Iceberg Lettuce?

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
As a tortoise food, what's wrong with iceberg lettuce? Or other lettuce types too?
1. Too low in calcium.
2. Low Ca : P ratio.
3. Low fiber.
4. Low nutritional value.

Its everything a tortoise food should not be. Right? But what if we amend the lettuce? What if we mix in things to make up for these shortcomings and the lettuce serves as a delivery vehicle for these other items, along with the high water content of lettuce, all in a "package" that tortoises love?

As the size of my herd, and the size of the tortoises in my herd, have increased over the years, so to have my tortoise food needs increased. I used to be able to grow enough to feed them all, but with the drought, lack of time, and constant battles with the local wildlife eating my crops, I've had to start buying food. I still grow some of my own food, but its not enough anymore. I'm buying two cases of endive, escarole or romaine a week, and still have an opuntia day, Mazuri day, and either a mulberry or grapevine day. When I started feeding the grocery store greens, I was sure to add in what I call "amendments" to increase the fiber, calcium, and variety. For fiber, I soak Timothy hay horse pellets, These break down and I mix it with the lettuce in five gallon buckets, or large tubs. I use either type of ZooMed pellet for this purpose as well. Then I mix in some of @Kapidolo Farms dried leaf options. Moringa, dandelion, echinacea, marsh mallow, nettle, etc... Then I will add in some calcium powder. All of these things combined serve to make a good tortoise meal, and I've been getting by this way.

Here is the thing: I still need more and more food. I have some family friends that own a nearby restaurant. Every other day they cut up iceberg and romaine lettuce for burgers and salads, and this creates quite a lot of scrap pieces to be thrown away. Just their leavings make up about a 40 pound case, and they throw it in the dumpster because they have no use for it. This equates to about three full five gallon buckets which will feed my herd for a day. Its the heals and leaves they can't use. They sometimes offer it to me, but I've been reluctant because iceberg lettuce just is not a good thing to be feeding to my tortoises on a regular basis. Right? But what if I added chopped up orchard grass hay, soaked Timothy hay horse pellets, calcium, dried leaves, and I've recently started using Purina Organic Lay Crumbles for chickens on the advice of Will. Looking at the list above. Adding calcium carbonate powder fixes the low calcium and the Ca to P ratio. Adding the hay fixes the lack of fiber, and adding the lay crumbles and dried leaves fixes the low nutritional value part, right?

I've started feeding this lettuce with all this "stuff" mixed in a couple of days a week and it seems to be working fine. Poops are solid and full of rough fiber, growth is slow and steady each month, and my adults lay well formed eggs that hatch into vigorous healthy babies. I also mix in an assortment of other stuff when available too, like grated pumpkin, assorted other grocery greens like kale, collards, cilantro, spring mix, arugula, etc..., cucumber peels and various weeds, leaves and flowers.

I will agree with anyone that plain iceberg lettuce is not a good tortoise food to be fed in bulk on a regular basis, but when used as a vehicle to deliver all the good stuff that I am mixing in, it suits me fine. I welcome debate or conversation on the subject. Suggestions for improvement are welcome too.
 

JoFisch

Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
This reminds me of the old fable Stone Soup. I am new to the tortoise world but have a significant amount of knowledge in regards to domestic mammalian nutrition. I see no real problem with your approach in as much as I know about your dedication to feeding your tortoises appropriately. I think where it gets dicey is giving newbies like me enough guidance as to how to appropriately amend the lettuce base to provide the right balance. Even though I have learned how to balance a ration to meet nutrient needs, I don’t want to.
I suppose the only other thing I would ask is if you are adding all of these other amendments to the mix and knowing that Iceberg lettuce really only adds water as a significant nutrient, do you need the iceberg at all? This is where it sounds like Stone Soup to me.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I suppose the only other thing I would ask is if you are adding all of these other amendments to the mix and knowing that Iceberg lettuce really only adds water as a significant nutrient, do you need the iceberg at all? This is where it sounds like Stone Soup to me.
Good point about sharing this info with newbies. @Yvonne G has specifically mentioned this several times. In her vast experience dealing with the public through her tortoise rescue, she noticed that any mention of lettuce would lead many people to focus on it and use too much of it, to the exclusion of better things. For many years, it has been standard to just say "no" to lettuce and move on, because of this observed phenomenon.

