For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata...

Caboose

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Can someone tell me if the picture of grass i posted is safe? And what to plant it in?


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]
 

JeffG

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Tom said:
...Actually, this is completely applicable to South African leopards. My 12 inchers are already readily munching on orchard grass hay, and thank goodness, because they are total pigs and eat a ton every day...

For regular leopards, or testudo, just skip the grass part, but the rest of the list is all good. I feed CDTs a fair amount of grass too, but not like a sulcata.

I'm surprised to hear this. My babcocki's diet consits of about 99% grass. I give them some Mazuri and Marion occassionally, and store bought spring mix maybe twice a month as a treat, but other than that, they graze on grass every day. They seem to love it. Do they need more "leafy" weeds?
 

Dizisdalife

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Caboose said:
Can someone tell me if the picture of grass i posted is safe? And what to plant it in?


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]

I believe that is the same brand of bermuda grass that I used. I planted it outside, but growing it in flats indoors should work too. It grows in just about any type of soil. I used a top soil that is free of any fertilizers.
 

Baoh

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JeffG said:
Tom said:
...Actually, this is completely applicable to South African leopards. My 12 inchers are already readily munching on orchard grass hay, and thank goodness, because they are total pigs and eat a ton every day...

For regular leopards, or testudo, just skip the grass part, but the rest of the list is all good. I feed CDTs a fair amount of grass too, but not like a sulcata.

I'm surprised to hear this. My babcocki's diet consits of about 99% grass. I give them some Mazuri and Marion occassionally, and store bought spring mix maybe twice a month as a treat, but other than that, they graze on grass every day. They seem to love it. Do they need more "leafy" weeds?

Your experiences are normal. Their needs are being met.
 

Tom

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Caboose said:
Can someone tell me if the picture of grass i posted is safe? And what to plant it in?


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]

No it is not safe. See the bottom where it says its coated with stuff. That's no good. You need to buy some pasture mix from a feed store or you can try groworganic.com.
 

Caboose

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Thank you.


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]
 

Tom

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JeffG said:
Tom said:
...Actually, this is completely applicable to South African leopards. My 12 inchers are already readily munching on orchard grass hay, and thank goodness, because they are total pigs and eat a ton every day...

For regular leopards, or testudo, just skip the grass part, but the rest of the list is all good. I feed CDTs a fair amount of grass too, but not like a sulcata.

I'm surprised to hear this. My babcocki's diet consits of about 99% grass. I give them some Mazuri and Marion occassionally, and store bought spring mix maybe twice a month as a treat, but other than that, they graze on grass every day. They seem to love it. Do they need more "leafy" weeds?

You might have hybrids. Most hybrids seem to like grass as much as full South Africans. Sometimes pure babcocki are reported to like it too. A while back Neal posted a study on wild leopards and the diet consisted mostly of forbs and succulents, even though grass was also readily available. Different story down on the Cape. I would try to feed more weeds, leaves and succulents if I were you. I don't do 99% grass for any of my tortoises.
 

JeffG

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Tom, It's possible that they are hybrids, but they came from 3 different sources so it seems weird that they would all be hybrids. They do have access to leafy plants at all times, and they do eat they occasionally, but not nearly as much as they graze on the grass. I intentionally let weeds grow in parts of their range during the times of year when weeds grow, but they still prefer the grass to the weeds. I never considered it a problem since its their choice, I was just surprised to hear you say that G.p.b.'s generally don't like grass.

I will say, they do come running when they see me with spring mix in my hands. They really like that a LOT.
 

Tom

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The prevalence of hybrids is much higher than most people realize in my experience. There are at least five people that I know of on this forum that are knowingly, intentionally, allowing South Africans to hybridized with what are believed to be pure babcocki. It's been this way with leopards for a long time. I wish it didn't happen, but its out of my control.
 

Caboose

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I'm going to bye dandelion weeds and seeds and also grass seeds from groco seed on eBay.


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and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]
 

Neal

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JeffG said:
Tom, It's possible that they are hybrids, but they came from 3 different sources so it seems weird that they would all be hybrids. They do have access to leafy plants at all times, and they do eat they occasionally, but not nearly as much as they graze on the grass. I intentionally let weeds grow in parts of their range during the times of year when weeds grow, but they still prefer the grass to the weeds. I never considered it a problem since its their choice, I was just surprised to hear you say that G.p.b.'s generally don't like grass.

