Recent Alterations to the Creep's Feeding Schedule
Keeping tortoises in New Hampshire that couldn't possibly live through New Hampshire winters can be challenging. Food is one of the areas of challenge, but recently I found a couple of ways to make my life easier, and their diets better.
Variety, quality, and appropriateness of foods are directly linked to the growth, health, and long-term outcomes of your tortoises. Grassland tortoises, like my Russians, eat a significantly different diet than do Forest tortoises, like the Redfoot Tortoise and Black Mountain Tortoise.
Although the graphic above is generally in line with my thinking, I disagree with some of the suggested proportions/percentages. The three common elements in the diets are greens, gourds, and kibble; I go with about 60:20:20 for the grassland torts, and 40:20:10 for the forest tortoises, with the remaining 30% split between fruit (20%) and animal protein (10%).
Since I'm feeding six tortoises of various sizes while living a life, I don't stick to those numbers exactly by weight or volume, I approximate:
- every tortoise gets a handful of greens about the size of their shell first thing every morning
- every tortoise gets a bit of soaked kibble and pumpkin/squash as a second breakfast a couple of times (2-3) each week
- the forest tortoises get a bit of soaked kibble and fruit as a second breakfast a couple of times (2-3) each week
- the forest tortoises get animal protein once a week
- I supplement these feedings with the addition of dried flowers, weeds, seaweed, and herbs over the greens and other food a few times a week
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