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Pyramiding and Diet?

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#1 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:08 PM

Hi everyone!

Its quite a few months now since i've posted anything on here and so i have a few questions i hope you could help me with.

Firstly, my lovely tortoise Daisy.........i have a few concerns really and my main one is that i don't know if it's just my eyes playing tricks on me but i have a feeling her shell is starting to slightly pyramid. Now i've always struggled with knowing what to feed her and weeds are scarce at the moment so largely i've been feeding her lettuce, cucumber for water, cauliflower leaves and some cabbage. Another thing is that she has lost a few of her nails, which don't seem to be growing back, and just the other day she got a small chip in her beak. So at the moment i'm getting so worked up because i feel i'm doing everything wrong, despite having had Daisy for a good 8 months now.

I have just got a new book however which has been republising, it's the 'Practical Encyclopedia of keeping and breeding tortoises and freshwater turtles' and it has what i think seems like a very good diet plan, i will write it below for you to see.

Even though the book has answered some questions for me, some advice from fellow owners would be invaluable smile.gif

Thanks very much guys! Any help would be wonderful!

Sis x

[/center]Mixed Green Leaf vegetable base (90%+)
Dandelion, cabbage, clover, kale, lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, sow thistle, coarse mixed grasses, flower heads and other fodder plants

Fruit (<10%)
Melon(red, orange, white), tomato, mango, pineapple, caulifower, apple, pear, red/green sweet peppers, cucumber, courgette (zucchini)

#2 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:48 PM

Hi there,

What breed of tortoise is Daisy?

We have all been confused by the various lists of food suitable for tortoises, the problem seems to be the lists do not always say what BREED the list is suitable for.

I have a beautiful Hermanns tortoise and there are lots of foods on your list that would not be suitable for her.

Paula x

#3 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:01 PM

Hi Hettie,

Daisy is also a Hermanns tort. According to her certificate shes about 4-5 years old i think.
The diet in the book also said to add extra vitamins like D3 and A.
I've checked her weight on the Jackson Ratio scale and amazingly she's the perfect size and weight which i'm so relieved about, but still i'm just constantly worried i'm not giving her what she needs sad.gif

Also, she doesn't seem to bask very much at the moment, she spends most of her time trying to escape!

Thanks for getting beck to me so quickly

Sis smile.gif

#4 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:07 PM

There are weeds around at the moment, it is just knowing where to look!! I am lucky we are surrounded by countryside but I get most of my 'supply' from around a local church!

The trouble with starting to feed weeds is knowing where and when to find them, its alright choosing to look for a nice sounding one from a list but if it is out of season... well, you've had it!

This is a list of the main weeds I am able to pick for Hettie right now, you could search for them using google images. Learn one or two really well and then add a new one whenever you can, you will be surprised at how quickly your knowledge will grow. I go picking twice a week, I wash them and put them in tubs in the fridge.

Dandelions, leaves and flowers, slender leaf plantain, bisley ox tongue, bittercress, speedwell, common mallow, nipplewort, dead nettle.
I have some pansies in the garden although they are supposed to be ok, Hettie doesn't seem impressed!
Some members who aren't able to get enough weeds add supermarket bagged crispy florreti lettuce mixture to pad out weeds a bit.
Fruit is a no-no for Hermanns, also no to cabbage & cauliflower. I am not sure about the peppers or courgette, I don't give them to Hettie.
Iceberg lettuce is no good, there is nothing of any use to Daisy in it! I have seen raddicio, romaine and lambs lettuce on lists... but weeds really are best.
Do you sprinkle on a suppliment such as nutrobal? A cuttlefish in her enclosure will help provide her with the calcium needed for her shell.

Is Daisy in a vivarium or on a table top enclosure? If she is in a vivarium and she can see through the glass this would explain the trying to escape, she won't understand not being able to get through the glass to where she can see and go.

There is so much to learn and you are trying to help Daisy every step in the right direction is a good one... ask as much as you like, people on here are happy to help if they can! smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

Sorry, I know nothing about nails! biggrin.gif

Paula x

#5 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:41 PM

Thanks Paula, thats a super list.
As you've suggested i've got a few photos so i can identify them. I think i'll print some pictures out tomorrow morning and go for a weed hunt. I also live out in the countryside so armed with my pictures i should be able to locate some. Do they have to be fresh every day, or can i pop them in a bag and maybe put them in the fridge for the next day?

I do use extra supplements, i have a Herbivore Calcium 2:1 that i was given by the vets and i use Trotoise Dust by T-Rex although i did see the Nutrabol and now am thinking i should have got that instead. I don't have any cuttlefish at the moment but i have the day off on Thursday so i can get some then.

No doubt i will have many more questions for you in the very near future and i will keep you updated on my progress.

Many thanks for being so helpful biggrin.gif

Sis smile.gif

#6 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:12 PM

You' re very welcome biggrin.gif

I do pick them them as fresh as possible in the nicer weather.... but right now I pick twice a week, wash them and put them into tubs in the fridge, very satisfying knowing they are there when it is blowing a gale and tipping it down!

You could look out for a cheap pocket book on wild flowers, very useful!! Mine is full of little ticks and crosses as I find edible or not on lists! Have a look at the edible section on this site for more ideas, but remember if you buy from the garden centre to weather the plants for a few weeks to wash off any pesticides, remove any flowers and only offer Daisy the new growth flowers!

