Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Dietary Advice


  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#21 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 March 2015 - 09:01 PM

Absolutely! Spot on lol

#22 aud7

aud7

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 31 March 2015 - 09:56 PM

Thanks everyone but I am still unclear on whether or not I would be doing harm to occasionally feed my tortoise the dried flower and petal leaves produced by Tilly's Garden as they are not in pellet form but actual leaves. I appreciate all your views and I know we all only want what's best for our tortoise. I've read the article referred to earlier and from my reading it would appear that to offer dried petals and leaves would be favourable. Yes/No??



#23 JerryMaffz

JerryMaffz

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:26 PM

There are differing opinions Aud, but if you "replicate the natural diet as closely as possible" you won't go far wrong.



#24 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:28 PM

Hi Aud

 

I personally wouldn't feed that specific product, partly because Mulleins are mostly said not to be suitable for tortoises. 

 

The dried food that I am 100% confident about is Pre Alpin Testudo Fibre, or their plain Testudo product.   (it can be bought in a few places including from this person who makes a donation to a suitable organisation http://www.tortoisel...o.uk/page7.htm)

 

This is quite unlike most other man made tortoise foods and does not contain anything apart from an organic european meadow that has been slowly air-dried. No industrial processing and no additives, fat, grains etc. 

 

At first my tortoises were not very keen on eating it, but this is sometimes a good sign.

 

This product has been very widely used over a long period of time in Germany where there are a lot of people that keep tortoises and the 'natural' way of doing it is popular.

 

I don't hesitate to recommend Pre Alpin products and especially the Fibre version which is really coarse stuff. 

 

Barney



#25 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:47 PM

Thanks everyone but I am still unclear on whether or not I would be doing harm to occasionally feed my tortoise the dried flower and petal leaves produced by Tilly's Garden as they are not in pellet form but actual leaves. I appreciate all your views and I know we all only want what's best for our tortoise. I've read the article referred to earlier and from my reading it would appear that to offer dried petals and leaves would be favourable. Yes/No??



'If' you are going to feed dried foods Aud, it's essential to look at 'how' that product is dried. 'Most' commercial dried foods are dried extremely fast and in such ways that the composition is changed, even making them toxic in 'some' cases. There is a vast difference between artifially dried pellet forms of food and naturally dried leaves that have lain in the sun to dry. You will find that the pelleted (often coloured) food sold in tubs in pet shops contains a large amount of unsuitable food such as soya, corn, fruit etc. which are obviously unsuitable. At the end of the day it has to be your choice but bear in mind that anything dried is more concentrated and therefore once the tortoise has filled up with water, more likely to produce fast growth. It's akin to us choosing between a raw salad and a commercial made ready meal, we know which one will make us gain weight quicker ;) As my Mum used to tell me, if in doubt don't ;)

#26 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,806 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 01 April 2015 - 06:49 AM

Thanks everyone but I am still unclear on whether or not I would be doing harm to occasionally feed my tortoise the dried flower and petal leaves produced by Tilly's Garden as they are not in pellet form but actual leaves. I appreciate all your views and I know we all only want what's best for our tortoise. I've read the article referred to earlier and from my reading it would appear that to offer dried petals and leaves would be favourable. Yes/No??

Hi, I think you will find that you get different opinions from different members on this, me personally I have never fed dried food and have no intention too in the near future, we can only offer you our opinions at the end of the day it's your tortoise and your decision to make. :)



#27 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,806 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 01 April 2015 - 07:06 AM

Hi Aud

 

I personally wouldn't feed that specific product, partly because Mulleins are mostly said not to be suitable for tortoises. 

 

The dried food that I am 100% confident about is Pre Alpin Testudo Fibre, or their plain Testudo product.   (it can be bought in a few places including from this person who makes a donation to a suitable organisation http://www.tortoisel...o.uk/page7.htm)

 

This is quite unlike most other man made tortoise foods and does not contain anything apart from an organic european meadow that has been slowly air-dried. No industrial processing and no additives, fat, grains etc. 

 

At first my tortoises were not very keen on eating it, but this is sometimes a good sign.

 

This product has been very widely used over a long period of time in Germany where there are a lot of people that keep tortoises and the 'natural' way of doing it is popular.

 

I don't hesitate to recommend Pre Alpin products and especially the Fibre version which is really coarse stuff. 

