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How do I get him to eat weeds?


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#1 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 03:37 PM

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Hi all

Has you know I have had Victor for around 6 weeks now, he is eating bits but its not consistant. I have seen him have a good munch on little gem and pak choi but again he has a munch and thats it, doesnt eat everything thats put out. I have offered him dandelion leaves, nastatium leaves, hosta and he just turns his nose up at it. I have tort weed growing which I got from shelled warriors which he just likes to trample down. I took him to the reptile with a poop dropping to check that he hadn't got worms, the vet was happy with him, no worms told me what plants to feed him etc as stated on forum but also told me to feed him dark greens, spring greens, broccoli etc, as thats what he gives his hermans. When I first got Victor he was 200gms and then he dropped down to 197gms, he hasnt lost anymore weight hes still 197gms. Poops he does not do a lot of, prob once a week if that and theres no worms there.

Am I just being a bit paranoid and turning into a tort worry freak lol, just that I read a lot on the forums and hear about other torts eating everything they are given and obviously I just dont want him to keep eating little gem lettuce, how can I get him onto the weeds and does all this sound normal, am I just not giving him enough time?

He has a run outside cos like I said at the mo our garden isnt safe for him but he just tends to hide, which I put down to him having to get use to this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Paula

#2 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 03:55 PM

Hi Paula,
Sounds like Victor just needs a little more time to settle in.Temps. can also affect a torts. eating habits.I'm not too sure what they are like where you are.However as long as he is eating something his appetite will gradually improve. In the meantime I would continue to offer him a varied diet.Sometimes these things just take time.Try not to worry Paula!!! Things will work out fine!!!Best of luck!!!
Kind Regards
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#3 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:18 PM

Lol in the beginning all keepers worry tortoises are not eating enough. I have been there and got the T shirt.
But after a few years, you get to know, if they appear healthy and just nibbling, then thats just them. In the wild they can go weeks without any good foods. But they cant go without water.
As long as he is not loosing weight, has clear bright eyes, and a dry nose you have nothing to worry about.
I would ignore the vet, when he says feed the cabbage family, as this can and does inhibit calcium absorbtion. If you feed it now and again as part of a mixed diet it is acceptable by some. I dont ever feed cabbage family.
One way to help getting him feeding, is to mix weeds in with lettuce, and then gradually reduce the lettuce:0)
If he does not eat the food, then dont feed him at all for a couple of days (it really wont hurt him) then when he is hungry, he will eat what you put out for him.
When tortoises get lots of food, as they do in captivity, they get picky. And you dont want a picky eater:0)

#4 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE (cyberangel @ Jul 15 2010, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lol in the beginning all keepers worry tortoises are not eating enough. I have been there and got the T shirt.
But after a few years, you get to know, if they appear healthy and just nibbling, then thats just them. In the wild they can go weeks without any good foods. But they cant go without water.
As long as he is not loosing weight, has clear bright eyes, and a dry nose you have nothing to worry about.
I would ignore the vet, when he says feed the cabbage family, as this can and does inhibit calcium absorbtion. If you feed it now and again as part of a mixed diet it is acceptable by some. I dont ever feed cabbage family.
One way to help getting him feeding, is to mix weeds in with lettuce, and then gradually reduce the lettuce:0)
If he does not eat the food, then dont feed him at all for a couple of days (it really wont hurt him) then when he is hungry, he will eat what you put out for him.
When tortoises get lots of food, as they do in captivity, they get picky. And you dont want a picky eater:0)



#5 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:45 PM

Thanks Freddy and Sandy for your replies. Dont feel as paranoid now lol.

I bath him everyday and had been giving him baths twice daily up until recently because when I spoke to the vet I hadnt been doing the water deep enough, although vet did check his mouth and he wasnt dehydrated, I was just scared of him drowning lol, he seems to enjoy his baths and likes to sit there for around 15 mins watching Harry Hill with Ryan lol, then when he turns round and looks up at me I know he wants to come out. Although I must say I sit over him and watch him and every time he bobs his head under the water I hold my breath. I then dry him off when he comes out.

