Feeding my Sulcata

StephjShank

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
32
A few questions about feeding my 80lb sulcata tortoise:

Can I over feed him? He seems to eat everything I put in front of him. I'm worried maybe i'm not feeding him enough, and he's starving...

I feed him a few collard green leaves a day and a huge bunch of grass and weed cuttings from my front yard (grass equals the amount of everything else. 50% of everything else offered).
Aside from that I mix in and feed spinich, arugula, mustard greens, sometimes zucchini and squash, bok choy, timothy and alfalfa hay, zoomed pellets soaked in water with shredded carrots and calcium (once a week for this one), cactus leaves and aloe plan leaves.

Some other foods to note:
I let him have a taste of broccoli for the first time this week. Not to much because I read its not good in large amounts. Sometimes he will get a sliver of sweet potato. Oak tree leaves on occasion.

What do I need to add/subtract from this diet and how much should I be offering? The sulcata diet page has a huge list of things i've never heard of, so where I could find them will also help. Thanks.
 

dmmj

The member formerly known as captain awesome
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
19,720
Location (City and/or State)
CA
does he graze? Have you tried hay?
 

StephjShank

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
32
There's nothing to graze on in the yard, but I do leave a large amount of T&A sometimes T&O out for him. He will graze on that, as in, he take a bite here and there. But everything else he gobbles down
 

Big Charlie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
2,782
Location (City and/or State)
California
I don't think you can overfeed him. Charlie grazes off and on all day long. He'll take a bite in one place, then walk across the yard and take another bite. In this way, he gets a lot of exercise as well. I think if he was really hungry he would stay in one spot to eat his fill. I think you could make eating more interesting by laying his food out in different places and make him travel to get it. Maybe you are already doing this? As long as it is warm enough, I've never seen Charlie turn down anything I hand feed him.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,251
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
For large sulcatas I fiind it best to leave a flake or orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay. All the other stuff is a bonus. I usually use the bed of hay as a platform to feed out all the other stuff. This gets them eating even more of the grass hay.

Be sure to have a good water source always available when feeding dry hay, and be sure the tortoise is drinking from it regularly. It never hurts to soak them occasionally.

Green oak leaves are toxic. He should not be eating those.

Look for mulberry leaves and spineless opuntia pads. These are easy to find and good for bulk.

You can't over feed them, and yes, they eat a ton every day when the weather is nice.
 

StephjShank

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
32
For large sulcatas I fiind it best to leave a flake or orchard grass hay or Bermuda hay. All the other stuff is a bonus. I usually use the bed of hay as a platform to feed out all the other stuff. This gets them eating even more of the grass hay.

Be sure to have a good water source always available when feeding dry hay, and be sure the tortoise is drinking from it regularly. It never hurts to soak them occasionally.

Green oak leaves are toxic. He should not be eating those.

Look for mulberry leaves and spineless opuntia pads. These are easy to find and good for bulk.

You can't over feed them, and yes, they eat a ton every day when the weather is nice.

He eats a bunch of spineless cactus pads. Is Timothy and orchid an okay flake to leave out? I've been using timothy and alfalfa but I can switch. He shares an area with goats, so there's always hay available. I have a walmart kiddy pool available for him to drink from at all times.
I'm also not sure where to find mulberry leaves. I'll see if its a tree I can grow here in Fl
 

StephjShank

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
32
I don't think you can overfeed him. Charlie grazes off and on all day long. He'll take a bite in one place, then walk across the yard and take another bite. In this way, he gets a lot of exercise as well. I think if he was really hungry he would stay in one spot to eat his fill. I think you could make eating more interesting by laying his food out in different places and make him travel to get it. Maybe you are already doing this? As long as it is warm enough, I've never seen Charlie turn down anything I hand feed him.

I usually leave his food on this huge plastic thing thats the bottom to a dog igloo, so its his size. I don't usually spread it around the yard, but i'll start doing that around his mini car tracks. Thanks :)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,251
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
He eats a bunch of spineless cactus pads. Is Timothy and orchid an okay flake to leave out? I've been using timothy and alfalfa but I can switch. He shares an area with goats, so there's always hay available. I have a walmart kiddy pool available for him to drink from at all times.
I'm also not sure where to find mulberry leaves. I'll see if its a tree I can grow here in Fl

Timothy is fine, but I don't care for the stems. If your guy is eating it, then I think you are fine. I prefer orchard grass hay or bermuda hay, and I bet if you try it and give your tort some time to get used to the switch, he will like it better too. Alfalfa is okay some of the time, but not all day every day.

I tried many variations of kiddie pools and none of my sulcatas would drink from them or have anything to do with them. I use pizza dough trays sunk into the ground. They are just the right size.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,251
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I usually leave his food on this huge plastic thing thats the bottom to a dog igloo, so its his size. I don't usually spread it around the yard, but i'll start doing that around his mini car tracks. Thanks :)

I prefer to feed on a tray. If you do spread the food around, try to do it on an area with grass weeds or hay, so your tortoise isn't eating off of the bare dirt.
 
Top