Sub-adult male Hermann's... extremely picky eater or wrong diet entirely?

tortsofsorts

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Aug 18, 2022
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Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

I'm currently keeping a sub-adult male Hermann's tortoise. I've had him since last fall, and he's just great. However, I do have a few questions about his diet.

I was told by the previous owner he was fed fresh fruit daily (strawberries, mangos, etc). To my knowledge, his diet was far too high in sugar, so I started him off in my care with Fluker-brand tortoise pellets, along with sliced carrots, celery, and tomatoes. I kept him on this diet for a while, cutting veggies up every night for him.

Eventually, I decided I'd go half and half with the diet, having veggies every couple nights and moistened pellets for the remainder. He really did not like this, and almost refused to eat the pellets entirely. He literally would rather eat his own poop, and he actually did, lol.

After a while, I ran out of fresh veggies to feed him. I ended up going to the pet store and completely revamping his diet, substituting the hard Fluker pellets for soft grass pellets and buying freeze-dried peas, green beans, and carrots for him to enjoy along with them.

He's liked this.... however, I find that he just eats the carrots and peas and leaves everything else, including the grass.

What the heck do I do? Why is he such a picky eater? He doesn't seem underweight or unhealthy... he's very active, too, when he wants to be! Is this an appropriate diet for him? Am I doing something wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated!
 

Tom

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Hi all,

I'm currently keeping a sub-adult male Hermann's tortoise. I've had him since last fall, and he's just great. However, I do have a few questions about his diet.

I was told by the previous owner he was fed fresh fruit daily (strawberries, mangos, etc). To my knowledge, his diet was far too high in sugar, so I started him off in my care with Fluker-brand tortoise pellets, along with sliced carrots, celery, and tomatoes. I kept him on this diet for a while, cutting veggies up every night for him.

Eventually, I decided I'd go half and half with the diet, having veggies every couple nights and moistened pellets for the remainder. He really did not like this, and almost refused to eat the pellets entirely. He literally would rather eat his own poop, and he actually did, lol.

After a while, I ran out of fresh veggies to feed him. I ended up going to the pet store and completely revamping his diet, substituting the hard Fluker pellets for soft grass pellets and buying freeze-dried peas, green beans, and carrots for him to enjoy along with them.

He's liked this.... however, I find that he just eats the carrots and peas and leaves everything else, including the grass.

What the heck do I do? Why is he such a picky eater? He doesn't seem underweight or unhealthy... he's very active, too, when he wants to be! Is this an appropriate diet for him? Am I doing something wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated!
All of that is entirely the wrong diet for any tortoise. Your species should be eating primarily broad leaf weeds, leaves and flower of the right types. No fruit at all, and carrots, celery and tomato, are not "toxic", but they are also not good tortoise foods.

Please read through this at least twice. There is probably a whole lot in there different than the care info you've previously found. Most of the care info from online, pet shops, vets, books etc... is all wrong and has been repeated for decades. Now, here on TFO, you have finally found the correct care info:

Your questions are welcome. We are here to help tortoises.
 

wellington

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The diet needs to be changed asap. He has been fed all bad stuff or too long. Follow Tom's recommendations.
 

tortsofsorts

New Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
All of that is entirely the wrong diet for any tortoise. Your species should be eating primarily broad leaf weeds, leaves and flower of the right types. No fruit at all, and carrots, celery and tomato, are not "toxic", but they are also not good tortoise foods.

Please read through this at least twice. There is probably a whole lot in there different than the care info you've previously found. Most of the care info from online, pet shops, vets, books etc... is all wrong and has been repeated for decades. Now, here on TFO, you have finally found the correct care info:

Your questions are welcome. We are here to help tortoises.
Thanks for the info, Tom! I've been feeding him the recommended ZooMed grassland pellets, but I'll definitely make a note to switch the freeze-dried veggies for leaves. I'll also make sure to get some cuttle bone in there for him!
 
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