Red foot diet ratios

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Hey folks! I’m trying to come up with a rough meal plan for our red foot to try and ensure we’re getting all her ratios correct😊

She’s been getting a variety mainly consisting of;
Spring greens
Romaine
Dandelions
Dried tortoise mix once a week
Some other greens mixed in like rocket, cress and kale and the odd sprouts (though I’m becoming conscious to not over do it on goitrogenic plants, is that as much of an issue for red foot’s??)
Lots of different fruits, mango, papaya, melon, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, peach, blueberries, the odd grapes and blackberries, banana as a treat
The odd bit of grated carrot and courgette, and some slices of bell pepper
Protein wise she’s been getting a mouse every 7-10 days but want to start trying her with some steamed chicken
She gets a pinch of supplement powder on each feed and some cuttlefish every few weeks when we can get it.
All in all I don’t think her diet is bad?

I’m just wanting to slowly introduce a bit more variety along the way as a treat, so I’ve wrote a big list of all the foods that are easiest for us to get our hands on where we are, I’ve listed a few types of lettuce, but are they even worth rotating in cause of the poor nutritional value? We’ll stick to putting some romaine it to bulk some feeds up but are the others ok now n then too with the variety?

I went over all of them on The Tortoise Table, perhaps leading me to being a bit too strict with some things, like the mushrooms for example, are they safer to feed more often? Conscious of too much protein intake. Any input on that list is welcome for adjustments, I might be off on some of the stuff? Am I worrying too much about goitrogens?

I’ve read both good and bad things going back for using fish&shrimp as a protein source, same with egg so wasn’t sure whether to include them?
What kind of worms should I perhaps consider and how many do people feed of them for one protein portion? Do they need gut feeding?

The way we like to feed her, is for her to have a feed on Mondays, miss a day, then Wednesday, miss a day, then Friday, both Saturday and Sunday are small snack feeds on a few leftovers, nothing heavy. Sometimes it’s just on one of the weekend days.

We make up each feed with most of the portion being the leafy greens, then a bit of one or two veggies, like a bit of grated carrot or courgette with a few slices of bell pepper, then a few different fruits on top making up about 20-30% of the feed depending on the day, the entire feed totals about the size of her shell in a pile as to not overdo it.
I know some people do things differently, like separating the greens from the fruit and veg and feeding them on separate days, we just like to give her a little mix on each feed, she’s always been more inclined to finish most of her plate and have a bit of everything when we do it like that.
I know some folk might also do smaller portions everyday instead of the miss a day method, it’s just what we found works for her, she’s definitely not going hungry us doing it like that, as much as she hops straight on her salad, she’s happy grazing on it throughout the day, not devouring all at once and sometimes she leaves a bit.

Moving forward I’m wanting to buy her some prickly pear cactus pads, as and when I can😊I’m working on sourcing more safe weeds and wildflowers to forage, and definitely want to get into growing some of our own! Might make a separate thread when the time comes to that cause I’d be curious to hear what people’s red foots have found most palatable off the list of plants and flowers that grow best in our uk climate.

Below I’ve come up with a rough diet plan for what a typical two weeks might look like, I’ve wanted to bare in mind what they are able to find at the supermarket and bare cost in mind too as it’s not me buying her food lol.

It’s possible I’ve even over thought the diet plan and it could be scaled back? In which case I’m super happy to hear suggestions/adjustments you’d personally make!😊im curious if I’ve got those ratios at a safe level?
Overall what would you change?

She’s been enjoying her new upgrade we managed to get all up and running with help from lots of you guys on here! Been exploring and chowing down, her usual cute little self, seems to have settled right in🥰
Look forward to hearing back on this thread, all the best guys😁
 

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ZEROPILOT

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Wow.
In my opinion, you're wildly overthinking this. Though I appreciate the level of concern.
Just mix things up. Use a variety. The diet can change from day to day depending on what you have available.
Redfoot can eat hundreds of things (perhaps thousands?)
Almost any fresh, unprocessed food that you or your family eat. They can eat.
My rule of thumb is: 50%-70% fruit and 30% to 50% everything else. But sometimes it's 10% fruit. Or 90% fruit. There is no wrong ratio. It can and probably should change daily.
Toss in some fiber like hibiscus leaves, and personally I'd get rid of the dried food...or use it up and don't buy any more. It's not really a Redfoot item. Though it's not harmful.
I occasionally boil eggs and smash them. Shells and all, and toss them in my pen. I also feed wet dog food with or without mealworms in it (super worms) and Mazuri 5M21 formula with literally whatever I feel like mixed in with it.
What I'm trying to say is just relax. Feed what's available. Try not to feed the same item as a staple. And you're fine.
Pay attention to see how much your tort eats and feed about that amount daily. Most Redfoot will visit the food plate more than one time. So leave the food there for at least an hour.
Ants or gnats might be attracted to sugary foods left in an enclosure. Keep an eye open for that.
You'll soon get into the groove and you'll be an old pro in no time at all.
This isn't something to stress about.

