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The Tortoise Chef

helosoldier66

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Southern Alabama
I agree 100% on the Tortoise Table comments. I am already planning for next springs planting. I learned some things this summer about their feeding habits and plan on re-landscaping their entire enclosure. I had entirely too many grass types which went untouched. I plan on getting Ranunculus bulbs planted along with a lot of broadleaf weeds.
 

LaLaP

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What a fun thread this is! I love seeing all those tortoise salads.
Here's Diego's breakfast today:
Begonia
Geranium
Artichoke (leaf of plant)
Sow thistle
Shaggy/galant soldier
Narrow leaf plantain
Lambs quarter
Dandilion
Hollyhock
Nopales cactus
Blended wheat grass (this was a new experiment)
This is a pretty typical meal except for the wheat grass and I put some flowers in this time. I usually skip the flowers cause he doesn't eat them. Diego isn't a flowers kinda guy :)
In addition to his breakfast salad he has a lot of plants and weeds to graze on in his outdoor enclosure... clover, broad leaf plantain, dandilion, hawksbit (is that right? It's a fuzzy dandilion like weed) and mallow.
Oh and the second photo is my breakfast and his. IMG_4837.JPGIMG_4838.JPG
 

RosemaryDW

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hawksbit (is that right? It's a fuzzy dandilion like weed)
All those fuzzy chicories look the same to me!

That’s a beautiful meal. What are you trying to incorporate with the grass (does he eat it?)?
 

RosemaryDW

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Tried something new today, luffa (loofah). Yes, that’s right, that scrubby thingy you can buy for your shower:

C464E4CB-8FAD-498B-B0BE-23499CF8F287.jpeg

Turns out it’s quite edible eaten young, popular in India, China and Vietnam. Kind of looks like a summer squash, but it’s actually in the melon family.

97826BE2-3DED-4AC4-93C4-0735E39A296E.jpeg

CA79BA05-D20B-4D4D-B228-E632762BCCBF.jpeg

When the plant dries out and all the flesh dries out, it’s the fibrous structure that’s left behind for scrubbing.

She loved it, perhaps as much as her favorite summer squashes.

I don’t think I can properly describe the taste to humans, other than to say it tastes like luffa! I liked the crunchy skin but found the inside pretty bland and soft. It didn’t seem very fibrous, that’s for sure. It’s not normally eaten raw; I’m hoping it tastes better cooked since she’s only going to get a couple of slices.
 

LaLaP

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All those fuzzy chicories look the same to me!

That’s a beautiful meal. What are you trying to incorporate with the grass (does he eat it?)?
Well I read that some people feed wheat grass even to the non grass eaters and then I saw a beautiful pot of it in my local grocery store. Thinking it might be easy to grow indoors this winter I bought it. My Russian, Diego wasn't interested but he'd eat it chopped up and mixed with stuff he likes but then I noticed it came out the other end undigested... which I had read accounts of too. I decided to eat (or drink) it myself. I blended and pressed it and drank the juice. Whoa! But I decided to give him tiny bits of the blended fiber. He ate it and even went after it unmixed with other greens. Unfortunately it seemed to spoil quickly in my fridge and smelled bad. I probably won't persue it any further. I still have the little pot... does it just grow and grow?! Maybe I'll put it in his enclosure for decoration. It's pretty :)
 

LaLaP

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Tried something new today, luffa (loofah). Yes, that’s right, that scrubby thingy you can buy for your shower:

View attachment 251076

Turns out it’s quite edible eaten young, popular in India, China and Vietnam. Kind of looks like a summer squash, but it’s actually in the melon family.

View attachment 251077

View attachment 251078

When the plant dries out and all the flesh dries out, it’s the fibrous structure that’s left behind for scrubbing.

She loved it, perhaps as much as her favorite summer squashes.

I don’t think I can properly describe the taste to humans, other than to say it tastes like luffa! I liked the crunchy skin but found the inside pretty bland and soft. It didn’t seem very fibrous, that’s for sure. It’s not normally eaten raw; I’m hoping it tastes better cooked since she’s only going to get a couple of slices.
Wow! That is fascinating! I thought it was like a sponge and was a weird plant/animal that lived in the sea! I learned something today, thank you!
 

RosemaryDW

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Last meal before hibernation, we're pretty sure.

She's pretty slow and not very interested in food but is still eating a bit. I haven't weighed her yet but when she starts losing noticeable weight and digging, it's fridge time!

