1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

DIET FOR SULCATAS! NO WAY!!!

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by TortSpeed, Nov 12, 2018.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. TortSpeed

    TortSpeed New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Miami, Fl
    To make it quick and simple...

    I am pretty exhausted about reading about what can/can’t should be fed to Sulcatas...

    I have read... (not quoting sources) that Kale is good for them regularly and I have read that it should be fed occasional/rarely... who am I to believe??? Both sources seem credible...

    I am open to creating a google excel spreadsheet that anyone can add an edit. We can list all food items for torts and somehow rate them how frequent they should eat them and quantity.

    All these flowers/clovers/leaves... maybe we can even add pics or wiki links.

    Any ideas?? Comments? It’s just that I love to spoil... and what else.. variety is the key to life.
    drew54, Brit G and Venetia like this.
  2. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Youngstown, Ohio
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I would not go to outside sources on the internet. A lot of them are wrong. Stick with the tortoise forum. I do like the idea of a spread sheet though
  3. Brit G

    Brit G Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location (City and/or State):
    Texas
    I agree. It was so confusing! Even my coworker, who recently started a tortoise rescue, gave me information on diet that contradicted the tortoise forum. I stick to the tortoise forum now... but at the beginning, tortoise diet felt like a huge frustrating mystery. Felt like hit or miss if I was actually getting it right! Still hard, but getting easier.
    drew54 and Minority2 like this.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    44,028
    Likes Received:
    23,021
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Look at what they eat in the wild. No kale fields where sulcatas live. Grasses, weeds, leaves, flowers and succulents.

    There are literally tens of thousands of plant species there, so duplicating the "natural" diet would be impossible, but we can offer a wide variety of plant matter that has similar properties to what they might find in the wild. High fiber, high calcium, high calcium to phosphorous ratio. I find the things on this list relatively easy to find or grow, but it would be easy to triple this list with all the things they can eat:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
  5. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2018
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indiana
    It seems that the tortoise forum goes by the tortoise table which both dives into the chemical composition of the of the diet. Such as recognizing oxilates and its effects on calcium etc. I think the reason the tortoise forum and table have limitations on the amount given is because it's hard to gauge how much of kale or pumpkin or sweet potatoes you can give a sulcata or Russian before it starts causing issues.

    I've seen many websites where they have contradicting diets and those websites and experts who go off the tortoise table. I think most people use the other diets because they have done it for years and may not see any effects. Tat doesn't mean there aren't any or there are any issues.

    The guy that lives in my town who has a 14 year old male and a 1yr old feeds them a banana every day and his torts don't seem to show any signs of issues.

    Dandelion is supposed to be fed in moderation along with endive, turnip greens, etc. But there are those who feed these everyday. I have read that you're not supposed to feed dandelion, mustard greens, turnip greens together, but people do all the time.

    I just stick to the forum and tortoise table because everywhere is mixed information and is just quite overwhelming trying to figure out what's what. This is why many new tort owners get frustrated with the open and closed chamber information. Just so many conflicting info that it get so overwhelming that we sometimes question getting a tort. I did. I just do what I think is best for my tortoise based on all the information and hope I'm doing it right.

    My advice would be to stick with the tortoise table
  6. Emily Contreras

    Emily Contreras Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    I have a bunch of succulents that I keep as pets (lol don't judge :rolleyes:)
    sometimes their lil uh.. branch things? Fall off and they feel like little gummy worms.. can I feel my tortoise those? I am not sure what they are. All I know is that they are succulents..
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  7. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    18,242
    Likes Received:
    41,436
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Kent, South East England
    It's already been done ... The Tortoise Table Plant Database is online, searchable, has pictures and explains why something is or isn't suitable
    https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk
    TortSpeed and drew54 like this.
  8. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,242
    Likes Received:
    12,522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
    Just keep in mind all succulents are not created equal. Seems to me most are safe to feed, but that said, some are not. This is according to the tortoise table. I’m not gonna experiment with any of my tortoises. Maybe ice plant but that’s about it.
    drew54 and Minority2 like this.
  9. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    17,393
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
    I’ve had small bits of my Jade Plant break off as well as Christmas/Easter cactus lobes. Ive fed both to our Sully.

