Feeding schedule

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Jun 19, 2017
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Hello. I’m new to the Sulcata world and I’m in need of some advice on a feeding schedule. I was thinking 3 times a week besides the grazing stuff but a detailed schedule would be absolutely wonderful. She is 20 lbs. came from a rescue. Not sure of age. Any input much appreciated. Thanks!
 

OmarOlea

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Hello Stephanie, I agree with 3 or 4 times a week. I usually feed mine every other day or every two days just depending on what I give them. I usually give mine a mixture of greens. I use like seven or eight different types of greens but I usually try to give them only half of those at a time. For example, On Mondays, I usually give them Romaine Lettuce, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, and Hibiscus leaves. Then on Wednesday, I give them cactus pads, kale, mustard greens, and arugula. Then either Friday or Saturday I give them a little bit of everything. Then on the other days that I don't feed them, I usually just toss out a little of Mazuri pellets on the grass and just let them graze for them.
 
Joined
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Hello Stephanie, I agree with 3 or 4 times a week. I usually feed mine every other day or every two days just depending on what I give them. I usually give mine a mixture of greens. I use like seven or eight different types of greens but I usually try to give them only half of those at a time. For example, On Mondays, I usually give them Romaine Lettuce, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, and Hibiscus leaves. Then on Wednesday, I give them cactus pads, kale, mustard greens, and arugula. Then either Friday or Saturday I give them a little bit of everything. Then on the other days that I don't feed them, I usually just toss out a little of Mazuri pellets on the grass and just let them graze for them.

Thank you! I read conflicting info on the mazuri diet, So I wasn’t sure about that. I also have 2 redfoots about 3 and 4 years old and I usually give it to them once a week. Sulcatas are different then my little guys so I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. What a cool tortoise tho! Thanks again :)
 

Tom

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Please go into your user profile and put in a general location. Different advice for someone in Fresno vs. Fargo, ya know?

Your tortoise should be fed as much as it wants to eat of the right foods daily. They are grazers. A large percentage of the diet should be grass or grass hay. At 20 pounds, you should begin introducing grass hay if you haven't already. Ideally, this time of year, you can simply allow the tortoise to graze at will in a large enclosure full of suitable weeds and grasses. If not, then feeding them suitable weeds and grasses is the next best thing. I find using grocery store foods for a large sulcata to be impractical, expensive, and less than optimal. Here is what you should be feeding: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

To get them going on grass hay, I usually feed them all their other foods on a bed of grass hay. For most sulcatas, this will do it in time and after a few weeks, they will start intentionally eating the hay along with the other stuff. I prefer Bermuda or orchard grass hay. I don't like Timothy or alfalfa hay for sulcatas. Alternatively, you can chop up handfuls of the grass hay and soak it for an hour in warm water to re-hydrate it a bit. Then mix your chopped, re-hydrated hay into the pile of other greens for the day. Start with a tiny amount at first, and gradually add more over time as they get used to it. Mixing it with old favorites is a good way to get them started on it.
 
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Please go into your user profile and put in a general location. Different advice for someone in Fresno vs. Fargo, ya know?

Your tortoise should be fed as much as it wants to eat of the right foods daily. They are grazers. A large percentage of the diet should be grass or grass hay. At 20 pounds, you should begin introducing grass hay if you haven't already. Ideally, this time of year, you can simply allow the tortoise to graze at will in a large enclosure full of suitable weeds and grasses. If not, then feeding them suitable weeds and grasses is the next best thing. I find using grocery store foods for a large sulcata to be impractical, expensive, and less than optimal. Here is what you should be feeding: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

To get them going on grass hay, I usually feed them all their other foods on a bed of grass hay. For most sulcatas, this will do it in time and after a few weeks, they will start intentionally eating the hay along with the other stuff. I prefer Bermuda or orchard grass hay. I don't like Timothy or alfalfa hay for sulcatas. Alternatively, you can chop up handfuls of the grass hay and soak it for an hour in warm water to re-hydrate it a bit. Then mix your chopped, re-hydrated hay into the pile of other greens for the day. Start with a tiny amount at first, and gradually add more over time as they get used to it. Mixing it with old favorites is a good way to get them started on it.

