Turtles are some of the best pets that you can adopt. One of the reasons people love keeping turtles is that they are calm and pretty low-maintenance. All you need to do is ensure that they are well fed and that their surroundings are kept clean.
Baby turtles are adorable when you hold and feed them from your palm. Caring for your turtle should be your number one priority as a pet owner.
One of the most effective ways to take care of your baby turtle is by ensuring that you give them the best diet. A good diet is vital for the development of your baby turtle.
When your baby turtle feeds well, you will spend less on trips to the vet as a well-fed turtle is a healthy turtle. As such, it is essential to understand your baby turtle’s diet needs so that you can provide the appropriate foods at different ages.
Here is a quick summary of the top 5 baby turtle foods that we recommend
What You Should Feed Your Baby Turtle?
It is essential to understand the turtle’s species when feeding it. If, for instance, your turtle is herbivorous, you will need to look for a plant-based diet. If they are carnivorous, then it is crucial to understand meat-based diets.
Knowing what food to give your baby turtle is the first step to ensuring that you give your turtle a great start. The good thing about turtles is that most are omnivorous, and you will have little to no issue when getting the right diet.
Like most other animals, turtles’ dietary needs change as they age. When a turtle is very young, its organs are still developing; for this reason, it will need lots of proteins to aid in its development.
As such, your young turtles will require a protein-rich diet when they are still very young. As they grow older and mature, the need for proteins will decrease.
Types of Baby Turtle Foods Available
Understanding what types of foods are available comes in handy when choosing a diet for your turtles. Most diets will have different nutritional values despite them being from similar sources. Research which ones will satisfy your baby turtle’s dietary needs at an affordable price.
Below are some of the major nutritional sources to include in your turtle’s diet;
These foods, in most cases, are in the form of pellets and sticks. Ideally, the pellets will float in a turtle’s tank, making it easy for your turtle to feed. In addition, commercial foods are often generic, meaning that they aren’t for turtles and other reptiles.
However, there are those specifically manufactured for baby turtles. Such foods offer the best nutritional value for the turtle because their nutritional value is specific to the baby turtle’s needs. Pellets should constitute about 25 percent of your young turtle’s diet.
Feeder Fish and Insects
Feeder fish like goldfish can provide an excellent source of protein for your young pet. There are also manufactured insects, prepared and packed especially for your turtles.
Both fish and insects can offer a great alternative source of protein for your turtles. Apart from these two, we also have minerals like phosphorous and calcium which are essential in the proper development of the bones and shell.
Like pellets, feeder fish and insects should make up at least 25% of your young turtle’s diet. It is always suitable to include some minerals to spice up the reptile’s diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Always ensure that you include some fresh fruits and vegetables in your baby turtle’s diet. The best way to serve the fruits and veggies is to chop them up into small pieces or shred them for veggies like carrots.
Avoid fruits that are too sugary because they might lead to digestive problems in your baby turtle.
Even so, it is important to distinguish between the different types of turtles. If your turtle is a herbivore, you should stick to plant-based diets and meat-based diets for your carnivorous baby turtles.
Mixing up the two may lead to dietary issues. You should also ensure to provide your turtles with clean water at all times.
Turtles are wild animals, and it is best to feed them with items they would eat in their natural environment. Look for edible aquatic plants and include them in the turtle’s diet.
Some of the aquatic plants and vegetation to include in your baby turtle’s diet are duckweed, water lilies, spike rush, alfalfa, water hyacinth, pondweed, hornwort, and frogbit.
Avoid iceberg because it has high water content and low nutritional value. Supplementing this diet with vitamins and reptile calcium will boost your turtle’s development, especially the bones and the shell.
Best Baby Turtle Commercial Food Review
When it comes to buying commercial foods for your baby turtles, sometimes the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Hence, we have narrowed down the search and brought you the best baby turtle foods available in the market.
Here are some of the best commercial baby turtle foods to offer your baby pet turtle. Some are specific to a particular turtle species, while others are ideal for various species.
1. Exo Terra Hatchling Aquatic Turtle Food
The food features a special formulation for aquatic turtle hatchlings. It comprises fortified minerals and vitamins and Gammarus shrimp, which delivers high nutritional value for your baby turtle.
In addition, it has calcium from the various ingredients, which strengthen and support the growth of your turtle’s shell and young bones.
Exo Terra hatchlings turtle food pellets float in water, making it easy for the turtle to eat. It also has Vitamin D3, which helps the baby turtle with calcium absorption. The packaging has light-shielding for nutrient preservation.
Further, these pellets have Advanced Yeast Extract, promoting healthy digestion for the turtle. You can feed the turtle with these pellets as a part of their daily diet and remove uneaten food after one hour.