The above quote is also a good point and one I have considered. Here are my musings on the subject of "What is the benefit of using the lettuce at all? Why not just give them all the good stuff by itself?" Here are some benefits of lettuce as I see it:
1. As you mentioned, water. I live in a very dry climate and any way of getting water into them is a good thing. This might be less necessary in a warm rainy humid climate. (I'm looking at YOU Florida...)
2. It gives them a bolus to swallow.
3. While it will eventually break down into mostly water in the GI tract, it does give them the feeling of "bulk" in their stomach and leave more satisfied and feeling full.
4. Mouth, tongue, and neck exercise.
5. Palatability. They like lettuce. I've yet to meet a tortoise that doesn't. Having the lettuce mixed in makes them eat all the good stuff that they are less interested in. Many of my smaller or younger tortoises are not interested in walking up and eating plain dry hay, but mix that hay with some chopped up lettuce and they consume it with gusto.
6. Behavioral enrichment. One could argue that 2, 3, 4 and 5 all fall under this umbrella.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
29,311
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I think that makes perfect sense. Just like humans eating salads each day. The lettuce is filling. But the other ingredients offer nutrition.
However. A lot of times we see someone feeding Iceberg, they are also feeding other unhelpful or poor choices. So it often just falls under the same umbrella. "No Iceberg". Even though its not absolutely true. I think you're correct that it does no harm to include it as a filler.
 
Last edited:

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,924
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I use romaine more the head lettuce. On very hot days I like to give a head or romaine. I usually do this after they have had time to graze some. If I have head lettuce left over that I don't want, I will feed it to my torts
I have always used lettuce and will recommend romaine over head as part of a varied diet or if a tort sounds dehydrated.
Newbies get too caught up on lettuce lettuce and more lettuce and all the bad info our there like how their two sulcatas love each other and never shows any bullying, etc, etc. Easier to take lettuce out of the equation altogether some times, especially those who want to defend it as that's all they will eat, has ever eaten, its their favorite or that's what the pet store or breeder recommended.
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
14,722
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
I use romaine more the head lettuce. On very hot days I like to give a head or romaine. I usually do this after they have had time to graze some. If I have head lettuce left over that I don't want, I will feed it to my torts
I have always used lettuce and will recommend romaine over head as part of a varied diet or if a tort sounds dehydrated.
Newbies get too caught up on lettuce lettuce and more lettuce and all the bad info our there like how their two sulcatas love each other and never shows any bullying, etc, etc. Easier to take lettuce out of the equation altogether some times, especially those who want to defend it as that's all they will eat, has ever eaten, its their favorite or that's what the pet store or breeder recommended.

Yep. We buy the large bags of Romaine from Sams Club & our Sully gets one head per day as a topper to whatever else I’m feeding. Grazing lawn grass & weeds, a pile of Japanese Stiltgrass, dandelion blossoms & leaves, mulberry tree limbs & leaves, banana leaves & a healthy pile of muscadine grape leaves. Occasional cup of regular Mazuri (less in Summer, more in Winter). Never any fruit. ❌
 

