The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.
Sulcata tortoises are big fans of grasses. It is because these weeds contain high fiber and nutritional content for them. But where to buy safe grasses for Sulcata tortoise?
You should buy safe and fresh grass for Sulcata tortoise from your local pet stores. Also, you can use the online platforms as an alternative to collect grasses and hays. However, growing fresh grass in your garden or in small pots is always suggested.
Catch a detailed guide on Sulcata tortoise grass in the article below.
Where To Buy Safe Grass For Sulcata Tortoise?
The place to buy safe grass for your Sulcata tortoise is the nearest pet store in your locality. Then, just pick up the grass and feed your tortoise fresh.
Hays is also a good option for Sulcata tortoises. They are not only nutritious, but also you can store them for longer.
You can always shop online if there is no pet store near your home. Remember, though you can store the dry grass or hay mix for days, the grasses should be fed fresh.
Several online tortoise shops deliver hay and other tortoise food supplies to your doorstep. Some platforms that sell grasses for Sulcata tortoises are,
|Orchard grass, Timothy hay, Meadow hay, Alfalfa hay
|Grass, leaves, and flower mix
|My Turtle Store
|Orchard grass, Timothy hay
|Herbal tortoise hey
You will find grass and hay packs of different types from different brands on these platforms. Besides these shops, you will also find some stores selling hay and grass on a small range.
The best idea for me is to grow grass in your own yard. This way, the Sulcata tortoise will graze whenever it feels hungry without depending on you.
What Grass Is Best For Sulcata?
80 – 90% diet of a Sulcata tortoise includes grass and hays. However, the species prefer a mix-up of different kinds of grass. Timothy grass, orchard grass, meadow grass, and Bermuda grass always top the priority chart of the Sulcata tortoise meal.
Sulcata tortoises also have other kinds of grasses. For example,
- Arizona Fescue
- Barley grass
- Fescue grass
- Big bluestem grass
- Blue grama
- Buffalo grass
- Creeping red fescue
- Carex grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Lawn fescue
- Little bluestem grass
- Couch grass
- Timothy grass
- Sheep fescue
- Pampas grass
- Rye grass
- Western wheatgrass
As Sulcata tortoises enjoy multiple types of grasses, it is wise to grow different grasses in the yard. However, the grass preference will vary from tortoise to tortoise, and you should keep that in mind while drafting the diet chart.
Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Fountain Grass?
Sulcata tortoises eat fountain grasses. These weeds are edible and contain some nutritional value for these tortoises. However, it is better not to feed the tortoises a bulk of this grass. In addition, this green has a reputation for accumulating oxalates, which is terrible for tortoises.
To be safe, you can avoid the fountain grass entirely and go for other options. For example,
- Timothy hay
- Orchard grass
- Rye hay, etc.
Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Bermuda Grass?
Freshly cut Bermuda grass is an excellent addition to your Sulcata tortoise diet. This grass originated in Africa, which is the native habitat of the Sulcata tortoises. Thus, these tortoises prefer Bermuda grass by nature.
If you look into the nutritional composition of Bermuda grass, it contains 9 – 16% protein. Therefore, it means the Sulcata tortoises can fulfill their protein requirement from this grass to an extent.
Besides, Bermuda grass is an excellent option for fiber. Experts suggest adding this grass to the diet list to back up the fiber lackings in the Sulcata tortoises.
Furthermore, Bermuda grass contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, etc. Each of these nutrients plays a significant role in building the good health of the Sulcata tortoise.
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Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Wheat Grass?
Tortoises can eat wheatgrass, and in fact, they enjoy munching on these weeds. Therefore, freshly cut young wheatgrass can be an excellent addition to your tortoise meal. However, too much wheatgrass has been proven unhealthy for these creatures.
Why is a bulk of wheatgrass unhealthy for tortoises? It is because tortoises require greens that are high in fiber and low in protein. But the wheatgrass grains are high in protein, gluten, and phosphorus and low in calcium. Hence, feeding your tortoise too much of this weed can be harmful.
Is It Ok For Tortoises To Eat Grass?
Tortoises’ food preferences change with their species, location, and age. Yet, anecdote data and the statements of experienced keepers suggest that tortoises eat grass naturally. Most green weeds are safe for tortoises and have nutritional value.
Some tortoises indeed prefer a carnivorous diet. But a vegetarian or herbivorous diet is always preferable for most tortoise species. Besides vegetables, plants, and stems, grasses are a significant diet for most tortoises.
Grasses are mineral, vitamin, and fibrous and carry high protein concentrate. As a result, the creatures get everything they require by munching on these weeds. However, this does not apply to all tortoises.
Some tortoises, like the Mediterranean tortoises, show no interest in grass but may graze on them occasionally. On the other hand, 90% of the diet of the Sulcata tortoise consists of grass and hay. These conditions are different for Russian tortoises as their meals include moderate grass.
