Can Sulcatas eat horse apples?

Kevin.C

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I recently moved to a new property and relocated my 20 pound Sulcata to a new enclosure that has a horse apple tree in the center. He got ahold of a broken open horse apple and seems to enjoy them a little at a time. I just wanted to see if any knows of a reason why they would not be good for him to eat occasionally.
 

zovick

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I recently moved to a new property and relocated my 20 pound Sulcata to a new enclosure that has a horse apple tree in the center. He got ahold of a broken open horse apple and seems to enjoy them a little at a time. I just wanted to see if any knows of a reason why they would not be good for him to eat occasionally.
Is this the tree also known as the Osage Orange? If so, they are said to be mildly toxic to livestock. Not sure if they would be harmful for tortoises or not. I was always a believer in the credo "if it is bad for the tortoise, the tortoise won't eat it". Consequently I never made any effort to keep my tortoises away from anything they wanted to eat when they were outside. I observed them eating some mushrooms and totally avoiding others, for one example.

I never had any experience with the Osage Orange fruits since they didn't occur where I have lived. Maybe other members will have other feedback to help you decide what to do. I'd say if the tortoise already ate some of it, it most likely won't harm the tortoise.

As I said above, I think that if the tortoise eats them, I don't believe they are going to hurt it. Let's see what others have to say.
 
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Tom

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I recently moved to a new property and relocated my 20 pound Sulcata to a new enclosure that has a horse apple tree in the center. He got ahold of a broken open horse apple and seems to enjoy them a little at a time. I just wanted to see if any knows of a reason why they would not be good for him to eat occasionally.
No. Fruit is bad for sulcatas. The sugars disrupt their GI flora and fauna. You'll need to put him elsewhere, or remove the tree, or just keep removing branches before any fruit can form, but even then the leaves are toxic too.

I work with several exotic vets as part of my job. They all know of my tortoise addiction and share all their tortoise stories with me. Many tortoises die every year from eating toxic plants that people thought they wouldn't. In some case, some of the time, some tortoises will choose to not eat toxic plants that they have access to. In other cases, they eat it and die. I've had to pull oleander out of my own tortoises mouth before. Don't risk it.
 

Kevin.C

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I appreciate the feedback but I'm not sure the "fruit" qailifies as regilar fruit since it has little to no sugar content. It's a common food for livestock and is edible to humans and is said to have a very bitter flavor with citris undertones. I'm thinking the tree in general shouldn't be harmful or toxic since it's closely related to mulberry which the leaves are listed as a food for tortises.
 

Yvonne G

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Sounds like you've already made your mind up, but everything my friend Google tells me makes me want to steer clear of allowing my sulcata to eat it. I would be out there daily raking up the fruit, and come winter I would prune drastically to make sure no fruit forms next year.
 
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Maggie3fan

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On the other hand when I was feeding my sister's tortoises, she had a bag of small apples. I cut them in half, and used them to make friends with her HUGE Sulcata, Dudley. (Sorry Y). So over the time I was at her house, I fed Dudley those apples, just a couple a day. However, Dudley is well over 100 lbs. Maybe pushing 125+, so a few apples wouldn't hurt him. But I would be raking that yard as a 20 lb animal shouldn't have that sugar. I hope that makes sense to you. Rake those apples, it's good exercise for you, and NO apples for your small Sulcata.
100_5122.JPG100_5123.JPG
Notice those gulars...man o man The pictures do not do him justice. This is one damn big tortoise
 

Boyu

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No. Fruit is bad for sulcatas. The sugars disrupt their GI flora and fauna. You'll need to put him elsewhere, or remove the tree, or just keep removing branches before any fruit can form, but even then the leaves are toxic too.

I work with several exotic vets as part of my job. They all know of my tortoise addiction and share all their tortoise stories with me. Many tortoises die every year from eating toxic plants that people thought they wouldn't. In some case, some of the time, some tortoises will choose to not eat toxic plants that they have access to. In other cases, they eat it and die. I've had to pull oleander out of my own tortoises mouth before. Don't risk it.

i think they can eat grapes,strawberries and watermelon i think those are the fruits they can eat prob
 

Kevin.C

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Sounds like you've already made your mind up, but everything my friend Google tells me makes me want to steer clear of allowing my sulcata to eat it. I would be out there daily raking up the fruit, and come winter I would prune drastically to male sure no fruit forms next year.


It's not that I have made up my mind I was wanting to know if anyone had any direct experience which so far no one seems to. It seems my Sulcuta has made up his mind on it and decided it's not for him he chewed on one twice and seems to now be disinterested.
 

turtlesteve

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With a few notable exceptions like mulberry and hibiscus, almost all trees and tree leaves should be avoided. Osage orange is noted as being high in tannins, like most hardwood trees. Mulberry is edible because the tannin content is much lower. Other herbivores like deer will only eat new growth hardwood leaves because they are avoiding the tannins in older leaves. It is likely the Osage orange fruits also contain tannins, but I was unable to confirm this.