JoFisch

Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Washington
So as a newbie with a young tort, what ratio of lettuce is appropriate?
I have a 1y old E. Hermanns. She/he is not a huge eater but seems to be growing fine (143g a few weeks ago). There will be days when Opal doesn’t seem to eat the greens and I figure like other animals, as long as she/he is not sick, she’ll eat when she wants to. She always eats Mazuri which she gets 2 times weekly with a generous pinch of herbal hay. Should I care that she refuses greens sometimes? I used to chop up her food bit I’ve been leaving it larger so she has to use her beak.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,924
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
So as a newbie with a young tort, what ratio of lettuce is appropriate?
I have a 1y old E. Hermanns. She/he is not a huge eater but seems to be growing fine (143g a few weeks ago). There will be days when Opal doesn’t seem to eat the greens and I figure like other animals, as long as she/he is not sick, she’ll eat when she wants to. She always eats Mazuri which she gets 2 times weekly with a generous pinch of herbal hay. Should I care that she refuses greens sometimes? I used to chop up her food bit I’ve been leaving it larger so she has to use her beak.
Personally, if you don't feed it either dont start or make sure is mixed with other greens, specially for babies. They can become picky and only want the romaine or iceburg/head lettuce.
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
15,388
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
As a tortoise food, what's wrong with iceberg lettuce? Or other lettuce types too?
1. Too low in calcium.
2. Low Ca : P ratio.
3. Low fiber.
4. Low nutritional value.

Its everything a tortoise food should not be. Right? But what if we amend the lettuce? What if we mix in things to make up for these shortcomings and the lettuce serves as a delivery vehicle for these other items, along with the high water content of lettuce, all in a "package" that tortoises love?

As the size of my herd, and the size of the tortoises in my herd, have increased over the years, so to have my tortoise food needs increased. I used to be able to grow enough to feed them all, but with the drought, lack of time, and constant battles with the local wildlife eating my crops, I've had to start buying food. I still grow some of my own food, but its not enough anymore. I'm buying two cases of endive, escarole or romaine a week, and still have an opuntia day, Mazuri day, and either a mulberry or grapevine day. When I started feeding the grocery store greens, I was sure to add in what I call "amendments" to increase the fiber, calcium, and variety. For fiber, I soak Timothy hay horse pellets, These break down and I mix it with the lettuce in five gallon buckets, or large tubs. I use either type of ZooMed pellet for this purpose as well. Then I mix in some of @Kapidolo Farms dried leaf options. Moringa, dandelion, echinacea, marsh mallow, nettle, etc... Then I will add in some calcium powder. All of these things combined serve to make a good tortoise meal, and I've been getting by this way.

Here is the thing: I still need more and more food. I have some family friends that own a nearby restaurant. Every other day they cut up iceberg and romaine lettuce for burgers and salads, and this creates quite a lot of scrap pieces to be thrown away. Just their leavings make up about a 40 pound case, and they throw it in the dumpster because they have no use for it. This equates to about three full five gallon buckets which will feed my herd for a day. Its the heals and leaves they can't use. They sometimes offer it to me, but I've been reluctant because iceberg lettuce just is not a good thing to be feeding to my tortoises on a regular basis. Right? But what if I added chopped up orchard grass hay, soaked Timothy hay horse pellets, calcium, dried leaves, and I've recently started using Purina Organic Lay Crumbles for chickens on the advice of Will. Looking at the list above. Adding calcium carbonate powder fixes the low calcium and the Ca to P ratio. Adding the hay fixes the lack of fiber, and adding the lay crumbles and dried leaves fixes the low nutritional value part, right?

I've started feeding this lettuce with all this "stuff" mixed in a couple of days a week and it seems to be working fine. Poops are solid and full of rough fiber, growth is slow and steady each month, and my adults lay well formed eggs that hatch into vigorous healthy babies. I also mix in an assortment of other stuff when available too, like grated pumpkin, assorted other grocery greens like kale, collards, cilantro, spring mix, arugula, etc..., cucumber peels and various weeds, leaves and flowers.

