Food/Diet

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janiedough

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I had tacked this on to the new owner questions thread, but no one answered me. So I started this thread:

I have read numerous websites and threads, but I still have diet questions.

Percival, my Sulcata, is only 7" long and he is in aspen bedding which he sometimes eats. I think he was eating it at first because I refused to give him fruit - I think he was spoiled on it by his previous owner and was not going to eat the turnip greens I put in his dish.

I take him out for an hour or two everyday to eat grass and clover and get some sunshine. He also roams around like crazy. I feed him about one leaf of turnip greens a day which is all he will eat - if I put more he lets it dry up and doesn't touch it. I also have a hibiscus plant - how many leaves and flowers should I be feeding him of that?

I guess I am just trying to make sure his diet is balanced. I haven't bought a cactus yet, but are those just supposed to be treats or what?

Between the mix of grass, clovers, aspen bedding, turnip greens and hibiscus about how much of these should he be eating a day? He is a stubborn booger, and I have a feeling he is holding out for fruit, but I am determined to get him on a good diet.

Also - do I need soak him - I know it is recommended for hatchings, but he is older than that right? I have a saucer big enough and easily accessible to him full of water in his container but he never gets in it. I put him in it a few times a week, but he gives me ugly looks and gets out of it almost immediately. I have never seen him drink...so should I soak him?

oh and I took him for a "walk" today - I brought him to the park to go graze

he ate bark off of some oak trees - is that ok?

He also has been loving up some banana tree leaves.
 

roamingbull

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Hi, I'm a new owner myself, but from all of the good folks on this site and a lot of research, I have learned a lot. One thing I do know is that a soak a week for about 15 to 20 minutes is a good thing. He is probably drinking when your not watching, They actually use there water intake very well as they are a desert animal. However soaking does a lot for him. You should do that for the rest of his life. Or as they go for as long as you can until he gets handed down that is.

Our Smeagol will not eat fruit...he actually nibbled at a cucumber for a bit. We give him a vitamin supplement about twice a week or so and he has a cuttlebone in his pen. Sounds like he is getting a variety but I'm sure there are folks on this site that may have better info than I. Ill be watching this thread for that very reason myself.

Take care,
-Tony

ps. My little one has also attempted to eat bark when I have had him out on his outings. I took it from him before he could eat it, but I would also like to know if that is OK.
 

janiedough

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I feel ignored and Percy's not eating! I don't mean to whine but I need some answers!
 

cvalda

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I don't know much about sulcatas so can't give you tons of info...

But you should soak him once a week, at least. And when you take him to the park, make sure that he isn't eating anything that may have been sprayed with pesticides or anything like that!

As for eating at home, keeping trying those weeds and greens, he'll come around when he's hungry enough. They can survive a looooong time without eating. But if you want to try squeezing a little fruit juice (like strawberry juice) on the food to make it more tasty at first, you could try that!

Good luck!
 

janiedough

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thanks!

so what about percentages - how much of what should he be eating?
and can he eat bark?
 

Sulcata Lover

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Hello,
I would make at least 75-80% of his diet dried grasses and dandelion greens. You can occasionaly feed treats such as tomatoes, or pumpkin when you can get it. Sulcatas will graze if they have an area to roam around in. Yes soak him at least twice a week, until he gets bigger. As far as the bark, I would stay away from that, that could cause his plumbing to get backed up and could result in a costly vet visit. Remember, these guys are bulldozing eating machines. They will eat anything they feel like putting in their mouth.
As he grows he wont walk around objects in his path...He will go through them!
 

janiedough

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thanks - would the hibiscus leaves be considered treats or grass/dandelion greens?

and do the grasses have to be dried - like that doesn't include the grass he eats outside?

and the cactus - treat or necessary dietary fiber??
 

SULCATACRAZY

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Hi Janiedough
you should soak him 1-2 times a week until he's too heavy to do so! As previously posted, i would really be warey of letting him graze at the park, due to the sprays.
Is he eating any soaked hay yet? You want to get him eating that young. He main diet should be what he would find naturally, so lots of grass, weeds, leaves etc. Avoid the fruits as much as you can.
with the hybiscus, i think it would be fine to give him a bit each day. I had to fence mine off, TB got into them and ate 3 huge plants down to stubs in ONE day!!!
with the cactus, mine gets it as a treat, he should probably have it more, but at 85lbs, i guess i'm doing something right! LOL
 

SULCATACRAZY

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janiedough said:
thanks - would the hibiscus leaves be considered treats or grass/dandelion greens?

and do the grasses have to be dried - like that doesn't include the grass he eats outside?

