Is agave safe?

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I have a texas tortoise and we have an agave plant. Is it safe for her to eat? Tortoisetable said feed sparingly and other sources are saying it’s good. Thoughts?
If anyone else is in California, I hope you’re doing well in this hot *** weather.
 

Lyn W

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I'm in the UK so it's not something we have a lot of here, but I would think it should be fine occasionally as part of a varied diet.
 

RosemaryDW

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Welcome from another California member!

It's fine for desert tortoises although to be honest I can't see it being very popular. I would think it reasonably safe for a Texas tort. I wouldn't personally feed it due to the spines. I imagine the tortoise can eat around them but I spent too much time trimming agaves to ever intentionally get close to a big one again. I suppose there are some species with only minor spines?
 
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Welcome from another California member!

It's fine for desert tortoises although to be honest I can't see it being very popular. I would think it reasonably safe for a Texas tort. I wouldn't personally feed it due to the spines. I imagine the tortoise can eat around them but I spent too much time trimming agaves to ever intentionally get close to a big one again. I suppose there are some species with only minor spines?
I looked at different agave and it looks like I have the foxtail agave, while theres no spines it does have a pointy tip. do you know anything about this one in particular?
 

RosemaryDW

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I can't imagine there are many differences in any of the agaves. Some are ouchy, some aren't. Some are grey, others are green. But they are all still the same plant underneath.

This one in particular is native to Mexico and there are desert tortoises in some parts of Mexico, if that helps.

If your tortoise will eat it, go for it. If it makes you feel better to cut off the tips you can. Your desert tortoise can eat around spiny cactus; it can likely handle this.

CA0B37A6-6385-4217-98C4-AE5710F574EC.jpeg
 
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I can't imagine there are many differences in any of the agaves. Some are ouchy, some aren't. Some are grey, others are green. But they are all still the same plant underneath.

This one in particular is native to Mexico and there are desert tortoises in some parts of Mexico, if that helps.

If your tortoise will eat it, go for it. If it makes you feel better to cut off the tips you can. Your desert tortoise can eat around spiny cactus; it can likely handle this.

View attachment 349864
omg i couldn’t comprehend what was happening in the photo at first. i thought the tort was severely injured but now i can see it eating. the anxiety i just had lol
 

RosemaryDW

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omg i couldn’t comprehend what was happening in the photo at first. i thought the tort was severely injured but now i can see it eating. the anxiety i just had lol
Oh ha, didn't think about that as I've seen how they look before; it's because they are eating the fruits, which are pretty red/pink.* That tortoise has been going at it for some time. Sorry!

They eat the cactus too, it's a great food for them. You can find spineless cactus at any Mexican grocery store, labeled nopales. They can eat the fuzzy bits but the grocery store will also sell it all cleaned up if it makes you feel better. Cactus seems to be fifty fifty as to whether tortoises like it but a desert tortoise should be a good bet.

*Fruit is generally a no go for many tortoises but a desert tortoise can occasionally have this cactus fruit; they have some capacity to digest it. Not much but if your tortoise is healthy you could get him a fruit at the market as well. It will be labeled "tunas." I'd stick with one or two, particularly if you don't him to look like a serial killer.
 
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Oh ha, didn't think about that as I've seen how they look before; it's because they are eating the fruits, which are pretty red/pink.* That tortoise has been going at it for some time. Sorry!

They eat the cactus too, it's a great food for them. You can find spineless cactus at any Mexican grocery store, labeled nopales. They can eat the fuzzy bits but the grocery store will also sell it all cleaned up if it makes you feel better. Cactus seems to be fifty fifty as to whether tortoises like it but a desert tortoise should be a good bet.

*Fruit is generally a no go for many tortoises but a desert tortoise can occasionally have this cactus fruit; they have some capacity to digest it. Not much but if your tortoise is healthy you could get him a fruit at the market as well. It will be labeled "tunas." I'd stick with one or two, particularly if you don't him to look like a serial killer.
oh yeah ive been getting her spineless cactus for a while now. she goes ham on it, I think she likes when I stab it through a garden stake so she can reach up to it rather than down ya know.
 

RosemaryDW

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I think staking it is the way to go; they are much happier when they can browse something that's actually growing or high up. My tortoise is, anyway.

She's a crapshoot on cactus though. She'll eat it if I've picked it myself. Not so much if I bought it. Spoiled!
 
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