In short, it is okay and safe to feed grass to your tortoise. But the nutritional value might differ depending on the species.
If grasses contain low mineral impact for your tortoise, consider them a secondary food source or a snack for the pet. But you should take the grass selection more seriously if it is a staple for your pet species.
Can My Tortoise Eat Cat Grass?
Your tortoise can eat cat grass as long as they are not chemically treated. Grasses with pesticides can negatively impact the tortoise’s health by upsetting its stomach and leading to kidney damage and liver or organ failure.
Cat grass is an umbrella term that includes barley grass, wheat grass, ryegrass, oat grass, orchard grass, etc. These grasses are familiar as cat grass as the domestic and wild felines enjoy chewing on these greens.
Though for cats, tortoises also love grazing on these grasses. Young cat grasses are better for feeding the tortoises.
You can switch between the grass types when feeding the tortoises to bring a change in their appetite. No matter what, do not add cat grasses in bulk. These grasses are high in protein and do not work as a starter.
Is Lemongrass Safe For Tortoise?
Lemongrass is safe for tortoises only when you mix it with other grasses. Offering the tortoises only freshly cut lemongrass is not a good idea. Sometimes, the pungent smell of the grass makes the tortoises sick.
Lemongrass is an excellent source of fiber for tortoises. Hence, try to mix this grass with other greens and prepare a nutritious meal for your pet reptiles.
Can Tortoises Eat Orchard Grass Hay?
Tortoises eat Orchard hay, and in fact, it is their favorite. The grass is rich in fiber and carries other nutritional value. It has a protein percentage of 10 – 14%, which is moderate and contains more calories. Thus, this Orchard grass is safe for tortoises.
Feeding Orchard grass to tortoises also boosts their appetite. This weed has a fruity scent and sweet taste. The combination is enough for the tortoises to devour this Orchard grass.
Besides motivating natural foraging, Orchard grass aids the tortoises’ digestive system. Also, these creatures are less likely to create a mess with this weed because of the compressed form.
Are Ornamental Grasses Safe For Tortoises?
Ornamental grasses are edible and palatable for tortoises. However, too many of these weeds can harm the reptiles because of the high protein content. But a moderate amount will do nothing wrong.
Some Ornamental grasses are feather reed grass, pink muhly grass, Atlas fescue, California fescue, etc. Some tortoises avoid these grasses purposefully and do not like the taste.
You can grow Ornamental grasses in a tortoise pen even if your pet is not a fan of them. The large weeds provide excellent hiding places, which is perfect when you house multiple tortoises.
Can I Plant Grass In My Tortoise Enclosure?
You can plant grass in the tortoise enclosure as long as it is non-toxic and safe. Actually, growing grass is always recommended in the creature’s pen. This way, the tortoises can forage on fresh grass whenever they feel hungry.
Growing grasses in the tortoise pen are no rocket science. First, you have to throw the seeds. Then offer sufficient water and sunlight to them. Soon, you will notice the grasses are coming out.
Mixing up different seeds or making small blocks and growing several types of grass is better. The tortoises prefer eating a mix instead of just munching one.
Also, growing multiple kinds of grass will bring variety to their meals.
Pesticides harm the composition of the grass. Thus, do not spray any chemicals on them. Also, ensure not to use pesticides in the nearest perimeter of the grass.
It is totally okay if you have no backyard space and raise the tortoise indoors. Grasses can be grown on the tortoise table or in small pots.
What Weeds Can I Feed My Tortoise?
Tortoises can consume a wide variety of weeds. The list includes alfalfa, California filago, blue agave, grasses, dandelions, black mustard, chicory, bittercress, etc. Some of these weeds contain harmful compositions, and feeding the tortoises in bulk is not safe.
Some other safe weeds are,
- Salad Burnet
- Field Mustard
- Blessed Thistle
- Creeping Bell
- Birdsfoot Trefoil
- Shepard’s Purse
- Sow Thistle
- Prickly Lettuce
- Evening Primrose
- Glove Mallow
- Goat Head
- Cat’s Ear
- White Tidy-ups
- Yellow, etc.
Weeds are unwanted plants that grow in your backyard without any care. Fortunately, you can make a delicious meal out of the weeds for your tortoises. You just have to let the creatures forage on the field.
However, some of the weeds are low in fiber and high in protein or phosphorus. Those are not suitable for your tortoises, even though a moderate amount will not harm them. Hence, you should always search for the nutritional content of a weed before offering it to your pets.
There are several sources from where you can buy safe grasses for Sulcata tortoises. Picking fresh grasses from the nearby pet store is always a good idea, but you can always order online. I always grow mixed grasses in my yard and feed my pets freshly cut grass.