Do Prickly Pear spineless Cactus have "little" spikes that get stuck in your hand?

taymag

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I bought some spineless prickly pear cactus online to replant for my tortoises to eventually eat and after planting when washing my hands I realized I had 2 or 3 tinyyyy little thorns in me. Are these on spineless prickly pear cactus still? I feel like that would be terrible in my tortoises throat. The cactus came without the big spikes like other cactus have, but apparently these little things are somewhere on it, at least a few... is that normal or did I get the wrong kind of cactus?
 

TechnoCheese

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Yep, that’s normal! And it shouldn’t hurt your tortoise. Who cuts off the spines in the wild?
I usually scrape them all off with a knife so that I don’t get any in my hand :)
 

taymag

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Well I bought the spineless kind so there are no spikes, the ones I am talking about are tinyyyyy, like magnifying glass tiny, I would never be able to even see them to be able to scrape them off
 

TechnoCheese

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Well I bought the spineless kind so there are no spikes, the ones I am talking about are tinyyyyy, like magnifying glass tiny, I would never be able to even see them to be able to scrape them off

Then maybe wear gloves?
Could we see a picture of them to make sure?
They should be completely fine to feed your tort.
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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yes they do have the little spines some times. Its kinda like fiberglass very small and very annoying they come from the little node looking things that are all over the cactus pad. Ive also wondered about how it would feel in there mouth but I have been feeding cactus for years and it has never bothered them that I can tell.
 

wellington

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Yep, that’s normal! And it shouldn’t hurt your tortoise. Who cuts off the spines in the wild?
I usually scrape them all off with a knife so that I don’t get any in my hand :)
Except, in the wild they aren't our pets. As our pets if the long spines do damage we will have a nice vet bill. In the wild if the spines do damage they possibly get infected and die.
Remove or burn off the big spines. The little hair ones aren't a big deal but will burn off or some will scrape off along with the big ones.
 

wellington

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Well I bought the spineless kind so there are no spikes, the ones I am talking about are tinyyyyy, like magnifying glass tiny, I would never be able to even see them to be able to scrape them off
Those ones are fine. You can run it over the flame of your stove to burn them off it you want.
 

wellington

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Also on a lazy day I will just process them
In the food processor spines and all. This way it chops them smaller and could do less damage as they aren't biting right down on the point.
 

Guggie

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“Glochids or glochidia (singular "glochidium") are hair- like spines or short prickles, generally barbed, found on the areoles of cacti in the sub-family Opuntioideae.”
 

katieandiggy

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“Glochids or glochidia (singular "glochidium") are hair- like spines or short prickles, generally barbed, found on the areoles of cacti in the sub-family Opuntioideae.”

I posted about this today, is yours like mine, search my posts and there is a picture of mine. Those tiny hair like spines can cause humans problems because they are so tiny that stuck in your skin and you don’t even know it, they can cause some kind of dermatitis. Google Cinnamon Cactus... is yours similar?
 

Tom

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I carry glocchids all over my hands, arms and torso all summer long. Damn things!!! I hate them! Just of fact of life if you are going to handle cactus pads.

Wild tortoises of foreign species have no problem eating and digesting even the normal fully spined versions, and I can assure you that the little spine and the glocchids are harmless to our tortoises. When I feel them in my skin, I frequently pull them out with my teeth and lips, and I have never had one stick in my mouth after all these years. Not once.
 

tortoiseplanet

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Well I bought the spineless kind so there are no spikes, the ones I am talking about are tinyyyyy, like magnifying glass tiny, I would never be able to even see them to be able to scrape them off
Brush the cactus with a tooth brush and some water. All those “microscopic” spikes come off with ease.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Once your cactus plant is fully established and growing large, you'll be able to just harvest the newer, younger pads. These have soft and supple, rubbery spines on them.
I also have the "spineless" variety. It should be called the "not as spiny" type.
Mine grow so fast at this point that I can pull off pads every day and never run out.
This is with just two potted, 4 foot tall plants.
 

Loohan

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The ones i have, i transplanted 20 years ago from some i found out in the wild (Ag Zone 6B) and they have hairs too small to see that feel like fiberglas, and a fair amount of them. Each spike node has a bunch of these.
I'm not sure whether they hurt my little boxies but i rub them off with an old rag. While wearing thick leather gloves, if i'm being prudent. But then the rag can transfer the spikes if i touch it with a bare hand. If i try to launder the rag, my clothes will pick up some spikes that will strike again. So i discard the rag after a few uses.
I tend to doubt that such spikes are totally harmless for little turtles to eat, but it may also be that my variety has more of these than some.
Big torts of course are a lot tougher.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Sounds like i should get some spiny pads off my neighbor and grow them.
Get a pot.
Put dirt in the pot.
Jam about 20% of the pad in the dirt.
Wet the dirt.
Done!
Very often they'll also grow if you just place a pad on top of the dirt.
 

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Cscui

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Hello. I have always wondered about this like yeah what would they do in the free desert? but I come from Mexico and we eat cactus pads "nopales" very often there so I always knew to clean them with a knife so that's why I do with my "spineless" which yeah have a lot of fiberglass ones like, here sometimes I get one in the bathroom or any other room I guess it flies from the backyard on my clothes or I don't get it but they are very annoyigg and painful! I just don't think that burning them work so good so I prefer to just take my time to cut them clean. Some markets here sells them cleaned already but the stores are kinda far from me.
One time I saw a video and this guy made a sharp hole like a knife in a spoon so it was super easy to clean the spines, you can find the video on YT. I tried making one but it wasn't so sharp so I went back to my good knife.

I just don't want to dare to hurt my tort (russian), he loves them altough I don't feed him nopales that often. I have planted some in his garden and he would never even touch them, go figure, he is very smart why would he if I feed him the cleaned ones ;)

Now that I'm thinking and I supposed nobody here has tried nopales, they are very tasty cooked in several ways and they taste like okra, has anyone fed okra to your torts?
 

tortoiseplanet

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Hello. I have always wondered about this like yeah what would they do in the free desert? but I come from Mexico and we eat cactus pads "nopales" very often there so I always knew to clean them with a knife so that's why I do with my "spineless" which yeah have a lot of fiberglass ones like, here sometimes I get one in the bathroom or any other room I guess it flies from the backyard on my clothes or I don't get it but they are very annoyigg and painful! I just don't think that burning them work so good so I prefer to just take my time to cut them clean. Some markets here sells them cleaned already but the stores are kinda far from me.
One time I saw a video and this guy made a sharp hole like a knife in a spoon so it was super easy to clean the spines, you can find the video on YT. I tried making one but it wasn't so sharp so I went back to my good knife.

I just don't want to dare to hurt my tort (russian), he loves them altough I don't feed him nopales that often. I have planted some in his garden and he would never even touch them, go figure, he is very smart why would he if I feed him the cleaned ones ;)

Now that I'm thinking and I supposed nobody here has tried nopales, they are very tasty cooked in several ways and they taste like okra, has anyone fed okra to your torts?

The Okra fruits, which are calcium-rich and low in carbohydrates, should be fed only sparingly to tortoises that are a fruit-eating species, because they are fairly high in oxalates.

The leaves and flowers of Okra are fine to feed in moderation to all species as part of a varied diet.

- https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/viewplants/?plant=871&c=8#.WuoGGRZlCEc
 

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