Russian Tortoise is hungry twice a day?

texastort17

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Hello all.

I’ve read that you should feed your tortoise once a day about the size of a shell. I’ve got a 15 year old female who has lived outdoors before I got her (and still lives outdoors currently). She does two kinds of pacing: one is bored and the other is demanding a refill of food. When she wants more food, if I come out there she basically sprints to me and tries to reach me—I’ve given her a small amount of food the two times I’ve noticed this, to test if it’s hunger, and I think it is because she goes right to bed afterwards. It’s always in late evening, 5-7pm.

I’m currently trying to grow wheat grass for her to have in her enclosure, as well as plants to help with some daily grazing but I wanted to make sure if this was a sign of concern? I’m afraid I’m not feeding her enough, or not the right thing? Right now she gets lettuce and collard greens, but I’ll run and grab any recommendations y’all have!

Thank you for any advice.
 

wellington

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She should be fed enough that she can graze off and on all day. That's what she would do in the wild and if she had weeds to eat in her enclosure. As long as she has an appropriate sized enclosure for exercise, and the right foods, she won't over eat and get fat.
 

texastort17

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She should be fed enough that she can graze off and on all day. That's what she would do in the wild and if she had weeds to eat in her enclosure. As long as she has an appropriate sized enclosure for exercise, and the right foods, she won't over eat and get fat.
Okay, perfect, thank you! We’ve got the recommend enclosure size, I’m just working on getting those weeds growing within it. :) I’m doing wheatgrass, do you recommend any other kinds?
 

TammyJ

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I hope her diet is more varied than just lettuce and collard greens!?
 

wellington

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Recommended enclosure size is minimum of a 4x8 foot but bigger is much better.
Diet, broad leaf weeds, along with store greens of ridicchio, endive, mustard and collard greens, arugula, some kale, just to name a few.
Check out @Kapidolo Farms they sell lots of goodies for tortoises.
 

Tom

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Hello all.

I’ve read that you should feed your tortoise once a day about the size of a shell. I’ve got a 15 year old female who has lived outdoors before I got her (and still lives outdoors currently). She does two kinds of pacing: one is bored and the other is demanding a refill of food. When she wants more food, if I come out there she basically sprints to me and tries to reach me—I’ve given her a small amount of food the two times I’ve noticed this, to test if it’s hunger, and I think it is because she goes right to bed afterwards. It’s always in late evening, 5-7pm.

I’m currently trying to grow wheat grass for her to have in her enclosure, as well as plants to help with some daily grazing but I wanted to make sure if this was a sign of concern? I’m afraid I’m not feeding her enough, or not the right thing? Right now she gets lettuce and collard greens, but I’ll run and grab any recommendations y’all have!

Thank you for any advice.
Your tortoise should be fed as much of the right foods as it wants to eat daily. There is no over feeding.

Lettuce and collards are not good foods as staples. Either or okay once in a while with the right amendments added in. Best to use endive or escarole as your main staples if you must use grocery store food, but add in other good stuff. More on that in a minute.

Russians are not grass eaters, but the grass won't hurt anything.

Read this for the food ideas:
 

Cathie G

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I have a little Russian also . If there's no leftovers on his food tile at the end of the day I'm mad at myself. I haven't fed him enough. Some days there will be more leftovers and I have to throw it away. But I can't predict which day he'll be hungrier so I want him to have what he could decide in the wild for himself.🤗
 

texastort17

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Your tortoise should be fed as much of the right foods as it wants to eat daily. There is no over feeding.

Lettuce and collards are not good foods as staples. Either or okay once in a while with the right amendments added in. Best to use endive or escarole as your main staples if you must use grocery store food, but add in other good stuff. More on that in a minute.

Russians are not grass eaters, but the grass won't hurt anything.

Read this for the food ideas:
Thanks for this! I’ll make sure to make those changes with tomorrow’s serving. I’ve also just gone and ordered a seed pack from tortoise supply, so hopefully they’ll come in soon.
 

texastort17

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I have a little Russian also . If there's no leftovers on his food tile at the end of the day I'm mad at myself. I haven't fed him enough. Some days there will be more leftovers and I have to throw it away. But I can't predict which day he'll be hungrier so I want him to have what he could decide in the wild for himself.🤗
This makes sense! I kept seeing warnings regarding over feeding, so as a chronic over worrier I didn’t want to accidentally do that. However, now I know better thanks to y’all! :)
 

Cathie G

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This makes sense! I kept seeing warnings regarding over feeding, so as a chronic over worrier I didn’t want to accidentally do that. However, now I know better thanks to y’all! :)
I love Tom's post because escarole really helps my little Russian stay regular in pooping. It's really high in fiber. He likes that better than endive but your tortoise might like endive better. They are little in duh viduals 😁🤗
 

texastort17

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I love Tom's post because escarole really helps my little Russian stay regular in pooping. It's really high in fiber. He likes that better than endive but your tortoise might like endive better. They are little in duh viduals 😁🤗
I’ll be grabbing a bit of both and setting up a taste testing for her tomorrow morning. In fact, I’m fairly certain I can already hear her thanking y’all. 🐢
 

Tom

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I’ll be grabbing a bit of both and setting up a taste testing for her tomorrow morning. In fact, I’m fairly certain I can already hear her thanking y’all. 🐢
Just be aware that adding any food items will take time. Your tortoise will likely reject most new foods at first. It takes time to introduce anything new. I start by mincing up tiny amounts of the new stuff and mixing it in with the old favorites. Takes weeks or months sometimes.
 

texastort17

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Just be aware that adding any food items will take time. Your tortoise will likely reject most new foods at first. It takes time to introduce anything new. I start by mincing up tiny amounts of the new stuff and mixing it in with the old favorites. Takes weeks or months sometimes.
Oh yes, I found out the hard way my girl is a picky one. I didn’t think to mince it up though, thanks for that tip!
 

Cathie G

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Another thing you might want to learn is how to fix some of it for yourself. Especially if you only have one little Russian ☺️ I try to use the leftovers from the fresh greens too 😁😜 I've had endive, slivered onion and tomato with hot vinegar, water, sugar, and spice poured over it. It was good. He gets the best first though 😉🤗
 
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