Turtles Eating Habits (All Related Questions)

Copyright: vrabelpeter1

As a turtle owner, it is crucial to understand your turtles’ eating habits. Just like any other living being, food is essential to your turtles. It will inform how fast and healthy your turtle grows, among other things.

Knowing what, when, and how to feed your turtles will significantly impact their development. This article will answer some questions asked frequently about turtle feeding habits. Below are some questions that turtle owners ask:

What Do Freshwater Turtles Eat? 

Freshwater turtles are those turtles that spend most, if not all, of their lives in freshwater bodies. Some of the common water bodies these turtles inhabit include rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, swamps, and ravines. Most freshwater turtles are omnivorous, feeding on both animals and plants.

While the diet may differ from one freshwater turtle species to another, it always shares some similarities. Freshwater turtles usually feed on aquatic and terrestrial plants, snails, slugs, earthworms, small fish, amphibians, insects, insect larva, and amphibian eggs.

Different freshwater turtle species will have different hunting methods. There are those turtles that lay in wait and ambush their prey when it swims close to them. Others will actively hunt for their prey while there are still those that scavenge on dead prey. Turtles may leave their water habitats to browse on terrestrial vegetation, fruits, berries, and seeds.

How Long Can a Turtle Go Without Eating?

In the wild, it is a common occurrence for turtles to go for several days without food. Mature, healthy turtles can survive for several months without food. There are records where turtles have gone for about 150 days without food. However, this is not healthy, and as a general rule of the thumb, turtles, like any other pet, need to be fed regularly.

Turtles can live considerably longer if they have a clean water source than when they don’t. Without water, they will dehydrate in a few weeks. Young turtles below six months will barely survive a few months, even with water. Even if they do, they may never recover fully.

A pet turtle will have lower chances of survival than a wild turtle since it gets a consistent food and water supply. If you will be away from home for some time, it is crucial to ensure you live someone in charge of your turtle to feed it at least thrice a week.

Do Turtles Eat Orange Peels?

While turtles love oranges, it is best to avoid feeding your turtles orange peels. Orange peels store up chemicals that will be detrimental to your pet’s health. Some chemicals may last for many years in the turtle’s bodies. Such chemicals may cause irreparable damage, both short-term and long-term.

Apart from the chemicals, orange peels contain a high level of fiber that may interfere with your turtle’s digestion leading to intestinal upsets. Low levels of fiber are suitable for your turtle, but when they are in excess, they may cause constipation.

You should also not give your turtles a lot of oranges. Oranges are sweet, and your turtles may take a liking to them and end up neglecting the other leafy vegetables. Further, oranges contain about 12% of natural sugars, and such excessive sugar is not good for your turtle’s health.

Do Turtles Eat Cucumbers? 

As we mentioned above, most turtles will feed on both plants and meat. Plants here will also include vegetables such as cucumbers. Cucumbers are a great addition to your turtles’ diet if they like it.

There are several benefits contained in a cucumber. Among them are; water- cucumbers provide a great source of hydration for your turtles. A significant portion of a cucumber is water. Your turtle will also enjoy Vitamin B and Potassium, which will aid in absorbing other minerals.

However, like in all other foods you offer to your turtle, you should also consider the portions of cucumber that you give it. If you feed your turtles excessive cucumbers, they might get diarrhea. The best way to feed your cucumbers to your turtle is by incorporating them with other foods.

Can Turtles Eat Bread?

Turtles, like any other omnivores, will feed on anything that man eats. They can feed on bread, but the issue is that it is of little nutritional value. Bread is not meant for turtles which means that it will not benefit them much. By feeding your turtle bread, you will be doing more harm than good.

The other challenge with bread is that turtles do not have the necessary enzymes to break down the bread. If your turtle takes too much bread, it might suffer indigestion. Indigestion will interfere with the turtle’s intake of minerals which will, in turn, affect your turtle’s development, especially the shell.

A turtle may eat bread occasionally and not suffer any harm. However, this should not become a habit. That a turtle enjoys bread does not mean that it is suitable for it. It is good to warn the other members of your family against feeding bread to your turtle.

In addition, in case you visit a zoo where turtles are, avoid giving them bread. Instead, you can choose to carry lettuce or any other leafy vegetable as it is more healthy.

Can Turtles Eat Carrots?

If you think that taking care of a pet turtle requires lesser effort than taking care of a cat or a dog, you might be wrong. Turtles require as much effort as any other pet, if not more. Dietary needs for turtles are similar to those of the other pets, and for this reason, be mindful of what you feed the turtle.

Feeding your turtle carrots is a great idea, and it is highly encouraged. Carrots provide a great source of many minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to your turtles’ health. It would be best if you, however, introduce them gradually.

