Trying to feed him variety?

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Hello!
I've been experimenting with trying to feed my Russian tort various types of greens.
However, he seems to be super picky, and I'm not sure what else to do :S
He LOVES his Romaine lettuce, but not much else.
Some things that I've tried that he doesn't like are apples, carrots, spinach, broccoli, raspberries.
I do use the calcium and vitamin supplements with his Romaine, but I'm trying to find more "natural" ways for him to have a well-balanced diet.
Any ideas would be really appreciated!
 

Jacqui

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Try feeding him more things like weeds (dandelions, plantain, clover, are just some that jump to my mind), just be sure no chemicals have been used where they grow. Mulberry and grape leaves are great, as are cactus pads. Store bought greens are also good but go with ones like turnip or mustard greens, raddichio (sp?), collards, even a spring or santa barbarar mix. Remeber no fruit for these guys. There are many lists out there of weeds to feed, seeds and plants to grow yourself, along with the various "good" store bought greens.

Since he likes romaine start with that and cut it into really small pieces along with one (or more) of the other greens. Cut it very small and mix together well so it makes it hard to pick out only the romaine. Some folks will dampen it, so it clumps together more. Start off with a higher percent of romaine to the rest and slowly day by day add less romaine to more of the "good" stuff. Finally you will get to the point where you can leave out the romaine and stop cutting the food up fine.

Another method is the tough love method. With that one you simply do not feed him any romaine any more. The belief is a tortoise will not starve himself to death and will start eating the other foods out there.
 
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Thanks! I will try some of those ideas :)
Where would I be able to get cactus pads? I've heard a lot of people having success with those, though I can't find them in my regular Kroger. :(

Jacqui said:
Try feeding him more things like weeds (dandelions, plantain, clover, are just some that jump to my mind), just be sure no chemicals have been used where they grow. Mulberry and grape leaves are great, as are cactus pads. Store bought greens are also good but go with ones like turnip or mustard greens, raddichio (sp?), collards, even a spring or santa barbarar mix. Remeber no fruit for these guys. There are many lists out there of weeds to feed, seeds and plants to grow yourself, along with the various "good" store bought greens.

Since he likes romaine start with that and cut it into really small pieces along with one (or more) of the other greens. Cut it very small and mix together well so it makes it hard to pick out only the romaine. Some folks will dampen it, so it clumps together more. Start off with a higher percent of romaine to the rest and slowly day by day add less romaine to more of the "good" stuff. Finally you will get to the point where you can leave out the romaine and stop cutting the food up fine.

Another method is the tough love method. With that one you simply do not feed him any romaine any more. The belief is a tortoise will not starve himself to death and will start eating the other foods out there.
 

Jacqui

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I can't get them in my local area either. :( If I go to the larger cities I have better luck, especially if I can find a Mexican food store they usually have them. You can also order them online. Plus sometimes you will have a really sweet and generous member who will send you some to try.


Once you find some, buy a couple to try and grow. Most folks have good luck with that, so far I can kill them faster then you can say "cactus".
 
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Hmm...do you think I could just get a cactus plant?

I heard that tortoises like to eat aloe and other succulents like that. Maybe I will get an aloe plant? I don't know.


Jacqui said:
I can't get them in my local area either. :( If I go to the larger cities I have better luck, especially if I can find a Mexican food store they usually have them. You can also order them online. Plus sometimes you will have a really sweet and generous member who will send you some to try.


Once you find some, buy a couple to try and grow. Most folks have good luck with that, so far I can kill them faster then you can say "cactus".

 

bettinge

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http://www.rivenrock.com/buyediblecactus.html

I bought pads from here years ago. I got the "D" grade. Just plant them and they grow like weeds, especially in the summer outside. I still have much more than I ever bought! They cannot handle frost.


By the way, all the new growth is "A" grade!
 

bouaboua

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Try to mix different thing into the cut Roman lettuce by small volume at first then increase the balance.

I even try not feeding my tortoise up to tow weeks. After fasting for two weeks, he will eat whatever you feed him. But make sure water are available at all time.
 

Yvonne G

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The reason you're having trouble getting your tortoise to try new things is because you're not offering the correct foods. Russian tortoises don't eat apples, carrots, spinach or broccoli. Look in the packaged lettuce/salad section of the produce market and try to find one that has a nice variety of different greens in it. Other dark, leafy greens to try would be escarole, endive, mustard greens, turnip greens. And when you add your calcium powder, just use a very small 'pinch' between your thumb and forefinger. It doesn't taste good and some tortoise won't eat if then sense it on their food.
 
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So I just stick them in the dirt and they'll just grow on their own? That sounds super awesome :D I will have to try this (when I get my next paycheck...oh the woes of being a broke college student :p)

bettinge said:
http://www.rivenrock.com/buyediblecactus.html

I bought pads from here years ago. I got the "D" grade. Just plant them and they grow like weeds, especially in the summer outside. I still have much more than I ever bought! They cannot handle frost.


By the way, all the new growth is "A" grade!

 

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