Sorry I haven’t really used this site so I’m not experienced with it. Im in Florida. I appreciate the advice. I have been giving orchard hay.
 

Tom

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Sorry I haven’t really used this site so I’m not experienced with it. Im in Florida. I appreciate the advice. I have been giving orchard hay.
In FL you have lots of good stuff to feed your tortoise. Weeds, mulberry leaves, grape vine leaves, wild grasses, spineless opuntia, kudzu, hibiscus leaves and flowers, etc... The grass hay is a good staple. They can live on that alone, but I like to add in lots of variety.

I also think Mazuri is a good supplemental food once in a while. Forgot to mention that in my previous post. I give it to mine once or twice a week when other food is scarce like in fall when all the summer crops go dormant, but our winters rains haven't come and brought the weeds yet. But I always have the grass hay available to them during those times. The only time mine don't have the grass hay is during our winter rainy season. No need for it because they don't eat it, they eat the fresh growing grasses and weeds instead, and then the hay just molds in the rainy weather.
 
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In FL you have lots of good stuff to feed your tortoise. Weeds, mulberry leaves, grape vine leaves, wild grasses, spineless opuntia, kudzu, hibiscus leaves and flowers, etc... The grass hay is a good staple. They can live on that alone, but I like to add in lots of variety.

I also think Mazuri is a good supplemental food once in a while. Forgot to mention that in my previous post. I give it to mine once or twice a week when other food is scarce like in fall when all the summer crops go dormant, but our winters rains haven't come and brought the weeds yet. But I always have the grass hay available to them during those times. The only time mine don't have the grass hay is during our winter rainy season. No need for it because they don't eat it, they eat the fresh growing grasses and weeds instead, and then the hay just molds in the rainy weather.

Thank you. You have been very helpful [emoji4]
 
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Thank you. You have been very helpful [emoji4]

Tom, I have a question for you since you are so knowledgeable. How do I know if this weed is safe for my Sulcata? It’s basically covering the entire ground in my back yard. I’ve tried to identify it on the plant snap app but not having luck. There are multiple weeds growing in my yard that I have no clue what they are. She eats it so I just thought I would ask. Thank you IMG 4591
 

Yvonne G

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It looks like the tortoise has been kept in a pretty dirty, dry location prior to you getting it. She would probably welcome being able to sit in a large tub of water for a while to allow all that built up black grime to soften and then you can scrub it off.
 

Yvonne G

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Take a look at pachysandra and see if that looks like what your tortoise is eating. If it looks like the plant, then this is what I found on a Google search:

Toxicity. Pachysandra contains no toxic substances and poses no danger for pets and children, according to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Similarly, the plant is not included on the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' list of toxic plants.
 
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It looks like the tortoise has been kept in a pretty dirty, dry location prior to you getting it. She would probably welcome being able to sit in a large tub of water for a while to allow all that built up black grime to soften and then you can scrub it off.

Thank you! I thought she looked dirty but I wasn’t sure lol
 
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Take a look at pachysandra and see if that looks like what your tortoise is eating. If it looks like the plant, then this is what I found on a Google search:

Toxicity. Pachysandra contains no toxic substances and poses no danger for pets and children, according to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Similarly, the plant is not included on the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' list of toxic plants.

Ok I’ll check. The other thing I just saw is Wedelia. But I can’t find any info in it
 
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She has been eating these leaves. Not flowers because they currently aren’t blooming and haven’t for quite some time. I’ve only had her a week and a half and today I noticed softer stools. Now I’m really wondering about the plants/weeds in my yard. It’s almost impossible to identify all of them.
 
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