Monday about 3 PM PST, a wave of fatigue hit me while I was at work.  When I got home, I had a headache, a cough, and a chill.  Since then, I’ve been sick with a cold.  Ugly stuff.  Tuesday I didn’t go to work at all.  Wednesday and Thursday I worked half-days.  Today I worked the whole day but it was a coughing fest most of the day.  Hopefully I won’t pass the sickness on to Sarah. We switched the bedding in Ira’s pen last weekend.  We had him on a bed of pine and fir bark.  However, that was a little messy and supposedly pine bark isn’t good for tortoises so we changed to a substrate of two separate substances.  The bottom layer is a substrate of pellets made out of recycled paper.  On top of that is a layer of dried and compressed alfalfa.  We also bought Ira a new "saladrock" with a gift certificate that my Dad gave Ira.  The salad rock is a feeding dish with a rock-like texture designed to sit in the corner of a re ptile’s cage and hold water.  However, since Ira doesn’t drink water, we put his salad in it.  Ira’s log into which he like to crawl was a bit small, so we modified that as well.  I cut up some particle board and strapped it to the log with tie-wraps to make the log sit up off the substrate more.  Now it looks like a garage with an arched roof.  We call it the tortoise garage because Ira likes to park himself in the garage like a car and look out at the world.  Since we did all this work, Ira has been much more lively.  He likes to get out and stomp around his cage a bit in the morning and in the afternoon.  If Ira’s salad isn’t already in his salad rock when he gets up in the morning, he’ll crawl up on the salad rock and look around for someone to bring him his salad (he’s a morning tortoise). It turns out that tortoises can become addicted to eating certain foods.  Several reputable sources on the web and in print mention tortoise food addictions and how to fight them.  Food addiction occurs when a tortoise continually gets something that he likes better than anything else, and then his stubborn little tortoise mind comes to expect that food at every meal.  If that food doesn’t appear on the tortoise’s salad rock, he doesn’t eat.  Sarah and I try to keep this mind as we feed Ira.  There are certainly foods that Ira likes more than others.  On the "Some Danger of Tortoise Addiction List" are: 1. Squash

  1. Zucchini On the "Don’t Bother Putting This on the Tortoise’s Salad Rock, He Won’t Eat It" list are: 1. Carrot chunks
  2. Chard
  3. Romaine Lettuce (which is surprising because he’s supposed to like that) Other foods that we feed Ira occasionally to everyday include: 1. Dandelion greens
  4. Kale
  5. Carrot shavings
  6. Brussel Sprouts
  7. Clover
  8. Sorrel
  9. Grass
  10. Banana
  11. Broccoli Depending on his mood, Ira will either rapidly consume the above list, or he’ll dig through them to get to something he likes better that day.  As you can see, he’s a finicky little tortoise.