things that are usually labelled 'vegetables' but have seeds in them- bell pepper, squash, etc.

Supplementing calcium is good (you can find dosages of calcium, vitamins, etc. at http://tortoiselibrary.com/nutguide.html ). High calcium foods are the best way, very fine calcium powder is next best. The chunkier the calcium, the harder it is to fully absorb or digest. In a properly hydrated tortoises, excess calcium is passed in the feces, so there is not a big risk of overdoing it.

If you supplement calcium, however, remember that it ONLY works if there is enough vitamin D as well. Vitamin D from sunlight is best (light that can give you a tan, that does not pass through glass, plastic or fine screen, and available for about an hour a week over several sessions), followed by that from a good UVB bulb.

I recommend supplemental vitamin D, ideally as a liquid supplement (like http://www.puritan.com/vitamin-d-326/liquid-vitamin-d-3-5000-iu-030405?NewPage=1). Most other vitamin D supplements are rather low dose- calcium with D supplements, for example, often has less than a minimum daily dose in it. The page linked under calcium, above, also has dosages for this too.
 
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