Protein, protein, protein, It’s BAD for tortoises, right?

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,123
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
Protein, protein, protein, It’s BAD for tortoises, right? That is so wrong I will not make any further mention of good or bad.

All living things need protein to live and grow. Babies (neonate tortoises or the seeds of plants for your young tortoise) are growing living things need it even more. What is protein anyways?

Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. So, damn, what are amino acids?

Amino acids are organic compounds containing amine (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups, along with a side chain (R group) specific to each amino acid. Some are considered “EESENTAIL”, what is that?

An essential amino acid, or indispensable amino acid, is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized de novo (from scratch) by the organism, and thus must be supplied in its diet. The nine amino acids humans cannot synthesize are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine .

There is NO list of essential amino acids for chelonians. No list, we can only guess. My guess is that it is a shorter list than those for humans. Chelonians have been through many more selection events in their history than humans, so maybe they have a greater ability to synthesis their own, but that is only a guess. Did I mention this is my GUESS.

That R group, what?, the R group (not a Rock band) is the variability of one amino acid to another, it is where more atoms make each amino acid different than the others. The simplest of the amino acids, glycine, has just a hydrogen atom in the position of the R-group.

Blah blah blah, Will this is really boring.

When I post the USDA nutrient content of food they give these results . . .


https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/...p=&qa=&qn=&q=Lettuce,+cos+or+romaine,+raw&ing=


If you look, in 100 grams of romaine, there is only 1.23 grams of protein (same as percent if you read grams as %). If we back the water out (I’ve never fed dehydrated romaine BTW) the relative protein content becomes 23%. That means once the tortoise does something else with ALL the water in the bite of romaine, it will have 23% protein in that bite.

But how do we know that all the ‘detected protein’ is indeed protein, how is that measured? Let’s keep looking at this one example. When you add up all the amino acids detected they come to a total of .996 grams, not 1.23 grams. The USDA no doubt has some of the best methods and analytical labs in the world; they did not make a mistake. That difference is the error in most all protein analyses.

Individual amino acids are measured by a variety of methods as they have a range of characteristic that no one method can measure them all. They all need a very precise methods to find each type of amino acid molecules. Whereas protein is measured by counting (quantifying) nitrogen alone and multiplying by 6.25.

That same bite of Romaine actually has 18% protein. Still that seems so high? I don't find that to be the case.


What sparked this waaaaaay to long a narrative is a phone conversation I had with one owner of the largest organic grass farming operation in the United States. He has dug deep into nitrogen content and protein for grasses fed to beef cattle that is sold as organic meat. Non-organic grasses fed to beef cattle have protein content, based on that 6.25 factor of as high as 18 to 22 %, while organic grasses fed to organically raised beef cattle have a protein content of 13 to 14 %, yet the organic beef cattle put on meat weight at a much higher rate per unit of grass. How could this be?


The organic fields are fertilized with composted animal manure, usually chicken. Composting makes raw manure a qualified organic fertilizer for organic field grown plants. The non-organic grower can use straight nitrogen infused into the irrigation water, or for non-irrigated fields carried by some sort of inert particles as a granular or pelleted thing. Those higher protein grasses may get 2 or 3 applications of 250 pounds of nitrogen per acre per growing season.


That non-organic field will test out at higher “protein” content than the organic field, even though the organic field will have an actual true protein content that is higher. The actual nearly side by side fields tested at 18% non-organic and 13% organic. That 13% is more relatable to native fords and grasses tortoises eat in the wild. It is not too high, especially for neonates.
 

Toddrickfl1

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
7,073
Location (City and/or State)
Ga
My RF eats bugs, worms, snails, grubs, etc everyday in his pen before he even looks at what I give him. I can't stop him, I don't think to much protein is a thing, for Redfoots anyway
 

daniellenc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
2,092
Location (City and/or State)
Maryland
@Will how was it calculated organic cows gain more weight per blade of grass consumed? I mean no ones out there counting blades right? And organically fed animals actually reach selling weight slower hence why they are raised longer. The fact that grass fed organic farms allow their animals to graze vs. commercial farming where they are crammed in feeding pens all day also effects muscle growth. Muscle weighs more than fat and therefore wouldn’t this make it hard to determine the effects of feed vs. exercise?

I btw and trying to figure this out not argue but I wonder the role these other outliers play. My RF would live on protein and fruit if I allowed it. I actually posted a thread last week asking about protein because I only have been offering it bi-weekly.
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,123
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
@Will how was it calculated organic cows gain more weight per blade of grass consumed? I mean no ones out there counting blades right? And organically fed animals actually reach selling weight slower hence why they are raised longer. The fact that grass fed organic farms allow their animals to graze vs. commercial farming where they are crammed in feeding pens all day also effects muscle growth. Muscle weighs more than fat and therefore wouldn’t this make it hard to determine the effects of feed vs. exercise?

I btw and trying to figure this out not argue but I wonder the role these other outliers play. My RF would live on protein and fruit if I allowed it. I actually posted a thread last week asking about protein because I only have been offering it bi-weekly.


It's a feed conversion ratio which means ten cows in group A ate 20 tone of grass and gained 2 tons of weight, and in group B ten tones of cows ate 20 tons grass and gained 3 tones of weight. They count bales and know the average weight of bales, and/or know the weight of the stand in the acres grazed.

Beef cows that are grass fed are not always free range year round, they are in pens for some time, when they are in pens the feed to weight gain is measured.
 

New Posts

Top