I've bought some methi (fenugreek), thinking she should have some protein in her system; I've also got a little butternut squash to work in some different vitamins and minerals. There are the more usual dandelions and radish leaves; she'll get a few inches of leek tops to round things out.
2C8FC49B-673E-4F8C-93EE-817E3847F6B6.jpeg
 

Toddrickfl1

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Here's an example of what I feed my Redfoot. I mix up batches like this that I feed for about a week till I make a different one with different things. First pic is Kale, hibiscus leaves, grated squash, dandelion, mulberry leaf, papaya, and Mazuri. Second pic is Kale, mulberry leaf, dandelion, romaine, papaya, strawberry, mango, grated butternut squash, crushed egg shell.IMG_20181014_173445365.jpg IMG_20181021_092045914.jpg
 

RosemaryDW

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Well, my last “pre hibernation” meal didn’t pan out. Five weeks later, with a lot of late sun in Southern California and she is still out between six and eight hours a day. She gets no night heat and it’s dropping down to the fifties at night. I haven’t fed her since Halloween.

I notice her taking a bite of primrose now and again, along with some dead plant matter. Her weight’s fairly stable.

We don’t have too many cloudy days on the forecast so I guess she’ll eat what she wants until she decides it’s time.
 

jsheffield

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IMG_7901.jpg

Darwin's breakfast today:

Cilantro and collard greens topped with butternut squash, strawberry, radish, papaya, carrot, fig, and mango, dressed with rehydrated mazuri and seaweed (dulse and wakame).

Jamie
 

RosemaryDW

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I planted some buttercups last year for her to eat when she got out of hibernation. Individual buttercup plants are pretty scrawny so I didn’t think they’d last long.

I would have taken a picture but after six days they are all gone. :eek: I guess she liked them.
 

RosemaryDW

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So after four years my Russian has finally gotten the taste of filaree. You’ve likely seen this weed, even if you don’t know the name. It starts out as a round, lacy looking plant. It stays pretty scrawny in my dry area but elsewhere gets quite green and lush.

1CD3C746-910B-414E-AF62-FBD5EAE1AC77.jpeg

It’s a member of the wild geranium family, which you might be able to tell from the small pink/purple flowers. But I bet most of you would recognize the sword-looking seed pods. When we were little, we’d pull off the individual seeds one at a time and watch them curl into these tiny corkscrews.
680F904B-8169-41C0-B5CE-F9EC8755DF65.jpeg

A9A79E4B-4974-4292-A948-0509A8F32214.jpeg

Four years! Just goes to show it’s worth it to keep trying different foods.
 

Toddrickfl1

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I'm on a two week vacation and here is what I left for my "Tort sitter" to feed til get back. It's romaine, turnip greens, dandelion greens, Papaya, mushroom, mango, mulberry leaf, Mazuri, squash, and crushed egg shells.IMG_20190418_161923453.jpg
 

Toddrickfl1

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Last fall I dried out some hibiscus flowers and stored them in Mason jars to feed during the winter.20180707_064924.jpg It wasn't as much of a hit as I thought it would be. My torts didn't seem to like them as much as much as they do fresh. They did eat some though. This next year I plan on picking several different kinds of edible flowers (including hibiscus) and drying them. I'm then going to grind them up fine with a coffee grinder and store them the same way. I'll use this to mix a few spoonfuls into their food I've prepared. Kind of like the zoomed flower topper. I'll add some pics and start a thread in a couple months.
 

RosemaryDW

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We had some good rain again this year so I am taking advantage of weeds. Seems like she’s eaten everything that’s out there in the last ten days: prickly lettuce, smooth and prickly sow thistle, mallow, bindweed, bristly ox-tongue, wild mustard, wild radish, burr clover, sweet clover, filaree; three wildflowers that are precious enough I rarely pick them: one California poppy, one common lupine, one miniature lupine. Plus everything I purchased from the farmers market, plus the usual devastation she makes of the yard. Oh, and one random green onion someone had culled from the community garden. She’s also had some plants on the “do not feed” list that I’ll post about later.

I can’t pick her up with one hand anymore and am confident she’ll weigh three pounds by the end of next month. :eek: She’s a monster! I’ve been watching her for the thirty minutes and she hasn’t stopped eating the entire time.

Oh, ha, I planted some cilantro in the yard thinking she might eat it if she was grazing and found it. As usual, a big fat nope. One tiny nibble.
 

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