Food

Tortoises, both land based and aquatic, need a constant supply of calcium and vitamins A and D, which are attained through their food supply. The more varied the diet, the closer it will be to natural conditions, and your tortoise is less likely to experience deficiencies.

Calcium and vitamins are sold in pet stores in the form of powder, but you can also provide calcium in the form of bone-shaped cuttlefish, crushed chicken egg shells or oyster shells.

 

Land-based tortoises

Land-based tortoises have a diet that is strictly herbivorous, even though, from time to time, they appreciate a worm, snail or insect.

In order to recreate the natural dieting conditions and to contribute to the wellbeing of your tortoise, it is necessary to feed them plants (80% of their daily ration), such as dandelion, clover, plantain, mulberries, brambles or even prickly pears (the tortoises are indifferent to the thorns).

Also, from time to time, your tortoise can eat fruit and vegetables, but no more than 10% of their daily ration.

If this balance is not respected, you may expose your animal to dietary deficiencies, which may have disastrous consequences on their organism and may sometimes prove to be fatal.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of suitable foods (meaning food with a calcium and phosphorous ratio greater than 1.5) and unsuitable foods (with a calcium and phosphorous ratio lower than 1.5 ):

To be provided regularly

To be provided occasionally

Prohibited Food

Dandelions : 2.8

Prickly pears : 96

Clover : 2.3

Chicory : 1.8

Watercress : 3.5

Dried figs : 2.1

Orange peels : 2.4

Celery stalks : 1.5

Spinach : 2.0

Cabbage (white) : 1.6

Cabbage (green) : 5.9

Kale : 2.9

Beet : 2.6

Broccoli : 3.9

Turnips : 4.8

Alfalfa : 6.1

Chard : 3.0

Belgian Chicory : 2.7

 

 

Bananas : 0.3

Grapes : 2.6

Strawberries : 0.7

Raspberries : 1.0

Melon : 0.6

Peaches : 0.4

Pears : 0.8

Apple : 0.5

Broccoli florets : 0.6

Brussels sprouts : 0.2

Sweetcorn : 0.1

Cucumber : 0.5

Moraine : 0.8

Tomato : 0.4

Carrots : 0.6

 

 

Dog or cat food

Peelings

Noodles

Ham

Rice

Bread

Cheese

Rhododendron

Rose-bay

Lily

Euphorbia

Lupin

Digitalis

Yew

Privet

Ragwort

Buttercup

Wild cherry leaves

Wood sorrel

 

 

Hermann tortoise hatchlings devouring one of their own (drowned)

WE REMIND YOU THAT A TORTOISE IN GOOD HEALTH IS A TORTOISE THAT LIVES OUTSIDE IN A GARDEN!

 

 

It is outside that tortoises will find a supply of food closer to their natural environment such as dandelion, nettles, clover and the common mallow.

Aquatic tortoises

Aquatic tortoises have a diet that is predominantly carnivorous, even though they occasionally consume aquatic plants such as water lettuce, hyacinths and water clover.

To be provided regularly

To be provided occasionally

Prohibited Food

Annelids (ring worms)

Earthworms

   

Mud worms

   

Molluscs

Snails

Slugs

Shells

Mussels

 

Insects

Crickets

Mealworms

Caterpillars

Crustaceans

Water fleas

Dried Shrimp

 

Amphibians

Tadpoles

Froglets

 

Fish

Mosquito fish

Crucian carp

Minnows

Guppys

Roach fish

Sliced salmon

 

 

Catfish

Sardines

Herring

 

Meat

 

Ox heart

Liver

Ham

Offal

Brain