What is good protein to give a red footed tortoise

I’ve been researching about red-footed tortoises and their diet and many places say they need 10% protein in their diet I was thinking about using cat food but is it going to harm my tortoise because if it is I’m not going to use it. I’m also interested in canned chicken I found one in the grocery store and the ingredients are Chicken Breast Meat with Rib Meat, Water, Contains 2% or less of Sea Salt, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Phosphates, Chicken Flavor (Salt, Chicken Broth, Natural Flavors), Flavoring. I am also interested in using frozen-thawed mice and insects but I don’t know how many insects or mice to give the tortoise to understand this species this is a medium-size 20-pound tortoise from South America that are opportunistic eaters any kind of protein eggs, birds, bugs, mice, and animal carcasses. the only thing I’m not feeding is fish because I’m allergic.

I recommend primarily using bugs for the protein portion of the diet. Nightcrawlers and superworms served in a dish are usually a better bet than faster insects such as crickets or roaches (although your tortoise will eat them if it can get ahold of them). Small amount of hard-boiled egg are ok too (allow to cool). Frozen rodents or live pinky/fuzzy rodents can be fed sparingly. I would skip cat food due to the additives, and definitely skip canned chicken, as it is very salty. Small amounts of boiled, unsalted chicken/turkey are ok.


can I feed roaches if I use feeding tongs?

Use the offal that comes w roasting chickens / turkeys. Fish, like tilapia or catfish. Worms are always good. If you wanna do crickets, just pull one or both hind legs off first. I know…
Just make sure to vary the diet, and you can get creative. And remember, 10% is a very small amount of that diet!

They will tong feed, but I personally don’t recommend it because being regularly tong fed can lead to a behavior change in which they nip human hand (hurts a lot).

can’t use fish I’m allergic I’m interested in using roaches but I don’t know about nightcrawlers and earthworms do they need to be kept in the refrigerator because I don’t like the thought of keeping worms in the fridge with human food I think that’s nasty if nightcrawlers and earthworms don’t require refrigeration then I will use them but everywhere I researched and I might use superworms but and this may sound weird will they eat the tortoise inside if they a still alive that’s what some people have told me.

ya, because I was thinking about target training him so that he can associate the target with he is getting bugs.

Red-Foots are highly intelligent for a reptile, so this could work.

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I keep earthworms in large totes in my garage. They compost some of our food scraps, and as they propagate, I have bait for fishing and protein for a bearded dragon, from time to time. And some of the best fertilizer for our houseplants as well!
Never heard of being allergic to fish. But, definitely then, you would want to avoid that choice!
You can keep the super worms in your fridge in closed containers. With a modest amount of attention, they won’t be escaping. Just make sure you use them all up before they metamorphose. Though, I suppose the beetles would make good food too. Just harder to catch for your tortoise.

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are you talking about a storage bin will they last a couple of months in there also do they need a cold matt or anything like that for them to live or will they last long without it? can you keep nightcrawlers in there they are a lot easier to find for feeders?

Nightcrawlers last a really long time in the fridge, but superworms are better kept outside of the fridge, IMO.

will the superworms hurt the tortoise or eat the tortoise insides that’s was one person said on forums before.

You don’t want them loose in the enclosure, so always remove uneaten worms or feed in a separate container. They will not hurt the tortoise during feeding. However, make sure that any live prey item is either harmless (eg. earthworms) or size appropriate.

okay :heart: :grinning: :smile:

Live insects under observation are okay, like mealworms, superworms, and hornworms, and if you’re lucky, you’ll actually watch them chase the worms down, sometimes. Mushrooms, like large white mushrooms from the grocery store, are also an excellent source of protein, they love them, and if you heat it up some, they usually come running, just DO NOT OVERHEAT AND SERVE TO YOUR TORTOISE. I also highly recommend Mazuri Small Tortoise LS, it’s a good source of backup protein and is another thing that gets them up and to the food bowl when they smell it. When they’re older, larger and can handle the meal, they’ll even go for protein like a dead rodent, for example, a jumbo rat left with adults is completely gone by the time they’re done.

Yes, just storage bins. This is three high, the top two are drilled so the worms can pass through. Red wrigglers reproduce the most, but nightcrawlers make the best bait. They all seem to compost well. That compost is a little shredded paper, lots of kitchen scraps, and a few handsful of grass clippings in the summer. Tons of YouTuber how tos…
In Michigan, the worms go kinda dormant in the coldest months (in an inheated garage), here in NH, our garage is heated, so they are still quite hungry… But, they don’t need heat or cold to thrive. I’ve had worm bins for twenty years.

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Okay, I might try that so they aren’t going to die during the warmer months just feed them and they’re good.

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Just keep them out of direct sun I would think. And understand we are in Zone 5/6 up here…