Weight Gain

This forum covers all aspects of tortoise diet and nutrition, including mineral and vitamin supplementation and foods appropriate for different species.
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EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 21 Mar 2017, 13:38

Hello all, loving the new website!

I wondered whether you can give me some advice please.

My two Horsfields (Alderman and Ptolemy) are around the same age but different sizes. A is 133g and P is 221g.

They get a good weed diet with the very occasional addition of kale or lambs lettuce. Alderman seems to gain about 1-3g a month if that but Ptolemy gains a lot more than that, sometimes 7g a week! Although Ptolemy is slightly larger, I still only feed him/her the same amount as Alderman but s/he is still gaining the weight and I would like advice on whether you think I should feed her less, or is there a "diet weed" which would fill her up but not put the weight on lol like plain garden grass). I always give a blanket amount and nothing else during the day. All the plants in their tables are tortoise friendly but inedible - by that I mean rosemary, thyme etc etc - safe but yuk tasting - so I know that Ptolemy is not feeding ad lib.

They were both found to have a high pinworm count back in the autumn and were treated with panacur. When retested Alderman was clear but Ptolemy still had an "amber" count. My vet said that as I was not hibernating this year, this worm burden was acceptable and he suggested I retested Ptolemy in March and rewormed if necessary. I sent a sample to wormcount yesterday so I will have my results back soon, but in the interim I wondered whether the worms could be having an effect on her weight? She always cleans her slate whereas Alderman always leaves her plantain!

PS they are in separate tables and will have separate outdoor enclosures too so hopefully she will burn off the extra weight when she goes outside.

Any thoughts/advice would be gratefully received. Thanks as always.

Emma
(Aka Bluekinder)

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Nina
Posts: 254
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2017, 14:15

Hi Emma,

Great to hear from you and I'm so glad that you like the site.

Well, until your P.S. I was going to say that it could be that Ptolemy is just taking more of the food that is put down than Alderman is -- but as they are in separate tables that can't be the case!
It is a huge difference between say, 3g p.m. for Alderman and around 30g p.m. for Ptolemy! Are you sure they are getting the same amount of food? I suppose a worm load could have an effect, but I think that what often happens (I could be wrong) is that the worms make a tortoise feel full, so he eats less.

The inedible plants are sometimes eaten (I had a rosemary plant in a pot in Doris's enclosure and I came home one afternoon to find the pot tipped over and the plant completely eaten -- but that is unusual and anyway you would notice of your plants in the table disappeared!

It's a mystery to me, but let's see what others have to say.

Nina

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 21 Mar 2017, 14:26

Thanks for coming back to me Nina.

I know it will sound funny but I have two hand drawn templates on a piece of paper roughly the size of of their shells and I cover that with weeds. This gets used every day (trying so hard not to overfeed lol) so they are consistently getting the same amount every day. Also when dishing out the food I always say to myself, one cats ear for Alderman and one for Ptolemy, one plantain for Alderman etc etc so they always get the same. Then if I think Ptolemy has larger leaves, I swap them! Things we do :D

Emma

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Nina
Posts: 254
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2017, 14:52

LOL -- snap! I don't have the template of the shell, but I definitely do the 'one plantain leaf for Doris, one for Dolly, one sowthistle leave for Doris and one for Dolly,' etc. I think we are both a bit over the top in that way :shock: What is puzzling is the one tortoise is gaining almost ten times what the other is gaining onthe same diet. Not sure what to say, but hopefully someone else will have an idea.
Nina

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 22 Mar 2017, 08:18

Just a quick update - Ptolemy's worm count is clear (cheer).

I've also double checked my temps and they are both 30-31C air temp at shell height (I used two probes [paranoid]).

Thank you.

Emma

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 22 Mar 2017, 09:34

I will try and attach two photos. I think I have been overfeeding ( :o the shame). One photo shows what I was going to feed, the other shows a stricter me.
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IMG_1158.JPG (244.45 KiB) Viewed 1490 times
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IMG_1157.JPG (259.86 KiB) Viewed 1490 times

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 22 Mar 2017, 09:35

The bottom picture is before - the first is the after.

Emma

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Nina
Posts: 254
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2017, 11:00

Hi Emma,

LOL -- Before and after what? Eating? I didn't think the amount looked too bad, but actually if they only weigh just over 130g and 220g, maybe it is a bit much, I really don't know. Try reducing Ptolemy's amount for a week or so and see what happens. Hopefully one of the others will come on with some ideas.

