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Author Topic: What do tortoises eat?  (Read 7289 times)

Offline Don_1

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What do tortoises eat?
« on: 21/07/2009 12:14:15 »
For the benefit of C4M and anyone else interested, here are some pics I took of the Pies today while they were having a spot of lunch (dandelion, hedgemustard, perennial sow thistle chicory and hawksbeard).



« Last Edit: 23/07/2009 22:14:19 by chris »


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: What do tortoises eat?
« Reply #1 on: 22/07/2009 04:50:36 »
Cool pastry! ;D
Thanks, they're definitely a tad bigger.
 

Offline tangoblue

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What do tortoises eat?
« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2009 15:25:14 »
i think they eat mostly fruit and veg.  Don't feed them lemons... no really, don't.  And i know for a fact that they LOVE dandylions as a treat.

I suggest that you print this off. Well the relevant bit anyway. http://www.hermann-tortoise.co.uk/care%20sheets/care_sheets.htm
 

Offline Don_1

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What do tortoises eat?
« Reply #3 on: 28/07/2009 08:59:54 »
i think they eat mostly fruit and veg.  Don't feed them lemons... no really, don't.  And i know for a fact that they LOVE dandylions as a treat.

I suggest that you print this off. Well the relevant bit anyway. http://www.hermann-tortoise.co.uk/care%20sheets/care_sheets.htm

Some species of tortoise do eat fruit as a main part of their diet, for example the Redfoot, but for many others (eg, Hermann, Horsefield, Spur Thigh, Marginated etc) fruit should be fed ONLY as an occasional treat. Perhaps half a medium sized strawberry once a week.

The word 'veg' conjours up the usual cabbage, spring greens, kale, sprouts etc. These too are not good for tortoises, since they are all high in oxalic acid which prevents the absorption of calcium. As for lettuce, a small amount of the outer leaves of Romaine Lettuce can be given, but a small amount only, too much lettuce can result in loose stools, and the Iceberg lettuce is a definite no no.

Wild plants (weeds if you prefer that term) are the best food for tortoises. As well as those I listed above (dandelion, hedgemustard, perennial sow thistle, chicory and hawksbeard) other good food plants are: Chickweed, dead nettle, clover, sow thistle, prickly ox tongue, rocket, lambs lettuce, watercress, hawk bits, plantain, vetch, common mallow, bindweed, viola, sedum and trefoil.

Cat and dog meat should not be given to tortoises, with the sole exception of the Redfoot and Yellowfoot species which can be given about half a teaspoon once every week or two. However, there is still debate over whether this is necessary. Some keepers report no detriment in the exclusion of this protein from these species diets.

The main thing to remember when feeding tortoises is variety. Some species of tortoise have been observed in the wild eating up to 200 different plants over the anual cycle. For example, the Redfoot will eat almost exclusively leaves until late summer when fruits rippen and drop, then it will eat mostly fruits.

The Hermann Tortoise site is quite good, but the Tortoise Trust has the best information on all aspects of keeping tortoises. http://www.tortoisetrust.org/.
 

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What do tortoises eat?
« Reply #3 on: 28/07/2009 08:59:54 »

 

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