Rock biting

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Starsks
Posts: 25
Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

Rock biting

Post by Starsks » 17 Jun 2020, 15:04

Hi
Starsky and Hutch have taken to chewing on a rock
They only do it in the outside enclosure
The are happy little tortoises 9 months old and they even come when called !
They have a cuttlefish in the enclosure, vitamin substitute when indoors longer than 3 days
Weight is steady and normal for age
They do this for a substantial amount of time with earnest
Just wondering if anyone knew why ?
All food is home grown and very varied they get a bath every other day
Wee and poo is normal
Shell normal
Mouth appears normal not overgrown or anything ?
Many thanks for any advice
Starsks

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Nina
Posts: 1458
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Rock biting

Post by Nina » 17 Jun 2020, 15:23

Hi Starsks,

What colour is the rock -- I'll bet it's white. Tortoises do have a penchant for eating white rocks. Some people think that they mistake them for old snail shells that have been bleached white in the sun, and are a good source of calcium. The cuttlefish in the enclosure is good -- do they nibble on it? If they don't then you might want to leave it outside in the rain and elements for a month or so (till it is beginning to look all horrible), and then they will probably devour it. Or you can scrape some of the cuttlefish onto wet leaves that you are feeding them. What is the vitamin subtitute (Nutrobal is the best one), and is it high in calcium?

I think they actually sound fine and your husbandry seems good too, so I don't think there's a problem. One of mine took a liking to the mortar in a brick wall that was bordering his enclosure once, so they do occasionally do that, and as long as they are getting a good supply of calcium in various forms I don't think you need to worry.

Nina
P.S. Did you mean to post this in the News, Announcements and Events section? Might have been better in the General Tortoise Care or Diet and Nutrition section, as people will probably miss it here.

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