 

Barney

Hi Barney, just to say welcome to the forum. :)

This is as I've said some thing I've never tried, we did have a member a couple of months back who highly rated this as well, have you been using this long term, do you just use this say over winter or on a regular basis. :)  has there been any studies done on this from tortoises having this long term, or have you done any your self, just out of interest. :)



#28 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:57 PM

Yes i agree us humans tend to over feed animals,when my torts are in winter quarters,before and after hibernation i tend not to feed everyday as they are confined to a small area than outside when they can forage as they wish,not everyone will agree with me on skipping the odd day but i think its not entirely critical as you are looking for slow growth and weight gain

#29 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 April 2015 - 06:54 PM

Hi folks

 

I haven't done any studies! I'm just a guy with a couple of tortoises, but I have been using Pre Alpin for a few years now. There might be some proper studies done on it in Germany. There is a magazine they have there, Reptillia, maybe there has been something in there. 

 

Not all dried foods are the same!! This is why I jumped on this thread, because we're lumping every dry food into the same bracket.  

 

First you have your products like Mazuri which are wholly artificial. It's a base of soya grain with a load of chemicals bonded onto it which contains all your vitamins and minerals and your Vit D. Mazuris enjoyed a great reputation due to zoos and suchlike using it for decades and the people making it claim to have researched it. I just don't like this kind of stuff myself but some keepers swear by it. If it's fed in carefully weighed out amounts you can know exactly how much of everything you are providing so over feeding can't happen by accident. But if keepers just feed a ton of it the animal will get into difficulties.

 

Second you have your hybrids. These are dried matter from plants that tortoises might eat but they also have stuff added onto them. Again it's extra calcium and Vit D type additives. Here is one of the many kinds:

 

 http://www.reptilece...tm#.VRwx4PnF-So

 

Third you have your pure dried matter foods such as Pre Alpin and Pro Alpen and the kind of stuff that Aud started off this thread asking about. More and more of these foods are coming onto the market all the time and in my opinion they shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. In answer to a point made by Sue, they are very low protein and very high in fibre. 

 

The thing about Pre Alpin is that it's only dried so that it can be packed up and sold etc. You add water before you feed, so you might say they are not dried foods at all when actually fed. This means the bulk quantity of it being eaten is not an issue in the way Sue suggested - though her argument does apply to the hybrids to some extent and definitely to the wholly artificial foods.

 

Pre Alpin is a lot more 'natural' than a bunch of dandellions and clovers from my back garden. There are 2 reasons for this. No 1 a UK garden contains a narrow range of species even if the keeper is a maniac for cultivating tortoise food plants. Certain species tend to dominate and clovers and dandellions are 2 of them. Clovers are in fact high in protein (for a plant source they are very high). Danedllions bring problems to do with calcium absorption if they are fed too much and nobody knows how much is too much. The stems and flowers are the worst parts of the plant for this. Pre Alpin contains a lot more species than anyone is going to have in any normal garden.

 

The second reason that Pre Alpin is more natural is about the water content. I would urge people to read the Tortoise Trust article that Jerry pointed out but basically the digestive tract of tortoises was designed to deal with food that is very coarse, very low in nutrient and stays in the gut a long time to break it down. This does not apply to food we grow in the garden which is relatively high in water content. This tends to make the food move through the gut really quickly. Compared to the places where tortoises live, there is a massive amount of rainfall in the UK. This affects the species that will grow here and the amount of water that is in the plant.

 

Also our gardens are very fertile for the most part and to an extent the rich nutrients in that soil become absorbed by the plant and are then eaten by the tortoise. So fresh garden grown foods contain more water and more nutrients than the stuff the wild animals eat. Is this a problem? Well if your aim is to give them what they would get in the wild (in the way Jerry said) then it is at least a bit problematic.

 

I have probably bored everyone senseless by now! But the bottom line is that the wholly artificial foods are totally unnatural and unless they are fed extremely carefully they can cause excess growth and other problems. The foods that I would describe as totally natural such as Pre Alpin are more natural than what we can grow in our gardens going by the 3 criteria that actually matter - nutrient content, water content and fibre content. 

 

It's not possible to feed an excess of Pre Alpin Fibre. The reason is that the nutrient value is very low and the fibre content is very high. Since it's not full of artificial chemicals, the animal is not stimulated to eat more than a healthy amount of it, and anyway it fills up the gut quickly because of its bulk. This paragraph has perhaps put off those of you who place a very high value on slow growth but feeding Pre Alpin is in fact very much in keeping with your aim.