I just put together tomorrow's food. It's a bunch of cantaloupe that my wife didn't want. Some strawberries, some broccoli Rabe and a pile of hibiscus leaves. I'll also be using some flowers.
No ratio. Just food.
 
Last edited:

COmtnLady

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Except for the meal worms, my Tort and I eat the same stuff. (Well, not mangos, I don't like them and she loves them, but that's a side issue.;) )

ZeroPilot's right, you are overthinking.

Its kind of like when you get a new puppy, or human baby. At first you freak out about everything, then after a bit you get comfortable and just go with the flow. Think of all the ones "out there" that don't get anything but lettuce and manage to survive. Yes, we are holding them hostage in a small place, but they are resilient and will manage to survive just about any of the early mistakes a keeper makes.

You've already gone above and beyond to make her life good.

The whole time mine's lived with me she hasn't had a mouse or cuttlefish. (She does have a cuttlefish bone - like you hang in a budgie's cage - available at all times in case she wants to self-feed a bit more calcium.) I give her mealworms for protein, and once in a great while (maybe quarterly) she will get a half teaspoon of "wet" (canned) catfood for variety.

I tried the cactus pads (which are fairly easy to find around here in the Mexican markets) and she just looked at me like, "what am I supposed to do with this?" and left it. I figure she knows what she wants to eat so, I just go on to the next thing. The other aspect of feeding is that she will eat some item like its the best thing ever, then just as enthusiastically ignore it for a couple months. I kind of think of it like if she was out in the wild, sometimes some particular thing is very available and sometimes not... and her species has survived longer than we primates.
 
Last edited:

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Wow.
In my opinion, you're wildly overthinking this. Though I appreciate the level of concern.
Just mix things up. Use a variety. The diet can change from day to day depending on what you have available.
Redfoot can eat hundreds of things (perhaps thousands?)
Almost any fresh, unprocessed food that you or your family eat. They can eat.
My rule of thumb is: 50%-70% fruit and 30% to 50% everything else. But sometimes it's 10% fruit. Or 90% fruit. There is no wrong ratio. It can and probably should change daily.
Toss in some fiber like hibiscus leaves, and personally I'd get rid of the dried food...or use it up and don't buy any more. It's not really a Redfoot item. Though it's not harmful.
I occasionally boil eggs and smash them. Shells and all, and toss them in my pen. I also feed wet dog food with or without mealworms in it (super worms) and Mazuri 5M21 formula with literally whatever I feel like mixed in with it.
What I'm trying to say is just relax. Feed what's available. Try not to feed the same item as a staple. And you're fine.
Pay attention to see how much your tort eats and feed about that amount daily. Most Redfoot will visit the food plate more than one time. So leave the food there for at least an hour.
Ants or gnats might be attracted to sugary foods left in an enclosure. Keep an eye open for that.
You'll soon get into the groove and you'll be an old pro in no time at all.
This isn't something to stress about.

I just put together tomorrow's food. It's a bunch of cantaloupe that my wife didn't want. Some strawberries, some broccoli Rabe and a pile of hibiscus leaves. I'll also be using some flowers.
No ratio. Just food.
lol I do that😉
We do try to switch up the fruit ratio, sometimes the feed is more made up of half fruit, half greens, unfortunately hibiscus leaves are hard to source here, the dry food is made up of dry weeds and grasses that we soak in water to give her a bit of fibre, I know they aren’t really grass eaters but I thought it would help with the fibre side of things and the lack of safe weeds I can forage.
Sometimes she gets the same staples during the week to use everything up, hence I’ve tried to write it as varied as possible, on feed days we’ll leave it in there till it’s near lights out to let her graze as and when she pleases during the day, she eats most of what we put down🙂
Despite me overthinking, would that rough diet plan I’ve written be an ok guideline for us to follow? Or does she need less on each feed? Might try her with some egg at some point😊
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Except for the meal worms, my Tort and I eat the same stuff. (Well, not mangos, I don't like them and she loves them, but that's a side issue.;) )

ZeroPilot's right, you are overthinking.

Its kind of like when you get a new puppy, or human baby. At first you freak out about everything, then after a bit you get comfortable and just go with the flow. Think of all the ones "out there" that don't get anything but lettuce and manage to survive. Yes, we are holding them hostage in a small place, but they are resilient and will manage to survive just about any of the early mistakes a keeper makes.

You've already gone above and beyond to make her life good.

The whole time mine's lived with me she hasn't had a mouse or cuttlefish. (She does have a cuttlefish bone - like you hang in a budgie's cage - available at all times in case she wants to self-feed a bit more calcium.) I give her mealworms for protein, and once in a great while (maybe quarterly) she will get a half teaspoon of "wet" (canned) catfood for variety.

