Diet problems

Status
Not open for further replies.

Jc918

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
49
I am still having issues with my tortoise. He will ONLY eat Romain lettuce & yellow peppers. I have chopped up the Romain and mixed it with mustard greens and he just pulls the Romain out. I have cut him off and only feed him other greens and then he just wont eat. I have tried green beans,peas , carrots ,corn,squash, hay pellets etc NO LUCK. Can someone give me some input here. This guy is one stubborn tortoise
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,641
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi Jc918:

First of all, your Russian tortoise should be outside. They really do much better outside in the sunshine. If he were outside and you didn't feed him at all, he would wander around and look for something to eat.

Russian tortoises eat broad-leafed weeds and grasses. Your tortoise has gotten hooked on romaine lettuce..not the worst thing he could eat, however not a very good diet for him.

Buy a package of Spring Mix. You can find it in the produce section of the grocery store. Just put a little pile of Spring Mix on his feeding station...that's all, nothing else. If he won't eat today, then pick it up tomorrow morning and toss it and put down another, fresh pile. If he won't eat that, then the next morning, pick it up and toss it and put down another fresh pile. Don't ever offer romaine again. Once you've gotten him used to eating the Spring Mix, then you can go outside and cut some weeds for him. Clover, dichondra, milk week, dandelion, wild mustard...just look for any broad-leafed weeds, wash them and place them in his habitat.

How can he only eat romaine if you don't ever offer it to him ever again? A tortoise isn't going to starve himself to death. He might go a few days without eating, but he will eventually give in.
 

Jc918

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
49
Sounds good I will give that a try and see what happens. Hope he will eat something else. I am going to work on building him a out door cage next
 

Lou

Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
82
I see that you are feeding a lot of vegetables, I would stay away from those, as things like carrots are too high in sugars. Stick with greens and leaves. I find the list provided by crazy1 is a very good list and most are very easy to obtain: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-5823.html

Im lucky that my baby Greek was fed a varied diet of greens and such before I took him home, so it has not refused to eat anything yet (although I havent seen him nibble on the timothy hay in there..lol).

I think the main key is to be persistent, as Yvonne said, they wont starve themselves. So a case of tough love might be needed.

Another thing I have seen work is to make a mix of finely chopped greens, so there is no distinguishing between greens. So you can try making a mix that is high in romain low in others at first, and slowly decrease the romain % and increase % of other greens.

Just a few techniques I have seen work.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
Something to think about is, he can't go into the refrigerator on his own, so he can only eat what YOU feed him. You need to practice tough love and give him the best diet possible and if YOU are persistent about it, he will start to eat what you feed him...:p
 

tortoisenerd

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
3,957
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
I 100% agree with Yvonne. You have not offered enough variety and correct foods to conclude that he "only eats romaine and peppers". Most of what you are feeding, frankly, is junk, and it doesn't surprise me that he hasn't wanted it. Spring mix is healthy and a great substitute for the weeds and greens from the yard that would be the ideal diet. Just make sure any weeds you give him are on an edible list, and are chemical free (no pesticides or fertilizers). You don't want to collect them from a public park or similar, your own yard (if you don't spray) is best, and second best is a wild area that isn't landscaped and away from the road (car exhaust) and away from where dogs poop (can have toxins in it). Thank you for giving this a try!
 

moswen

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
903
i agree with maggie. tough love! works great with kids too!!
 

Jc918

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
49
****************UPDATE************************

I did what everyone suggest " Tough Love"

Today he ate a little mustard greens and some corn : ) It's a start something different. I am going to pick up some spring mix next and work with that.

Is spinach and corn ok ? Any suggestion on what balance diet I should feed him. I searched the web and I see that a bunch of people have there own methods
 

Laura

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
7,502
Location (City and/or State)
Foothills above Sacramento CA
READ the link that was posted...((Stick with greens and leaves. I find the list provided by crazy1 is a very good list and most are very easy to obtain: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-5823.html ))
Where do you live? What kind of weeds are outside?
Mallow, clover, mustard, dandilion etc are my russians faves.. and Spring Mix.. I buy it for myself and share!

spinich and corn and not ok.. or at least not great...
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
Jc918 said:
****************UPDATE************************

I did what everyone suggest " Tough Love"

Today he ate a little mustard greens and some corn : ) It's a start something different. I am going to pick up some spring mix next and work with that.

Is spinach and corn ok ? Any suggestion on what balance diet I should feed him. I searched the web and I see that a bunch of people have there own methods

Spinach is considered controversial. I think it is fine in moderation and in rotation with other stuff, but others advise strongly against it.

Corn is generally a big no. The stuff is not even really all that great for humans which is why we digest it so poorly. Mostly just sugars and carbs- not a lot of good stuff in there.

A lot of torts do not like mustard greens- they are pretty spicy. Try collards or turnip greens instead. Instead of Romaine, look for Endive, Escarole, and Arugula/Rocket instead. (If your tort can handle it, leave the stalks in- fiber and water!)

Tip: When you shop for your spring mix, look for a lot of the above lettuces, or at least look for color variation and unusual leaves. The more it looks like regular lettuces, the lower in nutrients it generally is.

Tip #2: It often irritates people who take the time to try to help when it looks like you are not trying. If you had read some of the posted links, you would already have known some of this.
 

tortoisenerd

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
3,957
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
1) Read russiantortoise.org diet list to get an idea of good and bad foods--think of what a tortoise would find in the wild--weeds--and stick to foods that look like weeds AND are on an approved diet list for a Russsian from a reputable site like this one or russiantortoise.org
2) Buy spring mix and feed it to your tort while you figure out a detailed diet plan of items you can find in your area
3) Eat the corn and spinach yourself and never feed them to your tortoise again

Good luck!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top