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#1 Guest_Amy_*

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 10:41 AM

Hi all,
In my enclosure i have a very small teracotta plant pot (approx 3.5inches diameter)tipped on its side with a parsley growing out of it. (so they can have a nice munch when they fancy it)

When i got home yesterday evening, Geoffrey was happily sitting under his lamp basking, but Albert was no-where to be seen. On closer inspection, Albert had clambered up and was sitting vertical in the middle of the plant (nicely camoflaged!), EATING THE DIRT!!!

I can't believe he managed to climb (it's not high, but it must be in tortoise world!). He does have a taste for dirt though and has had a munch on it before from a heather i had in there previously.

Is it normal for them to eat dirt? They are both Horsfields.

#2 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:31 PM

Hi Amy
Sometimes tortoises do eat soil(dirt) it can indicate they are lacking in minerals in the diet or trying to increase there gut flora , tortoises would obtain essential vitamins in there wild state by ingesting dirt as it contains certain minerals calcium being he main one that aid growth, also ingesting dirt can help with there gut flora by taking small bacterias in it increases the digestive gut flora ,tortoises do ingest dirt browseing natural weeds but because we are so clean about how we feed washing food etc and useing artificial substrates they rarely come across it in an indoor enviroment so when the opptunity arisies to take it in they more than welcome it hope this puts your mind at rest

#3 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

Guest_Calamity Jane_*
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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:40 PM

Hi Amy,
Yeah Darren is right, you could also try putting cuttle fish bone in the enclosure, break it up a little and see if he eats it, he could be looking for minerals.
Are you dusting his food with vitamin supplements and calcium???

Calamity Jane
My Tortoises:
1.4.2 Hermanns

#4 Guest_Amy_*

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for your replies. They do have a cuttle fish bone already - Geoffrey loves it, i must say the noise it makes is excrutiating while he's nibbling! Albert not bothered about it though.
They do get the supplements dusted on food every other day, and they feed well.

I'll leave him to eat the dirt some more then.
Thank you both for putting my mind at rest

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