I had become dissatisfied with most commercial pet tortoise foods.
I started out making “Cactus Chips” when the supply was inconsistent from a local source. A pancake tortoise was struggling to eat a small piece of Opuntia ficus-indica that had strayed off the feeding tile in their enclosure and dried out over several days. Why this caught my attention is I had just placed fresh food on the tile, yet the tortoise was seeking that dried bit of cactus pad. I thought “why not make some dried pieces on purpose?”
I also know that the longer lived an organism is the more it can accumulate different chemicals/compounds in their bodies, similar to the caution of eating pelagic fish for their accumulation of mercury. So I have sourced many kinds of diet items that are certified organic, and feed them out to the very long-lived tortoises.
The best cost comes when you buy a huge amount. I repackage some into smaller portions for sale. My price point is created by simply finding the best deal I can for the smaller portion and beating that price. Most things that I sell as a diet item is purchased as a human grade food item, organic if that is possible, and repackage and sell to you.
I found I can not call my repacked organic items Certified Organic as I have not had my facility inspected for “repackaging”, that is why the label says “USDA Certified Organic Sourced”.
The only commercial packaged complete tortoise foods I would go so far as to recommend are ZooMed’s Natural Grassland Tortoise Food and ZooMed’s Natural Forest Tortoise Food. I buy these in bulk and repackage them as well. Their Gourmet Tortoise food is simply the Grassland with sweet potato and Hibiscus added.
The expense for shipping cuts the bulk purchase cost savings that I would like to pass on. Some ways that I keep costs down is to use heavy plastic zip lock type bags, and not rigid plastic bottles. I don’t include a spoon for portioning (everyone has spoons, right?). I use simple generic labeling with some info handwritten in. I overweight all sold items as I don’t have a ‘certified scale’, but I do check against standard weights.
I’m always interested to get feedback on your diet item purchases. Please let me know how it goes with any diet item I sell.