Store bought greens????

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bg1979

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Iam hearing conflicting info. about store bought greens. I have bought greens out of the produce section and washed thoroughly for my torts. How bad is this and what is so bad?
 

cherylim

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Store-bought greens are fine, but how beneficial they are depends on which greens you're buying.
 

Yvonne G

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It all depends upon who you listen to. I have a garden of different types of lettuces that I use, however, for most of my tortoise "career" I have used store-bought greens. In my opinion, the greens from the store are a very good base diet. To that you would add whatever you can find growing outside that is edible. For instance, my sister takes a plastic bag and a pair of scissors and walks the neighborhood looking for edible weeds and flowers. This is a good way to meet your neighbors. Be sure to ask them if they use pesticides or herbicides. Most of them will be happy for you to take a sample of edibles from their flower beds.

So, to your store-bought greens, you can add mulberry leaves, dandelion leaves and flowers, grape leaves, hollyhock leaves and flowers, etc. Whatever you have growing outside.
 

dmarcus

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With the cold destroying my garden this year, I have no choice but to buy from the store. I have never had an issue with it. My only issue is not have a good selection on the regular stores so I am forced to shop at whole food and there prices are a bit high. So until the weather gets better they are enjoying the store bought greens and Mazuri...
 

bg1979

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Great. I ve done alot of reading in the last month or so to be sure Im keeping my 2 hatchlings as safe and healthy as possible. They have a large section of my refrigerator. They have dandelion,hawksbeard, rose flowers, mustard greens, kale, clovers , mazuri and for treats carrots & strawberry. I am on top of soakings, UVB , natural sunlight , calcium w d3 , multivitamin dustings ,cuttlebone, shell sprays and enclosure & substrate. I learn more everyday so thank you to everyone involved with the site.
 

cherylim

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bg1979 said:
Great. I ve done alot of reading in the last month or so to be sure Im keeping my 2 hatchlings as safe and healthy as possible. They have a large section of my refrigerator. They have dandelion,hawksbeard, rose flowers, mustard greens, kale, clovers , mazuri and for treats carrots & strawberry. I am on top of soakings, UVB , natural sunlight , calcium w d3 , multivitamin dustings ,cuttlebone, shell sprays and enclosure & substrate. I learn more everyday so thank you to everyone involved with the site.

If you're not already aware of it, I recommend this site:
http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/tortoise_home_1.asp

It gives you a chance to see what's 'safe' to eat, and what's actively beneficial.
 

bg1979

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Thanks. Does anything stick out that I shouldnt be doing?
 

cherylim

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bg1979 said:
Thanks. Does anything stick out that I shouldnt be doing?

To me, everything you've listed sounds fine. It seems like you have a nice, varied base diet, and the right ideas for occasional treats, plus the right set-up regarding lights/humidity provided temperatures are all in check. :)
 

Redstrike

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The only issue I've had with the store greens is the fiber content being a bit too low (compared to wild-grown weeds). Living in central New York, I don't have much choice in the winter as I don't have the space to grow enough wild weeds indoors (I can grow enough for "wild" feedings 1-2 times/week). I usually supplement the store greens with timothy hay. I bought a 1 pound bag for ~ $5 (U.S.). I sprinkle a pinch onto their store greens and it helps tremendously.

Also, the store greens usually aren't quite as filling as wild weeds/plants due to the lower fiber I'd guess. The timothy hay assists with this as well, but I also choose to give them mushrooms to help fill their stomachs (I have Redfoots, not sure if mushrooms are an option for your species).
 

laramie

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cherylim said:
Store-bought greens are fine, but how beneficial they are depends on which greens you're buying.

I agree with cheryl, I have given Wilbur store bought greens and he loves them.
 

Yvonne G

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Redstrike said:
I usually supplement the store greens with timothy hay. I bought a 1 pound bag for ~ $5 (U.S.). I sprinkle a pinch onto their store greens and it helps tremendously.