- It has no artificial flavors or colors
- It comprises Gammarus shrimp
- It promotes healthy digestion
- It makes the tank messy
2. Tetra TetraFauna Pro ReptoMin Baby Formula Sticks
One of the attractive and unique aspects of these baby turtle formula sticks is that they come in small bite sizes. It makes it easy for turtles to ingest them. In addition, this baby formula is rich in Vitamin C and Calcium, promoting the turtle’s growth.
Its formulation helps reduce and blocks odor in the turtle tank. Odor in a tank comes from an accumulation of waste and leftovers. The odor-reducing feature is a plus in keeping your baby turtle’s habitat hygienic. They also float, making them suitable for aquatic turtles.
Tetra ReptoMin Baby turtle sticks are softer than ordinary ones, making eating easier. About 42% of the food is a crude protein which is vital in the growing needs of baby turtles. The high protein content is vital for baby turtles as their growth is higher in their younger years.
- It features fortified vitamins
- Promotes skeletal and shell growth
- Tinny pieces suitable enough for the turtle to eat
- Ideal for a good number of turtle species
- It might not be ideal for terrestrial turtles
3. Zoo Med Box Turtle Food
If you are looking for baby box turtle food, then you should consider getting this Canned box turtle food by Zoo Med. Zoo Med is one of the most reliable brands for producing reptiles and amphibians products.
The formulation contains whole corns and apples, which are two food items that the turtle loves. Further, it has vitamins and minerals to ensure that your turtle gets all the nutrients it needs. The moist and soft turtle food comes in a natural flavor that encourages the turtle to eat.
Zoo Med’s box turtle canned turtle food is resealable, which keeps them fresh for long. Besides baby box turtles, you can also use these foods for an adult baby turtle. It is also suitable for other terrestrial turtles such as sulcate tortoises, pancake tortoises, and Russian tortoises.
- It contains whole corn and apples
- It comes in a resealable can
- It has natural flavors
- Soft and moist for the baby turtle to eat
- Not suitable for a variety of turtle species
4. Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Diet
Mazuri is one of the best pellets for baby and adult turtles in the market. It is pretty affordable and contains various nutrients vital to your pet turtle’s growth, including plants and animal proteins.
The contents of this diet food include ground corn, soybeans, dried yeast, men Hayden fish oil, poultry by-product meal, zinc oxide, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. Such ingredients make the Mazuri highly beneficial to your turtle. The vitamins and mineral contents are enough; you will not need to get supplements.
Mazuri Aquatic turtle food is ideal for omnivorous baby turtles like red-eared sliders, snapping turtle species, wood turtles, and painted turtles. It is natural with no artificial colors or flavors making it safe for your baby pet turtle.
- It doesn’t have added flavors and color
- It floats in the tank
- Provides ideal nutrition for omnivores
- Has sufficient levels of minerals and vitamins
- It contains poultry that is not a part of a turtles diet in the wild
5. Fluker’s Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food
Fluker’s is a great brand that delivers balanced meals and quality products. It is quite affordable and suitable for aquatic babies and adult pet turtles. They float in water for up to 20 minutes, making it easy for the pet turtle to eat them.
The packaging features a well-packaged jar making it easy to store the food. It consists of freeze-dried river shrimp, fish meal, mealworms, soybean meal, fish oil, corn gluten meal, and dried yeast. Such a combination gives your pet turtle a balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, fat, and minerals.
- Suitable for baby and mature turtles
- Easy for the turtle to eat
- Promotes the growth and development of your pet turtle
- It contains an ideal balance of essential nutrients
- It makes the tank messy
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Can I Feed My Baby Turtle?
The amount of food to give your baby turtle depends on what you give it. You can give it food that it will consume within 15 minutes and take away any leftovers after the time is over. Another method is giving the baby turtle a food amount equal to the size of its head.
You might want to give your baby more than this food amounts to accelerate its growth; however, it will only make your pet obese. Obesity in turtles leads to kidney diseases and shell pyramiding, among other problems.
What Should I Give My Baby Box Turtle?
A box turtle is one of the most common terrestrial pet turtles. They are largely herbivorous, and about 90% of their diet consists of plant matter, while the rest is fruits. Feed the turtle with dark, leafy green vegetables such as collard greens, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, clover, parsley, bok, and Alfalfa hay.
In addition, you should include green and red vegetables in your baby box turtle’s diet.
How Long Can My Baby Pet Turtle Survive Without Food?
You should feed your baby turtle every day. However, the turtle will survive for a week without food. Beyond this, your baby turtle will grow weak and be susceptible to illnesses. Symptoms of extreme starvation in baby turtles include sluggishness, not basking, and increased aggressiveness.
Can I Give My Baby Turtles Milk?
Turtles, both juvenile and adults, are lactose intolerant. Therefore, you should not give your turtle food. Other items you shouldn’t give the baby turtle are processed meats, wild fish, wild amphibians, and sugary fruits.