How often do you feed your star tortoises?

seanang168

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I used to feed my star tortoises twice a day. Then I noted some people said that tortoises need not be fed too often, with some suggesting alternate days for feeding. So I cut down to once a day. But I tend to notice that if I feed in morning, they tend to ask for food again in evening.

The amount of food I feed is roughly such that it is the size of the head without the long neck. My star tortoises are adults. What is your take on this?
 

G-stars

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How big are your tortoises? Weight and length (SCL)? I suspect that your not feeding enough. Do they have access to any other food source other than what you feed?

I personally only feed once a day but I feed as much as they want to eat daily.
 

Tom

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Tortoises are grazers. They need access to the right foods all day every day. Weeds and grass. Leaves, flowers and succulents of the right types.
 

seanang168

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Hi @G-stars My stars are 21 years old. The female is about 19.5 cm and weighs about 1.85 kg. The male is about 15 cm and weighs about 900g. They might be about 21 years old. I did not feed all that they could eat. Maybe I should.

Hi @Tom thanks, think I need to provide more food for them to eat daily.
 

Prashant

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@seanang168 hello you can give access to Leaves, flowers, grasses to your tortoises all the time .Feed them veggies and other stuff 3 times a week.that would be absolutely fine.
Tortoises are grazing animals as @Tom said .they will continue eating grasses weeds which are low in nutritional value.Even if they graze more don't worry.
 

seanang168

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@seanang168 hello you can give access to Leaves, flowers, grasses to your tortoises all the time .Feed them veggies and other stuff 3 times a week.that would be absolutely fine.
Tortoises are grazing animals as @Tom said .they will continue eating grasses weeds which are low in nutritional value.Even if they graze more don't worry.

Hi thanks. Do you think I could cut off fresh grasses outside in public to feed? Are they edible? Or do I have to import those dried grasses from overseas? So far my greens are obtained from supermarket
 

Tom

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Hi thanks. Do you think I could cut off fresh grasses outside in public to feed? Are they edible? Or do I have to import those dried grasses from overseas? So far my greens are obtained from supermarket

You can use locally grown grasses and weeds, but be sure there are no chemical contaminants. Many parks and public landscaping have all sorts of chemicals on the ground or sprayed on the plants to kill bugs, fungus or weeds. Be sure that your source is chemical free, or don't use it.

It is safest to grow your own either in pots, raised garden beds, or in your yard.
 

PA2019

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Hi @G-stars My stars are 21 years old. The female is about 19.5 cm and weighs about 1.85 kg. The male is about 15 cm and weighs about 900g. They might be about 21 years old. I did not feed all that they could eat. Maybe I should.

Hi @Tom thanks, think I need to provide more food for them to eat daily.

Mine are housed outside and typically graze in the mornings and the evenings. When they are hungry they eat. When they are full, they sleep. The weight of your female seems a bit off to me IMO. I have a 7.25 inch (18.4cm) female that weighs around 1,400-1,500 grams.

If I were you, I would measure out an amount of food each day, and keep adding some everyday until you get to a point where not all the food is finished by the next morning. Then you have a rough idea of how much to feed.
 

PA2019

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@PA2019 , I am thinking that there might be eggs in my female tortoise. What do you think?

No idea. I can tell you that the weights, lengths, and ages are within breeding size. I think I remember reading a post from you where you previously mentioned not being able to get eggs to hatch.

Here are a few questions I would ask myself if I thought a female might have eggs.

1) Is she digging? A lot of posts mention gravid females digging test sites. Stars are not known to be major diggers, more scrapes than actual holes...

2) Has she been acting different recently? Normal, routine behavior may change when a female is carrying eggs.

3) How often do you weigh them? A significant weight increase, followed by a corresponding weight decrease might be a sign of egg development/laying.

4) Is the pair breeding consistently? A lot of posts on here from serious star breeders mention the need for multiple males to get fertile eggs. One male may not cut it when trying to get fertile eggs. (I am not advocating keeping 2 males and 1 female in the same pen all the time...huge stress for the female)

I have read that some species (more turtles than tortoises I think) can be palpated to determine eggs. But unless you are a tortoise savant, like some of the heavy hitters on here, I wouldn't try it. Hurting you're tortoise, breaking an egg internally etc... is not worth the risk.

Can you post photos of the enclosure or setup you are keeping the pair in? If TFO members can see the enclosure, it might make it easier to give more specific advice.
 

Gillian M

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I feed my beloved tort 3 times a day.But, food as well as water are always available in his enclosure, just in case. :)
 

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