He is bright eyed and dry nose, no probs there, I dont tend to put him out in his run on cold days, only when its sunny, we are in manchester, today he has been out but I brought him in when the wind got up, I worry in case he gets too cold, although he does have a sheltered house.

The set up he has indoors is a table top, glass front open top, uvb strip light and infra red basking spot lamp, temps in hot spot 32 cold spot 20. He has top soil and sand and a hollow log house for him to go and sleep, the table top is 24" and I think that is too small for him to be honest, so I am going to invest in buying a 4ft poss 5ft depending on space in Ryans room.

He is extremely tame and loves to be stroked on the head and under the chin, when hes up and about he likes to watch Ryan in bed, hes probably saying to himself "for gods sake when is he going to sleep, cos I cant take much more of Harry Hill".

I will persevere and reduce the lettuce and increase the weeds and hopefully when hes starving he will munch more.

Paula

#6 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:09 PM

Hi Paula,
Sounds like your doing all the right things for Victor!!!Just follow Sandy's advice and then give it time!!!Everything will be OK,you'll see!!! Best of luck!!! biggrin.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif

#7 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:32 PM

Can I just say, that a red bulb is of no use to a horsfield or med tortoise. As they dont give out the bright light they need to motivate them. You should be using an ordinary spotlight if you are using a UV tube.
He also does not need any heat of a nightime if you are doing so. They need the drop in temps.

#8 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:48 PM

QUOTE (cyberangel @ Jul 15 2010, 07:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I just say, that a red bulb is of no use to a horsfield or med tortoise. As they dont give out the bright light they need to motivate them. You should be using an ordinary spotlight if you are using a UV tube.
He also does not need any heat of a nightime if you are doing so. They need the drop in temps.



#9 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:53 PM

Right....thats prob why hes always after going to sleep when hes inside, whats the best spotlight to get sandy please, the thing that I have to hold the infra red spotlight is a clip on light, what wattage etc, n obviously I get it from a reptile shop etc? He doesnt have heat on at night.

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:52 PM

Hi Paula,
For heat you are probably better off using a white bulb,you can use a proper heat bulb from a reptile shop or an ordinary spot bulb from a supermarket,although I'm not sure of the exact wattage. I'm sure someone will be along shortly with more advice...
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif


#11 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (Freddy McGavin @ Jul 15 2010, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Paula,
For heat you are probably better off using a white bulb,you can use a proper heat bulb from a reptile shop or an ordinary spot bulb from a supermarket,although I'm not sure of the exact wattage. I'm sure someone will be along shortly with more advice...
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif



#12 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:59 PM

Thanks Freddy smile.gif

#13 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:31 PM

When I used a spotlight and tube, I got my spotlights from B&Q. I used to get 100wt as I had a dimmer switch with mine. So I could ajust the temps.

#14 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:09 PM

QUOTE (cyberangel @ Jul 15 2010, 09:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I used a spotlight and tube, I got my spotlights from B&Q. I used to get 100wt as I had a dimmer switch with mine. So I could ajust the temps.



#15 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:10 PM

Thanks thats brill, I will be in b&q tomorrow smile.gif

#16 Guest_lennonbo_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:08 AM

QUOTE (paula271066 @ Jul 15 2010, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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Hi all

Has you know I have had Victor for around 6 weeks now, he is eating bits but its not consistant. I have seen him have a good munch on little gem and pak choi but again he has a munch and thats it, doesnt eat everything thats put out. I have offered him dandelion leaves, nastatium leaves, hosta and he just turns his nose up at it. I have tort weed growing which I got from shelled warriors which he just likes to trample down. I took him to the reptile with a poop dropping to check that he hadn't got worms, the vet was happy with him, no worms told me what plants to feed him etc as stated on forum but also told me to feed him dark greens, spring greens, broccoli etc, as thats what he gives his hermans. When I first got Victor he was 200gms and then he dropped down to 197gms, he hasnt lost anymore weight hes still 197gms. Poops he does not do a lot of, prob once a week if that and theres no worms there.