An abrupt change in your turtles’ diet may upset their digestion leading to digestive illnesses.

Some turtles will also prefer to have their carrots raw, while others may like them better cooked. Whichever form they take, your turtles will benefit significantly from eating them. Some of the nutrients in carrots include; Vitamins A, B1 to B6, C, E, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, and energy.

Apart from the above nutrients, there are other ways through which your turtle can benefit from carrots. You can prepare a carrot bath for your turtle. A carrot bath means soaking your turtle in carrot juice. It is beneficial when your turtle has Chlorine irritation in the eyes or skin or has lost its appetite.

How To Prepare a Carrot Bath for Your Turtle

To prepare this bath, you should thoroughly wash your carrots, especially if you got them from the market to remove chemical residuals and toxins. Next, blend them or use a juice extractor to get the juice syrup.

Add some water to the mixture ensuring that ¾ of the mix is carrot juice. Warm it to about 800 F, and then soak your turtle for 30 minutes.

Carrots are a great source of nutrients; however, do not overfeed your turtle. Carrot tops are also a good source of leafy vegetables and should be fed to the turtle if they like them.

What Should I Feed Wild Turtles?

In general, we would not recommend you to interact with wild turtles. Due to their interactions with other animals in the wild, these turtles may carry on their bodies deadly diseases and bacteria that can cause illness in humans or other pets. Handling them may transmit these diseases to you, and you may end up infecting your pets or loved ones.

If you, however, must feed a wild turtle, ensure you stand at a safe distance. The next thing to consider doing is to identify the type of turtle it is. Different turtles need different diets to remain healthy. However, most turtles are omnivorous; thus, their diets will almost be the same, just with other preferences.

Wild turtles will generally feed on grasshoppers, earthworms, peas, crickets, chopped-up carrots and pears, lettuce, berries, leafy greens such as collard and kales. Most turtles fancy these, but some will eat selectively, but their diet will all depend on what is available in the wild.

Young wild turtles need less vegetation than adult turtles. When feeding them, consider giving them more proteins than vegetation to aid in their development. Insects, bugs, and earthworms will make an excellent source of proteins. If these are not available, you can feed them fruits and wild berries.

As mentioned above, you should never handle a wild turtle. Avoid touching it at all costs, and do not even think of taking it home. Some turtles like the common snapping may portray aggressive behavior and may bite or scratch.

Bites and scratches may lead to infection, and this is why you should keep away from them. If you realize that a turtle is injured, you should immediately call a vet rather than treat the turtle yourself.

Can Turtles Eat Dog Food?

Feeding your turtles dog food is not a good idea. While the food is not likely to kill your pet, it will, in the long run, have adverse effects on the turtles. Turtles have different nutritional needs from those of your dogs, which means that giving them dog food will deny them essential nutrients.

In addition, their digestive system is different from that of dogs, meaning that they might not have the ability to digest some parts of the dog food. Indigestion could lead to more serious digestive problems in turtles like bowel obstruction. To save your turtles from all these, you should give them a proper meal that has beneficial nutrients for turtles.

Young turtles below 18 months have a higher need for proteins than older turtles. When your turtles are young, you should give them more proteins than plants to aid in their development. Proteins are crucial in the formation of the turtles’ shells and other parts of the body.

You should then slowly switch the diet with extra plant matter as the turtle matures. By the time they develop, at least half of their diet should compose plant-based items. Dog food is rich in proteins which means that feeding it to an adult turtle will interfere with its development.

The conclusion here is that a turtle should not be fed dog food. It would be best if you got turtle-specific food. There are many foods for turtle options available locally, but if you still want to buy commercially processed foods, look for the ones meant for turtles.

Although your turtle may like eating dog food, you should know that it will cause them harm in the long run. Therefore, it would be best to stop encouraging the habit before your turtles become hooked to dog food.

Can Turtles Eat Boiled Eggs?

Eggs are nutritious since they contain lots of proteins and other nutrients that a turtle requires. It is safe to feed your turtles well-boiled eggs. It would be best to always stick to boiled eggs when feeding the pet, not scrambled, half-boiled or raw eggs. Avoid giving your beloved pet turtle raw eggs as they can transmit diseases from chicken to turtles.

Giving eggs to turtles should be done in moderation to avoid overfeeding. Due to the high protein content in eggs, only give turtles small portions, maybe once a week. Juveniles and young turtles require more proteins than adult turtles for their development. It is, therefore, okay to give them slightly more significant portions than the adults.

Turtles require calcium and phosphorous for their development, and these two are readily available in eggshells. Crushing these shells and mixing them with other food can be a great way to feed your turtle with these minerals. To absorb calcium, they will also need vitamin D, directly obtained from sunlight through basking.

