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Turtle diets and health


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#1 Ryan

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 07:48 PM

I have just finished reading a good debate on turtle health and diet. It was brought up that feeding fish as a main diet may not be the best idea. This was best argued when one of the people involved data on the stomach content of wild caught turtles. Fish only made up a small (+/- 10%) portion of the content. Algae, plant matter, insects, and crustacions (snails and crayfish mostly) made up the larger part, in that order.
That same person suggested a diet of exclusively Reptomin or equivelant. I have a turtle raised on twelve years of only this, and he is very healthy, with no pyramiding of his shell due to "power feeding", as one person warned. This would seem a great idea, only one must weigh in these other factors. No large commercial buisness is 'in it' for the welfare of the animals, no matter how many tests on nutritoin they have performed. This is evident by the suggestion of feeding three times daily, which would most likely eventually kill your turtle. Tetra Reptomin also contains the preservative Ethoxoquin(s/p?), which is often used in dog and cat foods by most companies, i.e. Purina, Science Diet, etc. This preservative, a by-product rubber manufacturing, has been linked to cancer in our pets. (But Vets carry Science Diet! Right, they get paid to carry it, make the retail profit, and paid to treat the cancer.)
As was stated by a third party, for everything one can suggest, another can present a negative. This should remind people of another nutrition debate, human nutrition.
My suggestion, moderation in everything. I offer my turtles plant food, snails, crickets, fish, an occasional crayfish, and Reptomin, which is only offered every three days. If there were turtle beauty contests, their appearence representing their health, I would enter mine against the best of them!
Good luck!

#2 Marlaina

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 08:04 PM

Stomach contents will vary depending on the ecosystem the turtle is in. They will certainly favor protein based food (most aquatics, but not all), but there's not that much out there. You can go to another body of water and there will be no crayfish, but many tadpoles, or more fish available, etc. The stomach contents of turtles in rice paddies will differ considerably from those in a lake. And those in concrete bayous from those in areas with high vegetation. As far as comercial foods, there is an excess of vit D, and if fed exclusively would be power feeding. Not as a part of a varied diet such as yours, though. Personally, I put the turtle foods, dog and cat foods all together. And I respect Meaders recommendation of keeping all of them as a small part of a varied diet, and using whole animal foods over commercial diets. You should check out the crayfish. It's not a good idea. Dr Jarcow, one of the leading rep vets in the nation, and the Merck Veterinary Manual both implicate that bacteria with shell lesions.

Marlaina Barr
www.gctts.org
Gulf Coast Turtle& Tortoise Society

#3 Marlaina

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Posted 27 January 2001 - 09:09 PM

check out new post today at kingsnake about stomach contents by stumpy. News.

Marlaina Barr
www.gctts.org
Gulf Coast Turtle& Tortoise Society




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