mushroom in RF tortoise diet

SarahChelonoidis

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I doubt anyone can answer this question. There is very limited research out there on the physiological and dietary requirements of tortoises or on tortoise specific toxicity. There is limited funding available for these kinds of studies. I would suspect selenium needs are specific to individual species, so even if numbers had been determined for one tortoise species they wouldn't necessarily be relevant to another.

As keepers, it is our duty to provide the best diet that we can. Outside of those living near the native range of the species they keep, few have the ability to mimic natural diets so we make due with what we have. There is evidence from stool samples that several forest and forest adjacent species eat many kinds of mushrooms, so we offer mushrooms in captivity. Ideally, we should offer a wide variety, because we don't know how close the food we are offering is to the native alternative. We don't know why they eat mushrooms (what nutritional value they are seeking) so it's hard to say what species and varieties of mushrooms are better. Are they eating mushrooms for vitamin D? Minerals? Something else? We don't know. So we offer a variety and hope if they eat a little of everything they get what they need without getting too much of something harmful.

This is the same with offering animal protein. We know that there is observational and fecal evidence of red footed, yellowed footed, elongated, etc. eating animal carcasses that they come upon but we don't know what specifically they get from this. Is it just for the calories or range in amino acids or something else? Bacteria to aid in digestion? Some vitamin they don't synthesis themselves? Because we honestly can't answer most of these questions, keepers of tortoises that eat these complicated diets should just seek to offer diversity choices.

Some of the things we offer may be unnecessary, some may even be harmful if they ate them in excess, but a little bit of everything is what they get in the wild, and we don't have a better system in captivity. As far as I know, there have been no harmful effects documented from captive tortoises eating commercial mushrooms.
 

raven44

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Honestly, I agree too little is most likely known to answer these qs.

That's often the answer to the qs I ask

I'm not worrying, I like to get down to the bottom of things and learn. Not just do things half ***..

I imagined that torts didn't eat carcasses. Interesting..this is something I'd have had to figure out in my own research.. that's the only way a tort would eat a bird in the wild. It'd HAVE to be a carcass. Didn't know they were scavengers??

The point i made, was, selenium levels MAY be dangerously high in commercial agaricus. So ya, variety, exactly my point. Also NON ORGANIC button mushroom are trash imo. Toxic chemicals r sprayed on them

Also, the fact that there r no reports of tort selenium toxicity, does not mean it may be a concern. It means it may have been ignored and not noticed. I'm the type of guy who would notice
 
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SarahChelonoidis

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The Vinkes and Vetters have written a well researched book on 'South American Tortoises' that contains a good summary of the literature on Chelonoidis spp. diet and habitat, in the wild and captivity. There are also a few memorable anecdotes about tortoises feasting on dead capybaras and downed human plane crash victims. They are opportunistic scavengers.
 

ZEROPILOT

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On a side note. My herd has once eaten a large rat that fell into their pen caught in a trap. And I remember at least one story of tortoises stalking and trapping birds and killing and eating them.
Redfoot are omnivores and opportunists and will eat and can eat a huge variety of things.
 

Madkins007

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Many tortoises, especially the tropical species, are documented eating a wide variety of fungi, and some from Indochina seem to need mushrooms in their diet to thrive. Tortoise digestion can handle chitin to some extent and they seem able to extract nutrients from the plant.

I eat raw mushrooms all the time, but for flavor rather than nutritional value. I also do not depend on mushrooms for my tortoises vitamin D content- I'm not sure that is a good idea when using grocery store mushrooms.

FYI, the Merck veterinary manual online recommends 0.3ppm of selenium, but that is a dry matter basis and does not help us with what is too much and in what time period. It also does not help tell us what happens to excess selenium in reptiles- stored or excreted?
 

raven44

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Eating raw Mushrooms is silly if u know mushrooms

Just saying

It's like following someone who jumps off a bridge. U gonna do it too just cause they did or do?? No.

When someone states something factual to enlighten people. It's very irritating when someone else comes and attempt to discredit the facts presented here. Also very rude. U can't cloud up the msg here for other readers.

Btw, mushrooms taste way, WAY better when sautéed in oil w salt and pepper and maybe garlic. Try it out

Eating raw Mushrooms is silly.

