If you want a healthy Hermann’s tortoise, it is important to know what you can and cannot feed them. Today’s article will review what fruits and vegetables a Hermann’s tortoise can eat. I will also review the type of plants that you should not give your tortoise.
Fruits and vegetables for a Hermann’s tortoise
Around 80% of your Hermann tortoise’s diet should consist of vegetables. While there are plenty of fruits you can feed, it should only make up around 10% of their diet.
The best vegetables for Hermann’s tortoises are leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens. Below is a full list of my recommendations for vegetables you can feed your Hermann’s tortoise.
Hermann’s tortoise vegetable list
- Collard greens
- Mustard green
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
- Bermuda grass
- Bell peppers
- Spring greens
- Timothy hay
- Romaine lettuce
As mentioned earlier, you should prioritize leafy green vegetables. The non-leafy vegetables on the list are totally safe for your Hermann’s tortoise, they just don’t contain all of the required nutrients for a Hermann’s and should be used as more of a supplement.
If you want to help ensure that your Hermann’s tortoise is getting all of the important vitamins and nutrients, I suggest feeding them this vegetable mix.
There is also this vitamin packed pellet food that is designed specifically for Hermann’s tortoises.
Which vegetables are bad for a Hermann’s tortoise
The three vegetables that you should not feed your Hermann’s tortoise are egg plants, iceberg lettuce, and celery.
While they aren’t very toxic to your tortoise, they have little nutritional value, and if fed in large quantities it could cause health problems.
Now that we’re done with vegetables, let’s check out some of the fruit options.
Are Hermann’s tortoises fruit eaters?
No, Hermann’s tortoises are not naturally fruit eaters. However, you can certainly still feed your Hermann’s some fruit on occasion. It is important that fruits don’t take up more than 10% of their diet.
The main reason why fruits can be dangerous to a Hermann’s is because fruits typically have a high sugar content, and Hermann’s tortoises (along with other Mediterranean tortoises) are not great at processing and digesting sugar.
In the wild, Hermann’s tortoises eat mostly vegetables, but every now and then they will eat a fallen fruit if they can find some. You will also probably notice that your Hermann’s loves the taste of fruit, sometimes more than vegetables.
If you plan on feeding your Hermann’s tortoise fruits, I suggest either apples, pumpkin, or pears. All three of these fruits are lower in sugar, and also have a high fiber content, which is important for your Hermann’s diet.
Below is a list of some other fruits that you can feed your Hermann’s, but I don’t recommend it more than once a week or every other week.
Hermann’s tortoise fruit list
- Prickly pear
As I mentioned earlier, these fruits should mostly be fed as an occasional treat, and not a staple of their diet. Your tortoise probably will love the taste of the fruit, so make sure to keep it in moderation.
Now that you know which fruits and vegetables you can feed your Hermann’s tortoise, looks talk about some tips for feeding.
Cut food into small pieces
Compared to other tortoises, Hermann’s are a little smaller, which means they have smaller mouths. This makes it extremely important to cut the fruit and vegetables into small pieces so that you Hermann’s can easily fit it in their mouth.
Wash the food beforehand
No matter where you bought your produce from, you should give it a good rinse before you feed it to your tortoise. This will help get rid of any pesticides or parasites that might be lingering on the fruit or vegetables.
Variety is key
It is important that you give your Hermann’s tortoise a variety of vegetables and fruits (occasionally). There is not one fruit or vegetable that contains all of the nutrients required for Hermann’s. This is why you should try to consistently feed at least three different types of vegetables per week.
The variety in their diet can also entice your turtle to eat more, which can help them come out of their shell.
Even with a varied diet, your tortoise still might need some tortoise calcium supplements.
While it can be difficult to cut off your tortoise, you should only feed your tortoise as much as they can eat in around 15 to 20 minutes. I suggest only one feeding per day.
If you overfeed your Hermann’s, he will likely develop health issues such as diarrhea or pyramiding.
Remove at end of the day
It is important that you remove any uneaten food by the end of the day from your Hermann’s tortoise enclosure. For one, this will prevent insects from crowding the food. Additionally, decaying fruits and vegetables can actually turn toxic if they decay enough, so it’s best to remove them and make sure only fresh produce is in their enclosure.
Lastly, removing uneaten food at the end of the day will prevent predators from trying to take the food.
An often overlooked aspect of a Hermann’s diet is water. You should always make sure that your tortoise has access to fresh, clean water in their enclosure.
Not only does this help keep them hydrated, but it also helps aid digestion.