I will agree with anyone that plain iceberg lettuce is not a good tortoise food to be fed in bulk on a regular basis, but when used as a vehicle to deliver all the good stuff that I am mixing in, it suits me fine. I welcome debate or conversation on the subject. Suggestions for improvement are welcome too.
I can't debate on this one because I've never met a bird, reptile, and etc that doesn't love it. Including myself.😁ok if it's such a bad thing why do they love it so much. It's kinda like a desert to top it all off and can even get sick animals eating again. When mixed with higher fiber foods it can keep stuff moving or get it started moving.🤗
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,924
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I can't debate on this one because I've never met a bird, reptile, and etc that doesn't love it. Including myself.😁ok if it's such a bad thing why do they love it so much. It's kinda like a desert to top it all off and can even get sick animals eating again. When mixed with higher fiber foods it can keep stuff moving or get it started moving.🤗
They love it cuz it's like junk food to them like junk food is to most of us. Yummy😁
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
15,388
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
They love it cuz it's like junk food to them like junk food is to most of us. Yummy😁
I call it tortoise ice cream. 🤗 Not for a regular diet but a little bit won't hurt and romaine green leaves are recommended for me because they are so high in calcium. But most people like the hearts so you don't get much of that in the bags. So the tough green leaves for Sapphire and the hearts for me ok I like some junk food too. We share.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Newbies get too caught up on lettuce lettuce and more lettuce and all the bad info our there like how their two sulcatas love each other and never shows any bullying, etc, etc. Easier to take lettuce out of the equation altogether some times, especially those who want to defend it as that's all they will eat, has ever eaten, its their favorite or that's what the pet store or breeder recommended.
This reminds me of a very good point too. A lot of people get stuck on lettuce because their tortoise will eat it and it won't eat the better foods. Its easy, and who doesn't love feeding their tortoises and watching them eat? Two points about that:
1. This is often the fault of a lazy breeder who doesn't take the time to introduce the right foods when the baby first hatches and is learning what to eat. They buy some cheap readily available romaine to throw in and the new owner can sort it out later. Well it is exceedingly difficult and time consuming to do later when the tort is stuck on lettuce. This goes back to my recommendation of: "Buy from the RIGHT source."
2. This is also a training thing. I see it with dogs all the time. People try to feed their dogs a good diet and the dog trains them to give them what they want. I don't play that game. I put their food down for 5-10 minutes and the pick it back up whether they ate it or not. Next meal time same thing. They will eat when they are hungry. I hate it when people beg their dog to eat by adding favorite treats and repeatedly putting the food down and leaving it there all day. I don't beg my dogs to eat. I let them eat when its time to eat. If they want to be picky and skip it, that's is their prerogative. A hungry dog is not a picky dog. Of course I am talking about a normal healthy dog in a normal living situation. These same principals apply to tortoises. I'll put in some new and unfamiliar food and sometimes they choose to not eat it. I'm not starving them. There is a whole bowl of food sitting right there. Sometimes I will offer the same food for 3-4 days in a row until they eat it up. If they skip it on day one, they will usually eat some on day two. By day three, they pig out on it like usual. I don't beg them to eat. I offer food and they better eat it, or they will be hungry. A hungry tort is not a picky tort. In a relatively short period of time, this method creates a tortoise who is not picky and will eat nearly anything put in front of it. If the tortoise was started correctly and saw 30 different food items in its first 30 days of life, it works even better. I'm doing this right now as I type this with some baby tortoises that have never seen pumpkin leaves which I have in abundance right now.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
So as a newbie with a young tort, what ratio of lettuce is appropriate?
I have a 1y old E. Hermanns. She/he is not a huge eater but seems to be growing fine (143g a few weeks ago). There will be days when Opal doesn’t seem to eat the greens and I figure like other animals, as long as she/he is not sick, she’ll eat when she wants to. She always eats Mazuri which she gets 2 times weekly with a generous pinch of herbal hay. Should I care that she refuses greens sometimes? I used to chop up her food bit I’ve been leaving it larger so she has to use her beak.
I think you are doing it right. Put out good food and let the tortoise choose to eat it or not.

What ratio of lettuce? If you are adding in all the good stuff that is the subject of this thread, I think every other day is fine. If you are chopping it up and mixing it with new and better foods, I think you can use some daily to get them onto the weeds and leaves that they should be eating.

Where the problem lies is when a tortoise is eating nothing but plain lettuce every day and refuses to eat other better foods. Malnutrion will eventually set in.
 

OliveW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
286
Location (City and/or State)
Branford, FL
I feel like I've wandered into the twilight zone here. :oops:

I've spent the last two weeks coming to terms with the fact that I shouldn't buy my boy supermarket food. He is an excellent grazer and eats lots of healthy grasses and clover every day. Because it's been drilled into my head on this forum that should constitute 90% of his diet, I don't give him anything else except prickly pear a couple of times, from our own plants.

