Dandelion flowers

RockChalk

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Spring has almost sprung in Kansas City and the dandelions are already putting up yellow flowers. My question is, how many dandelion flowers are too many for a small Hermann's to eat? Is there any nutritional value in the flowers compared to the greens? The reason I ask is because my tortoise will literally go around decapitating dandelion flowers all day if I don't do something to prevent it. I'm just wondering if it's necessary to prevent it.
 

Prairie Mom

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Hello:) I don't keep a hermanns, so don't feel comfortable giving a strong opinion about how much is too much.

Often flowers have a higher sugar content because of their nectar etc vs the leaves. Dandelions have oxalates, which makes them a "feed in moderation" but they are also super high in calcium. I have a sulcata and haven't worried about how she enjoys her dandelions. I know she gets plenty of other good foods too and so I enjoy watching her groom the yard to her heart's content:)
 
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Here in Kansas they are really popping up. Half of the yard we keep pesticide and fertilizer free so we can comfortably be able to give the dandelions to a tortoise.
 

JoesMum

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Joe is also Testudo - Greek rather than Hermann's and I agree that he just walks the lawn taking the flowers off the dandelions.

Joe weighs 7lb and the dandelions are relatively sparse so I don't worry about it.

Unless, the dandelions are very dense, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The season when there is a huge proliferation of flowers is relatively short and what's important is variety over time. Pee may be a rather strange colour for a while.
 

ascott

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Spring has almost sprung in Kansas City and the dandelions are already putting up yellow flowers. My question is, how many dandelion flowers are too many for a small Hermann's to eat? Is there any nutritional value in the flowers compared to the greens? The reason I ask is because my tortoise will literally go around decapitating dandelion flowers all day if I don't do something to prevent it. I'm just wondering if it's necessary to prevent it.

Let him eat em up....they are a great source of nutrition, even the flower...also, for humans the flower can be used to make wine...I bet they really love the flower..perhaps kind of like humans like a good glass of wine or two or three...lol...if the tortoise has some variety in their day then there is no harm in letting the tortoise eat to his content....tortoise are opportunist...so they will gorge on items knowing that they will go away and will fill that time with gorging on something else...
 

Kori5

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Joe is also Testudo - Greek rather than Hermann's and I agree that he just walks the lawn taking the flowers off the dandelions.

Joe weighs 7lb and the dandelions are relatively sparse so I don't worry about it.

Unless, the dandelions are very dense, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The season when there is a huge proliferation of flowers is relatively short and what's important is variety over time. Pee may be a rather strange colour for a while.
I had no idea Greeks get so big. My Hermann is only 700 g and he is an adult :).
 

Kori5

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We've had Joe 46 years and he was wild caught. I'd say he stopped growing about 10-15 years ago. He weighs in around 3.25kg
Our Kori is 20 yo. And he isn't growing anymore, his weight is stabile with a little fluctuation :).
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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My grandma eats them as a salad. It is common in our country. They are very healthy but have a bitter taste.

Yes! Grandma knows best. It's that bitter taste, the flavonoids, that stimulates/activates bile in the liver. Healthy bile helps break down fats so we can absorb the vitamins better and bile also helps the liver to get rid of waste that can harm us. Dandelions, therefore, help lower bad cholestrol and blood pressure in us people. Tortoises are chill, and don't eat meat, so that is not a factor for them. But overall, dandelions are good for us, and our tortoises, as they also cleanse the blood.
 

Kori5

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Yes! Grandma knows best. It's that bitter taste, the flavonoids, that stimulates/activates bile in the liver. Healthy bile helps break down fats so we can absorb the vitamins better and bile also helps the liver to get rid of waste that can harm us. Dandelions, therefore, help lower bad cholestrol and blood pressure in us people. Tortoises are chill, and don't eat meat, so that is not a factor for them. But overall, dandelions are good for us, and our tortoises, as they also cleanse the blood.
I had no idea they are so healthy! Thank you for your info. My tortoise loves them, but he always has gritty urates after eathing them. I've read they are a diuretic so that's probably why. He does get them a few days a week.
 

ascott

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I had no idea they are so healthy! Thank you for your info. My tortoise loves them, but he always has gritty urates after eathing them. I've read they are a diuretic so that's probably why. He does get them a few days a week.

If you notice gritty urates then you will want to up the tortoise hydration....supervised extra long warm water soaks...spraying water over the food offerings to assure they take in hydration....offer a few pieces of zucchini and some romaine lettuce....they are good wet foods for hydration....gritty urates are a flag of low hydration....
 

Kori5

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If you notice gritty urates then you will want to up the tortoise hydration....supervised extra long warm water soaks...spraying water over the food offerings to assure they take in hydration....offer a few pieces of zucchini and some romaine lettuce....they are good wet foods for hydration....gritty urates are a flag of low hydration....
Thank you. But I do all of that. He still has chalky ones from time to time when he has a lot of dandelions. I do soak him everyday and water his food. He usualy has nice creamy urates.
 

ascott

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Thank you. But I do all of that. He still has chalky ones from time to time when he has a lot of dandelions. I do soak him everyday and water his food. He usualy has nice creamy urates.

Then the soaks need to be longer...around 30-45 minutes a couple of times a day...gritty urates are not going to be generated from dandelions alone. Please understand that I am not attempting to go back and forth with you...really I am not....I am simply assuring you that if the tortoise has gritty urates then there is a hydration issue....now you can take that how you want, but just sharing that with you...

I have fed HUGE amounts of dandelions to the California Desert Tortoise here and not once a gritty urate, not once. Hydration is the key to no gritty urates...also, if you hydrate a tortoise enough and offer a reliable source of water then urates can actually stop all together....just saying.
 

Kori5

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Then the soaks need to be longer...around 30-45 minutes a couple of times a day...gritty urates are not going to be generated from dandelions alone. Please understand that I am not attempting to go back and forth with you...really I am not....I am simply assuring you that if the tortoise has gritty urates then there is a hydration issue....now you can take that how you want, but just sharing that with you...

I have fed HUGE amounts of dandelions to the California Desert Tortoise here and not once a gritty urate, not once. Hydration is the key to no gritty urates...also, if you hydrate a tortoise enough and offer a reliable source of water then urates can actually stop all together....just saying.
Yes, I think that could be it. Because his soaks usually last 20 min and then he wants out so I let him. I will make them longer, about 40 min. Thank you for your advice :).
 

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