    Check on the type of Succulent you have.i wouldnt feed until properly I’D.
    TortoiseRacket, drew54 and Cowboy_Ken like this.
  10. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,242
    Likes Received:
    12,522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
    I too have fed Jade plant and Aloe Vera to both sulcata and leopard tortoises with no ill effects.
  11. Emily Contreras

    Emily Contreras Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location (City and/or State):
    Arizona
    I feel mine a nice lil mix
    It looks like a small iceplant
  12. TortSpeed

    TortSpeed New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Miami, Fl



    Thanks for the info! Glad I haven’t enough time to dive into it head first...

    I like the site just not sure what tortoise they refer to when they mention if it’s acceptable.. (or I haven’t looked in enough detail). Do they mention it?
  13. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    18,242
    Likes Received:
    41,436
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Kent, South East England
    It's aimed at Testudo. However, their recommendations will work for Sulcatas and Leopards too.

    For other species such as Redfoots you need to read WHY they don't recommend a food and interpret it for that species. So a Don't Feed for oxalates applies to any tort and a Don't Feed for fruit sugars doesn't apply to Redfoots.
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  14. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    44,028
    Likes Received:
    23,021
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    You'll need to ID each and every one, and then verify that it is safe before feeding it to your tortoise. As Ken said, some are toxic and some aren't.
  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    44,028
    Likes Received:
    23,021
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Another thing to keep in mind is that most species that do well in captivity are very adaptable. Sulcatas may very well be the MOST adaptable of all of them. 10 different people might feed them 10 different things and all 10 people consider the results "success". Then all 10 people go on the internet machine and tell the world how well their diet works and that this is what everyone should feed their tortoises. Are all 10 of them right? Or wrong? Not really either.

    What should a human eat? You can go all over the world and people of every culture are eating different things, yet all humans survive and reproduce all over the globe. From CA gluten free vegans, to Eskimos eating whale fat, to Cajuns eating anything that moves, to some Asian cultures eating mostly fish, veggies and rice. Humans are another adaptable species...

    Done carefully, a sulcata could eat nothing but grocery store foods and survive and be healthy. They could also eat a diet of mostly grass hay and be healthy. They could be fed a varied diet of weeds and leaves and be healthy. They could be fed only prepared foods and be healthy. There are definitely many ways to do it. In the wild we know they eat a lot of grass and other high fiber foods. We also know they will opportunisticly eat flowers, fruit, and carrion if they come across it. We generally recognize that feeding them fruit or meat in captivity causes them problems, so we avoid it, but we know that eating and apple isn't going to kill an adult sulcata too. As you look over people's lists of what to feed them, I'll bet almost all of it is something good to feed them.
    If you ask me what I think is "best" to feed them, I'll refer you back to my thread: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
  16. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2018
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indiana
    That's one of the best explanations I've seen and very well thought out. This is a great thread that covers and points out the strength of adaptability and gives a wonderful explanation of why the diets are greatly varied from source to source.
    howard biolos, EllieMay and Maro2Bear like this.
  17. awioa

    awioa New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    New Mexico
    I would love it with pictures, especially for all the wild weeds they can eat.
    EllieMay likes this.
  18. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    18,242
    Likes Received:
    41,436
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Kent, South East England
    See this


    EllieMay and awioa like this.
  19. awioa

    awioa New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    New Mexico
    Thanks
    EllieMay likes this.
  20. DeanS

    DeanS SULCATA OASIS 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    4,402
    Likes Received:
    3,454
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    SoCal
    @TortSpeed OK...he's a little small...so what?!?!? Even though he's pyramided...he's still a good looking guy! You have all the right concerns and are asking all the right questions. There is a diet sheet at the top of the sulcata page...check it out!
    EllieMay likes this.
Similar Threads: DIET SULCATAS
Forum Title Date
Sulcata tortoises What is a good hay to start introducing into his diet? Mar 3, 2019
Sulcata tortoises Sulcata Diet Items Jan 29, 2019
Sulcata tortoises Opinions on New Diet May 1, 2018
Sulcata tortoises Sulcata Diets and where to buy it. Jan 26, 2018
Sulcata tortoises Varying a sulcata diet? Am I doing it wrong? Dec 6, 2017

Share This Page