Not eating a variety

Heather Moore

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
2
I just recently got a sulcata tortoise named leonard and at the pet store they fed him only dark leaf lettuce, after reading about them I realized he needs a variety so ive tried cactus, strawberries, several store bought foods and collard greens and so far he only eats the dark leaf lettuce. I'm worried hes not gonna get enough nutrients, ny suggestions. Thank you
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,565
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Hello

Torts are very stubborn. They know what they like and they like what they know. You have to introduce new foods very, slowly and with a degree of cunning.

Your tort cannot digest sugars properly, they cause digestive and kidney problems, so fruit, tomato, bell pepper and carrot should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally - if at all.

To introduce a new food
- Chop up the food your tort will eat very small and wet it
- Chop up a tiny amount of the new food very small and mix it with the rest. The water will make it all stick together so your tort can't just
pick out what it likes.
- If your tort eats the food, at the next meal increase the amount of new stuff slightly and decrease the amount of old stuff slightly
- If your tort refuses, leave it there for 24 hours; it doesn't matter if it goes limp. Then replace it with a mix in exactly the same proportions as the day before.

Your tort can go many days without food and come to no harm, but must be soaked for at least 30 minutes on days when food is refused so that it stays hydrated.

Be strong. Don't feel guilty when your tort goes on hunger strike. We are here for you. Few of us haven't had to do this!
 

Heather Moore

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
2
Hello

Torts are very stubborn. They know what they like and they like what they know. You have to introduce new foods very, slowly and with a degree of cunning.

Your tort cannot digest sugars properly, they cause digestive and kidney problems, so fruit, tomato, bell pepper and carrot should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally - if at all.

To introduce a new food
- Chop up the food your tort will eat very small and wet it
- Chop up a tiny amount of the new food very small and mix it with the rest. The water will make it all stick together so your tort can't just
pick out what it likes.
- If your tort eats the food, at the next meal increase the amount of new stuff slightly and decrease the amount of old stuff slightly
- If your tort refuses, leave it there for 24 hours; it doesn't matter if it goes limp. Then replace it with a mix in exactly the same proportions as the day before.

Your tort can go many days without food and come to no harm, but must be soaked for at least 30 minutes on days when food is refused so that it stays hydrated.

Be strong. Don't feel guilty when your tort goes on hunger strike. We are here for you. Few of us haven't had to do this!
Thank you so very much for all this great info, ill start this process rt away.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,154
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I just recently got a sulcata tortoise named leonard and at the pet store they fed him only dark leaf lettuce, after reading about them I realized he needs a variety so ive tried cactus, strawberries, several store bought foods and collard greens and so far he only eats the dark leaf lettuce. I'm worried hes not gonna get enough nutrients, ny suggestions. Thank you

Hello and welcome.

Great tips from Joe's Mum. Just remember to start very slow with only tiny amounts of the new stuff. If you try to do too much too soon, it actually slows the whole process down.

Here is some general sulcata info that will help you. Pet store info is typically incorrect, and internet info is all over the map.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
 

Gillian M

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
15,369
Location (City and/or State)
Jordan
Hi @Heather Moore and a very warm welcome to the forum!

Please do not worry: torts take long to adapt to change: a new house, environment, owner, climate, enclosure and so on. And I totally agree with @JoesMum : torts - I was surprised to find out - are EXTREMELY STUBBORN.

Take it easy and ask any question when in need of help.

Any pics of your tort and his enclosure?
 
Top