How to Feed a Leopard Tortoise

Posted by Nancy on 3/6/2018 to Turtles, Box Turtles and Tortoises

Question:  How fast do Leopard Tortoises grow?  My tortoise is about 2 1/2 years old and only about 2 inches long.  Is he a little small for his age?  I feed him lettuce every day and an occasional strawberry.  He has a heat lamp, but no UVA/UVB light.  I take him out on sunny days to let him bask so never thought I had a problem with metabolic bone disease.  Can you give me any advice?

.Answer:  Adult Leopard Tortoise can range in size from 10-18 inches.  It sounds like your tortoise is not receiving the right nutrition to grow properly.  Lettuce is something to be included in your pet's diet, but I would recommend a pelleted juvenile tortoise food to ensure a balanced diet.  Be sure the lettuce is not iceberg as it has very little nutrition.  You should also provide a multi-greens salad several times a week.  This salad should consist of things such as carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, pumpkin, mushrooms, sweet potato, yellow squash, bell peppers, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens.  You can collect some wild foods if you are sure that the area has not been sprayed.   Some of these foods are dandelion greens and flowers, hibiscus leaves and flowers, mulberry tree leaves, grape leaves, spineless cactus pads from the Opuntia species.  At this point I would strongly recommend start supplementing your tortoise's diet with calcium with vitamin D. It would also be smart to add a UVA/UVB light above his indoor enclosure.  You should probably take your pet to a veterinarian that has a good knowledge of reptile health care.  This may prevent future problems.

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