The feeding palette of various tortoises varies according to their breed. Therefore, the feeding of a Russian tortoise which falls under the Mediterranean breed is different from that of a rainforest tortoise. The question now is, do Russian tortoises eat strawberries?
Can Russian Tortoises Eat Strawberry?
The simple answer is yes, but then, they have to be fed sparingly as treats and not as a staple food. Strawberries are an amazing source of nutrients for Russian tortoises and even tortoises in general. However, overfeeding Russian tortoises strawberries is harmful to them and can cause diarrhea due to the high sugar content of the fruit.
Fruits are great additions to a Russian Tortoise’s diet, but according to FelizPets, they should only contain 5% of their entire diet to prevent excessive consumption. Therefore, for Mediterranean and desert tortoises, fruits should not be high-option. However, for fruit-eating tortoises, fruits are safe for them because they are part of their diet, but they should not be fed excessively as well.
Can Russian Tortoises Eat Strawberry Leaves?
Young strawberry leaves contain antioxidants that are rich in bioactive natural sources that are great for Russian tortoises. However, old strawberry leaves should be avoided because of the hydrogen cyanide content which is harmful to Russian tortoises.
Also, strawberry leaves contain microbial pathogens that are safe and beneficial to Russian tortoises, however, this beneficial content of strawberry leaves can only be gotten from young and fresh strawberry leaves and old strawberry leaves should be avoided entirely.
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Benefits Of Feeding Russian Tortoises Strawberry
There are various benefits attached to feeding Russian tortoises strawberries. Some of these benefits include–
Strawberries and other fruits alike are great sources of water for Russian tortoises. Hydration is an important necessity for Russian tortoises. When Russian tortoises are dehydrated, it can lead to life-threatening issues like– chemical imbalance, bladder stones, skeletal issues, shell weakness, and digestive issues.
Therefore, strawberries are great water sources for Russian tortoises, but they should never be fed excessively. Therefore, the best water source for Russian tortoises is a basin of water that is changed regularly and kept clean for them to comfortably reach.
Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamins are a very essential component that cannot be joked with in a Russian tortoise’s diet. The provision of Vitamins is crucial for the growth and development of the skeleton and shell of young Russian tortoises. Vitamins are also crucial to the health of adult Russian tortoises.
Also, important minerals include; calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is crucial for shell development and skeleton formation. Lack of calcium in a Russian tortoise’s diet can lead to stunted growth in younger Russian tortoises, while it can lead to weak shells for older Russian tortoises.
According to FelizPets, the calcium ratio should be higher than phosphorus, and Strawberries contain a ratio of 1:5:1 of calcium to phosphorus. Therefore, strawberries are an amazing calcium-high fruit compared to their phosphorus ratio.
Asides from hydration, fiber is a great nutrient source for Russian tortoises. Young Russian tortoises need nutrients that will help them grow, while older Russian tortoises need nutrients to help them maintain good health. Therefore, an appropriate balance diet for a Russian tortoise should contain, fiber, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, all in the right proportion.
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How Do You Feed Your Russian Tortoises Strawberries?
Organically grown strawberries are amazing options to feed your Russian tortoises. These strawberries have to be free from pesticides because pesticides are very harmful to Russian Tortoises. Also, to feed your Russian tortoise strawberries, you have to wash them thoroughly, you can decide to either cut or offer them as a whole, or mix them with other vegetables and fruits.
However, it is essential to remember not to overfeed your Russian Tortoise to avoid stooling problems.
How Many Strawberries Can You Feed Your Russian Tortoise?
For older Russian tortoises it is preferable to feed them 3-5 strawberries to prevent the side effect or obesity. Also, for younger Russian tortoises, you can feed them 2-3 strawberries.
Strawberries are amazing nutrient sources for Russian tortoises. They are great sources of hydration, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and so many other beneficial nutrients that are essential to both young and older Russian tortoises. However, do not feed strawberries to Russian tortoises excessively.