I see him eat/graze all the time, but have no way to determine HOW much he eats, therefore can't figure out how much 10% should be. I err on the side of caution by not giving him anything else most days. I was going to give him calcium but once again, didn't know what the appropriate amount should be, so changed my mind so he doesn't get too much. I know I'd totally screw up any kind of "mix" as far as percentages go.

He has declined grape leaves, hibiscus, and turnip greens that we already had growing on our property. The only thing he really likes is his grass and cucumbers - which he tried when he got into the garden by accident. And prickly pear cactus.

Today, I already had a disagreement with my husband, while at the store, over wanting to buy Tortimer lettuce. He things that if we don't actively feed him, that he's going to die, and won't take my word for it. Now I'm wondering if we SHOULD be feeding him more.

Tortimer gets fresh water every day, of course, and I just bought him a larger clay pot base that he can fit his whole body in. He gets daily soaks unless it's raining. I thought mother nature had the food covered. 🤷‍♀️
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I feel like I've wandered into the twilight zone here. :oops:

I've spent the last two weeks coming to terms with the fact that I shouldn't buy my boy supermarket food. He is an excellent grazer and eats lots of healthy grasses and clover every day. Because it's been drilled into my head on this forum that should constitute 90% of his diet, I don't give him anything else except prickly pear a couple of times, from our own plants.

I see him eat/graze all the time, but have no way to determine HOW much he eats, therefore can't figure out how much 10% should be. I err on the side of caution by not giving him anything else most days. I was going to give him calcium but once again, didn't know what the appropriate amount should be, so changed my mind so he doesn't get too much. I know I'd totally screw up any kind of "mix" as far as percentages go.

He has declined grape leaves, hibiscus, and turnip greens that we already had growing on our property. The only thing he really likes is his grass and cucumbers - which he tried when he got into the garden by accident. And prickly pear cactus.

Today, I already had a disagreement with my husband, while at the store, over wanting to buy Tortimer lettuce. He things that if we don't actively feed him, that he's going to die, and won't take my word for it. Now I'm wondering if we SHOULD be feeding him more.

Tortimer gets fresh water every day, of course, and I just bought him a larger clay pot base that he can fit his whole body in. He gets daily soaks unless it's raining. I thought mother nature had the food covered. 🤷‍♀️
The BEST way to feed them is the way you are feeding yours. Weeds, grasses, leaves, flowers and opuntia pads. Anyone who can meet their tortoise's needs with these kinds of "natural" food should absolutely do so. But imagine gathering 5 five gallon buckets of that type of food every single day. It would take hours and hours, and there simply isn't enough of that kind of stuff in the Southern CA desert in the heat of summer. I have several days of natural foods each week, but the lettuce WITH all the amendments allows me to get good food into them on the other days.

Keep trying to get yours to eat the other stuff by mincing it up and mixing it in with favorites. It take weeks or months. Go slow. Start small.
 

Len B

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
5,043
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
To me lettuces are an important part of my sulcatas diet especially during winter. But it has to be fed responsibly. Not for nutrition but for hydration. I live in a cold climate area of the US. My tortoise's live outside year round which means they spend a lot of time in their heated house's during winter and it's tuff to keep the humidity levels as high as it should be. I've had great success with growing smooth shelled sulcatas with the help of lettuce. I have 5 sulcatas and only 1 drinks from a water bowl regularly and he's the oldest at 26 years. The others haven't figured that part out yet. They will, I never saw Walker the oldest drink water until his 8th year of age. Now it's not uncommon for him to drink 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon at one setting. I think internal hydration from moist or wet foods is at least if not more important than soakings to keeping tortoise shells smooth and a good growth rate. If in doubt check out Donald's and Thomas's threads, two of my younger sulcatas that haven't been forced soaked since 6 months of age and neither drinks from a water bowl yet.
 

jeff kushner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
2,932
Location (City and/or State)
North of Annapolis
Wow Tom, I'm not sure what you chose to do for a living but you do a tremendous amount of work for your guys, "The Other full time job". You must have one fantastic back yard, though prob not a low of flowers.....lol

My life experience and education have taught me that any non-toxic, fav food is fair game for vitamin or medicinal delivery. We all do it with our dogs & peanut butter or a slice of ham.

