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Calcium-rich gel food (for supplementation)

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Kristina, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. Kristina

    Kristina Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Here is a quick and easy recipe that works well for tortoises that need an extra punch of calcium and minerals. They literally attack it - the smell of it seems to be an attractant. Great for those that are suffering MBD but still have some appetite.

    Ingredients -

    4) Centrum vitamin tablets
    6 oz Lifetime liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate (I prefer the blueberry flavor, the smell is quite strong)
    2 tbsp Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All
    1) 10 oz can of kale
    1) 4 oz Butternut Squash babyfood
    4 oz distilled water
    2 packets Knox gelatin

    Heat about 2 oz of the water to boiling, and add 4 tablets of Centrum to it to start dissolving. In a blender, combine the canned kale, Lifetime calcium, squash, and Miner-All. Blend it together until it is a liquid. Add the dissolved Centrum and mix it in thoroughly.

    Pour the mixture out of the blender and into a bowl. Heat the remaining water to boiling and stir in the gelatin until it is dissolved. Pour into the blended mixture and stir THOROUGHLY.

    Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap goes up the sides. Pour the gel mixture into the cookie sheet, and tap it on the counter to level and settle it. Place it into the refrigerator and allow it to set up.

    You can cut it into strips and cubes once it is set. For storage, cut it into larger squares and layer with pieces of wax paper, wrap in plastic wrap or in a freezer bag and freeze. You can take out a small portion at a time and defrost.

    Offer a piece each day that is equal to the size of the tortoise's head. Should be fed in conjunction with a diet of varied, quality dark leafy greens, weeds, and grasses.

    The reasons that I prefer the Lifetime liquid are that it is phosphorus free, has great smell and flavor, and contains D3.

    Here are links to the liquid calcium and Miner-All. The other ingredients can be purchased at any grocery store.

    http://www.amazon.com/LifeTime-Calcium-Magnesium-Blueberry-Flavored/dp/B0004E85CW

    http://www.petmountain.com/product/reptile-food-supplements/11442-504800/miner-all.html
    Turt-O-Joe and kmartin like this.
  2. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Does the knox gelatin contain tallow?
  3. Kristina

    Kristina Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't believe so, as far as I am aware gelatin is derived from collagen.
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I didn't know your could buy kale in a can. Is it on the vegetable isle?

    David: If you don't want to use unflavored gelatin you can use Agar-Agar (GOOGLE it).


    Thanks, Kristina. I'm still trying to strengthen up one of my Aldabs and giving him 3 human calcium tabs a day just isn't doing the trick.
    RosemaryDW likes this.
  5. Kristina

    Kristina Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, I get it in the canned veggie aisle. I also buy mustard greens, spinach, etc (I make my own fish foods, especially for my goldfish, and use a lot of canned veggies.) Frozen/thawed kale will work as well.

    If for some reason you can't find the frozen or canned kale, you can blanch fresh kale. Put the kale in boiling water just until it softens and wilts, and then place it directly in cold water to stop the cooking process. It will take a good amount of fresh to equal 10 oz of it wilted.

    Agar agar works fine, just keep in mind that it sets at room temperature so you have to work a little faster when mixing it into the blended mixture and pouring it into the cookie sheet. [hr]
    You are welcome ;) The Lifetime liquid is pretty cheap, actually, and not having phosphorus means it absorbs better. I'd give it a shot.
  6. shelledfriends

    shelledfriends Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Kristina,
    Few questions about this recipe, if you don't mind.

    1. How long have you been using this recipe and do you continue to use it?
    2. When using this supplement do you skip other form of supplements or do you use this along with other supplements?
    3. How often do you use this supplements with your tortoises?
    4. Do you make this with just kale or can I substitue different greens for different batches?

    Thanks for your feedback. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Michael
  7. Kristina

    Kristina Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    1. I have been using it for a few years now, since I took in a couple of Sulcatas that had a good appetite but had not been well cared for and needed the benefit of more calcium and nutrition. This is not something that I typically use with healthy tortoises, but as a boost for those that need it. I am currently using this food on a couple of Russians that I received over the last few weeks.

    2. I Do very little supplementation, and prefer to rely on a varied and balanced diet. The only mineral that I supplement regularly is calcium, usually in pure calcium carbonate form.

    3. Again, I only use this for tortoises that are suffering MBD/related deficiencies. In those cases, I feed at least 2 times a week, and sometimes daily, depending on the severity.

    4. I usually use kale because it is easy for me to find canned or frozen. Spinach, collards, mustard greens, etc. can also be purchased canned or frozen. It is perfectly fine to use other greens, as long as they come from a can, are frozen/thawed, or blanched to soften them. I mentioned how to blanch them in a previous post. This allows them to be blended.
    RosemaryDW likes this.
  8. shelledfriends

    shelledfriends Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Kristina. I have a resuce sulcata that came in a couple of months ago with MBD and I am going to try this with him. I was also wondering if this will come in handy for breeding adults, both turtles and tortoises.

    Enjoy your Sunday.
    Michael
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