My Herman's tort diet? Is it sufficient?

SquirtsMom63

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Hello friends! I have a 8 month old Herman's tortoise. I have had him since he was 1.5 months old. I have been doing lots of research because he is my first reptile. I am aware of the new research on Herman's tortoise diets and have been feeding mostly leaves with a smaller amount of different squash and rarely fruit or corn cob chunk as a treat. I live up north and cactus pads are impossible to find unless I go online. I feed dandelion leaves and flowers as food staple, along with aloe vera, but include other safe and healthy leaves as well. He gets regular baths and always has water in his enclosure.

here's the problem:
In the past few days my tort will barley touch any of his dandelion leaves. I have come to the conclusion that he might be sick of them? Or I need to introduce more variety in his diet?

What are some other options I can try? I can get almost anything (except cactus pads) at multiple fruit and veggie markets. Thank you SO much for the help! Just worried my baby is not getting the right nutrition!
 

SquirtsMom63

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Since he is so small, I am already forced to cut up his food into bitesized pieces for him, so his meals are mixed salads with veggie toppings. I try to mix it together so he is encouraged to eat everything and not just pick out his favorite foods and leave the rest.. (which he does anyway)
 

JoesMum

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Variety means variety over time, not within a day or within a meal. If your tortoise stops eating something then by all means try something else.

You shouldn’t need to chop food up small. There’s a sharp little beak that needs to tear at food in order to stop it over growing.

Your tort should be eating weedy and leafy greens, as you said, and at this age getting soaks of at least 20 minutes in warm water.

He will benefit from a tiny sprinkle of calcium powder on food three times a week - no more as you can overdo it.

You are correct that he can’t digest sugars properly - they cause digestive and kidney problems - so sweet foods like fruit, tomato, carrot and bell pepper should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally if at all. High protein foods such as peas, beans and corn cob should be fed sparingly too.

Cucumber and lettuce contain little fibre and and few nutrients so should also be fed sparingly.

Write a list of things that grow around you and those that you can buy and look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database for suitability to feed. If you can’t identify a plant, post a photo in our Plant ID section and someone will help.
http://thetortoisetable.org.uk/
 

JoesMum

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We are happy to look over photos of your enclosure and lighting to see if there are any improvements we recommend.

I recommend you read the TFO care guides and compare them with your setup.

They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Baby Tortoise Care (written about Russians but applies to Hermann’s too)
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
 

JoesMum

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I nearly forgot @Tom’s list :)

Look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database if you're not sure what they look like.
http://thetortoisetable.org.uk/

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard
 
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If you're concerned about nutrients, then you should get some Mazuri tortoise diet.
It has everything in it your tortoise will need and they love it.
I usually soak the pellets and put them on top of the leafy greens to let the little guys eat what they want.
As far as what i find at the grocery store that's good for the tortoises its a little limited:
Dandelion
Escarole
Endive
Collard Greens
Turnip Greens

Stay away from:
Iceberg Lettuce
Spinach
Kale (last resort)

Admittedly, my babies don't seem to like the collard or turnip greens, but they will eat them if they are hungry enough.
I tasted both and they are very bitter.

Subthread: Can tortoises taste bitter?
 

Yvonne G

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Hi and welcome!

When weeds and plants are scarce I fall back on grocery store produce. Escarole, endive, radicchio, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens. . . my Smart and Final store also sells little clam shell packages of something called "Artisan Lettuce." It is baby heads of different lettuces, butter lettuce, etc. You can buy dried additives to sprinkle over the food from Kapidolo Farms online. Things like hibiscus, plantain, moringa - he has a nice selection.
 

Yvonne G

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Subthread: Can tortoises taste bitter?

Most grocery store produce is geared towards the human palate. If you taste weeds they also have a more gamey taste. Tortoises get used to eating the sweeter, for human produce and then they turn up their nose at the good-for-them stuff. Chop it up and mix it all together.
 

squirrelkitty

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Birkenhead
Most grocery store produce is geared towards the human palate. If you taste weeds they also have a more gamey taste. Tortoises get used to eating the sweeter, for human produce and then they turn up their nose at the good-for-them stuff. Chop it up and mix it all together.
My Frankie is the opposite. He loves anything bitter (I know because I can smell the horribly healthy scent of his dead nettles. I've eaten dandelion salad and a quesadilla with cactus myself and never wish to repeat the experience). When I introduce new food to him, he'll inspect it skeptically for a few seconds, and then in it goes!
But then, he's hardly ever had any fruit. So it is probably best to teach them the right habits from the start.
 

hngsr

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Apr 12, 2019
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We are happy to look over photos of your enclosure and lighting to see if there are any improvements we recommend.

I recommend you read the TFO care guides and compare them with your setup.

They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and, sadly, from some breeders and vets too.

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Baby Tortoise Care (written about Russians but applies to Hermann’s too)
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/


Hi I’m building a Hermann tortoise habitat currently it’s with two 36” x 18” tubs connected finished at 4’ long x 3’ wide. I created an open passage from one to the other with a hideout in the front tub. Question what would be the best way to light with uva & uvb.? and should both sides have uva/uvb and a emitting heat bulb or just one tub? Also what would be the best substrate to use

http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/for...reid=31883&albumid=4013&dl=1556246402&thumb=1
 
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