You, more than 99% of us, know the balance point of where the iceberg begins to out-mass the good stuff, preventing the ingestion of enough mass to satisfy their nutritional reqs.
 

Thundersnow

Active Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
188
Location (City and/or State)
Kentucky
As a tortoise food, what's wrong with iceberg lettuce? Or other lettuce types too?
1. Too low in calcium.
2. Low Ca : P ratio.
3. Low fiber.
4. Low nutritional value.

Its everything a tortoise food should not be. Right? But what if we amend the lettuce? What if we mix in things to make up for these shortcomings and the lettuce serves as a delivery vehicle for these other items, along with the high water content of lettuce, all in a "package" that tortoises love?

As the size of my herd, and the size of the tortoises in my herd, have increased over the years, so to have my tortoise food needs increased. I used to be able to grow enough to feed them all, but with the drought, lack of time, and constant battles with the local wildlife eating my crops, I've had to start buying food. I still grow some of my own food, but its not enough anymore. I'm buying two cases of endive, escarole or romaine a week, and still have an opuntia day, Mazuri day, and either a mulberry or grapevine day. When I started feeding the grocery store greens, I was sure to add in what I call "amendments" to increase the fiber, calcium, and variety. For fiber, I soak Timothy hay horse pellets, These break down and I mix it with the lettuce in five gallon buckets, or large tubs. I use either type of ZooMed pellet for this purpose as well. Then I mix in some of @Kapidolo Farms dried leaf options. Moringa, dandelion, echinacea, marsh mallow, nettle, etc... Then I will add in some calcium powder. All of these things combined serve to make a good tortoise meal, and I've been getting by this way.

Here is the thing: I still need more and more food. I have some family friends that own a nearby restaurant. Every other day they cut up iceberg and romaine lettuce for burgers and salads, and this creates quite a lot of scrap pieces to be thrown away. Just their leavings make up about a 40 pound case, and they throw it in the dumpster because they have no use for it. This equates to about three full five gallon buckets which will feed my herd for a day. Its the heals and leaves they can't use. They sometimes offer it to me, but I've been reluctant because iceberg lettuce just is not a good thing to be feeding to my tortoises on a regular basis. Right? But what if I added chopped up orchard grass hay, soaked Timothy hay horse pellets, calcium, dried leaves, and I've recently started using Purina Organic Lay Crumbles for chickens on the advice of Will. Looking at the list above. Adding calcium carbonate powder fixes the low calcium and the Ca to P ratio. Adding the hay fixes the lack of fiber, and adding the lay crumbles and dried leaves fixes the low nutritional value part, right?

I've started feeding this lettuce with all this "stuff" mixed in a couple of days a week and it seems to be working fine. Poops are solid and full of rough fiber, growth is slow and steady each month, and my adults lay well formed eggs that hatch into vigorous healthy babies. I also mix in an assortment of other stuff when available too, like grated pumpkin, assorted other grocery greens like kale, collards, cilantro, spring mix, arugula, etc..., cucumber peels and various weeds, leaves and flowers.

I will agree with anyone that plain iceberg lettuce is not a good tortoise food to be fed in bulk on a regular basis, but when used as a vehicle to deliver all the good stuff that I am mixing in, it suits me fine. I welcome debate or conversation on the subject. Suggestions for improvement are welcome too.
Tom this is great info.Thanks a million!!!
 

Attachments

  • A9260760-A71A-44FC-A21C-2B3D6C4CCAC4_1_201_a.jpeg
    A9260760-A71A-44FC-A21C-2B3D6C4CCAC4_1_201_a.jpeg
    55 KB · Views: 4
Top