Tortoise Adoption Program

Appendix III: Tortoise Diet

Care, Husbandry and Diet of the Desert Tortoise

(Information provided by Sonora Animal Hospital, 410 W. Simmons Rd., Tucson, AZ 85705 Telephone: 520-888-8988)

A diet composed of an assortment of these plants is nutritionally complete; additional vitamin, calcium or other mineral supplementation is not necessary and may be harmful. All tortoises must be kept outside, as temperatures permit, to insure adequate exposure to UVB to maintain normal calcium metabolism.

Native Growing Plants
cassia (senna), spurge, globe mallow, other mallows, prickly pear fruit, rock hibiscus, prickly pear pads, morning glory, trailing 4 o'clock, buckwheat, plantain
Native Grasses
Arizona cottontop, bamboo muhly, deer grass, curly mesquite
Other Growing Plants
bermuda grass (tiff), sweet peas, dichondra, nasturtium, alfalfa, petunias, clover
Produce is generally less nutritious than the other foods listed and should only be fed when other foods are unavailable or as an occasional supplement.
Acceptable produce:
beet greens, green beans, bok choy, kale, cilantro, mustard greens, dandelion greens, collard greens, parsley, endive, spinach, snow peas, turnip greens
Other Recommended Foods
grape leaves, mulberry leaves, hibiscus flowers and leaves, rose petals, hay (alfalfa, bermuda, timothy or combinations)
Retrieved from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum web site on 06-23-2024