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Pearly's tips to feed picky eater

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Pearly, Apr 1, 2016.

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  1. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, here's bit of info for the new tort owners. This is just what has WORKED FOR ME! And all this is fairly in accordance with guidelines provided here and in Tortoise Library.I hesitated to try any commercial food bcs of the grain content in all of the ones I've seen here in Texas, but one of my babies was do little and not eating at all, that after about 2 wks of trying everything else I gave in and put in couple of Mazuri pellets in with his chopped greens. The breeder included some samples with the shipment of my babies. One of them was bit of Mazuri. I soaked it in warm water and drained excess, mashed it some, and omg! Little Tucker ATE!!!! This is what had made me lean towards using some dry food. I never want to watch another starving tort or any animal. It was horrible! These are the brands that I use in rotation ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459548260.277063.jpg ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459548286.838366.jpg (those are so tiny, at times I just sprinkle some on top of their salad and Tucker loves them! ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459548362.995424.jpg ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459548395.111791.jpg , the big pellets Mazuri and the Land Tortoise Food, are soaked until very soft. The Land Tort. Food takes much longer and much warmer water to soften. I either mixed it in the salad or put it on top. Tucker selectively eats those first:). Another thing about feeding babies or finicky eaters that has helped me is chopping things up very finely, and when they were tiny hatchlings I would put things in baby blender and serve as puree. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459548911.103576.jpg this was one of the try outs, when put things in separate piles: greens, fruit (papaya here, or cantaloupe), Mazuri, just to figure just what they like most. This knowledge comes handy with supplements. My babies love their protein so guess where their calcium goes?... ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459549106.818732.jpg chopped cactus look... not very appetizing ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459549164.249040.jpg here separate piles: greens, mazuri, cactus, cucumber, papaya ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1459549244.089133.jpg all mixed up, fruit on top just to get things going, extra cactus on the side and always abundance of fresh green leaves available to much on . I went without calcium supplementing for 9 mnths. Noticed corelation of intake quantity with presence of supplement. Once I figured what to feed them to get Tucker to eat I figured that good nutritional variety in sufficient quantity will do better then sparse supplemented feedings. All has been great but over past couple of winter months we've had less outdoor time and I've noticed tiny "give" on pressing tail area of the carapace and mid plastron. So calcium without D3 is back on the menu for few weeks and daily sunning outside. The vet was confident the above measures would suffice. I'll be adding more "Pearly's feeding tips" as I find more pictures to post. Hope this helps some new worried tort mom or dad:)
    Tweak, Ddstokes, GingerLove and 11 others like this.
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    May I suggest that it would be beneficial to try and use the food soaking water too. Many of the benefits of the food will also be in the water. Also, if the babies will eat without their food being finely chopped or mushed up, this too is a benefit to their beak, nails (if feeding on a rock surface) and to their natural grazing ability, as they have to use their feet sometimes to be able to pull bites off. My hatchling leopard has been fed this way since he hatched and has no problems doing it. Just more natural. As for Mazuri. Oh yea, most torts love it and if growth is needed, Mazuri will put some on.
  3. Linhdan Nguyen

    Linhdan Nguyen Well-Known Member

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    Is the t-rex tortoise dry formula the ones with different colors ?
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  4. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I don't wish to side rail this great and helpful thread. I just want to mention that my Redfoot will not eat the Mazuri type LS.
    The "Regular" Mazuri. (Red label) is something that my tortoises can not resist.
    I would suggest purchasing a small amount of each before buying a big bag.
    Or ask a member to send you a sample.
    MPappagallo and Pearly like this.
  5. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Yes! Thank you for catching it! Also for the picky eater baby another trick maybe soaking Mazuri in fruit juice (or carrot juice, just to sweeten the flavor). Our babies graze when outside and if there is anything growing in their nursery that they like but that's in no way enough to meet their calorie/nutrition requirement. Majority of the nutrition still comes from the salads I chop up for them. Their first meal is in the morning, they never finish that meal. Then Depending on the number of snails they catch during their garden time, they eat second meal (often very good size) after their bath in pm. You know how hard it was to watch Little Tucker at just 1.5-2inches not eating? His tiny legs were soooo skinny!!! This and then having him missing for 4 weeks must have scarred me and made me become overbearing and keeping him from developing natural independent eating habits. In my defense, I'm am "old school", and do what women in my family have done for generations: we love, we nurture, we FEED! When someone is happy and celebrating - we feed them good food, sad-we also feed them, sick or injured- we feed, believing that good food will restore them and help them be whole again. Guess, I do this same with my children and my pets... Oh well, must be in my genes
    TempestRising and Yo Adrien like this.
  6. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was. That was a "sample size", one of the couple that I had bought soon after realizing that I could get our little Tucker to eat Mazuri, and then fresh greens and stuff mixed with it. I was searching for alternatives and variety
  7. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you brought this to my attention, i didn't realize there were different types of mazuri! Do you happen to have a picture of the bag of that "regular one?
  8. Linhdan Nguyen

