Very strange eating behaviour


New Member
Jul 18, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
North Wales
Hello everyone I am new here and I'm really hoping someone can help me!

I have a horsefield tortoise called Hermann (silly I know!) and he is roughly 13 years old. I've never had any cause of concern over him until very recently because he has started to exhibit very bizarre eating habits. He came out of hibernation roughly around beginning of May and the jumped straight back in to eating which is pretty usual for him however, in the past month he has begun to start eating his substrate and refuses to eat anything else. I have also noticed that when in the garden he is going around attempting to eat bits of bark and pebble (I stop him from doing so)

I can't work out what is going on, I have to admit that when he does eat he's eating "treat foods" rather than the actual green leaves he should be eating.

I am at a complete loss on what to do so I'm really hoping someone can help me and little Hermann.

Thanks so much in advance!

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
Hello, Kirsty, I am half Welsh myself, a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you and Hermann the Horsfield! :):rolleyes:
It sounds to me as if he is perhaps deficient in some vitamins or minerals, possibly because of his "treat" diet.
You will need to ensure he gets a proper diet, which may involve starving him until he eats what he should be eating.
Does he have cuttlebone ? If so and he is not eating it, scrape a little onto his food a couple of times a week to ensure he gets his calcium.
You also may need to use a food supplement such as Miner-All to give him all the extra elements he needs.
People who use this swear it stops their tortoise substrate eating pretty much immediately. contains a section on what you should be feeding him and I also Iike :
The ones in bold are the best.

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