Eating mushrooms w out regards for the amazing nutritional value of them of them I'd naive. Sry to say

Mushrooms are the biggest under ratted nutrional food source there is.

70 percent of pharmaceuticals come from fungi. W out fungi the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't exist basically

I'm not sure the point ur making. Other than points thay have been made already. And providing inapplicable info

Sry to be a rude, but I take things serious
 

SarahChelonoidis

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@raven44 You are new here so you are likely not familiar with @Madkins007, but he is a very well respected red footed tortoise expert and the creator of the Tortoise Library (http://www.tortoiselibrary.com). There are not many out there with his scope of knowledge or familiarity with the red foot literature, so I would not dismiss his additions so readily. If you want people who take red footed tortoises (and science) seriously, Madkins is one of your people.

(and enjoying the flavour of raw mushrooms is entirely subjective - it doesn't mean someone doesn't appreciate the nutritional benefits of cooked mushrooms it just means that sometimes they enjoy the flavour of raw mushrooms, as it is distinct from cooked)
 

Yvonne G

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Eating raw Mushrooms is silly if u know mushrooms

Just saying

It's like following someone who jumps off a bridge. U gonna do it too just cause they did or do?? No.

When someone states something factual to enlighten people. It's very irritating when someone else comes and attempt to discredit the facts presented here. Also very rude. U can't cloud up the msg here for other readers.

Btw, mushrooms taste way, WAY better when sautéed in oil w salt and pepper and maybe garlic. Try it out

Eating raw Mushrooms is silly.

Eating mushrooms w out regards for the amazing nutritional value of them of them I'd naive. Sry to say

Mushrooms are the biggest under ratted nutrional food source there is.

70 percent of pharmaceuticals come from fungi. W out fungi the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't exist basically

I'm not sure the point ur making. Other than points thay have been made already. And providing inapplicable info

Sry to be a rude, but I take things serious

No one was being rude. You are each expressing your own opinions, which is perfectly acceptable.
 

raven44

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Uggghhhhh

Ok.

How's this. Eating raw Mushrooms is like standing in a field of daisies. Blind to the visual beauty of the flowers and completely ignoring the overwhelming smell as if u had stuffed dripping sinuses.

Yeah, I noticed he was a well known member. Doesn't change anything for me. No body's knowledge is any greater than what u can obtain. And w simple things said u can read someone easily.

Sorry to say, I'm 26 and will prob learn more about torts than most here.

Prob won't be spending much time here lol

Have fun w ur bug macs btw lmao. Ignorance at it finest

We need to eat food for its nutritional benefits, and not for pleasure. We have all gone astray. Ur lost. Get back to ur roots people.

Peace.
 

raven44

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Portabellos should be fed once monthly according to other keepers.

I'm rolling w them.

Makes too much sense to me and I can make sense out of most things I put my mind to
 

Pearly

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Great discussion! Lots of cool facts... but emotions beginning to fly little high for my taste. Raven, you are obviously very young and good for you for sticking by your guns with your mushroom theories. The only thing I'd throw in here, is we are all friends here. The general spirit is to help each other learn and be a better tort parent. We all enjoy healthy debate, but let's all try to voice our opinions with a spirit of kindness to our fellow tortkeepers. We all want this same thing: to keep happy and healthy torts
 

Yvonne G

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Uggghhhhh

Ok.

How's this. Eating raw Mushrooms is like standing in a field of daisies. Blind to the visual beauty of the flowers and completely ignoring the overwhelming smell as if u had stuffed dripping sinuses.

Yeah, I noticed he was a well known member. Doesn't change anything for me. No body's knowledge is any greater than what u can obtain. And w simple things said u can read someone easily.

Sorry to say, I'm 26 and will prob learn more about torts than most here.

Prob won't be spending much time here lol

Have fun w ur bug macs btw lmao. Ignorance at it finest

We need to eat food for its nutritional benefits, and not for pleasure. We have all gone astray. Ur lost. Get back to ur roots people.

Peace.

To my way of thinking, this post was quite a bit more rude than Madkins' was.
 

Madkins007

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1. Information on tortoise/chelonian nutrition and needs. Actually, there is a LOT of of good info out there, especially from the European keepers, zoos, animal nutritionists, field researchers, and so on. Granted, it takes digging. I've spent hours with Google Scholar, our local university's collection, reptile medicine books and sites, and lots more. The REAL problem is trying to figure out how to sort and synthesize it to work for the average home keeper.

