Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Dried Flowers And Leaves?

Feeding weeds growth

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 den2908

den2908

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Hampshire
  • Interests:My loves in life are my family, animals, art, and running.
    Owner of Nick the cat and two hermanns, Daphne and Mabel.

    Denise
    x

Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:24 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I haven't posted in a while but I've been wondering about feeding my girls some dried flowers and leaves as well as their usual fresh picked ones. 

I've just read an article that suggested that the amount of fibre captive torts can obtain from our lush green weeds is a lot less than they would naturally get in the wild, where they would eat dried plant material alongside the vegetation available.  It's on the Tortoise Trust Websitehttp://www.tortoiset...etaryfibre.html. Just wondered what your thoughts are on this and whether it's a way of ensuring a more natural, slower growth.

 

Also, I wonder what types of plants hermann tortoises are eating in the Med - mine are T. h. hercegovinensis - I suppose there are different weed varieties growing in different areas - so am wondering what grows around Macedonia, Bosnia etc. Is it possible to purchase seeds of these native plants? 

 

Denise



#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:33 PM

The thing to remember with dried plants, is it is the way they are dried that is important. Plants that have dried on the ground in the sun are fine and contain similar composition to the living plant. Those that have been dried commercially, have a totally different composition and some can actually become unhealthy. Personally I would not feed artificially dried plants to any of my torts. I don't see how it would achieve a slower growth unless you are comparing with other commercial foods, but then these are not a good idea either. Fresh food is the way to go for slower more natural growth any day of the week in my book ;) The best mix of seeds to purchase for a diet most similar to all Med torts is available from Herbiseed under the name the Tladys mix. Hope this helps.  



#3 den2908

den2908

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Hampshire
  • Interests:My loves in life are my family, animals, art, and running.
    Owner of Nick the cat and two hermanns, Daphne and Mabel.

    Denise
    x

Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:20 PM

Thanks Sue, it didn't occur to me that the way they're dried might make a difference that's really interesting and certainly something to be aware of. 

 

Another thing that  makes me wonder about dried leaves and flowers is that when I look at the photos in "Naturalistic keeping and breeding of Hermann's Tortoises"  the habitat looks quite dry  at certain times of the year - making me wonder if at those times they would naturally eat the dried plant material.   Then I look at what I'm feeding and it's lovely lush growth, all year round  - thanks to our mixed climate.

I have never seen a hermann in its natural environment but I know from previous posts that you have seen and studied tortoises in the wild - have you ever seen any evidence of them eating dried material? - would be interesting to know.

I know it would be impossible to try and re-create what they have in the wild (unless I move to the med :)) but the relation between our weather, native plants and tortoise  growth must have an impact I'm guessing. It's an interesting topic and one that I'd like to find out more about.

 

I'll buy some of those seeds that you recommend. I've grown a few things this year with some success and have quite a few  tortoise edibles in the garden so I'll give those a go. 

 

Thanks for the recommendation.

 

Take care

Denise



#4 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:23 PM

Hello Denise, my torts occasionally pick up dried weeds they find in their enclosure.... X x x hugs x x

#5 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:42 PM

Yes, I've seen tortoises in the wild eating very dry foods, the most interesting was a cactus tree. After eating the whole plant it set about the dried up stump as though it was delicious. In the Med, it's been more dried leaves, than whole plants that I have seen them eat.

Here is a bit taken from the Tortoise Nutrition Group, written by an animal nutritionist ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Dried Weeds-Friend or Foe?

 

Some dried "weeds," herbs, etc. are FAR from healthy.

 

Alfalfa is a perfect example. Far too high in vegetable protein, and can cause problems with pyramiding, bladder stones, MBD, etc. Some of the clovers are also packed with proteins...as are other plants that might seem harmless at first.

A few species of tortoise do eat dried plants during the heat of summer. Take Gopherus (desert tortoises) or Sulcata, even some of the Testudo species.

The "green" season in arid areas is very short, sometimes lasting only a couple of weeks. When
anything (and everything) green dries up, they're left with dried plant matter. This is not the same type of plant matter as commercially harvested plants.

If in their native environment, they instinctively know what to eat. Most of what remains after spring are dried GRASSES, and a few forbs. This gives them the roughage they need, and is an important (and critical) part of any arid species' diet.

What many people do not realize is that a dried plant harvested commercially (depending on species) is usually far more concentrated than if left in the ground to dry up and DIE...because these items are harvested when they are in full leaf and very much ALIVE. Does this make sense? They don't get the chance to dry out, turn brown, put their remainng energy (proteins) into seed, bulbs, or runners and THEN die, they are green and lush (and therefore much more concentrated) when harvested.

Alfalfa is an absolutely classic example.

As always, try to mimick the native food preferences of the species if possible. Growing what we can is best. If not possible, make sure the choices made are LOW in protein, LOW in goitrogens, LOW in phosphorus, HIGH in calcium, LOW in moisture content, LOW in oxalates, and HIGH in fiber content. A few dried dandelion leaves, and a few others are OK of course...but a steady diet of nothing but protein packed plants (regardless of plant species, dry or "in the ground") with a bad calcium to phosphorus ratio will put a tortoise at risk for a lot of health problems.

Keep in mind that some species (such a Redfoots) can tolerate a little bit more vegetable protein, and occasional animal protein.

 

If someone still wants to bite your head off, feel free to use this post.

Here is a chart that may be helpful:

http://turtlestuff.com/avoidthese.html



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Annie Lancaster
Director
TortoiseAid Int'l Inc.
Apple Valley CA 92307 USA

http://tortoise-aid.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



#6 den2908

den2908

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Hampshire
  • Interests:My loves in life are my family, animals, art, and running.
    Owner of Nick the cat and two hermanns, Daphne and Mabel.

    Denise
    x

Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:44 PM

HI Sue and Stella, 

 really interesting to hear that your torts do this naturally Stella. 

 

Sue, thanks for posting the article, it made really interesting reading. Never suspected that commercially dried plants might have a different composition because they are harvested when fully developed and lush - it didnt occur to me but it makes perfect sense. So if I wanted to add some dried plant material I might be better of doing it myself and choosing plants which have already gone through their natural cycle of growth and seed development so that they are less concentrated. I really find this fascinating. I love reading up on things like this and will have a look at the Tortoise Nutrition Group. 

 

Thanks again

 

Denise



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

Guest_Wizzasmum_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:09 PM

You will get good advice from Annie, Denise, she is passionate about her nutrition research. If I feed my babies too much, then I leave what is left under the lamps and they will come back and eat it later. I then feed much less the following day, to mimic nature a little ;) They seem to enjoy crunching the dried stuff, just as much as the fresh and are currently chewing on some very shrivelled looking sowthistle as I type.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Feeding, weeds, growth

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users