spring mix and spinach

ReddyFreddy

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For years I have made spring mix the base of m Russians diet. However, I was unaware that it has spinach in it. I asked my mom and she said that she always took the spinach out, but I have not been doing that. I have switched off of spring mix, but I am worried about any long term effects like a build up of stones. Should I be worried or am i over reacting. Thank you TFO!
 

wellington

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I don't pic out the spinach in my spring mix when I feed to my Russian and leopards. Spinach is okay to feed, just not in big amounts all the time. So if you use spring mix every day, then I would keep picking it out except for a couple feelings a month. I wouldn't worry much about what you already fed. Nothing much you can do now anyway, except feed less of it for a while.
 

dmmj

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there should be no long-term effects spinach is simply has a calcium binder which means it has a chemical in it that binds to calcium and does not allow it to be absorbed and passes right thru the tortoise
 

lisa127

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Do you have Aldi stores near you? They have a large plastic tub of organic spring mix with no spinach in it. The smaller bags have it but the big plastic tub there does not. Spinach is fine to feed in small amounts on occassion.
 

ReddyFreddy

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Do you have Aldi stores near you? They have a large plastic tub of organic spring mix with no spinach in it. The smaller bags have it but the big plastic tub there does not. Spinach is fine to feed in small amounts on occassion.

Funny enough their building one in my town right now. I'll check it out, thanks!
 

Tom

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For years I have made spring mix the base of m Russians diet. However, I was unaware that it has spinach in it. I asked my mom and she said that she always took the spinach out, but I have not been doing that. I have switched off of spring mix, but I am worried about any long term effects like a build up of stones. Should I be worried or am i over reacting. Thank you TFO!

Spring mix is not a good diet for your tortoise. Its okay once in a while, but not all the time. Spring mix is just a variety of baby lettuces. It lacks calcium, lacks fiber, and it has a low calcium to phosphorous ratio. Baby lettuce has even less fiber than "adult" lettuce. It is not toxic or bad, but is not a complete diet and doesn't give your tortoise everything it needs.

You should be feeding mostly weeds and leaves of the right type, but if you must use grocery store food food, favor endive and escarole, but use lots of variety. Mustard, turnip and collard greens are all good. Also, try cilantro, carrot tops, celery tops, water cress, bok choy, kale, etc…

If grocery store foods are what you need to get through winter, then its important to amend it with something high in fiber. You can use grass from a safe outside source, or if that is not an option, you can buy those little plots of sprouted wheat grass from a pet or grocery store. Just chop some onto the day's pre-wetted greens and mix it in. If you keep the little plots in a window sill for sun and water them, you can get 8 or 9 cuttings from each plot. You can also use blended up and rehydrated grass hay, like for horses. ZooMed Grassland tortoise pelts are a good and easy way to do this too. Start with a small piece of one pellet. Soak it until mushy and then mix it in with the greens. Gradually, over time, add more and more. Mazrui tortoise chow is also a good supplemental food and high in fiber. I also like to use herbal hay from tortoisespply. http://www.tortoisesupply.com/HerbalHay
 

ReddyFreddy

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Spring mix is not a good diet for your tortoise. Its okay once in a while, but not all the time. Spring mix is just a variety of baby lettuces. It lacks calcium, lacks fiber, and it has a low calcium to phosphorous ratio. Baby lettuce has even less fiber than "adult" lettuce. It is not toxic or bad, but is not a complete diet and doesn't give your tortoise everything it needs.

You should be feeding mostly weeds and leaves of the right type, but if you must use grocery store food food, favor endive and escarole, but use lots of variety. Mustard, turnip and collard greens are all good. Also, try cilantro, carrot tops, celery tops, water cress, bok choy, kale, etc…

If grocery store foods are what you need to get through winter, then its important to amend it with something high in fiber. You can use grass from a safe outside source, or if that is not an option, you can buy those little plots of sprouted wheat grass from a pet or grocery store. Just chop some onto the day's pre-wetted greens and mix it in. If you keep the little plots in a window sill for sun and water them, you can get 8 or 9 cuttings from each plot. You can also use blended up and rehydrated grass hay, like for horses. ZooMed Grassland tortoise pelts are a good and easy way to do this too. Start with a small piece of one pellet. Soak it until mushy and then mix it in with the greens. Gradually, over time, add more and more. Mazrui tortoise chow is also a good supplemental food and high in fiber. I also like to use herbal hay from tortoisespply. http://www.tortoisesupply.com/HerbalHay


Yeah he likes collards. I have the grassland pellets, but he doesnt seem to interested. I have herbal hay on the way, so hopefully that is tastier. Thank you.
 

Tom

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Yeah he likes collards. I have the grassland pellets, but he doesnt seem to interested. I have herbal hay on the way, so hopefully that is tastier. Thank you.
None of them "like" the ZooMed stuff at first. You have to introduce it slowly over time. Tortoises eat what they have eaten before, so introducing any new food can take some time. Start with just a tiny amount at first and gradually increase the amount over weeks or months.
 

