Table of Contents Show
Having or keeping a tortoise can be a pleasurable experience. Keeping a tortoise presents little challenges as regards feeding them. They can live long and healthy lives without much of your help.
In a well-fixed environment, the tortoise will live fine with not much quantity of food.
In properly keeping a tortoise, it is quite important to know that a couple of elements affect how long a tortoise can last without food. Age, length of time the tortoise last ate, its size, species, and the availability of water can all contribute to the duration of time the tortoise could stay without food.
Also, due to some species’ ability to hole up or hibernate, the need for food and feeding is significantly reduced.
Commonly, the tortoise can, on average, last for 3 months without food. Some can last for about 6 months. There are very few occasions observed especially in adults to last about 3 years without food.
With that in mind, you may wish to go away and leave your tortoise without food, say for more than one weekend. However, even though the tortoise can stay for long periods without food, it is actually not ideal for their health and general well-being.
Most of the time, you may not know that your tortoise is starving or how to go about its feeding. Well, let’s take a look at some signs your tortoise may present due to starvation. Read on.
Signs That Your Tortoise Is Starving
Just like every other animal and/or pet, your tortoise can show certain signs that they are starving. When your tortoise is starving, you will see it circling and moving frequently to its food bowl, anticipating and waiting for you.
Also, if you find your tortoise eating leftover leaves or dead leaves in its cage, it shows that it is starving and that it can no longer wait for you.
When your tortoise desperately scratches the wall of its enclosure close to its food bowl, it is a sign that it is starving and it calls on your attention to either feed it or allows it to go out and fend for itself.
What To Do When Your Tortoise Is Starving
You may become worried that your tortoise is starving. This may, out of worry and desperation, make you feed it with unwanted foods such as dried leaves, peas, beans, and some poisonous plants.
In saving your tortoise from starvation, it does not require much stress on what to feed them. Varieties of foods to choose from for your tortoise will give you an easy way out.
As a rule, one of the primary things to do is to take away any uneaten leftovers to avoid health issues. You can quickly feed it homegrown or in-your-yard grown fresh foods and plants.
Different vegetables that are chemical-free, many kinds of cabbage, and mushrooms are good foods with a high level of nutritional content that are beneficial to your starving tortoise.
Also, you can get some pre-made commercial tortoise foods that are readily available in some stores. These pre-made foods are more like fast foods. They may not be nutritious but they might save you the time of trying to get some fresh leaves and most importantly getting something into your tortoise’s belly.
Signs That Your Tortoise Is Dehydrated
As a tortoise owner, it can be quite difficult to realize that your tortoise is dehydrated and you might not know how big of a problem it is for your tortoise to be dehydrated. Dehydration can cause varying degrees of health problems and unwantedly, death.
An unmissable sign of dehydration is seen in the consistency of the feces. A fluid consistency in the waste indicates good health, but when the waste is hard and gritty, this suggests a low level of water. This tells you more accurately if your tortoise is dehydrated or not.
Also, general body appearance can be indicative of dehydration. Even though normally, the tortoise skin may look wrinkled, it will be obvious that in dehydration, the skin will become drier, crusty, and lack good elasticity and rebound. Sunken eyes are also evident.
Other signs can be observed in its general activity. A dehydrated tortoise will be weak and take a lot of time to move around as usual. Weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, and depression are also observed as well.
What To Do When Your Tortoise Is Dehydrated
Early detection of any or most of those signs and changes should make you try and correct them before it gets out of hand.
It is important to station the water inlet in its enclosure appropriately so that the tortoise can have easier and better access to water. Ensure you provide clean water and make adjustments to the positioning of the water inlet if need be.
It is advisable to also rehydrate it by feeding it with foods and plants that have high water content. Some backyard homegrown plants and fruits offer this. Cucumber is regarded as a good rehydration food that offers this.
Another good way to rehydrate your tortoise is by giving it a good bath. Apart from them loving a good bath, it is quite beneficial in rehydrating them as the water is soaked up and rehydrates their skin.
More from this series: