Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:38 am

Input vs output:

This is an example of the droppings of a tortoise maintained on a 60/40 dried-fresh ratio diet as we recommend above:

Image

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This is not too far off a typical wild example.

To compare, here is a tortoise fed on a completely incorrect, fruit and lettuce diet (this is NOT one of ours, it is important to point out!):

Image

Image
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby P-A Barkskog » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:09 pm

Tortoise Trust wrote:One company, AGROBS, has produced a range of genuinely high quality, suitable pellet-form dried food

Agrobs products for tortoises are developed in cooperation with a german tortoise-keeper Gerhard Eger.
Here is the story in german. (Use Google for translation)
http://www.villa-testudo.de/index.php?id=33

We met him in 2003 and has used Agrobs products since then. Our hatchlings T hermanni and T graeca eat dried weeds after some weeks and the fine chopped Testudo baby after some months.

Our tortoises have free access to Testudo fibre. Once a week they get soaked Testudo pellets. Fresh weeds they get in limited amounts 5-6 days a week. Some weeks a year we give only dried food. The last weeks before fastening for hibernation they get only dried food.
The adults are in a greenhouse with basking lamps lit if necessary from march to november with access to outdoor pens in summer and sunny days in spring and autumn. Water is always available. We never soak the tortoises. The humidity in the greenhouse is high at night.

A swedish keeper use this method:
Day 1 Fresh weeds with Nutrobal or calcium carbonate
Day 2 Dry weeds
Day 3 Agrobs Testudo fibre or Agrobs Testudo pellets soaked
and so on....
Per-Anders Barkskog, Sweden
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:39 am

I would very much agree with that method and I'd also like to thank Per-Anders for supplying some foods and materials for testing!

Regarding humidity. There are (mostly on some American tortoise forums) some absolutely crazy people who continue to insist that arid habitat species should be kept at near 100% humidity 24/7. This is completely insane and bears no relation at all to how these animals really live or what they need. A humidity increase for a brief period overnight, however, is much closer to what is experienced in nature and is potentially beneficial. It depends what your "starting point" is, however. If you are in an already semi-humid environment it is not necessary and could (in some circumstances) still cause a problem, because they also need some "dry time" (in simple terms). However, if your humidity during the day is below about 40%, then an overnight increase can help to "counter balance" this.

The levels we see are typically:

Outside, daytime, open air at 10cm above ground in full sun: <25% RH
Outside, daytime, under vegetation or in shallow scrape: <40% RH
Outside, daytime, buried in ground: <55% RH

Over night, there is usually an increase in RH that may cross the dew point as temperatures drop, with maximum levels seen from 3-6 am, so just a couple of hours. During this period there may be dew formation and RH in free air can be 80% or so. As soon as the sun rises, these levels return to the low figures given above. This does not occur every night, or at all times of year, but is quite common.
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby AliTBimbo » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:03 pm

I currently have lots of lavetera flowers, ribwort plantain leaves and cat's ear leaves on kitchen towel in my windowsill. . Takes couple of days to dry but glad I.popped on here, off to search dehydrators! :)
Regards,

Ali

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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Kaarina.rantala » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:40 pm

I have been drying my weeds in the oven. I do not know what kind of ovens you have in England? I am thinking of the nostalgic Aga, are they still used or am I totally out of date? My boring german convection oven can keep the temperature at a stable 40'C and the circulating air is very effective at drying. The circulating air also enables you to stuff the oven full. I can dry 3 trays of weeds in approximately 3 hours. Not all ovens are as accurate at low temperatures, but mine is a fairly good one. (Actually, when buying it both the salesman and husband said it is absolutely crazy to spend so much on an oven but I remember telling my husband that he saves the price in no time if he counts what he would pay for those chateaubriands in a restaurant)
***************************
Kaarina Rantala
Testudo marginata born 9/2013 named Bolt
Finland husband and two boys Roy 5 and Dan 3
No previous experience of tortoises
Professional gardener and landscape designer my company: www.puutarhapalvelucreative.fi
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Bigjoe » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:57 am

The food dehumidifier turned up yesterday afternoon,will have a mess around with this later today and let you all know the results.
Joe
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Bigjoe » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:40 pm

Perfect results
I'm still messin with this,times,how much to put in ect ect..what I did find however is to remove the peaches from the can first ... ;)
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Avatar » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:49 am

Joe that looks pretty good! :P
These day I am curious what it looks like inside my tortoise's poo :?
A bit wet as compared with those with 60/40 diet? My tortoise doesn't really like dry stuff so I have to add some water to it...so the dried weeds are not 100% dry...
Image
Image
Regards,
Gloria

1 Sulcata
1 Testudo Graeca
1 Red Ear Slider
1 Chinese Striped-necked turtle
1 Reeves's turtle
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:16 am

That is pretty good, Gloria.

Far, far better than what you normally see with captive tortoises.
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Re: Increasing fibre intake - a practical guide

Postby Jonesy » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:48 pm

I totally agree with the pre alpin foods. I have definitely seen a change in the faeces of my torts since offering it to them. I do have a few people come back to me saying their tortoises will not eat it.

I always advise people to try the product dry and soaked and add it to their normal weeds/flowers and get them used to it gradually.

My 10kg Leopard loves it and her faeces, which is like an elephants in amount, is very fibrous and beautifully formed, if you can call it beautiful? :lol:

I admit that the Mediterraneans do take time to get used to it, especially the older ones that we have. But it is worth it. :)
Linda

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Donation given to Jill Martin Fund for every sale of pre alpin
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