help! caring for a baby hermann tortoise and all i feed it is lettuce :(

tortyboyman

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i have a small 2 inch hatchling in a 4x2 foot table in some coco soir, it wouldnt eat parsley and it would just go for lettuce. i give it lettuce on the daily however i hear that it should most commonly eat weeds like dandelion and the such but it is inaccessible in the UAE. im thinking of just going for kale and perhaps rocket? do i opt for pellets that i find online?
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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You really should try introducing some pellets to add fiber to his diet. Are you giving him calcium? Have you read the care guides here?
 

tortyboyman

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You really should try introducing some pellets to add fiber to his diet. Are you giving him calcium? Have you read the care guides here?
I have read the care guide, and got that the basic idea is no fruit whatsoever, foods like kale and lettuce etc in moderation, and daily feed = edible weeds. problem is the soil in the UAE is not so great for edible weeds, and im not so sure of how to access them besides planting my own weeds and waiting quite a while.
 

tortyboyman

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Do you have a UV bulb in his enclousure?
the care guide said it was unnecessary so long as he was getting adequate sun exposure outside, i do have a UVB light though but the bulb was burnt first try and i now need to purchase a new one, but i am finding that unnecessary so long as it gets sun.
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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I hope you read all these carefully, some care guides are outdated but these are great:
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Is he active? Have you kept track of his weight? Can you give the specific specs on his enclosure? If the specs aren't quite right it can cause him not to eat.
  • Temperature ratings (ambient, hot side, cool side)
  • Humidity (hot side, cool side, ambient, hide)
  • Substrate
  • Any decoration you have in his enclosure
  • Does he have a water dish he can soak in?
  • Is it a closed chamber?
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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the care guide said it was unnecessary so long as he was getting adequate sun exposure outside, i do have a UVB light though but the bulb was burnt first try and i now need to purchase a new one, but i am finding that unnecessary so long as it gets sun.
That adequate sun exposure means a few hours a day, not through a window. This has to be done at least 6 months out of the year.
 

tortyboyman

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Is he active? Have you kept track of his weight? Can you give the specific specs on his enclosure? If the specs aren't quite right it can cause him not to eat.
  • Temperature ratings (ambient, hot side, cool side)
  • Humidity (hot side, cool side, ambient, hide)
  • Substrate
  • Any decoration you have in his enclosure
  • Does he have a water dish he can soak in?
  • Is it a closed chamber?
30c hot, 25 ambient, 23 cool
constant 60% humidity + hide is 80+
substrate = coco soir
2 rocks for basking area
yes
partially closed, its a tortoise table
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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I have read the care guide, and got that the basic idea is no fruit whatsoever, foods like kale and lettuce etc in moderation, and daily feed = edible weeds. problem is the soil in the UAE is not so great for edible weeds, and im not so sure of how to access them besides planting my own weeds and waiting quite a while.
I would still recommend you plant your own, even though it is going to take a while. Tortoises live decades and they need a varied diet to stay healthy, so there isn't any one food they can consistently eat, their diet in the wild consists of dozens of different species.
 

tortyboyman

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I would still recommend you plant your own, even though it is going to take a while. Tortoises live decades and they need a varied diet to stay healthy, so there isn't any one food they can consistently eat, their diet in the wild consists of dozens of different species.
what do i do meanwhile?
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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the care guide said it was unnecessary so long as he was getting adequate sun exposure outside, i do have a UVB light though but the bulb was burnt first try and i now need to purchase a new one, but i am finding that unnecessary so long as it gets sun.
Yes, with 4 hours of UAE sunlight you don't need a UVB lamp. Just, please, be careful - I believe he can overheat easily if no shade is provided (and in summer sun can be too hot during the day, so let him out in the morning - at 10AM, probably).

In the care guides linked above, look through the Diet sections. Rocket and kale are good additions to his diet, but can't be the only foods he eat. Parsley is not a great food, only on rare occasion. If you can get him hibiscus or mulberry leaves - they are great source of fiber and nutrients. Can you post what can you get in the grocery stores, so we can choose the best options?

Grocery store foods are fine to feed with some amendments. Pellets given once or twice a week provide missing nutrients and fiber. Check for Mazuri/Nutrazu, Agrobs Pre-Alpin, Hikari Mulberiffic Delite, ZooMed Grassland - what's available for you to buy.
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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I would order ome tortoise pellets to add fiber to his diet. What tortoise pellets do you have availeble for you? Some pellets are better than others. And I would try to introduce as many diffrent leafy greens you have at the grocery store as long as they aren't toxic of course. You can find many threads here on safe plants and how to get picky tortoises to eat. I would just keep on trying to introduce diffrent things and make sure he is gaining weight :)
what do i do meanwhile?
 

tortyboyman

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Yes, with 4 hours of UAE sunlight you don't need a UVB lamp. Just, please, be careful - I believe he can overheat easily if no shade is provided (and in summer sun can be too hot during the day, so let him out in the morning - at 10AM, probably).

In the care guides linked above, look through the Diet sections. Rocket and kale are good additions to his diet, but can't be the only foods he eat. Parsley is not a great food, only on rare occasion. If you can get him hibiscus or mulberry leaves - they are great source of fiber and nutrients. Can you post what can you get in the grocery stores, so we can choose the best options?
awesome, he can hide underneath bushes so hes chilling.
ill give u a video today!
www.amazon.ae
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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I looked at LuLu - you really have a choice. Gerger (same as arugula or rocket), pakchoi, drumstick leaves (moringa), kale, lollo and romaine lettuce, coriander (cilantro), aloe vera, oregano, radish leaves, chinese cabbage. On occasion - okra.

Check salad mixes (there are with beet leaves, gerger and something like that). They may contain spinach - it's okay to feed in *small* amounts, no need to pick it out.

Also you may grow something like chia or opuntia cactus.
 

tortyboyman

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I looked at LuLu - you really have a choice. Gerger (same as arugula or rocket), pakchoi, drumstick leaves (moringa), kale, lollo and romaine lettuce, coriander (cilantro), aloe vera, oregano, radish leaves, chinese cabbage. On occasion - okra.

Check salad mixes (there are with beet leaves, gerger and something like that). They may contain spinach - it's okay to feed in *small* amounts, no need to pick it out.

Also you may grow something like chia or opuntia cactus.
i really appreciate you! im going to stop feeding it romainne and only give it arugula. i believe a type of mallow is native to the UAE and I will search for it.
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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awesome, he can hide underneath bushes so hes chilling.
ill give u a video today!
www.amazon.ae
I went through the website you linked and listed everything tortoises can eat. All the things I listed can be fed as a part of a varied diet, but there are some that should be fed less than others.

Lettuce (Lollo mixes, boston lettuce, baby salad mix, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce)

Cabbages and other plants from the brassica family (chinese cabbage, red cabbage, white cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, curly kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi, rocket leaves, pakchoi, gerger leaves, brussel sprouts)

Herbs (oregano, thyme, fennel, rosemary, mint, coriander, sage)

Other vegetables (aloe vera, celery, red and white radish (especially the leaves), carrots, okra, banana leaves (as a treat), snake gourd (as a treat), red and green spinach, capsicum (green, yellow, orange or red)

Pumpkins, try to avoid the seeds (marrow, white pumpkin, chayote)

This website has a great plant database, in which plants are divided by how much tortoises can eat them https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/index.php

Here are tips to introduce new foods: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tortoise-diet/introducing-a-new-diet/

Here are important things to note when choosing edible plants: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tortoise-diet/harmful-properties/
 

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