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Dandelions never fail!
Posted: 17/03/2012 by DavidWYork

So, last week my mature torts all woke up, 2 were feeding within 24 hours. One, , a large female was slower to respond this time. I had given all of them 20ml of very  weak blackcurrent juice, by syringe. Still she turned her nose up at mixed salad, cucumber and finely chopped fresh grass...that usually works. Then, she responded. I found half a dozen dandelion flowers and she was away like a good 'un! The yellow flowers are almost always a guarantee for success. Within an hour of eating those she was eating like the rest.

In spite of much advice to the contrary, I always start the year with cucumber, mixed salad and chopped tomatoes. This is a really tempting mixture which rehydrates them rapidly, and is easy to dose with lime flour and vitamins. By easter, they will be on almost 100% wild picked weeds.

What do others do? I am always keen to hear of new or better methods of tortoise husbandry. I am open to persuasion, despite the fact that I have used this early routine for over 40 years.

Next job is to re-cover their cloche with new pvc, and await the warmer days. They are roaming today, but only after 3 hours under heat lamps inside.

Anyone out there with reluctant feeders, chop food, add dandelion flowers to give it a really tempting aroma...imagine waking up to the small of newly baked bread.

Please do post a query if you are worried, or struggling, with post hibernation issues, there is always help available...24 hours can make all the difference in restoring a sickly tortoise. Good luck everyone.

David nr York.

Re: Dandelions never fail!
Posted: 18/03/2012 by tortoise7

Hi David
Wow lots of advice there, I take it the weak blackcurrent juice is for a good source of vit.C? never heard that one before, but obviously it works, so will take a note of that. Yes I find the cucumber a good tempter at first, as you say rehydrates but gets their gastric fluids going, and of course the magical dandy flower heads, I get so excited when I first spot them, I run home so proud that I have hunted down these gems for my Keya & Molly Ha Ha.
I am using cloches for the first time this year, hoping this will keep them out side more than inside under their lamps
Will give a separate post with my outdoor progress so far

Re: Dandelions never fail!
Posted: 09/05/2012 by alibannani

Hello Dave and Jane,
So interesting to hear that dandyliions are such a favorite with tortoises in general. Mine (three year old girl called Ifutu) cant get to them quick enough! Also clover flowers when they're out. She loves dandylions but i am worried sometimes that she doesn't have a very varied diet although she does get any edible weeds we can find.
We live in the countryside so food shouldn't be too hard to find, i'm just worried i'll give her something toxic by mistake. are there any other firm favorites with yours that i can try her on?
I'm so thrilled i've found this site... am a first time owner. she was my 18th birthday present (i have a very generous brother) and i'm really worried that i'll make her poorly.
Alex & Ifutu

Re: Dandelions never fail!
Posted: 26/05/2012 by victoriataylor5

Hi Alex

I've just found out that my baby loves Campanula . I was told this by a very experienced tort keeper. Also Sydney (my tort) loves nasturtium, petunias, sow thistle and her favourite of all is Chickweed. Try some out on your tort as she may like some of them as well. Hope it helps ?!?

Vicky & Sydney. X


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