I try and feed my tortoises as varied a diet as possible. My morning routine is to go off on the quad bike ( four wheel drive all terrain vehicle) to check on the sheep as soon as it gets light. A morning diversion to my neighbours usually supplies me with a large bag of wild food. My neighbouring farmers, Alan and Malcolm have lots of poly tunnels in which they grow strawberries and a lovely bi-product of dandelions, sow-thistles, nipplewort and red dead-nettle which they kindly let me rummage through and pick. The tortoises have the added treat of Malcolm’s rejected strawberries – a true delicacy. I have also planted large areas of dandelions at home from seed gathered on my travels. I grow a selection of green vegetables for the tortoises including spring cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, summer cabbage, kale, salad lettuce and french beans. Tomatoes are grown in the greenhouse especially for them. Clover is abundant in the outside enclosures for them to eat.
The tortoises get a mixture of at least three of the above greens every day depending on the season with as much wild food as possible. Tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, melon, apricots, pears and apples ( de-pipped ) are given as treats. They probably get far too many strawberries from July to September but they do adore them! Young tortoises are fed mainly dandelions, nipplewort, sow-thistle, clover and lettuce.
Calcium is put on the food regularly for the adults, but calcium + vitamin D3 is put on all the hatchling and juveniles food every day.