Replanting and growing

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MandiG
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Oct 2019, 10:45

Replanting and growing

Post by MandiG » 28 Oct 2019, 10:56

Hi, I’m the new owner of a tiny (3 month old) Hermann’s tortoise at the moment Speedy is eating mostly dandelion, s/he is starting to eat the tortoise food we have and today has tried budlia, I tried her with Plantain but she didn’t seem to like it! I have violas in a hanging basket, they were re-planted from a supermarket in September, the flowers on them are all new growth (the originals were used on a wedding cake!) would these be safe? I didn’t rinse off the original soil.
Also is it safe to grow seeds in compost?
Thank you!

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Nina
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Replanting and growing

Post by Nina » 28 Oct 2019, 11:19

Hi MandiG, and congratulations on getting your little Hermann's (I'll bet he is gorgeous)!

New flowers on your violas should be OK, as any insecticide sprayed on the plant before it reached the supermarket would have affected existing growth only. How pretty those original flowers must have looked on the wedding cake!

You can certainly grow seeds in compost, but it is best not to use a multipurpose compost as that will be too high in fertiliser, so a seed-growing compost, like John Innes no. 1 would be fine. Or if you are using a topsoil/playsand mix as a substrate (which is what we recommend), you can use that, and just mix it with a bit of multipurpose compost (if you have some already), as that will mean the fertiliser content isn't that high.

When you say that she is starting to eat the tortoise food you have, do you mean fresh plant material or pellets of some sort? We really don't advise giving most pellets as they are usually too high in protein and carbohydrates, but there are one or two that are OK.

Tortoises are so funny and particular in their eating habits (one of mine loves the long narrow leaf plantain, but doesn't like the round leaved one). To encourage your tortoise to eat a wider diet, you can cut up the new food into teeny tiny pieces, cut up a food he likes (like dandelions) into teeny tiny pieces, and wet them both and them mix them together, first having only a small amount of the new food in the mixture, and then gradually increasing it. When he goes for a bit of dandelion leaf he will get some of the other food as well as it will be sticking to the dandelion leaves. Here is our article on introducing a new diet: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... bbNKdXgq9s
You probably already have a care sheet for Hermanns, but in case you don't, here is a link to one.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any more questions.

Nina

MandiG
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Oct 2019, 10:45

Re: Replanting and growing

Post by MandiG » 28 Oct 2019, 12:44

Thanks for your reply, I’ll give her some flowers! The food is Prorep Tortoise food. It’s the round leaf plantain in our garden! I like your idea of mixing it up, I’ll give that a try. I found some forget me not so I’ll try that later!
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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Replanting and growing

Post by Nina » 28 Oct 2019, 22:30

What a sweet looking little tortoise! Great picture and thanks so much for sending it (lol, and do send more as we never get tired of looking at photos of cute tortoises)!

I've had a look in various places, but I can't find the protein content of your ProRep Tortoise Food. Does it say on the container what the protein content is (in percentage)? I have found on the ProRep website that it says that it is low in protein and high in fibre, which is good though, so it's probably not so bad, but I would keep it as a minor part of his diet and try to make the main part a wide variety of fresh food. The problem with pellets is that they are sometimes flavoured with various things to make them particularly attractive to tortoises and then they reject fresh food, so just be aware of that.

Nina

MandiG
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Oct 2019, 10:45

Re: Replanting and growing

Post by MandiG » 29 Oct 2019, 09:37

[attachment=0]A08DC870-33F5-42D0-9D3D-7115CB0A694D.jpeg[/attachment][attachment=1]462347D2-6F8B-4ACC-A438-42874FDD8AF6.jpeg[/attachment][attachment=2]F030F07D-B957-488E-95BC-105231F92917.jpeg[/attachment]
Here is the info on the tub. So it’s 8.834% protein. To be fair she’s eating mostly fresh and about two mouthfuls of this. I have reptavite powder to so that is sprinkled on the fresh food she also has calcium stones. She seem very active and guzzles down dandelions and multi leaf lettuce, she also likes the viola flowers!
Mandi
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Nina
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Re: Replanting and growing

Post by Nina » 29 Oct 2019, 12:09

The protein content is fairly low, so that's not too bad, but I'm not that happy about the high alfalfa content (see our alfalfa entry), and also flour and maize. Still, I think this will be OK if you continue to feed it as only a small part of the diet. I had some of it to test several years ago, and I didn't like the sharp bits (a bit like hard straw), as I think it would be difficult for a small tortoise to eat those and also wasn't sure if there was a risk of the sharp points of some of the hard bits scratching an eye. But as a minor part of the diet it will add variety should be OK. Thanks for the photos!

Nina

MandiG
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Oct 2019, 10:45

Re: Replanting and growing

Post by MandiG » 29 Oct 2019, 17:55

Thanks for your replies!

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