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Norman And Hazel's Diet :)


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#21 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:07 PM

Hi guys hope u don't mind me invading the conversation with another question :-)

I really struggle to identify weeds :-( my hermann does eat dandelions but apart from that he has a balanced veg( courgette,lambs lettuce,red pepper,watercress ect) diet. I kind of feel bad that they are the only weeds he gets but I'm really worried about giving him something harmful and thinking its something that is ok

If anyone has any fool proof ways of identifying the right weeds I would be very grateful

#22 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:20 PM

I always cross reference anything I find with a wild flowers ID book, google the flower also check on The Tortoise Table website whether or not they are safe to feed to tortoises.

http://www.thetortoi...oise_home_1.asp

I'd cut out the courgette, red pepper if I were you and try to stick to a high fibre, low protein diet. x

#23 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:22 PM

I also found LOADS of Hawkbeard too this week.... and it's safe to feed. Yay! :yay:

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#24 mildredsmam

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:39 PM

hi lucy have a look on the link kelly has give you and just try and id one weed at a time soon you,ll know loads or if your not sure you can always post a pic on the forum to see if any one can id it for you :)

#25 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:43 PM

That's exactly how I've been doing it Karen. :) Building up slowly and gradually. When I first got Norman it was during the Autumn and most of the weeds were starting to die off..... I've found LOADS during the summer months and have found that I'm building up my own personal weed data base all the time.

I'm no horticultural expert, but I've surprised myself at what I can identify now, with a bit of research. You'll be an expert before you know it Lucy. ;)

#26 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:49 PM

Thank you :-)

Sorry pepper and courgette were really bad examples to be honest lol he only ever has them very very rarely. They were just 2 things I could think of

#27 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:51 PM

Also (sorry) what veg is best for him when weeds are not in great season? I know quite a few but I don't think u can ever know to many lol

#28 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:07 PM

Personally I'd steer clear of all veg and feed a weed only diet. Even while I was overwintering last year I managed to find enough weeds to supply him with.The variety wasn't there but I still found dandelion, sow thistle, shepherds purse, clover and bittercress.

If all else fails, Florette crispy salad ot an Italian salad mix are normally a good bet. I also planted some winter pansies and grew some weeds from seed inside. ;)

#29 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:13 PM

Thank you. He does eat the 2 you mentioned. I'm defiantly going weed hunting this weekend :-)

#30 mildredsmam

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

hi lucy i agree with kelly also romaine lettuce is ok to use do you use any supplements on his food :)

#31 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:28 PM

Ok, I was told lettuce was harmful?? There's so much conflicting infomation out there lol
He is on arkvits calcium 2-3 times a week at the moment as it was prescribed by the vet when we got him last September because his shell was very soft and he was malnourished :-( we bought him from one of those pet shops that tells u they know everything to make more money from you.
He currently lives in a viv(sorry swear word lol) but does spend a lot of time out of it either in the living room or the garden.

I just worry because there is so much infomation out there, perhaps because they are still quite rare pets to keep, it's not like keeping my corn snakes or my cats where there is definite guide lines and Do's and donts. It's hard to know if you are doing the right thing because most things people tell you tend to have some logic behind them but then you see somewhere else that you are causing harm :,-(

#32 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:30 PM

Norman's fave is the radicchio. Even when weeds are abundant I occassionally offer this as a treat. ;)

#33 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

Ok, I was told lettuce was harmful?? There's so much conflicting infomation out there lol
He is on arkvits calcium 2-3 times a week at the moment as it was prescribed by the vet when we got him last September because his shell was very soft and he was malnourished :-( we bought him from one of those pet shops that tells u they know everything to make more money from you.
He currently lives in a viv(sorry swear word lol) but does spend a lot of time out of it either in the living room or the garden.

I just worry because there is so much infomation out there, perhaps because they are still quite rare pets to keep, it's not like keeping my corn snakes or my cats where there is definite guide lines and Do's and donts. It's hard to know if you are doing the right thing because most things people tell you tend to have some logic behind them but then you see somewhere else that you are causing harm :,-(


Lettuce isn't harmful, as such..... it's just there is little nutritional value in it. There are good and bad lettuces. Those that have a higher fibre, calcium and a low protein content are preferable, but these should really only be fed when there is little else available.... such as during the winter months.

Iceburg and Little Gem, for example are not "harmful".... it's just that there is little nutritional content in them, so best avoided. :)

I always supplement Norman's winter diet with Pre Alpin.... which is a high fibre, dried weed mix that I sprinkle on his food or soak before feeding. He loves it and it's good for him. :)

#34 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

Thank you Kelly :-)

I will remember that for if it's unavoidable.

Is it normal to feel totally useless at this tortoise keeping stuff lol
I feel like a new parent most of the time, thinking 'is he ment to do that?. Did he do that yesterday? Has he slowed down? Is he getting the right food?' lol

#35 Kelly

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:39 PM

Yep..... In the early days it's a case of research, research, research and common sense. :)

P.S I have a corn snake too..... she reached a grand old age of 21 last month so I must be doing something right in reptile care. ;)

#36 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:45 PM

Omg! That is old, mines only a year lol

Thank you, that's put my mind at rest abit knowing everyone feels the same.
I'm seriously thinking of making some changes. It's just strange how some people do things one way and others do something totally different.
The research must continue I think :-)

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:03 PM

Personally I'd steer clear of all veg and feed a weed only diet. Even while I was overwintering last year I managed to find enough weeds to supply him with.The variety wasn't there but I still found dandelion, sow thistle, shepherds purse, clover and bittercress.

If all else fails, Florette crispy salad ot an Italian salad mix are normally a good bet. I also planted some winter pansies and grew some weeds from seed inside. ;)


That's right, I would avoid veg too, not a good diet for torts. Florette crispy is fine so long as you remember it is relatively low in fibre, so will produce looser stools. As you say though there is ALWAYS enough wild food for one tortoise, even if it's not hibernating. I manage with all my tribe for most of the year, usually until winddown at least.

#38 Lucy-lou123

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:36 PM

Can he eat ruby chard does anyone know?? I've got a lambs lettuce and ruby chard duo mix from florette was going to give him a bit until I can get out weed hunting on Monday?

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:00 PM

The only packet mixed salad that I am aware of that is good for torts is the Florette Crispy one

#40 mildredsmam

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:02 AM

hi lucy have a look on here it tells you what they can have that you can buy http://www.thetortoi...p?thissection=8 theres still plenty of weeds around that are easy to find, which would be better for your tort like dandelion, clover also theres loads of http://www.thetortoi...9.asp?catID=208 http://www.thetortoi...9.asp?catID=209 these are easy weeds to find and id and a better diet :)
you can pick a bit at a time wash it and store it in the fridge the same way you would bag salad.
i would try and change him to a weed diet as soon as you can and only use bag salad through winter if needed as a diet of salad all year is,nt very good for him :)




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