Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: Avid Reader of the newspaper...I mean eater



December 5, 2008

Avid Reader of the newspaper...I mean eater

Its the time of the year when Frankie ends up spending a lot of time inside. He sleeps inside every night. Sometime around 11:00 am, when it is warm enough he is allowed to make a choice to go outside to bask and eat. Compared to the time he spends outside during the summer, he spends very little time outside during the winter. A lucky day would be three hours. On average, Frankie gets out about 1 hour. Hardly enough to keep "a serious walker" happy. And Frankie is one serious walker.

I have done my best to provide him a walking area in the gecko room. He has a bit of an obstacle course that includes stepping up into a shelf, walking under a couple of chairs and making a full circle in the gecko room. When possible he is allowed to walk in the garage when our Prius is not there. I don't allow him there alone due to too many hazards. The gecko room and garage is not much in the way of walking space but its the best I can do.

The other challenge is Frankie's refusal to eat hay. I have tried year after year to get him to eat it and yes, I have tried every trick in the book. The best we have achieved is for him to eat a mix of 25% hay mixed with weeds, grass, carrots, and hibiscus flowers or any other allowable sulcata food (sorry folks - NO NO NO commercial food. And I don't care what commercial food sellers say. Its like saying that coal is a clean fuel and hydrogenated oils are good for you. Give me a break.

Frankie gets hungry. He can't go outside. So his newspaper that is in his night enclosure starts looking good. How do I know? Well besides catching him munching down on newspaper his poop is different when he eats newspaper. It is hard to miss if you are a sulcata poop observer. How to keep Frankie from eating his newspaper?

The solution is so simple: Hay. If Frankie were just not so stubborn he could be fat eating hay. But no, he would rather be an avid eater of newspaper.

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