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What to feed your tortoise

Friday, December 11, 2015

Getting your tortoise’s diet right starts with identifying their species correctly and understanding how their natural habitat affects their nutritional needs.

Diet depends on the species of tortoise

Diets between tortoise species can vary massively - from 75% grass and hay diets in Sulcatas and Leopard tortoises, to diets including animal protein in Hingeback and Redfoots. But what ever the species of tortoise, variety is the most important aspect of their diet.

Hermanns, Spur thighs and Horsfield tortoises are by far the most common species of tortoise we see here at Highcroft. These species should be fed on a diet of mixed weeds. Locating a safe place to pick these weeds is very important, but failing that you can grow your own.

Commercial tortoise diets such as dried pellets should be avoided. These are often too high in protein and sugars, and can lead to abnormal growth.

Vitamin supplements for tortoises

All diets should be supplemented with high calcium, low phosphorus supplements, for example Vetark’s Nutrobal. Supplementing with pure vitamins such as Vitamin A and D should be avoided due to risk of toxicities. All tortoises should be provided with adlib block chalk or cuttlefish bones in their indoor and outdoor enclosures.

Don’t forget water

Fresh clean water should be proved at all times. A dish large enough for the tortoise to climb inside and sit in is essential, seed trays with no holes often work well. Bathing your tortoise in luke warm water for 10-15 mins three time weekly is also advised.

Visit The Tortoise Table for information on what plants to feed and not to feed your tortoise.  Alternatively, speak to a member of our Exotic Species team who will be happy to help.


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