Nina

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 22 Mar 2017, 11:15

Nina,

Thanks for coming back to me. I'll let you know how I get on with the diet.

(Re the photos "before" is what I had prepared to feed them this morning - "after" is when I reduced the amount thinking the "before" was too much. Sorry I should have explained properly the first time round, but I'd only at this stage had one cup of coffee lol.)

Thanks once again.

Emma

Daisy221
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 May 2017, 12:06

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Daisy221 » 09 May 2017, 12:16

Hello there! its really effective ?

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 09 May 2017, 12:26

Sorry, what Is really effective?

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lin
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Weight Gain

Post by lin » 09 May 2017, 12:27

Hello Daisy.
Can you say what it is you think is really effective.

Lin

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Teddy28 » 20 May 2017, 10:15

Hi Emma
I read your posts from a couple of months back about Ptolemy's weight gain and just wondered how his weight is going, since cutting back his food quantities? My 8 year old has been maintaining a steady weight then put on a lot in last couple of weeks (10g) so i'm maybe overfeeding him. He loves plantain which is great as its in ready supply for us

EmmaM
Posts: 8
Joined: 21 Mar 2017, 13:11

Re: Weight Gain

Post by EmmaM » 20 May 2017, 12:16

Hello!

I have cut back a bit but she is still gaining weight. I think I will have to start giving her half, and then a leaf or two later on. Her food was gone in 10 minutes this morning! I have the opposite problem with my other one. She hasn't lost weight but she did not eat for weeks. Oral antibiotics failed in their administration - you try holding a small wriggling tortoise still and then hold its head, then open its mouth, and then depress the syringe lol! She's now starting to pick up and eats if handfed, but she is now on 72hr antibiotic injections. They like to test us lol!

Emma

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Nina
Posts: 254
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Nina » 20 May 2017, 13:11

Ooh, sorry to hear that the first course of antibiotics were difficult, Emma, but I do hope these work.

Re the weight gains -- mine sometimes have terribly high weight gains -- especially when they first go out and there are lots of nice things in their enclosure -- but don't forget that it's just an average weight gain of between 1g and 3g or 4g per month, and that is averaged over the year. All we can do is our best, and we all struggle with keeping the portions down (lol, I struggle to keep my own portions down, let alone those for the tortoises)!

Nina

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Teddy28 » 21 May 2017, 20:10

Thanks Emma, thanks Nina. Good advice and I hope the antibiotic injections work, I don't envy you the task of oral administration - they certainly can wriggle can't they!!
I weighed my little chap again this morning and his weight is 2g down on yesterday so i guess it's just fluctuations. He's also pooing a lot, or at least a lot more than when he first arrived 8 weeks ago, even though his change in environment didn't seem to affect his appetite.
Photo attached (hopefully) of him polishing off a sprig of corn salad[attachment=0]20170514_172816-1_resized.jpg[/attachment]
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20170514_172816-1_resized.jpg

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lin
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Weight Gain

Post by lin » 21 May 2017, 21:15

Oh, thats an adorable Photo of him and he looks to be really enjoying the little snack.

Your probably right about the weight loss being him getting rid of the excess baggage he has been carrying around with him - :lol: He seems to be doing well as you have only had him for 8 weeks. Well done.
Lin

Teddy28
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 May 2017, 10:57

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Teddy28 » 27 May 2017, 13:51

Hi Emma
Just wondering how Alderman is getting on, is her appetite improved?

wordsdoctorate
Posts: 1
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 11:50

Re: Weight Gain

Post by wordsdoctorate » 25 Sep 2017, 11:52

Hi Friends,
I am new to this forum, happy to join here.
Thanks for your information. :)

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Nina
Posts: 254
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weight Gain

Post by Nina » 25 Sep 2017, 17:10

Hi Wordsdoctorate (sorry, I don't know your real name), and welcome to The Tortoise Table!
We're here to answer any questions you might have or just chat about tortoises. Why not start a new thread and tell us about your tortoise (or tortoises) -- it's always nice to welcome new friends and learn about them.

Nina



wordsdoctorate wrote:
> Hi Friends,
> I am new to this forum, happy to join here.
> Thanks for your information. :)

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