Food and weight

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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Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Food and weight

Post by Amber10 » 12 May 2021, 08:22

Hi we have had Dynamite for 3 months now and he has a variety of food including plantain, dandelion, Clover, forget-me-not, mustard leaf, wild strawberry leaf, cucumber, lettuce ect and he has a strawberry every few weeks that he loves.He has nutrobal on his food . We changed his food bowl to a slate but that doesn't seem to work .
He doesn't seem to be eating much we have good scales now and he's gone from 54g to 51g . He has good light's and he's not dehydrated his wee is milky and he has been pooing.
He also has a outside enclosure for when it's sunny.
I'm not to worried about his weight. It's just the amount he's eating what do u think is a good weight for a 1 year old tortoise? And how much should he be eating

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Re: Food and weight

Post by Nina » 12 May 2021, 10:26

Hi Amber -- great to hear from you!

I remember when you got Dynamite and it sounds like he is doing pretty well with you -- just a few eating issues, but he's well hydrated and that is great.

I think I remember that you said when you got him (in March?), he weighed 55g, so he should have put on a few grams of weight by now. However, different scales have a margin of error (especially on low weights), so if the drop in weight is on a different set of scales then that might account for it. As long as he is eating and pooing (lol, if he is pooing then he must have been eating), then he is probably OK.

One thing that can have a big effect on appetite is light and temperature. You said the lights are fine, but what is your temperature directly under the light and at the height of Dynamite's shell (it must be measured this way and not with a thermometer on a nearby wall)? You are aiming for around 30C (not too much higher) directly under the lamp and about 20C at the cool end. We have been having some unusually cold weather recently and if your room is cooler then that can have an effect on the temperature in the table, so when it is cooler you need to lower the heat lamp a bit to increase the temperature, and when it's warmer you need to raise the lamp so that it isn't too hot in the table.

51g isn't a bad weight for a one-year-old Hermann's, but do keep monitoring it and let us know how he is doing. Does he like being outdoors in the sunlight? The UVB from the sun is really good for them, so hopefully our weather will improve and we'll have more warm sunny days soon.

Regarding the amount he is eating - a simple guideline is enough leaves, flowers, etc. to make a little blanket or jacket that would cover his shell, once a day -- but that is a very rough guideline and I would say it is better to follow the guideline that you should aim for him to put on an average of 1g - 3g per month (that's just an average and some months he will gain more and some less).


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