Help! (need help with diet)

minnietortise

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i have been struggling on what to feed my 5 year old russian tortoise what is the exact foods i should be feeding her it’s winter here and all plant life is dying what can i get from grocery stores to feed her and give her a well balanced diet?
 

method89

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have you read all the info you have been given. I see that you are involved with various posts pertaining to diet and I've seen that all the info given would answer most of your questions. I don't say this to mean, I say it because you need to breathe. Take the time to read the care sheets, check out the website I provided. (you can order food from there). Most of the answers you are looking for are in the caresheets.
 

minnietortise

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washington
have you read all the info you have been given. I see that you are involved with various posts pertaining to diet and I've seen that all the info given would answer most of your questions. I don't say this to mean, I say it because you need to breathe. Take the time to read the care sheets, check out the website I provided. (you can order food from there). Most of the answers you are looking for are in the caresheets.

thank you! i have just heard so many different things about all this!
 

method89

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Maro2Bear

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More info from one of the Russian Care Guides

DIET
Baby tortoises should be fed the same widely varied diet of edible leaves and weedsand greens and flowers that an adult eats. Special care should be taken to provide maximum nutrition. Here is a link to The Tortoise Table’s printable plant booklet:http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/files/Edible doc 3rd edition_2013_condensed.pdf
The Tortoise Table database is also an excellent resource when checking if plants are safe to feed your tortoise. Please always err on the side of caution!

We are lucky to have weeds here most of the year, so I feed cat's tongue, thistle (sow thistle, mostly), hawksbit, plantain, mallow, grape leaves, and hibiscus leaves and flowers, violet leaves and flowers, sedum, daylily flowers, miner’s lettuce, dead nettle, rose petals (only from untreated, unfertilized plants), turnip greens, and many other plants on the 'safe' list of The Tortoise Table database. I add in some dandelions, but only when there aren't other things. If you don't have access to weeds during the winter, you can feed mustard greens, kale, and collard greens. Opuntia cactus (called ‘nopales’ in Hispanic grocery stores) is high in calcium, and can be added to the diet occasionally. There are many other tortoise-safe weeds that may be available throughout the year that I did not mention here.

I don’t give the babies any lettuce, just because the nutritional value isn't great, but if you find yourself in a bind, that would be an option, too.

I don't chop any of it up, or even tear it up. I like to make them work a little bit to get their food.
A rule of thumb is to give them a pile of food about the size of their shell. As long as babies are kept nice and humid, and the food you offer is healthy, you can allow them to eat their fill - if the food is all gone by mid-day, it's totally fine to give them a second helping.

(a few examples of edible weeds)
I have never fed any factory-made foods (mazuri or Zoomed grassland or other), simply because it's not necessary here, and because I don’t trust the formulation. I prefer to cook from scratch for my human kids, so it made more sense to go the natural route for the babies as well. If you do feed mazuri, I won't judge – please do your research!

I do not feed ANY fruit, and only very occasionally (1x per month) feed a vegetable such as a bit of pumpkin, winter squash, or a bit of carrot, for the vitamin A in it. Fruit is too high in sugar, and not only can become addicting, but it can also harm a tortoise’s gut. It also creates a favorable environment in the gut for parasites (worms and flagellates) to thrive. If I want to give my tortoises a ‘treat’ I give them a flower, or an especially juicy sedum leaf, or a slice of opuntia cactus.
 

minnietortise

New Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
washington
More info from one of the Russian Care Guides

DIET
Baby tortoises should be fed the same widely varied diet of edible leaves and weedsand greens and flowers that an adult eats. Special care should be taken to provide maximum nutrition. Here is a link to The Tortoise Table’s printable plant booklet:http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/files/Edible doc 3rd edition_2013_condensed.pdf
The Tortoise Table database is also an excellent resource when checking if plants are safe to feed your tortoise. Please always err on the side of caution!

