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Posted by Niki on April 28, 2003 at 21:50:04:
In Reply to: Slow sulcata growth posted by anteaterbat on April 28, 2003 at 21:28:56:
First of all the much-touted "slow growth" route to avoid
pyramiding seems to backfire as some of the worst pyramided
tortoises I see on here are ones that don't grow much, almost
not seeming to thrive at all as do torts that are several years
old yet very small. Pyramiding seems to be a combination of
many things including diet, lighting, exercise, heat, humidity,
genetics even. Slow growth (almost deliberate stunting?) seems
to play no role. There are always exceptions - that's why there
is no definite answer, but there are plenty of examples available.
Romaine has got to be the worst lettuce to feed, it's phosphorous
to calcium ratio is not good, meaning it actually robs your
tortoise of calcium (for bone and shell) every time it eats some.
I would skip the romaine totally and offer some calcium rich
lettuces and greens like collards, endives and escarole.
There's plenty of things you could feed your tortoise for variety
but if you choose to feed only one thing, I would not make it
Back to the calcium, if you're not adding cuttlebone, start
immediately adding it to every meal.
Depending on your grass type (which will not mimic Africa no
matter wishful thinking I promise you - soil isn't even the
same, nutrients, climate etc.) and area of grazing available,
that's a tiny tortoise so you'd have to fence securely for
that size including a top, he may/may not be getting what he
needs on his own in a restricted area.
Keep taking weight on him and see if there's a gradual growth,
there can be quite a difference depending on whether he just
ate/pooped/drank water so keep a record weekly for a while and
see if you get a pattern. Might just be a very slow growing
female hatchling?, no way to know at this point, but definitely
get rid of the romaine.