It has long been recognised that the methods of providing food for tortoises from the supermarket (lettuce, tomatoes etc) is not a good diet – weed gathering has become the norm for most tortoise keepers. There are many weeds that are suitable as feed for tortoises, all should be washed and taken from areas free from pesticides.
Recommended basic food plants:
• Dandelion (Taraxacum officianale)
• Hawkbits (Leontodon spp.)
• Sowthistles (Sonchus spp.)
• Hawkweeds (Pictis spp.)
• Hawkbeards (Crepis spp.)
• Plantains (Plantago spp.)
• Clovers (Trifolium spp.)
• Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
• Cat’s ears (Hypochoeris spp.)
• Vetches (Vicina spp.)
• Trefoils (Lotus spp.)
• Mallows (Malva spp.)
• Bindweeds (Calystegia spp.)
• Sedums (Sedum spp.)
• Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis)
Products like Zoo Meds Tortoise Toppers are to be used to supplement this diet even further, they are an excellent source of fibre and consist of dried Blue Cornflower, Chamomile Flower, Blue Mallow Flower, Red Cornflower and Rose Petal. Sprinkled on the top of their daily offerings of weeds this addition will provide further variety, fibre and has been observed to provide enrichment and increased activity as the tortoises forage for the petals. We have used Toppers for a wide variety of species of tortoises such as Horsfields, Pancake, Marginated, Leopard, Greek, Hingeback, Hermann’s, Star, Red Foot, African Spurred (Sulcata) and Box Turtles.
Much can be said the same for herbivorous and omnivorous species of lizards such as Uromastyx, Green Iguanas and Bearded Dragons. The benefits of using a dried food sprinkled on top of fresh is definitely a major benefit. The lizard version has Chamomile Flower , Pink Cornflower, Red Clover Flower, Rose Petals and Sunflower Petals.