 

I should make clear that I do not work for Pre Alpin and have no interest in them selling any more product or anything like that. I'm only aiming to correct what I think are mistaken ideas about 'dried foods' - they are not all the same, some of them I personally think can cause real harm to tortoises, others are at least as good as what we can grown in the garden. 



#30 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:13 PM

Obviously people have to make their own choices on diet, hopefully guided by long term research and advice from respected organisations, not just some new diet in its relative infancy. What keepers do need to be aware of though is that a tortoise CAN be overfed on absolutely any diet, whether fibrous or not, so a cautious approach is crucial. Even wild tortoises when they have found an opportunity to gorge on farmers crops long enough, have suffered the ill effects.

#31 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 April 2015 - 01:29 PM

I think the Tortoise Trust would count as being a respected organisation for most of us.

 

Pre Alpin has been on sale in the UK for 5 years and much longer in Germany. 

 

Here is a link to a discussion about this food on the Tortoise Table site: http://www.thetortoi..._9.asp?tID=2529

The Tortoise Table is run by people who are against feeding commercial foods to tortoises.

 

 

Here is a link to the producer's page with a bit more info for anyone interested:

 

http://www.agrobs.de...ibre/?card=1414

 

Most of the time I feed stuff from my garden. But when there is little in the garden, or only a few species to be found in it, I feed pre alpin before anything else. Once I got my tortoises to eat pre alpin I stopped using supermarket salad bags and other foods intended for humans like for example squashes and kale. It's not a big deal for me, but pre alpin is a lot cheaper as well as being more natural.

 

I agree with Sue that everyone has to make up their own mind. It can help to have plenty of information. 



#32 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 April 2015 - 02:32 PM

Agree the Tortoise Trust give good advice, including that overfeeding is possible on any diet ;)

#33 Guest_Stella_*

Guest_Stella_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 April 2015 - 03:18 PM

Interesting Barney, I have never used bought dried food, however I do know my torts seem to enjoy eating the crispy bits of left over weeds in the summer. I might get some and see if they like it. Hugs x x x x

#34 vikki01

vikki01

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Gloucester
  • Interests:Animals
    Countryside
    Walking
    Reading

Posted 03 April 2015 - 04:02 PM

If anyone just wants to try small quantities (as I did) I think you can still get it on ebay through shelled warriors - they do 100g trial bags of the pellets and the herbs and if you only have one small tortoise this will last ages!



#35 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 April 2015 - 04:08 PM

I'm not sure that's legal tbh. I would recommend that all animal products are in original packing giving use by date, dietary info etc. by the manufacturer.

#36 vikki01

vikki01

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Gloucester
  • Interests:Animals
    Countryside
    Walking
    Reading

Posted 03 April 2015 - 04:24 PM

I see what you mean but guess it is no different than the loose pet food you can buy in most pet shops :)



#37 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 03 April 2015 - 09:50 PM

Think im going to stick with fresh,its free so why waste money when you can pick it :)

#38 Guest_Barney_*

Guest_Barney_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 April 2015 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for your views and comments everyone. Maybe I went too far saying it was impossible to over feed :dry: on pre alpin. :ohmy:

 

If you've got enough fresh weeds to feed your tortoise all the time he or she is active, I can see you wouldn't bother with this or any other man-made food.

 

It's useful to take a weight of the tortoise at least monthly which would give some indication of any alarming weight gains. I think it's very unlikely this would happen on a pre alpin diet. I find that mine do not eat more than one decent sized meal of it per day no matter what I might do to encourage them. There isn't enough protein in that serving to cause fast growth.



#39 crotchetybear

crotchetybear

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Worcestershire
  • Interests:Tortoises, my dogs, animal welfare, conservation and environment, wildlife and travel.

Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:21 AM

HI all,

 

I have been reading this topic with interest. I don't use dry foods and try to feed my tortoises fresh weeds whenever possible. At the moment, this means quite a lot of dandelions (as there are loads in the garden and they're easy to find where I walk the dogs). 

 

My torts are particularly keen on the flowers and stems so I was concerned to read that these could lead to problems with calcium absorption. (I use a D3 strip lamp and a calcium supplement on their food.) Should I reduce the amount of dandelions (particularly flowers) I'm giving them?

 

Chris



#40 Beermat89

Beermat89

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somerset
  • Interests:Tortoises/reptiles,fishing/football

Posted 04 April 2015 - 11:31 AM

Hi Chris,i feed mine the hole dandelion and one of my females love the flowers,aslong as you feed a varied diet much as poss i dont really take no notice as done none of mine any harm.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users