Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

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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Bhavpatel92
Posts: 1
Joined: 24 Dec 2017, 13:25

Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by Bhavpatel92 » 24 Dec 2017, 13:31

Hi All,

Just signed up so this is my first post. I picked up my 5-6 month old horse field tortoise today and I am over the moon. He seems to be really happy in his new Tortoise table.

Just have a quick question on regards to supplements:
I have bought cuttle fish to stay in the tortoise table for whenever he wants it.
I have bought calcium powder off shelled warriors: https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/CALCIUM-CARBON ... mwBanner=1

Is it right to sprinkle this onto all food 6/7 times a week. On the 7th day would it be good to sprinkle nutrobal? Just want the tort to be happy and healthy.

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Bhav

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Nina
Posts: 830
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by Nina » 24 Dec 2017, 13:48

Hi Bhav and welcome to The Tortoise Table! How exciting to get your Horsefield (I keep Horsfields and they are a great species with lots of personality!).

I'm so glad that you got a tortoise table for him too, and not a vivarium -- he's off to a good start.

The cuttlefish in his table is fine, although you might find that he won't eat it unless it's been sitting outside in the wind and rain for a month or two. -- some torts will and some won't. The calcium powder on his food is good too, but I think I would alternate days with the calcium carbonate and Nutrobal. Nutrobal is calcium carbonate with the addition of some vitamins -- especially Vitamin D3 which enables the tortoise to metabolise the calcium -- some torts like Nutrobal and some hate it (I have to trick mine into eating it) -- and for a small tortoise you only use a tiny pinch of it.

What's his name? It would be great to see a photo of him (we never get tired of looking at photos of tortoises!

Nina




Bhavpatel92 wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> Just signed up so this is my first post. I picked up my 5-6 month old horse
> field tortoise today and I am over the moon. He seems to be really happy in
> his new Tortoise table.
>
> Just have a quick question on regards to supplements:
> I have bought cuttle fish to stay in the tortoise table for whenever he
> wants it.
> I have bought calcium powder off shelled warriors:
> https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/CALCIUM-CARBON ... mwBanner=1
>
> Is it right to sprinkle this onto all food 6/7 times a week. On the 7th day
> would it be good to sprinkle nutrobal? Just want the tort to be happy and
> healthy.
>
> Any advice would be really appreciated.
>
> Thank you
>
> Bhav

ShelbyTheTortoise
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 22:44

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by ShelbyTheTortoise » 15 Apr 2018, 22:55

Apologies, if this isn't the correct way to use this forum. I wasn't sure to start a new thread or reply to this previous conversation as it's the most closely related to my query...? Here goes...just wondering if it's ok to only offer Nutrobal to our new almost one year old Hermann, Shelby or whether I need pure calcium carbonate too? I really think she/ he dislikes the Nutrobal unfortunately and that's with just a teeny bit blown onto the wet food. I was wondering whether calcium carbonate might be more palatable for her? Thanks for your advice. Natacha

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Nina
Posts: 830
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by Nina » 16 Apr 2018, 10:08

Hi Natacha, and welcome to The Tortoise Table,

You can start a new thread or continue on this one -- no problem.
Tortoises not liking Nutrobal is a really common problem. Mine don't like the taste of it either. I can usually get them to eat it by smearing a little bit on a very thin slice of cucumber (with the skin peeled off), and then folding that slice like a sandwich so that the Nutrobal is inside it, and feeding it by hand. Sometimes they will eat it sprinkled on food now, but in the beginning they wouldn't touch it unless it was hidden inside a 'cucumber sandwich'.. Someone told me that if you keep it in the fridge it smells less bad to them, but I'm not sure. And don't forget the quantities that you give are small -- I think the directions say one pinch per kg of weight of the tortoise.

The thing is that Nutrobal isn't only just calcium -- it also has vitamins and especially vitamin D3, which is essential for a tortoise to absorb and use the calcium in its diet (and with all that shell and bone they need a lot of calcium). Do you live in the UK? If you live in a country further south than the UK, and if your tortoise is outdoors most of the time, then the sun is the best provider of UVB that helps to provide the necessary D3,and you probably don't need that extra D3 in Nutrobal, but if you live in the UK, and the tortoise is indoors a lot, then our UVB lights that we use are good, but not perfect, so an extra supplement is necessary.

