We’re going to give you a little information about this. This is actually a desert tortoise, but it’s an African desert tortoise. It’s called the sacccate, or it’s also known as an African Spur-thighed Tortoise, is it’s other name.
- /A little fact about this one here, is, this is the third largest tortoise in the world, outside the Aldabra, and the Galapagos.
- /This particular species can live over two hundred years and max out at about two hundred and fifty pounds. This is a seven year old. This particular one is a rescue.
- /And if you look at the back of his shell here, this indentation, this is like a metabolic bone disease and the problem with this is they didn’t give him the proper diet and he should have a perfectly rounded, smooth, flat shell shouldn’t have a divit in there.
This is some of the problems that people, when they get these animals, they don’t have enough general information from pet stores to give them the proper diet and it causes deformities like this. Sometimes they’re real severe. This one’s not real bad. He’s actually smoothing out a little bit, but that will be permanent damage for him.
Turtle Food Facts
We’re going to go over some turtle food habits and diets that they have to have depending upon the species. We’ll give you a little information real quick on what most of them do prefer. If it’s a land tortoise, depending upon if it’s a box turtle, they like to eat wild crickets, earthworms, they will eat wild grasses, wild berries. If it’s a tortoise, which is a desert species, they eat the cactus, the prickly pear fruit, they’ll actually eat the beaver tail cactus itself, wild grasses and sometimes they will eat insects. Depending upon, once again, on the species, you have to know what species you have and then you can get the exact information on what they do need to eat.
The most important thing is to make sure that these guys do have the UV lights for simulated sunlight if you keep them in the house, because they cannot get any UV rays in the home. So you have to give them imitation to make their actual shells stay hard, or they can have a metabolic bone disease problem, or the shell gets soft and mushy, like a grape. Most of your tortoises and box turtles are herbivores and they will feed on different salad mixes. So, we have a variety of leafy greens. We’ve got Kale, and carrots, and romaine, maybe a little bit of spinach, a little bit of cabbage, not too much. These are for tortoises.
Another thing that a lot of the tortoises are going to eat are different grasses. Now, of course, having native grasses outside is the best way to feed them but you have to do a back up to do a backup source in the house, this Bermuda grass works out very well for tortoises and then for our water turtles, some of them will eat fish, but a lot of them will eat turtle pellets. This is one of the brands called ReptoMin. There’s another brand called Missouri that works very good. Missouri makes aquatic foods, they make tortoise foods, and the Missouri brands are very good foods for turtles. A lot of your land turtles, like your box turtles will eat earthworms and crickets. So, you want to give them a variety. Do a lot of research on what your turtles eat and give them variety, don’t just stick with one thing. But feeding turtles can be work.