2. Raw vs. cooked mushrooms. I freely admit that properly cooked shrooms are tastier and healthier than raw, and thought I stated that earlier. Supper yesterday for me was a mushroom ragout and I love mushroom chili, etc. That was not what I was referring to. While cooked shrooms are wonderful, raw are great for texture and flavor in things like salads for me. Concerns about digestability, nutrition, and toxins would seem to be a bit overblown considering how widespread the practice of eating raw mushrooms is.

As a side note- when I Google 'eating raw mushrooms', all of the sites warning against it are, shall I say, sites I am unlikely to go to for serious food advice. That does not mean they are wrong, but it is curious to me that more nutrition-oriented mainstream sites do not seem to be concerned about this. The sample of sites I looked at also did not cite any clinical studies. The studies they do cite extrapolate the issues from older studies on rats, and those studies do not seem to indicate any risk to humans at normal doses.

If you have some good clinical info on the idea that mushrooms in normal amounts are harmful to humans, I would love to see it. Comments like '70 percent of pharmaceuticals come from fungi" would seem exaggerated. The site http://bugs.bio.usyd.edu.au/learnin..._Fungi/industrialProduction/fungalDrugs.shtml quotes " At the beginning of the 21st century, Fungi were involved in the industrial processing of more than 10 of the 20 most profitable products used in human medicine." No doubt fungi are important, but let's not overstate things.

3. Mushrooms for torts. Just because humans cannot digest chitin or handle a wide range of anti-nutrients does not mean tortoises and other animals have the same limitations. Considering the available foods in the tropics, it makes sense that tortoises among other animals would develop this ability. Besides, again, there are MANY field studies observing them eating fungi and finding fungi in their droppings. The Tortoise Library has a list of some of the books I've looked at. For this info, try Moscovitz and Vinke and Vetter for red-footed field notes. I have other studies in my library for African and Indochinese species as well.
 

Madkins007

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Now, Raven, if you want to get personal...

"Yeah, I noticed he was a well known member. Doesn't change anything for me. No body's knowledge is any greater than what u can obtain. And w simple things said u can read someone easily."

I'm not really sure what you are saying here. You SEEM to be saying that all statements are equal, but I would appreciate clarification.

"Sorry to say, I'm 26 and will prob learn more about torts than most here."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, wait... you're serious? There are people here who have kept and bred tortoises for longer than you have been alive. Some for more than twice your age. We have people here who are true scientists, herpetologists, and so on. To claim that you are already smarter than them is a claim almost adult has heard from kids, and most adults remember saying with regret.

Or, to put it another way, if you are so much smarter than the rest of is, why are you not contributing more useful stuff? You got a new 10 year-old tort a few days ago, and I don't see lots of evidence in your posts that indicate a broad depth of knowledge.

I'm not saying that to discourage you. It does not take long in this or other forums to see that there are a LOT of questions, and a LOT of different ways to do things. Places like this are great places to learn and grow. I know I learned a lot from these people.

"Prob won't be spending much time here lol"

That would be sad. I think you'll find that this is a very fun and supportive place, albeit with a few a**holes. Even if you already know it all, why not visit and share?

"Have fun w ur bug macs btw lmao. Ignorance at it finest"

OK, this was over the top. Invertebrates make up most of the protein eating in the wild based on both observation and fecal studies. They are also full of nutrients, easy to catch, and live on the forest floor with the tortoises. Almost every nutritionist on Earth thinks people should eat more invertebrates. There is a lot of information that suggests that hatchling forest torts may eat a LOT more invertebrates than we ever thought- but these little guys are hard to study in the wild.

"We need to eat food for its nutritional benefits, and not for pleasure. We have all gone astray. Ur lost. Get back to ur roots people."

Ummm... that directly violates the comment you made just before it. If we selected food items for nutritional value, we would eat a LOT of bugs and give up most of the meats we eat now. We would select foods to cultivate based solely on nutrients and we do not. Commercial (and commercial organic) farms select foods based on market, ease of growing and processing, durability for shipping, and so on. There are millions of highly nutritious foods in the world and only a few dozen we use in our daily lives.

I DO hope you hang around and engage with this community. As for me, I've pretty much retired from here so you won't see me too often.
 

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