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Diet, Housing, Lighting..My Experience!

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Posted by: lizzettebarcel at Wed Jun 17 18:52:54 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by lizzettebarcel ]  
   

Well, I have had my red footed tortie for almost 5 years now. I bought her from Mike Greathouse. I took a good look at my animal today, and felt an impulse to write about so many things I read before everywhere on the Internet, and what I have done.

Well, first of course, she has passed checkups from her vet, a reptilian specialist. He recommended to me when she was a 15g baby, to feed her kale. I have read opposition to this, and cabbage, and broccoli all over. Today, my animal is active, healthy, and her shell is not deformed at all!

I do not sprinkle calcium on her food, ever! Kale and dandelion greens are very high in calcium already. Dandelion flowers are a delicacy. During the season, all she eats is fresh picked from my garden. Today she had lettuce, kale, fresh strawberries, spinach and parsley. I will feed her some broccoli sprouts and kohlrabi leaves tomorrow. other days I give her asparagus florets. It is always different, every day. I do not even measure her food or feed her "just twice a week." She eats all she wants, everyday! I pick fresh greens and berries for her daily and she eats until there's leftovers that I have to toss out.

She is indoors, but has a pen in my backyard where she spends all day long during sunny days. She has a hide and she gets her moisture from fresh berries and fruits. My turtle is not lazy at all! She is always moving and foraging within her pen. It is a simple and humble 3x3 square with the bottom and top chicken wired for her protection, but all native weeds grow right through. She loves earthworms and the occasional slug she finds. And that's about all the bugs she eats! Every once in a while, a cabbage moth lands nearby and she may luck out. She loves Japanese beetles too.

I do take time to brush her shell with a toothbrush and Betadyne with Dove mild handsoap everyday when she comes in for the night, just to wash off any maggots or algae that landed on her shell. I soak her daily, to encourage pooping as often as she needs to.

In her indoor tank, she has water. She has NO lightbulbs at all. She gets natural sunlight right until the winter keeps her indoors. She gets a ray or two of the light from the bearded dragon's tank above hers, but nothing more than a heat mat in her tank warms her up.

She is a puppy in a shell that taps on her tank door when she sees me walk into the livingroom. She has me trained and demands attention like a queen... She is spoiled rotten.

What's my point? Well, maybe some owners are working too hard but do not realize that ample space for exercise, sunlight and fresh, natural moisture and feed are the best! Mine has never even needed a vitamin shot! She is growing perfectly.

So, focus on trying to make the environment as natural as possible. Avoid opening cans, jars or bags of anything as much as you can and draw on teh power of that sunlight to raise a healthy animal. Just advice from experience...

Wanda


   

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