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Dietary Advice


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#1 aud7

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 11:23 PM

I feed my tortoise as fresh and varied a diet as I possibly can. I know there are dried tortoise foods available (in pellet form), which I believe should not be fed often, mainly just the odd time if really stuck for food in the winter but I notice it is also possible to buy dried food which is actual dried flowers and petals. Tilly's Garden produce and sell a tub which is a mixture of dried rose petals, calendula petals, marsh mallow whole flowers, hibiscus flowers, and mullein flowers. I am wondering if this would be good to buy and give say once or twice a week mixed in with my tortoises fresh food. I am thinking it would give him more variety and also different textures which would be more like what he would have if living wild. I would really appreciate views on this. Thanks.



#2 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:55 AM

The dried stuff should not really be fed at all as it is high protein and will cause deformities and kidney problems, do best stick to fresh stuff. It's really easy with just a couple of torts ;) winter of course is time for hibernation, which helps greatly with natural growth. A f a I k Tilly's garden is just a commercial enterprise with no actual knowledge if correct tortoise husbandry and diet and to my mind best avoided.

#3 JerryMaffz

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:24 PM

I steer clear of shop bought food altogether (apart from Lambs Lettuce). I do sometimes dry weeds (on the radiators) that I have foraged though for the reasons you have stated (variety etc.). I would imagine that drying the food does lose some of the nutritional value but I'm sure that dried leaves make up quite a bit of their diet in their native habitat.



#4 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:57 PM

Yes, they would eat dry leaves at the end of the season, not sure why you are drying them on a radiator though, when there is fresh available ;)

#5 JerryMaffz

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:11 PM

Variety Sue, as stated.



#6 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:16 PM

Not being pedantic here, but drying them is not really giving variety, just lowering the nutritional variety, unless I have this wrong

#7 JerryMaffz

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:23 PM

It could be argued that lowering the nutritional value is a good thing, plus it is also a way of increasing the fibre to weight of food ratio....in my opinion.



#8 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 08:59 PM

Well we live and learn as they say. Look forward to the results! Can you just explain though how fibre will be increased as opposed to just more intake of food, given that more water would presumably be drunk to make up for lack of natural hydration in the food? Just a bit puzzled ;)

#9 JerryMaffz

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:33 PM

You are misreading what I have written Sue. I'm not trying to teach you anything. Like I said it's just my opinion. 

Would appreciate your opinion on this. Interesting reading, especially the last few paragraphs..http://www.tortoiset...etaryfibre.html



#10 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 11:51 PM

Yes tortoises in the wild eat large amounts of dried plant matter when that is what is available. What we typically feed them from our gardens is relatively high in water content, but the plants themselves are also completely different ones. Few of the truly Mediterranean plants will grow in the UK. 

 

Maybe it depends partly on what we consider 'natural' to mean. Many weeds and flowers we grow in the garden are natural to the UK, but tortoises of course are not.



#11 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 07:42 AM

When we did our studies of plants in the Antalya region, which was abundant with iberas, we found many of the plants available on the Tladys website. Lin of course devised her mix from these findings. I did photos of a chart that we made, but it was lost when my old pc crashed. Dandelions, buttercups, sanfoin, plantain, coltsfoot, papa ears etc etc all grow in the Med and just making collections from one meadow was very similar to doing the same here. We found that it was only at the end of the season that much dried plant matter was consumed and this seems to be corroborated in Holger Vetters book on Hermanns tortoises amongst others. I agree that tortoises are not wild in the UK and if conditions were optimum for them then we would have a wild population, but it is relatively easy to provide a very similar diet from Lins list of plants. If we look at many plants now appearing in the UK we will find their origins in the Med, Frica and Asia.

#12 JerryMaffz

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:46 AM

Some nice habitat in the Antalya region Sue. Have been there myself.



#13 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:00 PM

If you keep away from the tourist areas, all becomes clear in the tortoise world. Antalya itself is not much good, too built up but in areas such as Kumluca at ground level in spring, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Wales. Same plants give or take a few and very similar scrubby habitat, just not the same strength of sun ;)

#14 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:28 PM

Sue, Gerry and I are both interested in what you think of the last few paragraphs of Andy Highfield's article. It would be helpful if you would comment on those conclusions especially what he has to say about dried foodstuffs and the problems caused by feeding supermarket salads.



#15 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:16 PM

What article is that? Having a senior moment here!

#16 Guest_Barney_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:29 PM

Jerry posted this:
 

http://www.tortoiset...etaryfibre.html



#17 mildredsmam

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:44 PM

Hi all, please can we stay on topic. :)



#18 vikki01

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 07:27 PM

Hi,

I have tried the shelled warriors dried flower mix - to be honest haven't found it great but herbie will eat it if moistened and mixed with his weeds! I also have some of the Testudo dry mix (this is the one that the tortoise trust recommends) I have the herb mix and the original pellets(which have to be moistened before using). I have found both of these quite good and herbie will eat them - I mix the moistened one with his weeds but he will eat the herb mix as it is and will sometimes(but not often!) choose this over fresh. This is just my personal experience but if herbie seems happy eating it and it will do no harm then I am happy to use occasionally for variety if nothing else! I think the main thing is to give as healthy and balanced a diet as we can and not to overfeed etc (I think I have been guilty of this and herbie is now on a diet!!) :blush: :blush:

Vikki.



#19 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 07:50 PM

Hi,
I have tried the shelled warriors dried flower mix - to be honest haven't found it great but herbie will eat it if moistened and mixed with his weeds! I also have some of the Testudo dry mix (this is the one that the tortoise trust recommends) I have the herb mix and the original pellets(which have to be moistened before using). I have found both of these quite good and herbie will eat them - I mix the moistened one with his weeds but he will eat the herb mix as it is and will sometimes(but not often!) choose this over fresh. This is just my personal experience but if herbie seems happy eating it and it will do no harm then I am happy to use occasionally for variety if nothing else! I think the main thing is to give as healthy and balanced a diet as we can and not to overfeed etc (I think I have been guilty of this and herbie is now on a diet!!) :blush: :blush:
Vikki.


I think this is the biggest problem Vikki, over feeding due to higher concentration, but as you have found, it's manageable :) The problem with us humans is we are feeders and we need to remember that torts need slow growth, not fast growth like puppies and babies. We have all been there, glad to hear Herbie is doing well ;)

#20 vikki01

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks Sue,

He has been putting on too much weight - 1-2grams a week and having got the new scales I couldn't use naff scales as an excuse!! I am the one who gives him the food so only have myself to blame. Being new to tortoise keeping I found it very difficult to judge how much he needed  and because he had the problems of dehydration and bladder stones etc. it was initially difficult to balance things so now everything seems to have settled down he is on a strict diet!! As I say we can only try and do our best with the knowledge available. We can never hope to be perfect but hope to give our animals the best we possibly can :) 






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