Pearly

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None of them "like" the ZooMed stuff at first. You have to introduce it slowly over time. Tortoises eat what they have eaten before, so introducing any new food can take some time. Start with just a tiny amount at first and gradually increase the amount over weeks or months.
Zoomed makes pellets for forest torts as well and of course i had to try to add to my daily 20% intake roation of different brands (changing them daily) and for mine this is their least liked brand. I have to soak and mash it up, the salad with cactus that day has to be chopped REALLY FINELY, and "coated" with the pellet mash like a salad dressing and that day add little more fruit or protein which for me is best way to assure theif good intake. Otherwise they seem turned off to the smell. There must be a plant in there which they just don't like. I know of course you are more limited with herbivorous tort species, the more reason to add commercial diets to the fresh greens. Try doing what i do. Get several different brands of herbivorous tort pellets and add little every day to the greens rotating brands daily. This should help you fill in the nutritional gaps. Also Many supermarkets sell fresh dandelion greens, i keep a bunch in my fridge all the time, that, collard greens, escarole, endive lettuces, raddicchio, cactus is one of my staples (also sold at stores, especially mexican markets) or you can grow your own opuntia. This is what i have been doing in my first 2 years. I live in subdivision with greenbelts and stuff around but there is also a golf course wrapping around my neighborhood and the landscape is maintained by companies that spray with who knows what, so i can never go for a walk and come back with bunch of fresh dandellions or pick cool looking mushrooms from the edge of the wooded area.... I have made an outdoor enclosure last year for them but My planted tortoise garden has not established itself yet but i do have bunch of good plants started in there for them like grapes, hardy hibiscus, mallows, different weeds, succulents... they have just been too small to harvest and now things are of course dormant so i have to rely on store bought greens/mushrooms etc. but even with that and even with herbivorous diet you can get pretty nice variety food for your Freddy (assuming you are in the US). Just think: VARIETY!!! The more- the merrier. Don't forget the cactus! I think it's really good for all torts, loaded with calcium and good nutrients. I know people prepare and eat it as well, but I haven't had the time to look up recipes. Mother Nature is brilliant! In places on the globe where food/water are scarce, she places plants that are packed with good stuff. I also need to figure out the desping thing and removing glochids. I always get them in my hand. Hate them!!!! Cuting the big spines out one by one is probably best but take forever, torching them off... i don't know! I haven't been doing it right. I have to repetitively going over the fire bcs when touchj i can still feel the darn glochids and By the time my pad is smooth it's been grilled by that fire long enough to cook it. I'll have to research this one some more
 

Tom

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Zoomed makes pellets for forest torts as well and of course i had to try to add to my daily 20% intake roation of different brands (changing them daily) and for mine this is their least liked brand. I have to soak and mash it up, the salad with cactus that day has to be chopped REALLY FINELY, and "coated" with the pellet mash like a salad dressing and that day add little more fruit or protein which for me is best way to assure theif good intake. Otherwise they seem turned off to the smell. There must be a plant in there which they just don't like. I know of course you are more limited with herbivorous tort species, the more reason to add commercial diets to the fresh greens. Try doing what i do. Get several different brands of herbivorous tort pellets and add little every day to the greens rotating brands daily. This should help you fill in the nutritional gaps. Also Many supermarkets sell fresh dandelion greens, i keep a bunch in my fridge all the time, that, collard greens, escarole, endive lettuces, raddicchio, cactus is one of my staples (also sold at stores, especially mexican markets) or you can grow your own opuntia. This is what i have been doing in my first 2 years. I live in subdivision with greenbelts and stuff around but there is also a golf course wrapping around my neighborhood and the landscape is maintained by companies that spray with who knows what, so i can never go for a walk and come back with bunch of fresh dandellions or pick cool looking mushrooms from the edge of the wooded area.... I have made an outdoor enclosure last year for them but My planted tortoise garden has not established itself yet but i do have bunch of good plants started in there for them like grapes, hardy hibiscus, mallows, different weeds, succulents... they have just been too small to harvest and now things are of course dormant so i have to rely on store bought greens/mushrooms etc. but even with that and even with herbivorous diet you can get pretty nice variety food for your Freddy (assuming you are in the US). Just think: VARIETY!!! The more- the merrier. Don't forget the cactus! I think it's really good for all torts, loaded with calcium and good nutrients. I know people prepare and eat it as well, but I haven't had the time to look up recipes. Mother Nature is brilliant! In places on the globe where food/water are scarce, she places plants that are packed with good stuff. I also need to figure out the desping thing and removing glochids. I always get them in my hand. Hate them!!!! Cuting the big spines out one by one is probably best but take forever, torching them off... i don't know! I haven't been doing it right. I have to repetitively going over the fire bcs when touchj i can still feel the darn glochids and By the time my pad is smooth it's been grilled by that fire long enough to cook it. I'll have to research this one some more

For the glocchids I use some heavy duty over sized rubber gloves (leather doesn't work…) and I simply wipe down the whole pad under running water. This removes the little spines and the gloccids. However, for the last couple of years, I have just been hacking the pads into a bucket and feeding them out intact with spines and all. It does not bother the tortoises. I was inspired to try after seeing wild desert tortoises and wild radiata eating fully spined opuntia which is an introduced plant species in Madagascar. They thrive on it there. I figure if a wild tortoise can eat the fully spined version, then mine can eat the little vestigial spines and glocchids too, right? When dispersing 3 five gallon buckets of pads for the day's feeding, this saves me A LOT of time.

Where did you get your "hardy" hibiscus? I've seen it at Carol S's house and I've heard other people talk about it, but I haven't been able to find it myself.
 

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