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Diet



 The mix I have worked out produces firm stools in the Leopards (G. pardalis) and over wintering Russians (T. horsfieldi)  throughout the winter yet is palatable for the Iberas (T. ibera) and Hermanni (T. hermanni sp.)  as well.

 I do add a bit more soft vegetables and fruit for  Elongateds (I. elongata) and Redfoots (G.carbonaria) as well as giving them a small amount of moistened low fat dry cat food about once a month.  For arid loving species I cut back on the fruits and, in season, add more grasses.

This is the measured the amounts of ingredients used in my mix though smaller amounts could be made in scaled down batches.
 
 

5 pounds (2.3 Kg) of Romaine Lettuce,  chopped
4 pounds (1.8 Kg) of Endive, chopped
3 pounds (1.4 Kg) of Escarole, chopped
1 pound   (0.45 Kg) of Kale, chopped
2 pounds (0.9 Kg) of chopped Cactus pads, spines "glochids" removed
0.5 pounds  (0.25 Kg) of ground "Pretty Pets" tortoise food
4 ounces (113 gms) of "Rep Cal" with Vit. D3 (CaCO3 supplement with D3)
1.5 pound (07 Kg) of  dried "cleaned" (stems removed) and ground timothy hay, this would be over 15 pounds (6.8 Kg) of fresh (green) timothy.
1 pound (0.45 Kg)  of various fresh fruit - processed
1 pound (0.45 Kg) of  Carrot, grated

The materials are all mixed thoroughly together and stored under refrigeration.  These amounts make about 5 gallons (20 liters) and will keep under refrigeration for 5 - 6 days.   The dampness and the chopped nature of the fresh greens used causes them to be coated with the timothy making it impossible for the tortoises to pick through it for "tasties".  When introducing your tortoises to this mix I would suggest starting with lowered levels of timothy hay and slowly increasing it to the final concentration.

As it becomes available I replace the endive and romaine with plantain leaves, dandelions, mulberry leaves, clover and grape leaves.

One thing that I do that is at odds with many others is feed hatchlings twice a day.  It is my belief that the impossible nature of duplicating exactly their micro climate coupled with the lack of available graze necessitates this. This is only for the first two to three months of their lives.  For the remainder of the first year I feed every day.  Once they become juveniles at about a year of age I reduce this to every other day or small meals every day  in order to strive for SLOW, NATURAL GROWTH.

For a detailed analyses of  foods generally available in grocery stores as well as more information on nutrition please see comparative nutritional analyses page.



 


 

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