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Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
10-10-2011, 01:49 PM
Post: #1
Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
I like to take Humphrey outside and let him walk around everywhere so he gets a lot of exercise, outside of his planted enclosure. He likes to walk on the flagstone patio. He loves to go into the gravel and "rock climb" but I have to watch him like a hawk because he tries to eat the little rocks. I pulled one out of his mouth just in time. Another one got swallowed before I could get it out of his mouth...he was just like a little kid...he swallowed it while I was trying to get him to release it. I know that can't be good. What makes him want to eat rocks? Could it be a mineral deficiency or something? He gets regular calcium and lots of dark green leafy stuff and is very healthy and growing. ????

Joy
Luvin Leopards
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10-10-2011, 09:47 PM
Post: #2
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
Most people believe it is to take in additional minerals. Others believe it is done so in order to aid in digestion of foods. Many birds as well as some species of hooved grazers (deer) eat "grit" to aid in physically breaking down their foods.

GBtortoises@gmail.com
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10-10-2011, 11:03 PM
Post: #3
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
Personally I think it is to help grind up food, Of course I don't have much facts to back it up yet.
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10-11-2011, 01:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
Yeah, I was wondering if they have gizzards like chickens. But then I've read that they can become compacted so that is what scares me.

Joy
Luvin Leopards
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10-11-2011, 07:24 AM
Post: #5
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
I've both seen them eat peebles, and also see them in their poop. I used to be more concerned than I am now. While it concerns me, I now turn a blind eye and assume its natural.

GB, Do you discourge the eating of pebbles? Just curious. I used to discourge it by not making pebbles available, but outside, that is impossible.

Scott

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10-11-2011, 08:54 AM
Post: #6
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
I don't discourage it, or encourage it. I really don't pay much attention to it I guess! I usually assume that they know what they're doing.

GBtortoises@gmail.com
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10-11-2011, 01:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
Maybe I am worrying about it too much. If he was older I probably wouldn't be as concerned. Guess if it can go in, it can come out huh?!

Joy
Luvin Leopards
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10-11-2011, 04:48 PM
Post: #8
RE: Why Do Tortoises Eat Rocks?
I also think the finer grained sand is harder for the animal to expel than a pebble...leading to impaction (in rare cases).

Andy @ A.T.C.
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