I hope not to deviate the topic, but I would just like to add two cents.

I think it might be a little bit of a broad assumption that they would prefer any sort of weed over grass. Perhaps your specific types of weeds are just not as appetizing Jeff. I would be curious to see how your tortoises behaved if you gave them large areas of succulents to graze on though. It has been over a year since I have read the article, so maybe I am not remembering it correctly, but did it only make observations in one general area? I would be curious to learn about leopard eating behavior in other areas where it is found.
 

JeffG

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Sounds like a topic of discussion at the TTPG conference in November.
 

Baoh

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The broad hybrid rationale seems to be a reach to re-fit the observations to the idea instead of fitting the idea to the observations.


Neal said:
JeffG said:
Tom, It's possible that they are hybrids, but they came from 3 different sources so it seems weird that they would all be hybrids. They do have access to leafy plants at all times, and they do eat they occasionally, but not nearly as much as they graze on the grass. I intentionally let weeds grow in parts of their range during the times of year when weeds grow, but they still prefer the grass to the weeds. I never considered it a problem since its their choice, I was just surprised to hear you say that G.p.b.'s generally don't like grass.

I hope not to deviate the topic, but I would just like to add two cents.

I think it might be a little bit of a broad assumption that they would prefer any sort of weed over grass. Perhaps your specific types of weeds are just not as appetizing Jeff. I would be curious to see how your tortoises behaved if you gave them large areas of succulents to graze on though. It has been over a year since I have read the article, so maybe I am not remembering it correctly, but did it only make observations in one general area? I would be curious to learn about leopard eating behavior in other areas where it is found.

I have seen the piece before, but do you have it handy? I do not have it on hand.

I would like to check out the details regarding total number examined and spread of collection area.


Found it from Neal's older post. Thanks to Neal.

The range of collection was small relative to the full (very extensive) range. The numbers (samples) collected were good. Animals would often self-select the juicy stuff that had a greater water and nutritional content when available. Grass was said to still be consumed at roughly a sixth of the total diet on average in areas where grass growth was less available or sustained than areas where grass growth and consumption has been studied as being a more prevalent part of the diet.

They eat what is available. They eat what they prefer when multiple food sources are available. Grass is not always readily available in some sections of the range due to climatic differences and other factors. It is not grounds for a conclusion that translates to "babcocki do not really eat grass" or anything like that. More like "the animals studied do eat some grass, but seemed to prefer and more heavily consumed forbs relative to grasses (especially) in areas where forbs had greater sustained availability than grasses".

A lot of various tortoises behave similarly the world over from what I have seen in the wild and in captivity.

1) Availability. 2) Preference. 3) Variety.
 

Tom

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... and then there are all the observations of captives and recurring themes witnessed there.
 

jpeff

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here is a list of sites for sulcata food seed mix
arizonatortoisecompond.com
sulcatafood.com
carolinapetsupply.com
desertseedstore.com

these sites sell weeds grasses and flowers for sulcata
 

Caboose

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Do sulcata like to eat the rose flowers and hibiscus flowers or do they just eat the leaves. My sulcata love hibiscus flowers


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]
 

Tom

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They love the flowers too, just don't give them too any. Lots of leaves are good, just not too many flowers and not everyday.
 

Caboose

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So do t give the babies flowers???


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]
 

samsmom

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if samson is able to graze outside daily then should i not offer spring mix at all? how often could i feed him mazuri?
 

Baoh

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Tom said:
... and then there are all the observations of captives and recurring themes witnessed there.

People do not get to claim the research when it suits their desire and exclude it when it does not fit their desire.

Plenty of us keep leopards, sulcatas, and more. Typically, the very young eat other things and then progress to grasses as they grow, as height of plant growth is a factor (which is another point made in the research).


Caboose said:
So do t give the babies flowers???


My Sulcata Michelangelo[TURTLE]
and my RedFoot Raphael [TURTLE]

It is fine to feed the babies flowers.


samsmom said:
if samson is able to graze outside daily then should i not offer spring mix at all? how often could i feed him mazuri?

You can still feed Samson additional items. If Samson is grazing on his own outside daily to his fill, then it may simply be unnecessary to offer more. Not something to avoid if you want to still give him extra, though. You can feed it as often as you like as long as he is getting plenty of food.
 

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