Good luck biggrin.gif

Paula x

#7 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:43 PM

Hehe, absolutely, theres nothing worse than having to fight it out against the elements whilst trying to locate specific weeds i would imagine blush.gif

I forgot to say earlier, I keep Daisy in a tortoise table which is open topped and even though the sides are high enough she still keeps battling it out to try and escape unsure.gif Perhaps i need to get some more things in there to keep her occupied, i just have to be careful whatever i put in she can't climb onto and then make a break for it!

As for the nails, i'll see if i can find anything on the net, i'm hoping that once her diet is sorted then hopefully everything will come together!

Thanks again Paula! I'll keep you updated.

Sis smile.gif

#8 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:42 AM

I wouldn't worry too much about her trying to escape. Right from day one Victor has tried to climb/tunnel/escape from everything, but Bentley rarely climbs, so I think it is just their character.
When I go collecting weeds, I take a plastic bag with just a bit of water in. When I get home I give the weeds a good rinse to get rid of any tiny slugs, as I found I kept finding big slugs in their indoor run, so they'd obviously come in on ther food and then grown. Then I shake off all the excess water and seal the weeds in a plastic bag, or tub, and they keep perfectly for a few days in the fridge

#9 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:05 PM

Firstly, my lovely tortoise Daisy.........i have a few concerns really and my main one is that i don't know if it's just my eyes playing tricks on me but i have a feeling her shell is starting to slightly pyramid.

Hi Sarah
I needn't repeat the good advice you have been given,
The weed scarcity, well next year you won't have that problem if you hibernate her, this will also help her shell, lumpy shell has a lot to do with over feeding, so don't give her too much, what she doesn't eat at first sitting, discard.
I will say though, it is hard to illiminate lumpy shell in captivity, some are fortunate and can do it, I haven't perfected the art :-) but food is given on a plate so to speak, in the wild they roam for miles tugging at weeds here and there, so you can see the problem, vivs are another factor thy say in lumpy shell, so get her outdoors this summer, once she is mature her shell won't go lumpy, it's the little ones tht fall victim of this problem

#10 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:04 PM

OK, well i have been on a weed picking excursion and managed to find quite a lot of dandelions and some, but not much bittercress, but it's a start anyway!
Thank you also Lin for your advice, i took a bag with some water and then rinsed them off when i got back and now they are sitting in with Daisy, although at first glance she doesn't seem over impressed wacko.gif ....but i refuse to be beaten! smile.gif

I would like to hibernate her as you have suggested arnhib, i just suppose i get worried that she won't wake up again unsure.gif ...but when the time comes around i will probably have many more questions about that for you guys! Like you say, perhaps that will help her shell. I have put a little avatar picture of Daisy on, although its pretty small but i will see if i can get some better photos soon. Also, is it best to bath her every day? And is there anything good to put in the water to add absorption of moisture or is it best to just keep it to warm water?

Thanks guys! You've all been mega helpful! biggrin.gif

Sis x

#11 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:19 PM

Daisy looks gorgeous!! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Well done on your weed hunt smile.gif Sometimes you can walk for ages, turn a corner to a different facing direction and find loads!!

Hettie enjoys a bath most days, she seems to enjoy it. While in there she has a drink, a wee and a poo. I usually wait for her to warm up a bit before I bath her, she is more likely to wee and poo then. I read that bodily functions kick in when they reach their required temperature so maybe this would explain this?

Although this is only what I figure so could be completely wrong!! rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif I do not add anything, just warm water.

Once bathed Hettie is more likely to go and find her weeds... and I enjoy spending time with my little shelled one!

Paula x

#12 Guest_sarahlee110_*

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:34 AM

Thanks Paula! She is rather a looker biggrin.gif Hehe.

I think i'll go for another wander today, see if i can find anymore weeds. I found loads of something yesterday, but when i identified it on here i think you had found the same thing, its buttercup or something i think and its growing like wild fire! Typical its not edible. Anyhow, back to the drawing board.

Yeh, i find when i put daisy in the bath she usually always has a wee but she doesn't always drink, she seems to like trying to escape from everywhere, including the bath wacko.gif

Thanks again for your ongoing advice
Sis smile.gif

#13 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:16 PM

A few things that I can still find in my garden in January that are definately alright to feed and were not mentioned already:

Yellow Archangel (which is a Lamium, you can feed any Lamium)
Plantain (very common weed plant that has the 'ribwort' and 'greater' forms both of which are excellent)
Cats Ear (still finding leaves that have over-wintered)
Dog Violet
Campanula (many forms of this plant which will grow slowly even in extreme cold temperatures)
Red Valerian

I find my tortoises are a bit like feeding children, they think they don't like anything new and have to be educated. "Thats your dinner - get on with it".

Paula already mentioned Lambs Lettuce, and this is one of the better 'shop' foods.( Also known as Corn Salad). Romaine lettuce has more (needed) calcium in it than other things of that type. Also not too bad of the shop foods is Salad Rocket and Raddichio. Watercress occasionally if little else around.

Kale is NOT good. Also AVOID all cabbages, spinach.

Hope this helps a bit!

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