I also leave a cuttlefish bone in the tortoise table for them to nibble on at will (you buy these at pet shops where they sell them for budgies). But I also buy limestone flour (obtainable at horse feed suppliers and other places online -- I can give you links if you want), and pure calcium carbonate flour that I sprinkle on the food on food on days when I don't use Nutrobal. These other things like cuttlefish bone, limestone flour and pure calcium carbonate powder will all provide calcium, but not Vitamin D3. Try tricking Shelby with the little sandwich idea and see what happens. If that doesn't work, come back and we'll try and think of something else!

Nina

ShelbyTheTortoise
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 22:44

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by ShelbyTheTortoise » 16 Apr 2018, 15:45

Hi Nina

That's really helpful, thank you! So basically Nutrobal is the best option as it gives lots of good things but only give it once a week? Shelby has a cuttlefish in her table that today I've actually broken up a bit which has definitely encouraged her to nibble on it! Would Nutrobal (tiny pinch, once week) and cuttlefish (always available) be ok? Assuming I trick her into taking the Nutrobal! Your cucumber sandwich sounds like a great idea! I'll let you know how it goes.

I live in Oxfordshire so yes, definitely need all those valuable vitamins!

Thanks again

Natacha

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Nina
Posts: 830
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by Nina » 16 Apr 2018, 18:44

Hi Natacha,

I would give Nutrobal every other day if possible, for a young one like yours -- just a tiny pinch, and on the days you don't give Nutrobal then I would sprinkle limestone flour or pure calcium carbonate on the food (torts usually will happily eat the limestone flour or calcium carbonate). Do let me know how the cucumber sandwich goes -- make it paper thin so that it folds easily and isn't too thick for her to bite into.

I live in Oxfordshire too -- in Oxford. Depending on where you live in the county we have two fantastic tortoise vets -- one in Oxford and one in Chipping Norton, so if you don't already have a good tortoise vet (and it's really important that your vet is qualified to treat 'exotics'), then let me know and I'll give you some links.

Nina

ShelbyTheTortoise
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 22:44

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by ShelbyTheTortoise » 16 Apr 2018, 19:15

Hi Nina

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. I live in Banbury, in Cherwell Heights so either Oxford or Chipping Norton vet recommendations would be really helpful, thank you.

Could you give me some advice on something that's happened this evening? I've just been to check on her and she has partially buried herself in the substrate. In such a way that only her shell is visible. Maybe she's simply fallen asleep? The only reason I'm querying/ worried about is that she normally (well since we got her on Friday) sleeps in her flowerpot every night plus we have yet to turn her light off? [attachment=0]STT.jpg[/attachment]

Thanks again

Natacha

P.S.
Pink storage box only in use until lovely large wooden is constructed soon!
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STT.jpg

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 830
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by Nina » 16 Apr 2018, 21:30

Aww, that is a tortoise doing what comes naturally! Tortoises do love to bury themselves, and if your substrate is deep enough they will bury themselves completely (which is scary because you think they have escaped). She probably has fallen asleep -- and young tortoises sleep a lot. Indoors mine take themselves off to bed about 4 p.m., sometimes earlier (outdoors they stay up later). And no matter how beautiful a little bedroom you make them you can't guarantee where they will choose to sleep. So nothing to worry about at all.

If you go to our list of UK Vets https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... s-by-area/ and scroll down to Oxfordshire, you will see the details of the two vet practices. The person you want to see at the Chipping Norton surgery is Martin Whitehead, and the person you want to see at the Iffley Road Vets in Oxford is Bruce Maclean. They are both fantastic tortoise vets and I can recommend them highly. When you do go, it's a good idea to take a fresh sample of poo with you, so it can be analysed for parasites like worms (which are easily treated if necessary), and you can keep a sample in a sealed container in the fridge for a day or two if necessary.

Take care, and looking forward to seeing the lovely new wooden enclosure you're making for her!

Nina

ShelbyTheTortoise
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 22:44

Re: Supplements - Calcium Power and Nutrobal

Post by ShelbyTheTortoise » 16 Apr 2018, 21:41

Phew! Thanks a million for the reassurance! And thank you for the vet names and tips!

I will definitely be in touch again with pictures :-)

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