Temperatures again

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Teddy28
Posts: 134
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Temperatures again

Post by Teddy28 » 08 Apr 2018, 09:56

Hi again,
My little horsefield male 8yrs old has been with me now for over a year , whilst weeds have been in short supply through the long winter he s been feeding mainly on lambs lettuce and some suitable salad leaves .
He s now getting some helpings of plantain, navelwort and a few dandelion leaves. His poos have been plentiful and his wee is the right consistency.
Yesterday i notice some undigested weed fibres sticking out of him bottom, about 2 inch trailing behind him. Giving him several warm baths to try and help but I m wondering if his temperatures aren't high enough or the uvb level has reduced, will this make his digestion not as effective is it should be. Going to buy a replacement bulb today but just thought I d ask the question anyway
Thanks

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Nina » 08 Apr 2018, 10:23

Hi Teddy,

Glad to hear that your little Horsfield (what is his name, by the way?), has come through the winter fit and well. I wouldn't worry too much qabout the undigested weed fibres -- that occasionally does happen, and he will probably be fine, but if you notice it happening again let us know. Lambs lettuce and suitable salad leaves are OK to feed, but they are what we call 'wet foods', and they go through the digestive track very quickly. You might have seen the undigested weed fibre because his digestive system is still getting used to more fibrous foods. Actually if you can avoid feeding 'wet foods' exclusively then that is much better for him.

I know that food is hard to find in the winter, but there is one product that is recommended for tortoises and it is excellent. It's called Pre Alpen Testudo and it comes either loose or in the form of 'cobs' that you soak and they rehydrate and expand a lot (so you don't need much) before you feed it. It is made exclusively from suitable weeds and grasses, and the poos you see after eating those look very much like the poos of tortoises in the wild -- like little pellet bundles of fibre -- very different from what you see if you are feeding more wet food. You can buy it through the Torts R Us selling page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1081663 ... re%20alpin , and also from the Shelled Warriors shop on this page http://www.shelledwarriorsshop.co.uk/to ... -261-c.asp (I wouldn't buy any other commercial brand). Some tortoises don't like it at first, so you mix it with fresh food that had been wetted so that it all sticks together, and gradually they will get used to it. It's really handy to provide greater variety in the diet and especially in winter.

It's good to change your UVB tube periodically, as they only last for a year --or maybe two, depending on how many hours it has been running -- and sometimes less than a year. Unless you have a UVB meter, you can't tell if the UVB is still reaching the tortoise, as the tube continues to produce light. What happens is that over time, the uvb produces a coating on the inside of the tube, and that lets the light through, but not the UVB.

Good luck and keep us posted on how he is doing.

Nina

Teddy28
Posts: 134
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Teddy28 » 09 Apr 2018, 19:53

Hi Nina
Thanks for the info, tortoise is now affectionately named Torttila - as a take on 'Attila' due to him being a little wrecking machine!

I take your point about the 'wet foods' and probably the reintroduction of weeds in his diet. As it happens I have some of the dried food you mention, got it last year to see if he would eat it, which he didn't but then he didn't eat cucumber until recently (i only give this in small amounts if he seems constipated). So I mixed some of his leaves with the Pre Alpen stuff and water and although he was trying to pick the leaves out he did eat some of the Pre Alpen so I'll persevere with it to try and get him used to it. I never thought to mix it with fresh stuff, previously I just tried giving him the PreAlpen on its own and he was not impressed.
Not long now hopefully until the weather is warm enough for him to go in his outdoor enclosure for a few hours.
Thanks again Nina

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Nina » 09 Apr 2018, 20:36

Hi Teddy,

Mine really hated it at first too, but the mixing it with fresh stuff (cut up small), and all of it wet so that the fresh material sticks to the Pre Alpin does seem to work. Start with a lot more fresh stuff than Pre Alpin, and gradually increase the amount of Pre Alpin until there is only a little fresh stuff mixed with it. Mine will happily now eat the Pre Alpin on its own. Here's a link to our little article on how to introduce new food into your tortoise's diet:
http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tort ... -new-diet/
It worthwhile having a read of it in case you need to do this with something else in future.
As you say, hopefully that sun will come out and our torts will be outdoors eating all the good stuff that is growing there.

