Over weight tortoise

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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Sandy » Tue May 12, 2015 6:03 pm

Juliet wrote:OK Andy here goes! This is going to be a very big test for my nerves. I must not crack just because they turn their noses up at me new improved diet. I may phase it in with small amounts of their favourites alongside the new weedy diet and gradually reduce and reduce their favourites until they rarely get them. I am sure it will work with Mrytle because she is such an enthusiastic eater but my two little males are so much more picky and faddy and so much skinnier it really is going to test me - I musn't crack. But I really hope they are not too long before they crack and eat my new diet. This is going to be harder for me than for them!

Juliet


You have to think tortoise not human:0)
If they are left the correct foods they will eat it. No healthy tortoise will starve:0)
Sandy
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby insenceaddict » Tue May 12, 2015 9:02 pm

When the weeds are plentiful, as they are here now, I pick a great big bag full or two weekly and that's what they get! Nutrobal is the only supplement I use and even my females that lay produce good strong eggs. I have adopted many torts over the years and lots that have had terrible diets on arrival and been addicted to all kinds of stupid stuff. They change immediately to the right diet and so far none have starved themselves to death. :) However sadly I have some with terrible shell formation, deformities and past MBD and all are now physically well but the evidence remains. Be brave, persevere and they will be better in the long run. Incidentally, I don't use the graphs for checking weights, most in captivity come up as very over weight and my understanding is, though Andy will correct me if wrong, it is aimed at wild tortoises! I hope they go on ok. Jacqui
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Juliet » Wed May 13, 2015 7:32 am

Thank to everyone for their posts. Today I go to see my own vet and I am determined to get Kevin Eatwell, the expert in Edinburgh, involved. I will then start their new regime. We have a lot of weeds in our garden especially dandelion and plantain. Also wild pea. Any other suggestions? Some of the suggested weeds are very obscure but I could get seeds and plant them.
It is good to hear from Jacqui that she has successfully improved MBD. I am still a bit upset that this has been allowed to happen in my tort and yes I guess I do think of them in terms of my children especially now my real children have flown the nest and yes I will stop it and treat them as torts which they are but still very loved. I really hope the little males are OK but they will all get the same new regime so they will soon be OK if they aren't right now. Can they not have any 'shop ' bought salads? How on earth do you get enough wild weeds to feed them enough every day? Is there nothing you can get in the shops thats 'good' for them?
Juliet
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Sandy » Wed May 13, 2015 7:45 am

Juliet wrote:Thank to everyone for their posts. Today I go to see my own vet and I am determined to get Kevin Eatwell, the expert in Edinburgh, involved. I will then start their new regime. We have a lot of weeds in our garden especially dandelion and plantain. Also wild pea. Any other suggestions? Some of the suggested weeds are very obscure but I could get seeds and plant them.
It is good to hear from Jacqui that she has successfully improved MBD. I am still a bit upset that this has been allowed to happen in my tort and yes I guess I do think of them in terms of my children especially now my real children have flown the nest and yes I will stop it and treat them as torts which they are but still very loved. I really hope the little males are OK but they will all get the same new regime so they will soon be OK if they aren't right now. Can they not have any 'shop ' bought salads? How on earth do you get enough wild weeds to feed them enough every day? Is there nothing you can get in the shops thats 'good' for them?
Juliet


I tend to leave shop bought salad to when I cant get weeds. This can happen for a few weeks in August when its hot and the next flush of weeds are due. But to be honest I rarely feed shop bought foods now. As I grow enough weeds for my creep. It also does them good to just graze what is available in my garden.
You can always feed flowers, I have at least six different coloured Hibiscus growing in my garden, which my tortoises will eat before anything else. There is also Lavetra (sp) a member of the mallow family which they also will eat with relish:0)
I also tend to pick seed heads from weeds when out or in the garden (I put some weed seeds in pots and allow them to go to seed which natuarally spread in the garden) plantain both narrow and wide leafed, mallows, dandies, sowthistle and goatsbeard all then are free:0)

I sow the seeds in the Autumn so that there are plenty of weeds ready for the Spring.
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Juliet » Wed May 13, 2015 11:17 am

Thanks for the suggestions Sandy will now look into growing my own weed garden! I have actually heard hibiscus is good for torts so will get some for the garden if they are hardy enough up here! I can only dream of torts out in the garden foraging themselves! The temperature here today in Scotland is 9 degrees and windy and cloudy totally everything a tort hates. But I live in hope of the summer 'heat' arriving one day and then of course they are all outside as they should be all the time really. But until then It is up to me to make sure they are as well as they can be. So my weed study will begin! Its the quantities I worry about. Can I find enough for all three of them? I may have to plump it up with shop salad to begin with until I get it all organised. Will look into the drier for drying winter weeds as well.