We are lucky to have weeds here most of the year, so I feed cat's tongue, thistle (sow thistle, mostly), hawksbit, plantain, mallow, grape leaves, and hibiscus leaves and flowers, violet leaves and flowers, sedum, daylily flowers, miner’s lettuce, dead nettle, rose petals (only from untreated, unfertilized plants), turnip greens, and many other plants on the 'safe' list of The Tortoise Table database. I add in some dandelions, but only when there aren't other things. If you don't have access to weeds during the winter, you can feed mustard greens, kale, and collard greens. Opuntia cactus (called ‘nopales’ in Hispanic grocery stores) is high in calcium, and can be added to the diet occasionally. There are many other tortoise-safe weeds that may be available throughout the year that I did not mention here.

I don’t give the babies any lettuce, just because the nutritional value isn't great, but if you find yourself in a bind, that would be an option, too.

I don't chop any of it up, or even tear it up. I like to make them work a little bit to get their food.
A rule of thumb is to give them a pile of food about the size of their shell. As long as babies are kept nice and humid, and the food you offer is healthy, you can allow them to eat their fill - if the food is all gone by mid-day, it's totally fine to give them a second helping.

(a few examples of edible weeds)
I have never fed any factory-made foods (mazuri or Zoomed grassland or other), simply because it's not necessary here, and because I don’t trust the formulation. I prefer to cook from scratch for my human kids, so it made more sense to go the natural route for the babies as well. If you do feed mazuri, I won't judge – please do your research!

I do not feed ANY fruit, and only very occasionally (1x per month) feed a vegetable such as a bit of pumpkin, winter squash, or a bit of carrot, for the vitamin A in it. Fruit is too high in sugar, and not only can become addicting, but it can also harm a tortoise’s gut. It also creates a favorable environment in the gut for parasites (worms and flagellates) to thrive. If I want to give my tortoises a ‘treat’ I give them a flower, or an especially juicy sedum leaf, or a slice of opuntia cactus.
thank you!
 

Yvonne G

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It's important to not fixate on one or two items just because it's ok to use them. Buy or gather two or three items for this week then next week buy or gather two or three different items from the list.
 

Ddflinn

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SPRING VALLEY CA
i have been struggling on what to feed my 5 year old russian tortoise what is the exact foods i should be feeding her it’s winter here and all plant life is dying what can i get from grocery stores to feed her and give her a well balanced diet?
I get escarole and dandelion from my grocery store
 

Sleppo

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Jun 28, 2018
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Philadelphia, PA
In the winter I rely on dried mixes and just recently purchased from kapidolofarms.com who is a member on this site. Highly recommend you check him out. There are various dried weeds you can purchase to sprinkle on spring mix or other grocery staples that you need to rely on in the winter. I buy dandelion greens, spring mix, curly endive, red leaf lettuce, and carrot tops. Every few days I offer soaked Zoo Med or Mazuri pellets. In the spring and summer just forage for weeds (check care sheet or tortoise table for what weeds they can eat) that you know are untreated with any fertilizers, you'll save a bunch of money and its better for them.
 

Jcrice1002

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Sep 13, 2020
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When foraging, someone recommended to me leaf snap and the tortoise table apps to help identify plants that are good. You can even use it in markets to help identify more variety!
 

Tom

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i have been struggling on what to feed my 5 year old russian tortoise what is the exact foods i should be feeding her it’s winter here and all plant life is dying what can i get from grocery stores to feed her and give her a well balanced diet?
The best diet is a wide assortment of broadleaf weeds and leaves. If that isn't an option, use endive and escarole as main staples, but also feed lots of other greens too like arugula, cilantro, dandelion greens, spineless opuntia pads, collards, turnip and mustard greens, etc... These grocery store greens must be "amended" with other supplemental foods to add variety and fiber. @Kapidolo Farms makes this easy. He has all sorts of dried leaves and other supplemental food items that you can sprinkle on top and mix in. Tortoisesupply.com also has a bunch, and their "herbal hay" is a favorite of mine, and my tortoises too. Also get some Mazuri and either type of ZooMed pellets to soak and mix in.

Introducing any of these new foods will need to be done slowly. Torts don't take to new stuff right away. Start by adding tiny amounts at first and gradually mixing in more and more as time goes by. It will take weeks or months.
 

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