Fussy Horsfield

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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Fussy Horsfield

Post by beccy_marie » 12 Mar 2018, 16:47


I have a horsfield called Theo who is a big eater when he gets going but is quite fussy...I try him with all sorts. Rose petals, pansies, mallow, herbs, kale but he really gets quite fixated on chicory & dandelions. Has anyone had success with other weeds/plants especially things that I can grow quickly or buy from the shops? The garden weeds are fairly sparse at this time of year..

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Re: Fussy Horsfield

Post by lin » 12 Mar 2018, 17:08

Hi Beccy.
Horsfields are big eaters, they do like their food. Have you read our article on on a new diet. It can be found here -http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tort ... -new-diet/
I am having nightmares today with my internet connection and this has taken ne ages to do so apologies for the short mail but hopefully Nina will be along soon to correspond faster than I can. It slips off every few seconds and I have to wait for it to catch up and is driving me mad.


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Re: Fussy Horsfield

Post by Nina » 12 Mar 2018, 20:53

Hi Beccy,

Yes, Horsfields are definitely big eaters -- and in fact you need to monitor their weight gain so that they don't grow too quickly and develop bumpy shells. We aim for an average gain of between 1g - 4g per month (but that is just average and some months they will gain more and some less).

What I do if mine are being really fussy is to cut up the new food into teeny tiny pieces, and then mix a small bit of that with the food they like (which is also cut up into teeny tiny pieces). Then you wet it all so that the pieces stick together a bit and then when Theo goes to take a bit of dandelion or something he likes, he can't help but get a piece of the new food that is stuck to it. And gradually you increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of the other food until he is eating the new food on its own (and then you can feed the other food again). That usually works.

Yes, weeds are fairly scarce at this time of year, but there is still plantain and some dandelions about, and forget-me-nots are coming up in my garden. I also have a lot of the low growing campanula and my tortoises are happy with that, plus some evening primrose leaves left from last year (not ordinary primroses, but evening primroses, which are a different plant).

From the supermarket you can feed Kale (not in great quantities, but at times like this it is very useful). There is also a salad mix called Florette Crispy and that is OK for tortoises. Like all salads it isn't the greatest thing for them, but the ingredients in that are better than most salads and again useful at this time of year.

Hope that helps, and let us know how Theo gets on.


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