During the Summer months feeding your Tortoise is so easy and the most it should cost you is time in researching and finding the correct foods..
There is a website which you should make your bible. It operates a traffic light system which illustrates the frequency of feeding and also shows the unsuitable nature of a lot of plants. The website also is a useful tool in identification. Save this link to your phones home screen .. make it a go to when you are out and about foraging for food for your shelled friend.
EASILY FOUND WEEDS AND PLANTS
The following are easily found weeds and plants. There are so many more plants you can feed your tortoise than is on this page. Variety is key in the diet of your Tort. I like to follow the principle that there should be at least 5 different plants on your Torts slate daily and a minimum of three different types.
The days when a tortoise was left to forage where it could and fed additional lettuce, tomato and cucumber are very much over.. or should be!
Its a brilliant idea to plan ahead for each season in yourTortoise calendar. Plant seeds early for your Spring and summer feeds and preserve foods for the the winter months ..
Below is a button to take you to a face book page where all your tortoise feeding needs are available.. whats even better is that all profits are donated to sick and needy tortoise causes.. Also , click the button with the plant name on it and you will be directed to the correct entry on the Tortoise Table Website..
There are a few things to remember when you are out foraging for your Tortoise food.
Pick plants away from busy roads and from places where pesticides and weed killers have been sprayed.
If you see a juicy Dandelion winking at you from some ones garden, ask permission before picking.
Don't pick the whole plant/flower head so that it cannot repopulate itself the following season.
Always wash your weed haul before placing it in a plastic bag and storing in the fridge.
DOWN LOAD THE FEEDING GUIDE
Winter is the time of year when most assume a tortoise will be in hibernation and therefore not needing to eat.. Hibernation is a whole other topic, but here we will deal with what to feed a Mediterranean tortoise that is awake during the winter months, when all you have in your garden is grass and mud , if its anything like mine.
During the summer months while food is plentiful , it is highly wise to be preparing for the winter. Dry the leaves and flowers of their fresh food and store them in airtight containers and re hydrate them with hot water. If you don't have the space for drying yo can buy such things from the Torts are Us selling page on Facebook. Mix them with any of the weed or plant material that is still growing to bulk it out. With a bit of good fortune, if you may be able to continue to feed fresh throughout the whole winter.
With the number of tortoises I have there is no chance of me feeding fresh throughout the winter. My torts that are awake, for what ever reason, eat a 'mash' that I prepare daily for them.
There are two commercially available ingredients that I use . One is called PreAlpin
the other is an extruded food called either Mazuri Exotic Leaf Eater or Nutrazu. PreAlpin is a compressed cob of plants and some grasses.. it needs to be rehydrated before feeding and is an excellent source of fibre.
To make my mash I use a handful of the Pre Alpin cobs, a hand full of the Mazuri and also a hand full of my dried weeds and flowers. I pour some boiling water on it, cover and leave over night. In the morning I get a cucumber and whizz it up in my chopper , mix it all up together and then serve it up on trays with any fresh food I have available. It is important to still use the nekton and calcium powders to ensure your tort gets a balanced and nutritious diet.
The use of an extruded food is a controversial one. The pellet foods available in the pet stores are a completely unsuitable food and I do not recommend them at all. The Mazuri and Nutrazu are not available in shops and are not in any way similar to the brightly coloured pellets on store shelves.