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FreddieTheTort

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Joined
Jan 14, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Hi! I am a semi-new tortoise owner and I still don't know if I am feeding my russian too much or too little. Freddie is about 5 years old and he eats like a pig (from what I can tell) but I don't know if I should keep giving him more food when he finishes the pile, or stop. I have heard things like "Russian Tortoises don't hold back when it comes to eating" and I don't want to overfeed him. I give him a pile of leafy greens about the size of him but he eats most of it within 30 min (I don't know if that is normal or not). I have done some research but the little guy seems like a bottomless pit. Thanks!
 

LaLaP

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Tortoise Club
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Jun 25, 2018
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839
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
I can relate to your situation and concern. I have 2 Russian tortoises and one eats like a bird and the other is a bottomless pit as you say. I'm curious to see what more experienced members have to say.

To keep myself from worrying too much I weigh them both once a month. To my surprise each one is more or less maintaining his weight.

I tend to feed my bottomless pit A LOT! I don't want him to be hungry. Oh and he eats it all in one go no matter how much I give him.

I also googled overweight tortoise photos and not only was I entertained (and a bit horrified) but now I know what it looks like when they get fat and I'll make sure that doesn't happen!

Different tortoises must have different metabolisms just like people, right? I myself am a hungry skinny person that can eat all day and never get fat and rarely do I feel full... I too am a bottomless pit!
 
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FreddieTheTort

New Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Russian torts are grazers. As long as they have a proper size enclosure, they will not overeat. I would maybe put his food in different areas which will encourage him to roam around looking for food. Feed as much as they will eat.
Thanks for the advice! I have timothy hay scattered in his enclosure which I have heard is a good source of fiber.
 

RosemaryDW

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Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,288
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Thanks for the advice! I have timothy hay scattered in his enclosure which I have heard is a good source of fiber.
Russians are broad leaf eaters and don’t eat hay. If you are worried about fiber and can’t find anything fresh/local, invest in some Mazuri as a supplement.

Russians with enough space will walk off whatever they eat and yes, many of them will eat all day, every day. Mine does, at least in spring and summer.
 

FreddieTheTort

New Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Russians are broad leaf eaters and don’t eat hay. If you are worried about fiber and can’t find anything fresh/local, invest in some Mazuri as a supplement.

Russians with enough space will walk off whatever they eat and yes, many of them will eat all day, every day. Mine does, at least in spring and summer.
Good to know. The guy at the reptile store told me that it could be used as another food source but Freddie doesn't eat it very much since it is only in 1 little section of his enclosure.
 

RosemaryDW

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Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,288
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Good to know. The guy at the reptile store told me that it could be used as another food source but Freddie doesn't eat it very much since it is only in 1 little section of his enclosure.
Your reptile store has out-of-date information, as many stores do, unfortunately. Stick with the care sheets here; the members of this forum have been successfully raising healthy Russians for decades.
 

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