Can Tortoises eat Buttercups? – ANSWERED!

Creeping Buttercups are a natural food source for Hermanns tortoises. So it can be fed to tortoises, but not CONSISTENTLY.

This plant is mildly toxic as a lawn invader. Many tortoises nibble it on occasion with no ill effects, but remove as much as possible because it contains the mild toxin protoanemonine, and there is a reference to a tortoise dying after ingesting large amounts of Buttercup.

My hermans have been eating creeping buttercup for years.

Meadow Buttercup is a very tall plant with a tall flower stem. The creeping one does exactly what it says and stays close to the ground. The leaf shape is identical.

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Can Horsefield Tortoises eat Buttercups?

Buttercups are a Ranunculus species, and tortoises eat them in the wild, but this is not the same as feeding them in captivity.

Tortoises in the wild seem to get away with eating a lot of things that we think are toxic, and tortoises in captivity are probably doing the same because they aren’t browsing on 40 species like they do in the wild.

In my opinion, the risk of feeding buttercups isn’t worth taking when there are so many other foods available.

I’ve also discovered differences in what forums and lists say on a global scale. I was recently chastised on a French forum for suggesting that Viccia species (Vetches) could be used as food – the French keepers are completely convinced that those plants are toxic (which they are not!!).

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That source was very keen on feeding Alfalfa, which is generally not recommended for tortoises on UK forums and lists. They also took issue with feeding honeysuckle flowers, which I believe most of us in the UK do when we are out in our gardens.

Another significant difference between us and the French is that they consider the lawn daisy to be a suitable food and encourage its growth. I believe the standard advice here is not to feed it, but it is also not highly poisonous. Oh, and the German keepers feed ox-eye daisy, Meadowsweet, and Comfrey (which we do not).

Can Hermann Tortoises eat Buttercups?

Buttercup is on the list of toxic plants, but as previously stated, tortoises process toxins differently than mammals. If your tortoise eats it, it is unlikely to harm him:

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Poisoning conditions

Buttercups prefer moist environments. Buttercups and other succulent plants are browsed by animals allowed to graze in woods, wet meadows, and along ditches and streams. Buttercup poisoning can affect any animal, but cows are the most commonly poisoned.

Dried buttercups, on the other hand, are not poisonous, so buttercup-infested hay can be fed without risk.

Once again, this is aimed at mammals.

Can Russian Tortoises eat Buttercups?

Tortoises eat buttercups in the wild, despite some claims that they are toxic. There have been studies that show quite high levels of feces. However, this does not imply that they should be fed exclusively.

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