Yes, I always forget to mention that. You can buy a package of chopped salad style hay or organic herbal salad mix from Carolina Pet Supply (Oxbow.com sells it too, but its not as fresh). This is a mixture of different dried grasses and hays, chopped up small for tortoises. You can either sit it in a bowl of water to re-hydrate it, or just sprinkle it over the greens as is.
 

Tony the tank

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I feed a lot of greens..I base the weekly Menu on what is selling for a good price at the produce center... But I always pick up a case of romaine and zucchini...One week collards, next week endive..cactus,

And I use hay as a substrate.. And i place the produce on the hay..So they end up eating quite a bit of it while eating there produce....I really would like them to just eat hay but ... So if it's good for them and they like it..They get it..:D
 

Katherine

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I feed mostly homegrown during the warm months but rely on farmers market produce, aloe, cactus and store bought hay for salads during our winter when the torts don't graze as much and our gardens are sparse. It's never been a problem for me and I find all my tortoises to be very healthy on said diet. As long as you are buying the right produce, thoroughly washing and feeding grasses/hay as the base of the diet I don't see the need to panic.

I believe some of the no grocery store produce thinkers have founded beliefs on the fact that there is no grocery store produce growing in Africa for purchase by wild sulcatas. While this is very true and I agree with feeding as natural a diet as feasible, there are many ways to feed a low protein high fiber calcium rich diet to a captive tortoise, and for some of us it may require a trip to the store.
 

Baoh

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I feed them store bought greens in the colder months, along with various fruits and other items. My animals do relatively well. I feed my tortoises a significant variety of foods, pellet foods included. I make sure they get plenty of protein and supplemental minerals, too.
 

DeanS

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I've pulled away from store bought greens altogether. If they're eating your lawn and weeds, they don't really need anything else. If you HAVE to buy greens from the market...then you have to be diligent about cleansing them. I used to fill up my kitchen sink with cold water and add 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 tbsp salt and 2 tbsp baking soda to create my own version of 'boric acid'...
 

pdrobber

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All of my torts regularly eat store bought greens including escarole, endive, green and red leaf lettuces, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelions and spring mix. When I have access, I pick grass, weeds, dandelions, rose of sharon, hosta, plantain and other plants, but that's only once in awhile and during the summers. Not gonna lie, I rinse them all off, but I don't scrub them really or rinse them more than 30 seconds...
 

DeanS

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A lot of people don't realize that when you mow your lawn, you can feed the clippings to your tortoises...or at least mix them in with your soaked Mazuri.
 

Katherine

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DeanS said:
A lot of people don't realize that when you mow your lawn, you can feed the clippings to your tortoises...or at least mix them in with your soaked Mazuri.

My tortoises mow my lawn directly haha; its a rare day we have to break out the mower! I would worry about lawn mower fumes and mold just because lawn mower grass = HUGE no no at the horse barn I volunteer at; I assume you recommend it bc you have never had any problems? Curious if you dry it first or feed it right away?
 

pdrobber

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I would love to feed grass clippings but my parents have the landscapers come and do it...I'll have to ask them to leave a bag now and then...
 

Tom

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The "best" diet is going to vary with the species and I see you have three there. While I think the best food for any tortoise is home grown weeds, grass and stuff, it is just not feasible or realistic in the real world for most people to grow everything they need for their tortoises to eat. I do as much of this as possible and my torts sometimes go weeks or months without anything store bought, BUT I don't see anything wrong with using some store bought greens as part of a varied diet. I'm growing more of my own food now than ever before, but I still need lot of other sources. I have seasonal weed and grass patches all over the place, and I frequently trim the mulberry trees of friends and family during the warmer months. During the winter months we get our rains and the weeds sprout in full force out here. For the next four or so my torts will just graze all day in their pens.

Our torts are very adaptable and will thrive with many different diets. I say, just do your research and give it your best. You and your torts will probably be fine.
 
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