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Plant Terrestrial plant Groundcover Grass Flowering plant

Plant Leaf Flower Leaf vegetable Food

Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Flower Groundcover

Plant Leaf Groundcover Flowering plant Annual plant

Does anybody know if any of these weeds are suitable for a Horsefield tortoise please?

Been branching out on m weed walks and trying new sports, could not identify any of these but curious to see what they are and if they are suitable.
Plant Terrestrial plant Flowering plant Groundcover Annual plant

Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover Flowering plant
 

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No, neither are suitable. Horsfield tortoises are usually underground now until March when there will be suitable weeds around. The last pic shows dandelions (edible) next to a toxic plant. Can I suggest you buy Linda Kings book which gives excellent illustrations and descriptions. You can get it here www.tortoises.net
 

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Does anybody know if any of these weeds are suitable for a Horsefield tortoise please?

Been branching out on m weed walks and trying new sports, could not identify any of these but curious to see what they are and if they are suitable.
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Try going to www.tortoises.net for great info on weeds suitable for tortoises. Written by Lin King well know in the tortoise world for her research into plants for tortoises. She has also done a lot of field work:0)
 

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^pretty sure this one is a willowherb.

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^pretty sure this one is a geum.

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^pretty sure this one is a buddleia.

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^this is herb robert.

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^common ivy. Toxic.

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^ragwort or groundsel top (I struggle to tell them apart without flowers, but either way, both are toxic), dandelion bottom.

I've been on a lot of forager groups and I always end up leaving because people have got such a desperation to try to eat things that they can't identify. If you can't identify common ivy, you've got a long way to go before you can start feeding your tortoise anything you're picking. Common ivy is a really, really easy one, there's nothing you can confuse it with and it's not edible at all.

Start off with dandelion leaves that are smooth (not hairy). That'll be the easiest one to start out foraging for.

Or stick to shop bought salad leaves that are labelled. If you struggle with identifying weeds it's not worth killing a tortoise over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies, really appreciate it. I have ordered that book and its fantastic.

And appreciate your concern but I grow 14 different types of succulent, weeds and flowers for my Horsefield and he has dandelion and sow thistle regularly, I was curious what these weeds were as they grow near me does not mean I would ever feed my tort anything without knowing exactly what it is before.
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies, really appreciate it. I have ordered that book and its fantastic.

And appreciate your concern but I grow 14 different types of succulent, weeds and flowers for my Horsefield and he has dandelion and sow thistle regularly, I was curious what these weeds were as they grow near me does not mean I would ever feed my tort anything without knowing exactly what it is before.
Do remember that the natural lifecycle of a horsfield is less than 6 months of feeding per year, so to avoid deformities, if not hibernating then very little feeding is required over winter.......sufficient to keep weight static with no gain whatsoever. 12 monthly feeding is a mistake made by many, the results of which cannot be reversed 😉 Their requirements are not the same as say hermanni, graeca etc
 

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Sue,

could you please comment on feeding of adult hermanni, over winter but not in hibernation ?

The lighting is still on and ceramics providing a hot spot of c29C, room temperatures at c20C. The tortoises are largely inactive and in their hides with the short day length and ambient temperatures being lower than in summer. On slightly warmer and brighter days they are out and about and I am still offering food, mainly bought rocket but also plantains and dandelions when I can find them, with a dusting of neutrobal every third feed. Essentially they are eating a small meal two or three times per week. Does this sound ok to you ?
 

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Same as for horsfield. Weigh monthly and be sure there is no weight gain until spring. By far the healthiest way though is to hibernate, especially whilst still growing. Supplements should be given at each feed, not periodically, as the intention is to boost general intake.
 

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We recently moved to Orkney and I judge that the conditions here are quite tricky for natural hibernation. The winter temperatures are overall very mild and variable, to say the least. Whilst we have outbuildings the rat population is a menace and it would be hard to obtain stable low temperatures.:)
 

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I can understand your fears, but even at subzero temps, underground temps remain stable. Here we have had freezing ground temps this year but my underground temps have not gone below 7.6 so far. Try doing some experiments with probes alone, you would be surprised. Obviously in UK we need greenhouse protection from unexpected rain fall. Feel free to PM for my logger recordings from last year.
 
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