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Eating substrate what does this mean


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#1 Guest_Kerismurfit_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:45 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 17-01-06 AT 09:45 PM (GMT)]Hello all,

I've noticed that one of my baby Hermans has started to eat her substrate. I am currently using sand/soil mix. They have been eating Dandelion leaves (not exactly sure how much to give them at the moment)and drinking well. They have been having regualr warm baths they seem very active and happy. Could this be because they are hungry or is it all part of the settling in process?

Thanks Keri

#2 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:46 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 17-01-06 AT 09:46 PM (GMT)]When i introduced sand and soil to my tortoises they ate it to test it, as they were unsure what it was. Is the sand and soil new to them?

#3 Guest_Kerismurfit_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:50 PM

Yeah they are use to being on hemp.

#4 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:52 PM

Give them a day or so they will stop eating it, they are just testing it as they dont know what it is.

#5 Guest_Kerismurfit_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for your reassurance.
Could it be harmful to them if they continue to eat it?

#6 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:21 PM

I can also confirm this , my babies have also ate my sand/soil substrate as its new to them also ,as they were just kept on newspaper , but then thought the tomato was tastier lol

#7 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:06 AM

Tortoises often try eating substrates especially natural earth or pebble substrates , baby tortoises and gravid females seem more prone than males or none breeding females ,as sarah already says they are experimenting but experimenting for what well calcium is what they are looking for in my experience ,baby tortoises and gravid females need huge amounts of calcium to either grow or develope eggs now if you think in there wild state these tortoises would be living on limestone rich ground where the soil,sand and pebbles are more likely to contain or are calcium carbonate peices.So not only is your tortoise testing the new substrates to check for weather its edible its natural instinct tells it to consume dirt as its high in minerals to grow ,sorry for going on but just wanted to explain a more detailed reason for this behaviour.
What to do add cuttle fish bone to the enclosure for babies break up into peices and leave in the enclosure they will nibble at it as its required ,there natural instinct is to seek out and eat or test out white objects you can also put in pure white chalk as this is also calcium carbonate or even empty snail shells sterlise them first buy boiling them

#8 Guest_Kerismurfit_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for your help. Since I 've been home I have not seen them eat as much substrate as yesterday so hopefully they have had enough!! just waiting for them to wee and pass soilds to see if things are ok. Should they do this daily or is it normal to go for a few days without?

thanks again
Keri

#9 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:48 PM

Ours pee and poo daily, keep bathing that should shift em lol

#10 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:32 AM

Tut tut Paul, omit the Tomatoes, not good for their tummy's
Arnie

#11 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:29 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 05:21 PM (GMT)]Tomatoes are not good as part of their regular diet but are ok as a treat i give my tortoises tomato once every two weeks

#12 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:02 PM

Sarah
If you want to give your tortoises tomatoes that's fine, they are yours to do with as you see fit, but don't give information that's not suitable as part of a healthy diet, even once a fortnight, sorry
Arnie

#13 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:09 PM

sorry i disagree they are ok as long as they are not part of the main diet. Oh and i also cover mine in limestone flour so they get extra calcium.

#14 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:15 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 05:16 PM (GMT)]Ours have it from time to time:) What do Tomatoes do to a tort? Aren't they mostly water?:)

#15 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:21 PM

yeah they are that is why they are no good as part of a main diet but ok as a treat

#16 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:23 PM

Like having a McDonalds but only once every two weeks lol:)

#17 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:25 PM

I dont give them alot of tomato just a little bit.

#18 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:51 PM

My redfoots love tomatoe but it doesn't feature as a major part of there diet and yes i'm guilty too sometimes my adult meds get tomatoe on the odd occasion like Sarah says its liberaly sprinkled in limestone flour ,tomatoes are classed as fruit and as we all no fruit is not good in med tortoise diets because of the high sugar levels and wet fiberless consistency ,tomatoes are relativly low in sugar compared to most other fruits and really is it wrong to give a small treat now and again, in Andy Highfields excellent book the encyclopedia of tortoises and freshwater turtles under dietry management under the heading suggested feeding program for herbivores (tortoises)
90% of the diet should consist of leafy greens and 10% of fruit which includes tomatoe , this diet is quoted as being suitale for hermanni, graeca,pardalis,horsfieldi etc

#19 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:54 PM

So if Andy Highfield says 10% can be fruit does that mean any fruit as long as it's in real moderation?

#20 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:13 PM

Well the book says
mixed green-leaf vegetable base (90%)
Dandelion;cabbage(mixed varieties);clover leaves;kale;parsley;carrot toppings; sowthistle;coarse mixed grasses(a high percentage is recommended for tortoises which enjoy grazing such as g,pardalis,g sulcata etc,); flowerheads and other fodderplants(provideby means of naturalgraze or edibleandscaping if at all possible.)
Fruit(10%)
Melon(red,orange and white);tomatoe;mango;pineapple;cauliflower;apple;pear;red and green pepper;cucumber,courgette(zucchii)etc.
This diet is recommed for all herivourus tortoises




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