Among the reptiles, one can find herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. The keeper of reptiles is responsible for a balanced and varied diet of his animals. In nature, the reptiles put together their own diet according to their own individual needs. Unfortunately, this is not that easy or not possible in the terrarium. As a keeper, you should therefore ensure that your animals receive optimal nutrition.
Herbs – a Gift From Nature
Herbs are a good alternative for herbivorous and omnivorous reptiles. For example, dandelions are popular with tortoises. If you have a garden available for your turtles, this is ideal, because the dandelions grow by themselves, and your turtles really love it. Lemon balm, basil, parsley, and mint are highly recommended and popular. Nasturtiums are also particularly suitable for self-planting. It grows quickly, is very rich in calcium, and the flowers are not spurned as a delicacy.
But be careful with clover, because not only is it very rich in protein, but many types of clover also contain oxalic acid (as well as rhubarb, sorrel, etc.), which can lead to the formation of stones in the kidneys and bladder. Therefore, always feed clover in small quantities.
But Be Careful! Not All Herbs are Created Equal
The very healthy raw food can, however, also contain substances that are less beneficial for the health of the animals. These include, for example, pesticide residues or environmental pollutants such as heavy metals and nitrates. Organic goods are usually lower in nitrate than conventionally produced varieties. Before using herbs from a meadow as food for your reptiles, please inquire with the owner of this property beforehand whether he has treated these plants beforehand. Of course, you should also avoid forage harvested from the roadside.
So it would be best if you can feed your reptiles with plants you have grown yourself. Because many plants are poisonous, you should always be sure which species it is and, if in doubt, refrain from feeding.
For the Well-Being of Your Animals, Please Always Observe the Following Rules
- Always harvest only the daily requirement;
- Make sure the herbs are clean and dry;
- It is best to transport the plants and herbs in a wicker basket or in a potato sack so that they are not hermetically sealed;
- Stay away from unknown and protected plants;
- Only take herbs that are free of dog and cat urine and that don’t get dirty from the streets;
- Beware of poisonous plants such as azaleas, columbines, boxwood, ivy, yew, foxgloves, autumn crocus, evergreens, crocuses, arborvitae, laurel trees, lilies of the valley, mistletoe, rhododendrons, milkweed plants.