and the cactus - treat or necessary dietary fiber??


grass/dandelion should be given daily as a majority of his diet

fresh, not dried, its a big part of his water intake. in the height of the summer here, TB gets a couple of cucumbers daily to increase his water intake, as he doesnt graze as much when he's cooling down in his burrow under the eucalyptus tree!
 

roamingbull

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Outside food. Grass, dandelion greens, clovers, weeds, grass hay, and such should be 80% of his diet, then you can go to a good organic store and get your other greens (not iceberg lettuce) think ruff stuff. The hibiscus leaves are actually good and can be a part of that 80%. We go grocery shopping for Smeagol at nursery's and garden shops. You can get a good list of good stuff and bad stuff at the following web sites :

http://www.sdturtle.org/
http://www.tortoise.com/

You can give him treats, mine will only eat cucumbers. But they say they do like strawberries, and stuff. But only once in a while. I understand you are trying to knock yours of the habit. They will eat eventually, and if you let them roam in a good non sprayed field he will explore and eat. I found mine at first would only eat if he "Found" it himself. He would not eat stuff given to him. Now that is not a problem but it was at first. I think it was a rebellion thing.

Good luck.
-Tony
 

janiedough

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roamingbull said:
You can give him treats, mine will only eat cucumbers. But they say they do like strawberries, and stuff. But only once in a while. I understand you are trying to knock yours of the habit. They will eat eventually, and if you let them roam in a good non sprayed field he will explore and eat. I found mine at first would only eat if he "Found" it himself. He would not eat stuff given to him. Now that is not a problem but it was at first. I think it was a rebellion thing.

Good luck.
-Tony

Percy loves oranges,but I don't give them to him anymore. At first when I didn't know better (the first day I had him), I cut an orange into eighths and gave him one. That's all he ate.

And yeah - I found out this week he only likes to eat the things he finds.

Torts are so funny...
 

roamingbull

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I just found a great organic produce place up where we live. All sorts of good stuff in there. A bit pricey, but not too bad. Anyone have any experiance with wheat grass?
 

Crazy1

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on this site http://www.anapsid.org/tortdiet.html it lists oranges as ok occasionally for DTs But not hatchlings.

Roamingbull. I have given my sulcata wheat grass and she seems to like it fine I just snip the tops off and into her food. The Big DTs. like it too.
 

drgnfly2265

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janiedough said:
I had tacked this on to the new owner questions thread, but no one answered me. So I started this thread:

I have read numerous websites and threads, but I still have diet questions.

Percival, my Sulcata, is only 7" long and he is in aspen bedding which he sometimes eats. I think he was eating it at first because I refused to give him fruit - I think he was spoiled on it by his previous owner and was not going to eat the turnip greens I put in his dish.

I take him out for an hour or two everyday to eat grass and clover and get some sunshine. He also roams around like crazy. I feed him about one leaf of turnip greens a day which is all he will eat - if I put more he lets it dry up and doesn't touch it. I also have a hibiscus plant - how many leaves and flowers should I be feeding him of that?

I guess I am just trying to make sure his diet is balanced. I haven't bought a cactus yet, but are those just supposed to be treats or what?

Between the mix of grass, clovers, aspen bedding, turnip greens and hibiscus about how much of these should he be eating a day? He is a stubborn booger, and I have a feeling he is holding out for fruit, but I am determined to get him on a good diet.

Also - do I need soak him - I know it is recommended for hatchings, but he is older than that right? I have a saucer big enough and easily accessible to him full of water in his container but he never gets in it. I put him in it a few times a week, but he gives me ugly looks and gets out of it almost immediately. I have never seen him drink...so should I soak him?

oh and I took him for a "walk" today - I brought him to the park to go graze

he ate bark off of some oak trees - is that ok?

He also has been loving up some banana tree leaves.



My sulcata is about 9 months old. In his pen where he stays in I give him all the hay and alfalfa that he wants. But he really enjoys his handful of romaine lettuce that I give him once a day, which also has carrots in it. He also loves it when we go outside. He'll eat grass, weeds, and flowers. And he LOVES to walk!
I'm not quite sure if bark is alright or not. I would probably take it away from my tortoise if he tried to eat it.

------------------------------------------------------

1 Sulcata Tortoise (Bowser)

:p
 

Crazy1

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I would be careful feeding him alfalfa as it is really high in protein and Romaine should only be given occasionally. Yes even if they love it you can always mix it up with other weeds, dandilion, hybiscus flowers and leaves. But I just love watching them pick and chose when they are outside and can take a bite here and there.
 
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