We have all heard how important it is to monitor the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio in a tortoise’s diet, but it’s not always that easy! Especially when you feed a mix of all kinds of foods, it can become so complicated that many do not bother considering this nutritional advice. I have made a calculator that can calculate the Ca:P ratio that you are providing with whatever mix of greens, fruits, or veggies that you are feeding.
The best way to utilize the calculator is to consider everything you buy fresh at the store for feeding all your tortoises over any time frame. You will type in the type and amount of foods you mix, how long that mix lasts, and how many tortoises you feed over that time-frame. It will then calculate the approximate Ca:P ratio you feed, in addition to the amount of Ca and P provided daily.
Ca:P ratios above 1:1 are considered acceptable, but ratios above 2:1 are considered most ideal. Although it is sometimes recommended that sprinkling calcium powder on food to boost the Ca:P ratio, it is a much healthier option to instead add more high calcium items. You will notice that we are not just concerned with Ca:P ratios, because for example, iceburg lettuce has a ratio of 1:1, however the calcium and phosphorus content is almost non-existent. So this is not a good food option even though the ratio is acceptable. We want to aim for the highest Ca and P content along with acceptable ratios.