Malti LOVES to eat.
She wasn’t picky when I first brought her home, but as she grows she is discovering more about what she likes best and least. This has made providing a nutritionally balanced diet a touch more challenging for her mommy.
Ideally, at least half her diet should consist of fruits and veggies. While she is still a baby, her vet has told me that the rest of her menu can consist of protein sources.
But as she gets older, her vet advises that the protein percentage should drop to around 10 percent and the fruits/veggies percentage should increase to 90 percent.
For the moment, to counteract her clear emerging preference for protein and ensure she has an overall balanced nutrient intake, I sprinkle vitamin and mineral powders on her food.
NOTE: This list focuses specifically on red-foot dietary needs.
- TNT Total Nutrition for Tortoises (Carolina Pet Supply)
- Cuttlebone for calcium with the hard outer shell/casing cut off.
- D3+Calcium supplement
- Fresh figs
- Green grapes
- Cactus pads or fruit
- Tomato (yellow or red, and only sparingly)
- Banana (every so often and only with the peel on)
- Edible flowers (hibiscus in particular)
- Clover (from the lawn).
- Sweet potato (cooked for softness)
- Carrots (cooked for softness)
- Romaine lettuce
- Fresh corn (uncooked)
- Grass (as in, from our front lawn)
- Spring mix (mixed lettuces)
- Yellow squash
- Snow peas
- Brussels sprouts leaves
- Okra rounds
- Spinach and kale (only very occasionally as they can leach calcium)
- Dandelion greens.
- Turnip greens.
- Wild-caught salmon (cooked)
- Cod (cooked)
- Tuna (cooked)
- Hard-boiled egg (whites preferred)
- Mealworms (freeze-dried for now)
- Puppy chow (dry or wet)
- The occasional fresh escargot (garden snail) found on the lawn
- Fruit seeds or pits
- Low-nutrient greens like iceberg lettuce
- Human table food (basically anything not in the categories listed above)
- Any UFO (unidentified flavorful object) found on the lawn!!
NOTE: Here is an amazing resource list of recommended munchies categorized by their calcium to phosphorus to oxalate levels (basically, the higher the calcium-to-phosphorus level, and the lower the oxalate level, the better the food is for your tort). I use this list daily. 🙂