Tortoise only eat food when cut up

Mabelmidnight

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Hey everyone, i have a yearling tortoise that will only eat weeds when they are cut up into small pieces. I put the full piece of dandelion and other weeds on her feeding rock, but she will just walk over them. Only when I cut up her food will she eat it. Anyone have suggestions for her to eventually take bites out of the whole weed? Thanks
 

Sarah2020

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When their young chopping up can be beneficial to avoid them choking on a large piece. Mine eats the dandelion stem like spaghetti without stopping another benefit to chop! They smell food so potentially what you offer is over handled or not of interest. I say keep chopping for the next year and gradually at larger when older. If I pick weeds I wash under the tap and serve wet so try that as well.
 

Tom

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Stop chopping it and soak the tortoise for 30-40 minutes every day. Put out fresh whole food daily. When the tortoise is hungry, it will eat. A hungry tortoise is not a picky tortoise.

The soaking will keep the tortoise hydrated and keep the GI tract moving while its being picky.
 

Turtulas-Len

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Hey everyone, i have a yearling tortoise that will only eat weeds when they are cut up into small pieces. I put the full piece of dandelion and other weeds on her feeding rock, but she will just walk over them. Only when I cut up her food will she eat it. Anyone have suggestions for her to eventually take bites out of the whole weed? Thanks
Why do you want her to eat from whole leaves and not cut up weeds, what's the difference? I have different thoughts on
this than Tom. I cut with scissors most greens that I offer my tortoises, sulcatas and hermann's even into adulthood. Growth rates without pyramiding shell and beak problems are great.
 

Mabelmidnight

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Why do you want her to eat from whole leaves and not cut up weeds, what's the difference? I have different thoughts on
this than Tom. I cut with scissors most greens that I offer my tortoises, sulcatas and hermann's even into adulthood. Growth rates without pyramiding shell and beak problems are great.
I have seen posts about this and many say that giving the tortoise whole weeds adds more enrichment because they are actually “trying” for their food and using their whole body to eat.
 

maggie3fan

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"enrichment"? Really. I do understand how a human child needs 'enrichment'... I am not an expert, but I always cut up the leafy stuff I feed to my tortoises, except Mary K. I have discovered over the years that smaller torts eat better with cut up food. What difference does that make? A healthier tortoise...However...I believe this subject is like the toilet paper over the roll or under. lol 100 8079
 

Cathie G

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I role the leaves together and start chopping . Sapphire winds up with long pieces about a french fry wide. He still has to work for it.
 

TammyJ

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Back to chop or not to chop. I like chopping because it makes me feel useful and maternal. So I chop some sometimes to ease my nurturing angst, and not chop sometimes to punish myself and please my tortoise.
 

zolasmum

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Back to chop or not to chop. I like chopping because it makes me feel useful and maternal. So I chop some sometimes to ease my nurturing angst, and not chop sometimes to punish myself and please my tortoise.
I chop Zola's food roughly, and mix it up, to stop him just choosing his favourite foods and maybe leaving the rest - however, the usually eats everything anyway, so it is probably unnecessary - however it makes me feel like a good mum. I give him whole dandelion leaves, though.
 

TammyJ

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I chop Zola's food roughly, and mix it up, to stop him just choosing his favourite foods and maybe leaving the rest - however, the usually eats everything anyway, so it is probably unnecessary - however it makes me feel like a good mum. I give him whole dandelion leaves, though.
Some hard foods that are recommended for particular species need to be very finely chopped or preferably, gratered, like carrot or pumpkin if being fed raw, because the pieces can choke the tortoise. This has been known to happen.
 

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