I tried the cactus pads (which are fairly easy to find around here in the Mexican markets) and she just looked at me like, "what am I supposed to do with this?" and left it. I figure she knows what she wants to eat so, I just go on to the next thing. The other aspect of feeding is that she will eat some item like its the best thing ever, then just as enthusiastically ignore it for a couple months. I kind of think of it like if she was out in the wild, sometimes some particular thing is very available and sometimes not... and her species has survived longer than we primates.
Thanks for your input, when I say cuttlefish I mean the bone too when we can get it🙂might try her with some mealworms, are they live gut fed?
I’ll probably only get a pad or two to try her with, they’re only cheap, everything I wrote on the plan are foods we’ve offered for a while and she’s happy to munch up😊
If we followed that plan as a rough guideline, would you consider it a good enough diet for her with the variation and portions? I wasn’t sure whether I need to scale each feed down a bit tbh but she seems happy with the amount she’s offered, maybe I just need to spread the variety more throughout the week, instead of including so many different things on one?
All the foods on the main list are things she’s happily eaten at one time or another when offered too🙂
 

ZEROPILOT

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lol I do that😉
We do try to switch up the fruit ratio, sometimes the feed is more made up of half fruit, half greens, unfortunately hibiscus leaves are hard to source here, the dry food is made up of dry weeds and grasses that we soak in water to give her a bit of fibre, I know they aren’t really grass eaters but I thought it would help with the fibre side of things and the lack of safe weeds I can forage.
Sometimes she gets the same staples during the week to use everything up, hence I’ve tried to write it as varied as possible, on feed days we’ll leave it in there till it’s near lights out to let her graze as and when she pleases during the day, she eats most of what we put down🙂
Despite me overthinking, would that rough diet plan I’ve written be an ok guideline for us to follow? Or does she need less on each feed? Might try her with some egg at some point😊
I saw no issues with your ratios. And you're fine using that if that's what works for you.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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I saw no issues with your ratios. And you're fine using that if that's what works for you.
Awesome thank you! Her owner has said they would find some sort of rough written guidline/plan helpful, so wanted to work on one that gives her plenty of different stuff to enjoy, hopefully avoiding her getting bored of anything, I don’t doubt they’ll be times it’s a little more limited depending on the season, but that plan is typical of the wide variety we’re happy to offer her based on what we find in our supermarkets😊
 

COmtnLady

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I put a plate of food into her enclosure and leave it. She eats her faves first, then some time when I'm not paying attention she goes back for the greens. I usually don't take the plate away until the next time I feed (24 hours later), or sometimes if I notice its empty before then, but definitely most or all of the day. (Added perk : The empty dish gives her something to play with pushing around - I'm convinced she has bulldozer genes.)

I grow my own mealworms so can "gut load" however I want. Sometimes I will put the ReptiCal onto whatever piece of fruit or veggies I put in for them to eat. Is that what you are talking about when you say "live gut fed"?

.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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I put a plate of food into her enclosure and leave it. She eats her faves first, then some time when I'm not paying attention she goes back for the greens. I usually don't take the plate away until the next time I feed (24 hours later), or sometimes if I notice its empty before then, but definitely most or all of the day. (Added perk : The empty dish gives her something to play with pushing around - I'm convinced she has bulldozer genes.)

I grow my own mealworms so can "gut load" however I want. Sometimes I will put the ReptiCal onto whatever piece of fruit or veggies I put in for them to eat. Is that what you are talking about when you say "live gut fed"?

.
lol same with ours, she’ll always munch her fruit up first then graze her greens throughout the day, we’ll leave it from morning till evening to make sure she’s had everything she’s wanting, sometimes it’s been left till the following morning and she’s still hoovering up her scraps haha.
Yeah I was curious if you fed the worms some leftover veg first or if there was anything else I should give them before feeding her, thanks for the info! I’m guessing you offer a ‘head sized’ amount of worms?😅also guessing you don’t pre kill them? They won’t wriggle down into the substrate?🥲
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Just a 20 cents on mushrooms:
1. Fine to feed once or twice a week. Or three times if you don't have anything else :) They don't contain much protein (it stems from misinterpreted kkal/protein ratio).
2. Feed her daily. She won't eat more than she wants to. If you need to leave for a day or two - you may skip the feeding (or drop a cactus pad in the bowl).
3. You may get "pre-gutloaded" frozen superworms, mealworms, crickets and such. I haven't tried dubia roaches, but they are said to be good in nutrients (don't know if she can hunt them down).
4. Rotating foods is an enrichment. Also, it's important with "picky eaters".

Besides cactus pads, the "prickly pear" fruit are also fine. While mine persistently ignores pads, she happily devours the fruit (cut in rings).
 