Am I just being a bit paranoid and turning into a tort worry freak lol, just that I read a lot on the forums and hear about other torts eating everything they are given and obviously I just dont want him to keep eating little gem lettuce, how can I get him onto the weeds and does all this sound normal, am I just not giving him enough time?

He has a run outside cos like I said at the mo our garden isnt safe for him but he just tends to hide, which I put down to him having to get use to this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Paula



I read this and felt soo much better about my little one who is the same ..... The poor breeder has had me on the phone and alsorts. However I think Tinkerbell is starting to pick up now. I might have been spoiling her a little too much lol. I did however have a freak out last night when i got her in as i put her on the carpet in the lounge and she started doing this mad circle dance type thing until i realised she was trying to dig up the carpet .... so no more carpet for her smile.gif I hope your torotise is flying along now smile.gif

#17 Guest_paula271066_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:16 AM

QUOTE (lennonbo @ Jul 30 2010, 09:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I read this and felt soo much better about my little one who is the same ..... The poor breeder has had me on the phone and alsorts. However I think Tinkerbell is starting to pick up now. I might have been spoiling her a little too much lol. I did however have a freak out last night when i got her in as i put her on the carpet in the lounge and she started doing this mad circle dance type thing until i realised she was trying to dig up the carpet .... so no more carpet for her smile.gif I hope your torotise is flying along now smile.gif



Lol tell me about it, Victor causes me so much worry and ive only had him since may. I use to have tortoises when I was younger, I had 3 never hibernated them and fed them on lettuce and tomatoes and dandelions. They were all very healthy happy and smooth shelled until I hibernated them the blue peter way and they all died sad.gif I got Victor from a reptile shop, it is a good one and all the reptiles are well looked after etc, its just that im still having probs with him eating and I think ive possibly done the same as you spoiled him a bit too much. Grown weeds, hunted for weeds, bought pak choi, chinese leaves, little gem, romaine and he just takes a bite now and again, somedays he wont eat, somedays he has a mouthful. I make sure hes bathed daily and ive just sorted him out with a bigger table top so im hoping he starts to have a better appetite, although some of the other experienced tortoise owners say this can be normal. He is friendly, doesnt go in his shell when picked up, likes to be tickled under his chin and the top of his head. So I think ive just got to be patient and allow him more time to settle in.

#18 Guest_lennonbo_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:10 AM

I have only had TInkerbell since Sunday so I am hoping that it is just her settling in smile.gif SHe has eaten alot more today and is very active which I am pleased about ..... normally she is very lazy and sleeps most of the day and then again all night. I think we are going to have to use the tough love approach lol smile.gif So blue peter is definately not the way forward with tortoises .... not that i have watched it for several years. I got Tinkerbell from a really nice guy who is on this forum, he has been really helpful and bless him he is having to put my mind at rest abit. I will try and put a photo of Tinkerbell up although I'm not quite sure how to do it. Thank you for all being so kind to me biggrin.gif

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#19 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE (lennonbo @ Jul 30 2010, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have only had TInkerbell since Sunday so I am hoping that it is just her settling in smile.gif SHe has eaten alot more today and is very active which I am pleased about ..... normally she is very lazy and sleeps most of the day and then again all night. I think we are going to have to use the tough love approach lol smile.gif So blue peter is definately not the way forward with tortoises .... not that i have watched it for several years. I got Tinkerbell from a really nice guy who is on this forum, he has been really helpful and bless him he is having to put my mind at rest abit. I will try and put a photo of Tinkerbell up although I'm not quite sure how to do it. Thank you for all being so kind to me biggrin.gif


If the 'really nice guy who is on this forum' is the guy I think it is, then trust me you won't go far wrong with him as your mentor! wub.gif

Tinkerbell looks lovely, though try not to spoil her to often with the fruit... she is far better of with weeds

#20 Guest_lennonbo_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:03 PM

Hiya, He really is helpful and been very kind to me. I have to say i couldn't ask for a better mentor smile.gif

Thank you I think she is ... maybe I am just biast lol. No all the fruit stopped last night and she has had loads of weeds today, which she has happily chomped her way threw, she seems to prefer the weeds anyway, so as they are better for her that is what i will stick to. biggrin.gif




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