Tortoise Pellets and Diet

Gillian M

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Yes really

However, the reality is that it only happens when food is not available at all.

If food is available they will eat before that, but not until they're hungry if they're being stubborn.

That's what you need to do with Oli to stop you having to hand feed him. You have to just put the food in and leave him to it. Never give in and hand feed.
Thanks a lot your advise. Appreciate it.
 

Gillian M

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I do feed carrots sometimes (once or twice a month) because they are known to help with deworming.
I did as well but stopped when I was advised not to. Mind you, I personally think: "This is NOT mathematics where 1+1=2 and NO two persons can disagree, here.
 

Anonymous

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the pellet brand that I use says:

Protein 11%
Oil 3%
Fibre 4%
Ash 7%

The other stuff it says includes the phone number of the creator, the weight of the food, and the name of the food: 'dry tortoise food'
 

Anonymous

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So today I gave her some pellets mixed with greens and it did not go we'll....

She just picked out all the pellets and I don't think she even ate on bit of greens. Last time, when I managed to get her to eat only greens, she would eat pellets and carrots quite well but reading over your comments about carrots I don't think that's a viable option this time round.
 

JoesMum

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So today I gave her some pellets mixed with greens and it did not go we'll....

She just picked out all the pellets and I don't think she even ate on bit of greens. Last time, when I managed to get her to eat only greens, she would eat pellets and carrots quite well but reading over your comments about carrots I don't think that's a viable option this time round.
The greens must be chopped really finely and well mixed in. You have to make it so they stick to the pellets and she has no choice.

She ate yesterday's mix. Today there will be more green and it will be harder to avoid it.
 

Anonymous

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Ok it's going alright at the moment. She is probably eating 40:60 veg to pellets. Although the she targets the pellets she cannot avoid the greens and doesn't mind eating them.
Out of curiosity how much should a tortoise be eating a day?
 

Tom

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Ok it's going alright at the moment. She is probably eating 40:60 veg to pellets. Although the she targets the pellets she cannot avoid the greens and doesn't mind eating them.
Out of curiosity how much should a tortoise be eating a day?

This is good news and it means our evil plan is working… MuhahahahahahahaaaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaa…….

They should be able to graze all day on the correct foods.
 

JoesMum

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So they should be eating how much sorry...?
Once weaned onto greens, a mound of food roughly the size of your tort's shell is a good rough guideline.

Tom is correct that those outdoors and grazing naturally are able to graze all day as they're constantly on the move.

Having edible plants growing, in pots, in the enclosure can supplement what you feed and encourage browsing behaviour. A £1 tray of supermarket living lettuce makes good browse.

Sink pots into the substrate, so the pot stands slightly proud of it. The pot lip showing discourages trampling.

This is good news and it means our evil plan is working… MuhahahahahahahaaaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaa…….
:D
 

Anonymous

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Ok thanks, I'd say she's probably eating slightly less than her she'll a day of pellets and greens.
 

Anonymous

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Today she started eating the greens and not just pick out the pellets. It's probably 50:50 at the mo. I still have a few questions though.
What are the consequences of pellets to tortoises?
Previously we relied on the pellets and bathing her every other day to give her a source of water. She has never had a pot of water in her table. What should we do? Should we add a slab of water to her table and see if she drinks it or what? We've out water out in the past but she has never seemed to drink it, I'm just not really sure what to do...
 

JoesMum

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Today she started eating the greens and not just pick out the pellets. It's probably 50:50 at the mo. I still have a few questions though.
What are the consequences of pellets to tortoises?
Previously we relied on the pellets and bathing her every other day to give her a source of water. She has never had a pot of water in her table. What should we do? Should we add a slab of water to her table and see if she drinks it or what? We've out water out in the past but she has never seemed to drink it, I'm just not really sure what to do...
Frankly I find it scary that she has never had water in her table!

She must have constant access to water! Get a terracotta plant saucer and sink it in to the substrate so she can wade through it and drink as she pleases.

Reptile water bowls sold by pet stores are not suitable as torts find them difficult to drink from and they are also a tipping hazard.

Like I said pellets do no harm any more than a diet of microwave ready-meals does you any harm.

Freshly prepared food is better for you and greens are better for your tort.
 

Anonymous

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Just a quick little update to say out great master plan is going ok. She is eating 40:60 pellets to veg with a little bit of encouragement. She now has a watter dish in her table and loves it!
 

JoesMum

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I missed your question on Saturday…

They should have access to as much food as they want. Free feeding we sometimes call it.
Even when the tort was only eating pellets @Tom? Russians can be piggies. I would be happy with greens once it's weaned back onto them.
 

Tom

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Even when the tort was only eating pellets @Tom? Russians can be piggies. I would be happy with greens once it's weaned back onto them.

Yes. In my experience a tortoise that is kept hungry will eat more than a tortoise that is free fed, given the chance. We use this as a training technique in other animals. I refer to it as "psychological hunger". Some working animals still have tremendous appetite and wish to gorge themselves even after a full meal. They still think they are hungry. Works in tortoises too. Its is a technique I use to get my own tortoises to eat anything I want over the long term. I frequently assert: "A picky tortoise is a hungry tortoise in my house." When they get hungry enough, they eat everything I put in front of them. And lots of it. A tortoise that is catered to and given its favorites all the time, will be picky and choosy. This could lead to health issues in the long term. Once I've got them eating the right foods, I let them have as much as they wish to graze on. If they start to get picky, I give them lots of the item they are being picky about until they stop being picky about it.

How does this relate to our OP? He/She should be in the early phases of letting his/her tortoise get hungry if it chooses to not eat the good foods mixed with the old favorite pellets. After a few months or weeks of this process, the OP's tortoise will be eating anything and everything, and at that point, the tortoise should be able to graze freely all day every day.

@Anonymous ,
May we know if you are a he or a she for typing purposes when we refer to, or address you? No need to answer if you wish to remain completely anonymous.

{ :) See what I did there?}
 
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