COmtnLady

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Mealworms are the larval stage of a black beetle that doesn't do well if it gets cold, and the worms will die if they get wet. I raise the "yellow" ones. She wasn't interested in the giant ones when I offered them.

I keep the mealworms on a shelf in the kitchen, in two plastic tubs, each of which is about three to six inches deep or more. I don't put a cover or lid on either (they don't seem capable of crawling out).

I put a couple inches of wheat bran in the bottom, put the initial half-cup or so of worms into it (which I bought online, but you can also get them from some pet or feed stores, but they cost less online). A couple times per week I put some peelings from carrots or apples, or a slice or two of apple, carrot, or other fruit or veggie, or a stick of celery, or even a slice of whole wheat bread, or whatever veggie I'm cooking for dinner, into their bins. I let whatever I am feeding them dry off on a paper towel for a little bit because water really does kill them and so I don't want to put anything into their bins that has drops of water on it. They get enough moisture from the stuff they eat.

About two or three times per year I clean out their bins and give them a fresh couple inches of wheat bran (which is a pain because they are really tiny for a portion of their life and I go nuts trying to sort them out of the used up wheat bran).

They are vegetarians, so don't give them anything with grease or meat on or in it.

Don't let their wheat bran bedding get damp or it goes very icky and kills them off, besides smelling bad. If you are doing it right they don't smell at all.


And, no, I don't kill or freeze them. I just put a dozen of so on the top of the pile of food like tortoise croutons. They don't go down into the substrate if not eaten because its damp/wet. They do hide around and under things if they don't get eaten, and occasionally I find an adult beetle wandering around inside her habitat. I'm not sure if the beetles die off or she eats them, too, but I've never needed to try to capture any I've seen.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Just a 20 cents on mushrooms:
1. Fine to feed once or twice a week. Or three times if you don't have anything else :) They don't contain much protein (it stems from misinterpreted kkal/protein ratio).
2. Feed her daily. She won't eat more than she wants to. If you need to leave for a day or two - you may skip the feeding (or drop a cactus pad in the bowl).
3. You may get "pre-gutloaded" frozen superworms, mealworms, crickets and such. I haven't tried dubia roaches, but they are said to be good in nutrients (don't know if she can hunt them down).
4. Rotating foods is an enrichment. Also, it's important with "picky eaters".

Besides cactus pads, the "prickly pear" fruit are also fine. While mine persistently ignores pads, she happily devours the fruit (cut in rings).
Oooo thanks Alex I’ll bare that in mind for the mushrooms! I think they go with the every other day because she doesn’t really eat as much variety if offered everyday, whereas she’ll go for everything if there’s been a day inbetween, plus I think it works better with their work shifts, but I’ll see if they’d be up for daily feedings instead if you think it’d beneficial, definitely going to try out some gut loaded critters at some point lol, I’ll start with some worms and see if she likes the cactus pads or not😊
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Mealworms are the larval stage of a black beetle that doesn't do well if it gets cold, and the worms will die if they get wet. I raise the "yellow" ones. She wasn't interested in the giant ones when I offered them.

I keep the mealworms on a shelf in the kitchen, in two plastic tubs, each of which is about three to six inches deep or more. I don't put a cover or lid on either (they don't seem capable of crawling out).

I put a couple inches of wheat bran in the bottom, put the initial half-cup or so of worms into it (which I bought online, but you can also get them from some pet or feed stores, but they cost less online). A couple times per week I put some peelings from carrots or apples, or a slice or two of apple, carrot, or other fruit or veggie, or a stick of celery, or even a slice of whole wheat bread, or whatever veggie I'm cooking for dinner, into their bins. I let whatever I am feeding them dry off on a paper towel for a little bit because water really does kill them and so I don't want to put anything into their bins that has drops of water on it. They get enough moisture from the stuff they eat.

About two or three times per year I clean out their bins and give them a fresh couple inches of wheat bran (which is a pain because they are really tiny for a portion of their life and I go nuts trying to sort them out of the used up wheat bran).

They are vegetarians, so don't give them anything with grease or meat on or in it.

Don't let their wheat bran bedding get damp or it goes very icky and kills them off, besides smelling bad. If you are doing it right they don't smell at all.


And, no, I don't kill or freeze them. I just put a dozen of so on the top of the pile of food like tortoise croutons. They don't go down into the substrate if not eaten because its damp/wet. They do hide around and under things if they don't get eaten, and occasionally I find an adult beetle wandering around inside her habitat. I'm not sure if the beetles die off or she eats them, too, but I've never needed to try to capture any I've seen.
Thanks for all the tips! Lol the thought of a little worm being in there long enough to turn into a beetle like some sort of roommate made me chuckle😂will definitely give the worms at go at some point with her! I’m intrigued if she’ll like them😊
 
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