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Tortuga Mora, the black turtle in Spain


European tortoises are exclusively vegetarians.

It is considered certain that a calcium: phosphorus imbalance and too high a protein content lead to the greatest feeding-related problems.

Food of animal origin has too high an animal protein content that cannot be used by the turtles and leads to excessively rapid growth with the formation of humps. In addition, incurable kidney damage occurs because animal protein cannot be broken down sufficiently.

Dog and cat food is made for dogs and cats and contains the ingredients necessary for these animals, mainly from meat and meat by-products.

Unfortunately, this cannot be said of the commercially available ready-made turtle food. Although it is made for turtles, it contains too much animal protein, grains and other unsuitable ingredients.

Unfortunately, an improper diet is not immediately noticeable, except in the rapid, abnormal and bumpy growth of the carapace. Over the years, however, improperly fed turtles are invariably death row inmates. Since turtles are mute, they cannot utter plaintive noises even with painful diseases such as gout, which often occurs with poor nutrition.


This topic, which is very important for our pets, unfortunately exceeds the capacity of a homepage. You will find the 38-page chapter described in great detail in my book,  "Natural husbandry and breeding of the Greek tortoise."

Appropriate husbandry also includes nutrition with suitable forage plants. Nobody knows what suitable forage plants are better than nature and the tortoises still living in the wild. You can find a detailed introduction to the subject of species-appropriate nutrition and help with the selection of suitable wild plants in my book " Forage Plants" . Over 360 wild plants are listed and more than 160 thematically described and illustrated.

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