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RE: feeding my sulcata......

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Posted by: tglazie at Sun Jul 4 03:52:32 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tglazie ]  
   

Kale is in the brassica genus of vegetables, which includes cabbage and cauliflower, among others. It has a problem for the fact that it is deficient in iodine and if over relied upon as a staple, can cause thyroid problems, as well as various mineral deficiencies if a good multivitamin is not used. A varied diet is essential with sulcatas. Kale is okay, so long as it is served as part of a varied diet. You should offer primarily weeds and grasses, especially for a young animal that must develop good dietary habits for healthy growth. If you can provide an outdoor run with dandelion, Romaine lettuce, clover, and althea or mulberry trees (the tortoises love the flowers and fruit of these last two), grape leaves, leaves and fruit of pesticide free zuchini squash and cucumber, this would be ideal. Spineless prickly pear cactus is also an excellent source of food, chopped thin for hatchlings, served whole for adults. In the absence of such, finding weeds from a pesticide free source is a good secondary option. You can even channel your inner horticulturist and tend to the replanting of such a suitable spot. Supplement the wild diet with Romaine lettuce, mustard and collard greens, kale, zuchini squash, and the occasional apricot (high in calcium). Grasses are also an important part of a sulcata's diet. They will eat young St. Augustine shoots, winter grass, buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, and many others. The best way to allow sulcatas graze, I feel, is to allow them onto a patch of grass grown land to do as cows do. Allowing them permanent access to an area with succulent plants is not a good idea, as these tortoises tend to demolish vegetation of any kind. Grassy areas, however, can survive so long as they're not overpopulated or too small. I hope this information helps. If you have any other questions, please post them.

T.G.


   

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