    Linhdan Nguyen Well-Known Member

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    Thats the one i have also, and my russians LOVE it but i was thinking, are those colors natural? The grassland and mazuri tortoise foods are all brownish green (ground up veggies?) But this has color. So i was a little worried about sugars and unnatural ingredients in their food.
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  9. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Any color in any type of animal feed is supposed to be food grade. Those labels often have ingredients listed, but with names of things I can't even pronounce. What I do is buy domestic product only, and use it only as supplement or occasional treat just to give more variety. Those tiny colorful flakes are Tucker's favorite! They are small enough for him to manage dry and I think he loves the little crunch. I use them once a week just as sprinkle over his salad to get him interested in his food. He always picks every single colorful flake before getting to the salad. I also use them and other favorites to mix in their less favorite greens. It's kinda like feeding a picky toddler, you trick them into eating what's good for them.
  10. Linhdan Nguyen

    Linhdan Nguyen Well-Known Member

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    I cant pronounce some of them either :( which is why im a little iffy about them. But if theyre not the primary diet then it should be fine.
    and yes Khaleesi loves the ones with purple and red. Max likes the red ones too. The yellow ones seem to always be left behind .
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  11. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I always chop up the food like you do, for the babies. If it's all mixed together like you do it, they have to eat it all, and they do. Once they have become little eating machines and will eat anything, then you can feed them whole foods (not chopped up). You don't feed the chopped up food long enough in a baby's life for his beak to become overgrown.
  12. Yelloweyed

    Yelloweyed Well-Known Member

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    @Yvonne G - when do you stop mincing/chopping the food for the baby torts? My Russian will be 1 year this month and my CA desert torts are 7 months old.
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  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It's about the time I put them outside - probably around a year or a bit more.
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  14. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Here is the good old regular Mazuri that I buy in 25 pound bags. Note the red label.....Crocodile, lizard, turtle and tortoise formula.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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  15. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I have Redfoot and they are a little odd in that they are true OMNIVORES and also tolerate sugar/fruit as a regular part of the diet.
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  16. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Hey, I don't blame you a bit. Do what works and if it can make you feel better too, even better
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  17. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    I like how you named your torts
  18. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    That's a great way to summarize the principle behind it Yvonne. In nature many animal mothers masticate (chew) the food and swallow while hunting or foraging. Then once back in the nest/den with her babies, she regurgitates this soft, warm, easy to manage meal. Human babies go through stages where food has to be first liquid, then pudding consistency, then puree, soft, chopped, finger foods, then finally regular food. I believe in doing WTHIT (whatever the heck it takes) to get tiny baby to eat. I even decided to forgo calcium supplement for few months bcs Tucker wouldn't come near any food with supplement. Now I put their calcium in the food I know they can't resist. In this case it's cooked shrimp, and some fruit. And @Yvonne G your comment about the beak gives me reassurance I needed. Thank you.
  19. Linhdan Nguyen

    Linhdan Nguyen Well-Known Member

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    Why thank you. I can only take half the credit, my boyfriend named Khaleesi.
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  20. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    My babies are about 10 months old, and they wouldn't get enough nutrition in form of whole leaves, larger pieces of fruit/veg etc. With each meal my daughter and I put out some fresh leaves of dandelion, or escarole, parsley, radicchio. The nibble on them but never enough for me to feel satisfied . Maybe it's bcs they eat well and are never really hungry? I don't know, but meanwhile I don't mind chopping, it gives me opportunity to make sure they eat good variety. If people agree on anything they all seem to agree that in feeding VARIETY is the key
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