Turf?

Roxybear

New Member
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Mar 22, 2017
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4
Over and over I type up and answer diet questions and try to get people feeding the right stuff, but I find that the "norm" is grocery store food. Grocery store food is expensive, a hassle to obtain, and very low on the list of what is best for sulcatas.

These tortoises are GRASS eaters. From the moment they hatch, until the day they die, grass should be a large part of their diet. Spring mix, romaine, kale and other greens are okay as a small part of a varied diet, but should not be the bulk of the diet. If someone must feed grocery store foods, the pile should be sprinkled with grass clippings or "Salad Style". For those who like the convenience of pre-packaged, easy to handle stuff, "Salad Style" is basically finely blended up grass hay that can be sprinkled over any other food to add bulk and fiber. I got my "Salad Style" from Tyler at tortoisesupply.com.

For those that have a lawn, or access to one: Get a tub, get some scissors, get down on your knees, and go to work! It is so EASY to cut a few handfuls of fresh, green, tender, young grass, and dramatically improve your baby sulcatas diet. Any kind of grass will work. Finely chop it for little tortoises and sprinkle it all over the other food, or feed it by itself in a pile. Do be careful about lawn chemicals and pesticides. If you have a gardener, or its not your lawn, use extreme caution. Live in a condo or apartment complex? Don't do it. Not worth the risk, no matter what they tell you. Just grow your own grass in pots on your patio or window sills. Friends, family and neighbors might be able to help you out here.

For those who still just love the grocery store: Most stores are now selling little plastic pots of live, freshly sprouted, organic wheat grass. You can find it at many pet stores too. This is a great way to add grass to the diet of a young sulcata. Get your scissors, hold the pot over the food pile and chop away. Water it and keep the pot in a window sill, and in a few days, you'll have more. You might need several pots as your baby grows, or you can buy seed from one of our site sponsors (Thank you Carolina Pet Supply) and sprout even bigger trays of it yourself.

Some of you may find that your "grass eating" tortoise wants nothing to do with eating grass. This should surprise no one, since most breeders and most keepers never even attempt to feed actual grass to their grass eating tortoise babies. So sad! I can tell you from first hand experience with literally HUNDREDS of babies, they WILL eat it. It may take a month or more to slowly introduce it, but PLEASE, slowly introduce it.

Other items that are good for babies and young sulcatas:
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food


When sulcatas get a little older and bigger, usually around 10-12" for me, they will start munching on plain, dry grass hay, all on their own. I like orchard grass hay the best for this, but I also used bermuda grass hay for years too. When they hit this stage, life gets MUCH easier. Just make sure you have drinking water readily available when they start eating hay, and consider soaking regularly if you are not 100% sure your tortoise is drinking enough, or if you live in a really dry area, like me.

I live in a desert and yet there is still green stuff all around me. I beg you to take a walk and learn about all the green stuff around you, INSTEAD of driving to the store again. Instead of a trip to the grocery store, take a trip to a local nursery for some weed IDs, and tips on growing your own stuff. What could be better than stepping out into your backyard and collecting all the free, healthy tortoise food you can carry? Think of the gas savings! Anyone who is a tortoise keeper, ought to be somewhat of a gardener too.

I beg of you... PLEASE stop the grocery store MADNESS!!! :D


I could do with a little help! I think I've just made a massive mistake and went and bought turf for my sulcatas, I never thought about the chemicals that could be in it! Shall I take it out of there table asap!
 

JoesMum

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I could do with a little help! I think I've just made a massive mistake and went and bought turf for my sulcatas, I never thought about the chemicals that could be in it! Shall I take it out of there table asap!
Turf doesn't do well in a table. Take it out. It will die pretty quickly anyway
 

cmacusa3

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I could do with a little help! I think I've just made a massive mistake and went and bought turf for my sulcatas, I never thought about the chemicals that could be in it! Shall I take it out of there table asap!
How many are you housing together in the table? And is it an open table? Have you checked out the Sulcata section on the site?
 

Roxybear

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Mar 22, 2017
Messages
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I have 2, they will be 2 years in July, i bought them off a guy who gave me a load of info that was rubbish, I have read up but I'm learning new thing every time, I live in Ireland so getting the right supply is quite hard, I haven't seen it I shall have a look now, I only found this site a hour ago, also it's a open table
 

Tom

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I could do with a little help! I think I've just made a massive mistake and went and bought turf for my sulcatas, I never thought about the chemicals that could be in it! Shall I take it out of there table asap!

We are here for you. How can we help?
 

cmacusa3

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Roxy wrote

"I have 2, they will be 2 years in July, i bought them off a guy who gave me a load of info that was rubbish, I have read up but I'm learning new thing every time, I live in Ireland so getting the right supply is quite hard, I haven't seen it I shall have a look now, I only found this site a hour ago, also it's a open table"



Well let me Welcome you to the forum. I noticed a few things got moved and they started a new thread so please let me post what you wrote last so others can help. This link is a good place to start.
Unfortunately pairs are a bad idea and they will need to be separated



http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-split-Beginner-Mistakes#axzz1tG8s05M5
 
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