How much variety is enough?

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gtc

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I am on tortoiseforum and the tortoisetable daily so I know the answer to this question is: as much as possible.

However even though I really try, I am worried that I am not giving my greek enough variety in his diet.

During sommer I feed only weeds. My tort mostly gets:
1. plaintain (broad and narrow leaf) 60%
2. dandelion (leaves and flowers) 30%
3. clover (leaves and flowers) 10%

also rarely wild violets, wild rose pedals and forget-me-nots when I can find them. I also try giving young strawberry leaves and Creeping Thistle but he ignores them.

I can't find the other weeds on tortoisetable in my area so basically the bulk of my tort's diet is 3 weed types.

Should I be worried?

(By the way I am growing a tortoise seed mix in my outdoor enclosure which should help soon but during winter it's almost impossible to grow enough indoors)
 

wellington

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To me that's not a lot of variety, but you could throw in some grocery greens once a week or so, to widen the variety. I don't think you have a need for concern but I would add more if at all possible.
 

Madkins007

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What kind of tortoise and where are you?

For a red-footed, here in Omaha, I could add greens and vegetables like- mulberry leaves, fruit tree leaves, semi-wild grape leaves, Virginia creeper leaves (although mine never eat them), the leaves or flowers of dozens of edible flowers, lots of ground covers, and, of course, dandelions- a favorite!

I find that the Table's list is rather restrictive- they discount a lot of foods for reasons that seem difficult to justify (or they used to. I confess I don't go there a lot lately.) Here is another list of possibilities- https://sites.google.com/site/tortoiselibrary/nutrition/good-foods-list
 

gtc

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Madkins007 said:
What kind of tortoise and where are you?

For a red-footed, here in Omaha, I could add greens and vegetables like- mulberry leaves, fruit tree leaves, semi-wild grape leaves, Virginia creeper leaves (although mine never eat them), the leaves or flowers of dozens of edible flowers, lots of ground covers, and, of course, dandelions- a favorite!

I find that the Table's list is rather restrictive- they discount a lot of foods for reasons that seem difficult to justify (or they used to. I confess I don't go there a lot lately.) Here is another list of possibilities- https://sites.google.com/site/tortoiselibrary/nutrition/good-foods-list


Thanks, I'll check out that site. I have an Ibera greek and live in Norway.
 

JoesMum

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An Ibera Greek's diet is mostly leafy greens. Your tort cannot digest sugars properly, so feeding fruit too often (including tomato and bell peppers) could make him sick.

With regard to variety, the weeds you are feeding are good. Don't be afraid to supplement with greens from the supermarket. Iceberg lettuce is mostly water and has little nutritional value. Experiment with the other greens. When you finish a bag, buy something different... that way your tort gets variety.

If you buy strawberries for yourself, you eat the fruit and feed the hulls (the green stalk and leaf bit that you normally throw away to your tort). There will be enough sweet fruit stuck to it to make them tasty to him and they are good for fibre.

Torts can be picky eaters, so don't be surprised if he refuses something new. Chop it finely and mix it with stuff he does like, wet it so it sticks together, and you will find he does start trying it.

There are few tortoise keepers in colder countries who don't resort to a pelleted food such as Komodo fruit and flower or Mazuri to supplement their tort's diet in the colder months when weeds are hard to come by. Don't be afraid to do this.
 

gtc

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JoesMum said:
An Ibera Greek's diet is mostly leafy greens. Your tort cannot digest sugars properly, so feeding fruit too often (including tomato and bell peppers) could make him sick.

With regard to variety, the weeds you are feeding are good. Don't be afraid to supplement with greens from the supermarket. Iceberg lettuce is mostly water and has little nutritional value. Experiment with the other greens. When you finish a bag, buy something different... that way your tort gets variety.

If you buy strawberries for yourself, you eat the fruit and feed the hulls (the green stalk and leaf bit that you normally throw away to your tort). There will be enough sweet fruit stuck to it to make them tasty to him and they are good for fibre.

Torts can be picky eaters, so don't be surprised if he refuses something new. Chop it finely and mix it with stuff he does like, wet it so it sticks together, and you will find he does start trying it.

There are few tortoise keepers in colder countries who don't resort to a pelleted food such as Komodo fruit and flower or Mazuri to supplement their tort's diet in the colder months when weeds are hard to come by. Don't be afraid to do this.

Thanks JoesMuM,

Don't worry, I don't feed any fruit. I do use spring mix during the winter months, I guess I will mix some of those in with the weeds during the summer too. I have tried ProAlpin Testudo pellets but have had no luck with them. When I wet them and mix them very finely with fresh leafy greens my tort actually eats much less. He is like a little child, very picky! :) I have ordered some fresh opuntia online just now. I can't wait to see if he will eat that.
 

JoesMum

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Joe loathes Pre-Alpin Testudo... there are two main varieties Herb and Fibre and he won't touch either

I have heard people having more success with Pre-Alpin Testudo Baby which is finer.

You might do better with another brand. Joe likes Komodo Fruit and Flower (most of the time... he can be picky too) so, if you can get it, that might be worth a try.
 

gtc

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JoesMum said:
Joe loathes Pre-Alpin Testudo... there are two main varieties Herb and Fibre and he won't touch either

I have heard people having more success with Pre-Alpin Testudo Baby which is finer.

You might do better with another brand. Joe likes Komodo Fruit and Flower (most of the time... he can be picky too) so, if you can get it, that might be worth a try.

Wow thanks for the great advice. :) I just ordered some from http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/. I really hope Helios likes it as much as Joe. This would really help with adding variety to the diet.

Also, you are totally right about the Pre-Alpin Testudo. I also bought both the Herb and the Fibre type and Helios ignores and actively avoids both.
 
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