Diet

jfitzg14

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I have two 6 month old Indian Star Tortoises. I have been feeding them a variety of foods. I have tried many different greens, cactus, Mazuri, squash, and a variety of hats. These guys seem to like to eat the greens, but not much else. They have started to eat a little Mazuri. As a side note, they will not touch the food if I sprinkle calcium powder on it. I want them to eat more Mazuri and some of the hay as well as the greens. I do chop up the hay in a food processor. Any ideas ?
 

Tom

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Tortoises eat what they are used to eating. If you want them to eat something that is new to them, or not as palatable, you'll need to introduce it slowly in very small amounts, mixed with their normal or favorite foods. Same thing with the calcium. Tiny tiny amounts thoroughly mixed in with favorite foods. If they aren't eating it, then you are using too much to start with.

Personally, I wouldn't offer hay to a baby. Good for adults, but much too coarse and dry for babies, even when it is blended. Use freshly sprouted tender young grass for babies. You can buy those little sprouted wheat grass plots in some grocery stores and most of the big pet stores. Keep the plots watered and in a window sill and you can get 8 or 9 cuttings from each plot.
 

JoesMum

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I have two 6 month old Indian Star Tortoises. I have been feeding them a variety of foods. I have tried many different greens, cactus, Mazuri, squash, and a variety of hats. These guys seem to like to eat the greens, but not much else. They have started to eat a little Mazuri. As a side note, they will not touch the food if I sprinkle calcium powder on it. I want them to eat more Mazuri and some of the hay as well as the greens. I do chop up the hay in a food processor. Any ideas ?
I suspect that, like Sulcatas, they eat relatively little grass and hay when very young.

The trick when introducing new food is to cut a very small amount up small and mix it with wet, food (also chopped small) that your tort does like. The water will stick it together and your tort will not be able to pick out the bits it likes best.

If your tort eats it then increase the amount of new food very slightly at the next feed. If it refuses, leave the food in place for 24 hours and then replace with the same mix in the same quantities; a hungry tort will eat and it can go quite a long time without eating and come to no harm... you just have to be strong and out-stubborn one of the stubbornest forms of life on the planet.

You only need to use a very tiny pinch of calcium powder 2 days a week and to avoid detection you must sprinkle it very sparsely on food.

With grass, cut a a few blades into very tiny pieces with scissors and sprinkle that on wet food.
 

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