Animals usually avoid toxic plants by taste, and it’s doubtful that they would poison themselves on common mild toxins like tannins that taste bad. They will be poisoned by plants with other rare toxins that don’t taste bad.
 

Kevin.C

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With a few notable exceptions like mulberry and hibiscus, almost all trees and tree leaves should be avoided. Osage orange is noted as being high in tannins, like most hardwood trees. Mulberry is edible because the tannin content is much lower. Other herbivores like deer will only eat new growth hardwood leaves because they are avoiding the tannins in older leaves. It is likely the Osage orange fruits also contain tannins, but I was unable to confirm this.

Animals usually avoid toxic plants by taste, and it’s doubtful that they would poison themselves on common mild toxins like tannins that taste bad. They will be poisoned by plants with other rare toxins that don’t taste bad.
I appreciate your input I am not too concerned about him getting ahold of leaves. The tree is old and is leaning where the lower branches have rooted into the ground and the on branches with leaves are probably 6 feet above the ground. I assume at this point he won't circle back to the fruit but this tree doesn't seem to be producing much if it does then out that he has a change of heart and I need to clean them up.
 

Maggie3fan

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It's not that I have made up my mind I was wanting to know if anyone had any direct experience which so far no one seems to. It seems my Sulcuta has made up his mind on it and decided it's not for him he chewed on one twice and seems to now be disinterested.
Holy catfish! I just told you about me feeding Dudley apples, I fed my Bob grapes, strawberries, watermelon, pumpkin, grape leafs, pineapple, cob corn, and once he got a 100 lb pumpkin, he ate most of it. All stuff a Sulcata should not eat..."But he also gets a healthy varied diet", I used to say. So I fed Bob a lot of stuff he shouldn't eat, and would not come across in the wild. But I also fed him a great diet. Because I thought Bob and I were different. Didn't have to follow a care sheet. And ya know what...Bob died at 17 years old.
 

Tom

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i think they can eat grapes,strawberries and watermelon i think those are the fruits they can eat prob
Nope. Those should not be fed to sulcatas either. They should be fed grass, leaves and weeds of the appropriate types. No fruit.
 

Yvonne G

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i think they can eat grapes,strawberries and watermelon i think those are the fruits they can eat prob
No, Boyo. . . NO FRUIT!! It messes up their gut flora and causes a parasite bloom.
 

Tom

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hmm all over yt they feed fruits hmmm
Yes they do. people on yt also jump off off buildings, set things on fire, crash cars and do all sorts of other things that I would not recommend.

YT is not the place to get tortoise advice. Most of the info there is incorrect and sometimes harmful, like feeding fruit to a sulcata tortoise. The FB groups are even worse.

This is a tortoise forum. We are not here to get views and make money. We are here to help people learn how to take proper care of their tortoises with the ultimate goal of advancing tortoise husbandry and improving the lives of tortoises world wide.
 

Boyu

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Yes they do. people on yt also jump off off buildings, set things on fire, crash cars and do all sorts of other things that I would not recommend.

YT is not the place to get tortoise advice. Most of the info there is incorrect and sometimes harmful, like feeding fruit to a sulcata tortoise. The FB groups are even worse.

This is a tortoise forum. We are not here to get views and make money. We are here to help people learn how to take proper care of their tortoises with the ultimate goal of advancing tortoise husbandry and improving the lives of tortoises world wide.
thx but can russian tortts eat fruits like dragon fruit
 

Tom

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thx but can russian tortts eat fruits like dragon fruit
No. Fruit is okay in small amounts for forest dwelling tortoises like red foots and elongata. Not good for grass eating species, or broadleaf weed eating species.
 

Maro2Bear

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Since we are all talking about “fruit” & apples.....no one has posted pix of the Osage Apple aka Hedge Apple. No way i would provide these to our Sully.

We have many growing along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, just saw some last week. They really do have a white gooey latex sap when broken off or broken into.

Wiki - Maclura pomifera, commonly known as the Osage orange, hedge, or hedge apple tree is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to 8 to 15 metres (30–50 ft) tall. The distinctive fruit, from a multiple fruit family, is roughly spherical, bumpy, 8 to 15 centimetres (3–6 in) in diameter, and turns bright yellow-green in the fall. The fruits secrete a sticky white latexwhen cut or damaged. Despite the name "Osage orange", it is only distantly related to the orange. It is a member of the mulberry family, Moraceae. Due to its latex secretions and woody pulp, the fruit is typically not eaten by humans and rarely by foraging animals, giving it distinction as an anachronistic "ghost of evolution".

9C3B4B69-43DD-4B2A-AC64-7A95A4C5D8DD.jpeg
 

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