Ideally, stars and other tortoises should eat a great variety of natural foods. Tortoises do not need any commercially prepared pellets if they eat a tortoise healthy diet, but many keepers like to serve them as nutritional insurance to cover for any potential deficiencies.
Commercial diets have caused hot debates among tortoise owners and breeders in the past, but have become more accepted in recent years. Many keepers think it's beneficial to offer small amounts of commercial tortoise foods as a complement to grasses, weeds, flowers, greens, and other natural foods, while others feel it's totally unacceptable to feed any prepared foods.
If your tortoise youngster is not fond of munching on greens that have calcium and vitamin powder on them, feeding prepared tortoise diets every so often is one way to provide additional vitamins and minerals to him.
Commercial foods can also be fed as supplemental "rich" food to gravid or ill tortoises, and dry grass products can be handy in the winter time when tortoises cannot graze outside. Tortoise pellets made from dried herbs and weeds are a better choice than grain based products.
You can increase the fiber content of commercial pellets by mixing them with finely chopped hay, dried herbs, or fresh weeds. For example, when I serve the classic Mazuri Tortoise Diet to my tortoises, I first soften it with water and then mix in chopped salad hay or herbal hay.
Below is a listing of commonly available tortoise pellet foods. For Star tortoises and other dryish area / grassland species, look for products that are very high in fiber, low in protein, and low in fat. For example, something like 30% fiber, 5% protein, and 2% fat in dry matter.
Unfortunately, many of the tortoise food manufacturers show their product ingredients as maximum or minimum values, so we really don't know what the actual percentages are. Fiber % is usually listed as a max value and protein % as min value. In other words, the product may be much lower in fiber (-) and much higher in protein (-) than the number listed.
The product links and nutrient values posted on this page were correct when I last checked them. They may have changed since. As always, do double check the container labels.
Note: The nutrient content of dried and fresh plants is different. For example, the protein content is way lower on wet basis (fresh plants) than in dry substance for the same plant.
Key: Quick look % codes used below = fiber / protein / fat
Moistened Zoo Med Natural Grassland food mixed with dandelions.
Popular tortoise food pellets: classic Mazuri Tortoise Diet, Mazuri Tortoise LS Diet, Zoo Med Natural Grassland Tortoise Food and timothy hay pellets.
1.) ZM Natural Grassland Food
2.) ZM Gourmet Tortoise Food
1.) Mazuri Tortoise Diet
2.) Mazuri Tortoise LS Diet
Burmese star tortoise babies eating softened classic Mazuri.
In the U.S., the PMI trademarks Mazuri and Nutrazu are registered to Purina Mills. In the U.K., the trademark Mazuri is registered to Dietex International Limited. The U.S. Mazuri tortoise food and the U.K. Mazuri tortoise food are two different products from two different companies. Note that the European one is lower in fiber (-) and higher in protein (-).
1.) Nutrazu (Europe) - PMI Nutrition Int.
Nutrazu Tortoise Diet by PMI Nutrition International is sold in Europe as the European version of the U.S. Mazuri. It’s intended as a complementary food for dry land herbivorous tortoises.
2.) Mazuri Exotic Leaf Eater (U.K.) - Dietex Int.
Mazuri Zoo Foods' Exotic Leaf Eater diet by Dietex International Limited (U.K.) is a European product. It is NOT the SAME reptile food as the Mazuri Tortoise Diet in the U.S. by PMI Nutrition (USA). Different companies and different food formulas. Manufactured in Essex, England.
1.) Agrobs - Pre Alpin Testudo food (Germany)
This German product is popular in Europe. It's very high in fiber, low in protein, and low in fat. Low protein unburdens kidneys and liver. Difficult, if not impossible, to find the U.S. Available in several formulations: Pre Alpin Testudo (29.6 / 5.2 / 2.1), Pre Alpin Testudo Baby (26.4 / 9.6 / 2.1), Pre Alpin Fibre (27.8 / 7.9 / 2.2), and Pre Alpin Herbs (27.8 / 7.9 / 2.2).
2.) Exo Terra - Tortoise Adult food
This is the older tortoise food by Exo Terra of Hagen Inc. (11 / 18 / 3.4)
3.) Exo Terra - Soft Pellets European Tortoise Foods
In Mar 2013, Exo Terra announced the new Soft Pellets European Tortoise Foods. According to Exo Terra, they were formulated as a complete diet for European grassland tortoises such as Hermann’s and Russians. Can be moistened before feeding. Comes in two versions, the Soft Pellets Adult European Tortoise Food (26 / 9 / 2) and Soft Pellets Juvenile European Tortoise Food (24 /11 / 2).
4.) Fluker - Tortoise Diet Small Pellet
Designed for all dry land tortoises. First five ingredients are soybean hulls, corn, oats, wheat middlings, and soybean meal. (18 / 15 / 3)
5.) Fluker - Tortoise Diet Large Pellet
Designed for all dry land tortoises. First five ingredients are ground oats, ground corn, ground oat hulls, calcium caronbate, and dicalcium phosphate. (13 / 8 / 3)
6.) Happy Pet Products Ltd - Komodo Complete Holistic Tortoise Diet
Another common European tortoise food. Formulated for European species. Available in several flavors. Difficult, if not impossible, to find the U.S. (12.5 / 9 / 5)
7. Lugarti - Premium Tortoise Food
Formulated for sulcata, leopard, russian, Greek, Galapagos, pancake, and gopher tortoises. First five ingredients are timothy hay, rye grass, oat hay, alfalfa hay, and rice bran. (32 / 9 / 2.7)
8.) Marion Zoological - Mozaic Reptile Food (Tortoise)
In 2012 Marion changed the name of their reptile food to Mozaic Reptile Food. It’s intended as a primary diet for iguanas and tortoises, and as a supplementary diet for turtles. Old formula was called Reptile Food Tortoise (12 / 22 / 4) and the new formula is called Mozaic Reptile Food Tortoise (11 / 20 / 6).
9.) Pretty Bird International - Pretty Pets Tortoise Food
Pretty Pets Tortoise Food is available in small and large nugget versions. (13 / 8 / 3)
10.) Rep-Cal - Tortoise Food
Tortoise food by Rep-Cal Research Labs. First five ingredients are ground corn, soybean hulls, soybean meal, corn gluten meal and dried apple pomace. (18 / 19 / 1)
11.) Repashy - Grassland Grazer
Grassland Grazerfood by Repashy was released to the market in Jun 2013. This gel formula was created for leaf, grass, flower, and veggie eating species such as tortoises and uromastyx. (30 / 15 / 3)
12.) T-Rex - Tortoise Dry Formula
Tortoise food by T-Rex. First five ingredients are oats, oat hulls, corn, calcium carbonate, corn glutten meal. (14 / 8 / 3)
13.) Zeigler - Tortoise Monster Diet
Tortoise Monster Diet was formulated for land tortoises such as sulcata, redfoot, yellowfoot, leopard, russian, gopher, and pancake tortoises. First five ingredients are oats, corn, wheat, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dehulled soybean meal. (8.5 / 12 / 5)
14.) Zilla - Land Turtle & Tortoise Food
Extruded pellet food by Zilla. First five ingredients are ground corn, ground oats, ground wheat, dehydrated alfalfa meal and wheat middlings. (10 / 14 / 4)