Nina

Teddy28
Posts: 134
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Teddy28 » 10 Apr 2018, 07:19

Thanks again Nina that's a useful article and now Tortilla is a cucumber convert I can try mixing some cucumber with the Pre Alpen too. Just out of interest which Pre Alpen do you find most successful, I think the one I have (got it from Shelled Warriors website) is Pre Alpen testudo herbs. He doesn't think much of fresh herbs so i m wondering if I should try him with another of the Pre Alpen pellet?

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Nina
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Re: Temperatures again

Post by Nina » 10 Apr 2018, 08:16

Hi Teddy,

I think I've used both in the past and once I looked up the ingredients in them and they were almost exactly the same, so I don't think it matters much. When they say 'herbs', it's a German company and I don't think the definition of 'herbs' is exactly the same there. I've just had a quick look at one forum where someone reprinted the contents, and here are the ingredients from the Herbs:
Cocksfoot, amaranth, meadow fescue, dandelion, false oat grass, Yorkshire fog, Lady s mantle, English plantain, bush vetch,
cat s tail, crested dogs s tail, perennial ryegrass, Alpine meadow grass, clover, common yarrow, Lady s bedstraw, meadow fescue and many others

and here are the ingredients from the Fibre:
Cocksfoot, amaranth, meadow fescue, dandelion, false oat grass, Yorkshire fog, Lady?s mantle, English plantain, bush vetch, cat s tail, crested dog s tail, perennial ryegrass, Alpine meadow grass, clover, common yarrow, Lady s bedstraw, meadow fescue and many others, linseed oil

So they look exactly the same, except for the linseed oil. I don't know if the person who posted that got it from the Agrobs.de website or not. I've got to go out now, but I'll have a look at their website later and see if I can find anything.

Nina

laurat
Posts: 80
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Temperatures again

Post by laurat » 10 Apr 2018, 21:14

I think Vera must just be a greedy mite; when I introduced him to the Pre Alpen stuff about 3yrs ago he took to it straight away, but mind you, no matter what you put in front of him he eats AND he never takes a break, he just keeps going until his plate is empty. Anyway, he gets that solely 4-5 times a week then the other days I mix in some of the wet salad. It was only after a week or so of him starting on it that I noticed a huge difference in his physical activity and poop/wee. It’s great stuff!

And just in case your wondering Teddy why I’m calling a boy Vera ...he was a she until 2wks ago :)

Teddy28
Posts: 134
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Teddy28 » 11 Apr 2018, 07:33

Thanks Nina and Laurat, ha ha I think Vera is a great name for a boy! Torttila is definitely a boy and he s very proud of being a boy too cos he keeps showing he s a boy, funny little characters aren't they.
Thanks Nina for taking the time to list all those ingredients I will definitely continue to keep introducing pre alpen into his diet, on a selfish note it'll save me and my friend from wintery treks up the hills searching for plantain and stuff, that can be done at a more leisurely pace now rather than a 'must do' whatever the weather. I must look up Yorkshire Fog though as i have no idea what that is!!

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Nina
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Re: Temperatures again

Post by Nina » 11 Apr 2018, 08:15

LOL, I was curious about Yorkshire Fog too, as I'd never heard of it. I just looked it up and it turns out that it's a type of grass:
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/yorkshire-fog

Nina

Teddy28
Posts: 134
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Temperatures again

Post by Teddy28 » 11 Apr 2018, 22:58

Torttila already seems to be taking more interest in the Pre Alpen so i think in time we may be on to a winner. Thanks again for the tip Nina

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