Have just got back from my vet. He was great and is going to phone Kevin Eatwell for me and send him the xray and then I will go to Edinburgh if Kevin Eatwell thinks he wants to see Myrtle. So its all going in the right direction but I can't help feeling mad with myself and with all the totally incorrect rubbish advice I have been given over the years. I just don't like to think of what some torts are going through and the owners don't even know or care enough to put it right. Thats a nightmare thought.

But on with my own new regime. Tortoise weeds will grow everywhere in our garden!

Juliet
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Juliet » Wed May 13, 2015 1:09 pm

Have just found a list of foods OK for torts on the Pro Alpin site so can use that as a guide. I have noticed someone has used dried flowers and weeds by Burgess ( sold in Pets at Home ). I have tried these on my little rescue Horsefield. he was totally unimpressed but will try again now he cannot indulge in his previous 'bad' foods. He used to love plantain but does not eat it anymore which just goes to show how easily ( like humans ) they adapt to a rubbish diet and forget their foods they should be eating! It really is tort junk food addiction just like humans!

OK everyone thank you so much. I am off now and will report back in about a month with an update on Myrtle's progress. I so hope its all good news then!

Juliet
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby vikki01 » Wed May 13, 2015 9:02 pm

Hi Juliet
I am guessing you are familiar with The Tortoise Table website - I find it invaluable. if you haven't used it give it a go - you can type a plant name in and find out if it is safe or browse different catagories (weeds/garden plants etc) if you want to know what a plant is then you can send a photo and the ladies that run the site will ID it. It is great for working out what to plant in ther garden (our new garden is completely based around what is tortoise safe or not!!) Good luck with Myrtle.
Vikki.
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Juliet » Thu May 14, 2015 7:49 am

Thanks for the information Vikki will give it a go. Have tried my tiny Horsefield on a plate of weeds last night dandelion, plantain, some leaves from a tortoise seed pack I planted last year don't know what they are some kale fresh from our garden and predictably he turned his nose up in disgust!! Thats fine I will persevere but it has got me thinking about supposing he holds out and refuses to eat. He is out of my 3 by far and away the 'worst' eater and there is not much of him so it really frightens me. While he is not eating he is not taking in his Nutrobal and he is blocking up his system. He is a rescue tort and has had a lot of health problems over the years and he is now so great with nothing wrong with him except he loves junk food - chicory and especially pak choi.

I think Myrtle and Apollo the 2 Tunisians are going to be fine accepting their new diet but I am terribly worried about Tort.

Once again very grateful for anyones suggestions/help/advice anything!!!

Juliet
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu May 14, 2015 9:14 am

Tortoises are highly 'addictive' feeders. They are also very stubborn... as everyone has said, they will not starve themselves to death, they'll eat good food in time. Do not give in. As we said years back...

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/fussy.html
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Re: Over weight tortoise

Postby Juliet » Thu May 14, 2015 4:03 pm

Thanks Andy I have read the article on food addiction and I am afraid that is definitely whats going on with Tort. He has had a bad history before we got him so I am naturally a bit over protective of him as he has been so ill in the past but he is fine now so I will just keep going and always remember this is the best thing for him. Have a huge list of potential plants to give them. I just so hope he isn't too stubborn its hard to see him going day after day with no food and consequently with reduced pee and no poo! I am bathing him twice a day so I can be sure he is at least not dehydrated, otherwise i will just have to sit and wait for him to start eating what I am offering. Will give a wide range so there is lots of choice. Apollo ate some of my offerings today and predictably Myrtle ate a fair amount of stuff she has never eaten before. She does love her food that girl. So I feel both of them will get through this fine. Tort is my concern but I am not giving in to his emotional blackmail, just hope it does not go on for too long.

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