Greetings from New England :)

turtlegurl97

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Hello! I became a member and have been lurking here for a few months. Currently proud owner of a male RT named Sir Tor who I adopted locally :)
I previously raised an old RES for years but I thought I'd change it up and learn how to raise a tort as well.
I've been learning a lot from this forum in the past year from reading threads and such to improve Tor's well-being. So thank you everyone for the help!

I've been struggling lately to figure out how much calcium powder to give my little guy lately since I realized last week I may be overkilling on the calcium since I feed him a mix of collards/dandelion greens/turnip greens/endive. I've decided for now to reduce it to twice a week after a good couple days of reading up on it so thank you everyone :)
 

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Thomas tortoise

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Hello and welcome to the forum! A great way to give calcium to the tortoise is with a cuddle bone (I think that's what its called🤔) anyway its like a mineral stick you can find on amazon. Just put it in the cage and whenever the tortoise needs calcium he'll take a bite. This way you are not overdosing it with calcium cause the tort decides whether or not he wants a bite. @Tom says that his torts will leave the cuddle bone alone for days then on day they eat all of it within hours! So don't be afraid if your tortoise isn't eating it at first.
Hope this helps!

Thomas.
 

turtlegurl97

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Hello and welcome to the forum! A great way to give calcium to the tortoise is with a cuddle bone (I think that's what its called🤔) anyway its like a mineral stick you can find on amazon. Just put it in the cage and whenever the tortoise needs calcium he'll take a bite. This way you are not overdosing it with calcium cause the tort decides whether or not he wants a bite. @Tom says that his torts will leave the cuddle bone alone for days then on day they eat all of it within hours! So don't be afraid if your tortoise isn't eating it at first.
Hope this helps!

Thomas.
Thanks a bunch! I was reading about cuddlebone earlier and ended up ordering one online for Tor to try it out :)
For now, I'll probably stick with dusting his food 1 or 2 times a week. So far he still is active and shows signs of good health (though of course slowing down a bit due to the weather) so I don't think it's been too much of a negative effect (knock on wood). I should have mentioned he did reach 6 inches (he was about 5.5inches when I brought him home) so I don't believe he'll be needing as much going forward anyway 🤔
 

Thomas tortoise

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Thanks a bunch! I was reading about cuddlebone earlier and ended up ordering one online for Tor to try it out :)
For now, I'll probably stick with dusting his food 1 or 2 times a week. So far he still is active and shows signs of good health (though of course slowing down a bit due to the weather) so I don't think it's been too much of a negative effect (knock on wood). I should have mentioned he did reach 6 inches (he was about 5.5inches when I brought him home) so I don't believe he'll be needing as much going forward anyway 🤔
yeah, dusting the food twice a week sounds good to me.
 

crimson_lotus

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you are right and the foods you are feeding (dandelions, collards, turnip) are all high in oxalates I believe so they are good once a week ish but too much can cause kidney stones. Basically everything in moderation and you are golden.

I also bought some cactus powder from Kapidolo Farms and I sprinkle it on greens like lettuce, etc. once or twice a week if there is no cuttlebone. If you are also not a gardener, Whole Foods near me sells clover sprouts and sunflower greens which my tortoise loves. Escarole is also great, and having some "free" days (something lacking nutrition like lettuce) is good too every once in a while. Thats what I do at least.


this site basically tells you the same thing - everything in moderation
 

Tom

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Thanks a bunch! I was reading about cuddlebone earlier and ended up ordering one online for Tor to try it out :)
For now, I'll probably stick with dusting his food 1 or 2 times a week. So far he still is active and shows signs of good health (though of course slowing down a bit due to the weather) so I don't think it's been too much of a negative effect (knock on wood). I should have mentioned he did reach 6 inches (he was about 5.5inches when I brought him home) so I don't believe he'll be needing as much going forward anyway 🤔
You are right. Once or twice a week in small amounts will be good, and grown males don't need much.

The thing is: There is a wide margin of error here. Some people supplement the calcium every day, and some people never do. Both of them, and anything in-between seems to work. As a generality, I think most will agree that growing babies, giant species, and egg laying females can benefit from a bit more calcium than a full grown adult male of any normal sized species. Also, most of the people reading this are probably offering a good, varied, calcium rich diet based on the recommendations found almost every where for tortoises now. The only time we are likely to see a real problem is if a tortoise is housed poorly, indoors only, with no UV, and fed the wrong foods over a long time period. Occasional sunshine, indoor UV from a decent source, and a good diet will get the job done in most cases, even with no supplementation. Adding a little supplementation when we are using more grocery store greens in winter, or for small growing babies and egg laying females is a good way to ensure they are getting as much as they need. Leaving cuttle bone available allows them to self-supplement when they want. Cuttle bone is the actual bone like structure from a cuttle fish, which isn't a fish at all. Its a cephalopod, like a squid or octopus.

Anyway, yeah, a five inch male Russian doesn't need a whole lot of extra calcium when its being fed a good varied calcium rich diet.
 

Ink

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Welcome to the forum. Nice looking tortoise.
 

turtlegurl97

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you are right and the foods you are feeding (dandelions, collards, turnip) are all high in oxalates I believe so they are good once a week ish but too much can cause kidney stones. Basically everything in moderation and you are golden.

I also bought some cactus powder from Kapidolo Farms and I sprinkle it on greens like lettuce, etc. once or twice a week if there is no cuttlebone. If you are also not a gardener, Whole Foods near me sells clover sprouts and sunflower greens which my tortoise loves. Escarole is also great, and having some "free" days (something lacking nutrition like lettuce) is good too every once in a while. Thats what I do at least.


this site basically tells you the same thing - everything in moderation
I've been looking through these thank you very much :)
I'll work on limiting the turnips/dandelions/collards as well. He tends to love the endives and occasional romaine and picks those out before touching anything else anyway so I'll increase endive a bit as well and add escarole to the mix. I've also been giving him carrot tops as well lately from when we cook and he seems to enjoy those!
Admittedly it's been a journey figuring out what mix/ratio of stuff to give him but we've been making progress :)
 
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Bennettasher435

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Greetings, I am Bennet and I am lot of happy to came at this forum. I am a animal lover and Tortoise is my favorite. I want to give and take information about tortoise here.
 

Ink

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Greetings, I am Bennet and I am lot of happy to came at this forum. I am a animal lover and Tortoise is my favorite. I want to give and take information about tortoise here.
@Yvonne G could probably get you a new thread started.
 

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