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The Tortoise Chef

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Will, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Almost mid September and this tortoise is winding down; not too hungry and in bed by two p.m! She built herself another burrow; it's barely hitting mid sixties here at night so we're just letting her hang out there, rather than putting her in the night box. Her weight and appetite should stay stable for a month or so.

    We've had an invasion of sphyinx moth caterpillars and they've devastated the yarrow she likes to graze on. She's starting eating the wild strawberry plants insead. We're not happy about it; we don't have a ton of these but what you gonna do? :)

    I go to the farmers' market for the humans but keep my eye out. Gongura, or sour leaf, is available again. I've written about this plant before; it's a large hibiscus/mallow which never seems to be her thing. I take a couple of broken leaves anyway. Jury is still out on this plant but she's at least considering it.

    Something I don't remember from last year: okra leaves. Turns out you can cook and eat them like other sturdy greens. Okra is another mallow. I take a little of that, too. She takes to it pretty readily: winner!

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    I bought a small bok choy; I'll toss chunks out if I'm in a rush in the morning.

    I've got some Asian greens stir fry mix to use up: mizuna, tatsoi, pea shoots, and what I think is baby Swiss chard. This won't keep in the heat so it's for late mornings. :)

    I found some common mallow and bindweed on the way to the market, although I doubt she'll eat the mallow. Cost for this week: fifty cents for the bok choy. The usual caveats apply: very high cost of living, mild weather and access to foods of all kinds all year. YMMV.

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  2. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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  3. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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  4. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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  5. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    Here is an example of my tort salad! There is enough for about 3days.
    Deadnettle
    Scotch thistle
    Plantain
    Clover
    Vetch
    Bittercress
    Dandelion
    Catsear
    Chickweed
    Hawksbeard
    Nipplewort
    Wild geraniums
    Ajuga
    Dog violet
    Phlox
    Rose leaves
    Sedum
    Lavender
    And a single forsythia flower. IMG_20180306_150325478.jpg
    Salspi, vladimir and Will like this.
  6. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Three days! What kind of monster are you feeding?
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  7. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's TortZilla! I am guessing it's just a small amount of each items on the list, that is given as one meal each day for three days?
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  8. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    What do you think about cooked red peas (I think you guys call them kidney beans)? My redfoots like them and I do feed it to them sometimes with their mix.
  9. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    My Clunker is a 6 month old sulcata.. he eats alot and is not picky.
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  10. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    For my Russian’s first meals this Spring I popped over to the community garden to see what escaped plants were growing around the perimeter. I lucked out; there was a pumpkin plant, already grown quite large. I took some leaves and stems, and a flower with a bonus baby squash attached!

    Sunflowers had already grown tall so I picked some leaves. There was nasturtium also and I grabbed some mallow to round things out.

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    Unfortunately Addy came out of hibernation with a respiratory infection and wasn’t hungry for some time. Eventually she was tempted with a rose and cucumber with cactus added in the next day. She’s back to eating weeds but still picky.

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  11. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    @TammyJ I have no idea but this is probably a question to ask directly in the diet section. The chef thread is dedicated to foods already being fed, vs. questions as to whether a certain food is good or bad. I look forward to learning the answer. :)
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  12. trickspiration

    trickspiration Active Member

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    Here are some of the goodies that Spike gets in his diet:

    Smooth and prickly sow thistle, dandelion, catsear, filaree, chickweed, prickly lettuce, mallow (not pictured), clover (not pictured), kidney weed (not pictured)
    20180303_200336233_iOS.jpg

    This is the staple of his diet, along with mixed lettuces (romaine, red butterhead) and spring mix thrown into his diet every two months or so. Including the stems on the weeds is a great source of fiber, and he's gotten better at eating the stems without fuss. He LOVES making a mess, as you can see lol.

    20180310_193005463_iOS.jpg
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  13. Ann Stonely

    Ann Stonely New Member

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    Where do you find these!? I live in a super small town, but I work in las vegas.. I need to know a store!
  14. Ann Stonely

    Ann Stonely New Member

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    Where do you get these?
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  15. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    My yard
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  16. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Check out my earlier posts in tis thread on shopping at Asian, Korean, and Persian markets. Then just Google Las Vegas Asian market, Korean market and Persian Market. There are plenty of choices.

    I personally found one of the Korean markets in my area to offer the most choices for tortoises but your mileage may vary. You’ll have to poke around some, especially as most internet reviews will focus on prepared foods, not vegetables.

    You’ll also have plenty of latino markets there; you can get cactus (nopales) easily.
  17. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Our tortoise is recovering fairly slowly from a respiratory infection. She’s eating some but not spending too much time outside of her heated box and wasn’t going to the bathroom soon enough to suit me! I got some really great info from @Markw84 on how and why tortoises pass urates and water out of their systems: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/drinking-but-not-urinating-post-hibernation.164480/#post-1584364. So in addition to offering every food possible, I added a few more greens with higher protein levels than I normally would in one week: methi (fenugreek); and pea tendrils/shoots; soil thistles with flowerheads going to seed; plus one green bean. :)

    Also Ong Choy (water spinach) daikon (radish leaves), mustard greens, frisee, and purslane.

    And finally, one mushroom because I think that might be her favorite food. You name it, I bought it this week. And ta da! She’s going to the bathroom, lol.

    It probably would have happened without all these choices but it has been quite unnerving to have a sick tortoise; I have so little experience with it.

    Now if she would just poop better. :eek:
  18. Ann Stonely

    Ann Stonely New Member

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    Thanks
  19. *debora*

    *debora* Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for this. I will follow...

    I have learned that kale is "boerenkool". And I can feed that. Didn't know. Always happy to find new foods to feed. The pictures are nice too. Very inspiring!!
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  20. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    I spent another week obsessing about our slowly recovering from RI tortoise; she was eating some of what I offered but not much. She didn’t seem to be going out of her box much and then she wouldn’t go far. And she even though I knew it might take two weeks of eating before she started pooping it wasn’t happening fast enough for me. (I now qualify as a crazy tortoise lady!)

    After a few days of this I put her out in the sun. To my surprise she didn’t go back to her box but hung out for an hour or so, taking a few bites of her favorite plant, evening primrose. I tried it again the next day and when I turned around noticed a familiar devastation of chewed plants. The little stinker had been out for days, just not at the normal times. She’d eaten a ton of primrose in addition to a one of her favorites, a native snapdragon. Worse than that, because we didn’t think she was out we hadn’t caged up some of our less established plants. Young buckwheats were nipped down to the ground and she’d done a fair amount of damage to a plant she’s never eaten before, the California wishbone bush. She’s also started hoovering rose petals that have fallen to the ground from over the fence. I wonder why it’s taken her this long; she’s shown no interest in her previous two years with us.

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    All of this was made worse by our most dominant cat. She’s afraid of the tortoise but does eat and then sit on every single plant the tortoise visits. Like this evening primrose.

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    She isn’t eating a ton yet but she’s much more interested in grazing than in anything I provide. I did get her to try filaree this year by offering some that was already flowering and going to seed. If you know birds at all you can see why one of the names for this plant is “stork’s bill” when you look at the seed pods. This is my third year offering it; I always find it interesting how they try new foods over time, just like the experts say!

    DDA190F9-F497-49CD-BB45-C60F2BC03E4F.jpeg EEBD568E-F08F-4F98-B31F-6CE1B6AD5A63.jpeg

    Overall not much of a “chef” week. Sometimes I think she’ll just go native entirely and ignore us.
    Bambam1989 likes this.
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