HAY vs. GRASS vs. STRAW

sharon 1970

New Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2023
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Southminster, Essex
Just a word of caution for you about Aspen Shavings. I tried it using once for my Star Tortoises and one of them ate a huge amount of it and died from an impacted gut. The necropsy showed NOTHING in its entire digestive tract except Aspen Shavings.

So it seems that some tortoises are liable to eat the shavings purposely and then they are unable to digest them leading to deaths such as what I experienced.

I would recommend NOT using Aspen Shavings at all for tortoises.
Thankyou for the advice, what do you use if you don't mind me asking
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
3,487
Thankyou for the advice, what do you use if you don't mind me asking
I used cypress mulch for the last 15 years of my tortoise keeping. I used eucalyptus mulch for at least 20 years prior to that, but had to switch to cypress mulch when the eucalyptus mulch became impossible to obtain any longer in my area.

For tiny babies, I used damp coco coir. I recommend getting the bricks and reconstituting them with water which is much less costly than buying bags of the powder.
 
Last edited:

SuzanneZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
401
Location (City and/or State)
Georgetown
there any NUTRITIONAL value to hay & natural grasses, or is it simply for roughage as a healthy part of their diet.

The reason I ask is because they're betting in their homes is straw, because it tends to hold heat better than shavings. I'm not sure if there is any benefit or harm to them eating straw as an additive to all the grass and feed that they are being given each day.

The only time they actually eat the straw is right before they go to bed and I'm not exactly sure if they eat it while they are in their rooms (which are heated and monitored) or not. And recently they have decided that two of them can fit in one house, and they peak their heads out through the door when it is opened, but neither one of them want to go out it seems, but they stick their heads out just to enjoy the Sun because the rest of them is getting heated by their reptile heater on the ceiling. It's actually quite funny to watch!

(I would have attached a beautiful photo but I am apparently a technology idiot and can't seem to get a link or anything while I'm trying to add a photo. )
Laughed just about tech idiot. I had to get help yesterday.
 

SuzanneZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
401
Location (City and/or State)
Georgetown
there any NUTRITIONAL value to hay & natural grasses, or is it simply for roughage as a healthy part of their diet.

The reason I ask is because they're betting in their homes is straw, because it tends to hold heat better than shavings. I'm not sure if there is any benefit or harm to them eating straw as an additive to all the grass and feed that they are being given each day.

The only time they actually eat the straw is right before they go to bed and I'm not exactly sure if they eat it while they are in their rooms (which are heated and monitored) or not. And recently they have decided that two of them can fit in one house, and they peak their heads out through the door when it is opened, but neither one of them want to go out it seems, but they stick their heads out just to enjoy the Sun because the rest of them is getting heated by their reptile heater on the ceiling. It's actually quite funny to watch!

(I would have attached a beautiful photo but I am apparently a technology idiot and can't seem to get a link or anything while I'm trying to add a photo. )
The reason I don't use staw, or similar type bedding is beause it molds when wet
I'm using a sprinkling of Timothy hay over the substrate just so I don't waste $11.95. I sprinkle water (barely) on it thinking I'm upping the humidity. He isn't about to eat it. Must just be the big ones who love it? I'll change it out before it goes bad.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,821
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I'm using a sprinkling of Timothy hay over the substrate just so I don't waste $11.95. I sprinkle water (barely) on it thinking I'm upping the humidity. He isn't about to eat it. Must just be the big ones who love it? I'll change it out before it goes bad.
That is a bad idea all around. If they eat it, substrate ingestion is likely. If they don't eat it, it makes a moldy mess and serves as a growing media for all sorts of pathogens.

What species of tortoise do you have?
 

SuzanneZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
401
Location (City and/or State)
Georgetown
That is a bad idea all around. If they eat it, substrate ingestion is likely. If they don't eat it, it makes a moldy mess and serves as a growing media for all sorts of pathogens.

What species of tortoise do you have?
Russian, who are sleeping much. Their houses are beside my left elbow, so you can say I'm right on top of this.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,821
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Russian, who are sleeping much. Their houses are beside my left elbow, so you can say I'm right on top of this.
Russians don't eat grass or hay anyway, so there is absolutely no benefit to having hay in your enclosure. I would remove it as soon as possible, BEFORE you have a problem.
 

SuzanneZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
401
Location (City and/or State)
Georgetown
Russians don't eat grass or hay anyway, so there is absolutely no benefit to having hay in your enclosure. I would remove it as soon as possible, BEFORE you have a problem.
It smells good.
 
Top