What Is A Turtle’s Favorite Food?

Turtles have different dietary needs at different ages. For young and juvenile turtles, a protein-rich diet is encouraged. As they age, demand for proteins diminishes while that for vegetation goes up. Thus, a turtle’s favorite food will largely depend on the age and the species of a turtle.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the favorite food for each turtle species, there are some foods that most species prefer. Goldfish is one of the turtles’ most preferred protein sources; it offers minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. Other sources of protein include earthworms, crickets, and commercial pellets.

For omnivore and herbivore turtles, there are some preferences when it comes to vegetables and fruits. The best vegetable sources include dark leafy veggies like mustard greens, collard, kales, shredded carrots, zucchini, and squash. You may also consider giving your turtles aquatic vegetables like lettuce, duckweed, and water hyacinth.

From time to time, it is always good to spice up your turtles’ diet using fruits like melons, shredded apples, orange slices, and chopped berries. However, you should avoid feeding them fruits daily as your turtle may get hooked to the sweet fruits and abandon other vegetables that are not as sweet.

In addition, avoid some vegetables, such as spinach, beetroots, chives, chard, spinach, and parsley. Most of these contain high levels of oxalates, a chemical that binds with calcium and prevents its absorption. Your turtle will suffer from calcium deficiency within a short period after feeding on large quantities of vegetables containing this chemical.

 What Can You Feed a Tortoise?

Just like we have mentioned above, a turtle’s diet will largely depend on the age and species of turtle. Generally, young and juvenile turtles are still undergoing development. For this reason, their diet should consist of more proteins than vegetables.

The recommended ratio between proteins and vegetables for young turtles should be 80% to 20%. As the turtles grow older, the demand for proteins falls as their bodies fully develop. At maturity, you should reduce the protein content to equal portions with the vegetables. As the turtles age, you continually increase vegetable concentrate.

For old turtles, the ratio of the diet should be around 90% vegetables and 10% proteins. The reasoning behind this is that you do not want the turtles becoming obese at an old age. More proteins mean more body growth, and this may put the health of your turtles at risk.

It is also essential to feed your turtles with fruits from time to time.

Below are the recommended safe sources for your turtles’ diet;

Protein sources: Some of the best sources of proteins include insects like crickets, earthworms, mealworms, feeder fish, and commercial pellets. As a pet keeper, you may occasionally give your turtles a pinch of only high-quality dog food.

Vegetable sources: You should look for succulent leafy vegetables such as kales, young dandelions, collards, mustard greens, shredded carrots, squash, zucchini, duckweed, lettuce, and hyacinth.

Fruits sources: It is good to give your turtles small quantities of fruits from time to time as it helps sweeten their diet. You should, however, do it moderately to avoid the turtles from getting hooked. Some of the recommended fruits for your turtle include shredded apples, melons, chopped berries, and orange slices.

Can You Over Feed a Turtle? 

It is possible to overfeed your turtle. It is usually a common occurrence for pet owners who have not taken the time to understand their new pets. Overfeeding your turtle means giving it more food than it needs, which can be dangerous to your turtle’s health.

Turtles are wild animals, and domesticating them does not shut off their wild instincts. In the wild, food is pretty scarce. Hence, turtles eat as much as they can when they get food. The same happens to domesticated turtles; they will always eat as long as there is food.

For this reason, you must regulate your turtle’s feeding to avoid overfeeding them. A turtle can go for days, even months, without any food. The real danger is in overfeeding your turtle. There are several indications that your turtle is overweight. These include:

  • Obesity- look at any noticeable folds on limbs.
  • Lethargy
  • Shell pyramiding
  • Bloating of the limbs

While limiting food, it is essential to ensure that your turtle always has a clean source of drinking water to ensure that they remain hydrated.

How Often Should You Feed Box Turtles? 

Box turtles are no different from all other turtles when it comes to feeding. They will also become overweight if they are overfed.  You, therefore, need to monitor how much food they are getting to ensure that they do not become obese.

To avoid this from taking place, you need to reduce the number of times you feed your box turtles. An ideal way of feeding your turtles can be;

  • Young and juvenile turtles once every day.
  • Young adults should eat once every two days.
  • Mature box turtles will survive with food once every three days.

Young turtles have the highest demand for food, particularly proteins since they are still developing. Adults, on the other hand, only need small portions of food to sustain themselves. Giving measured quantities to your box turtles will ensure that they do not grow overweight and suffer the effects mentioned above.

It is essential to monitor your box turtle’s development constantly as it is the only way to spot any signs of overfeeding or any other issue your turtles may have. If you have kept two turtles of the same species in the same enclosure, check for any glaring differences in their development, as this is a clear indication that one of the turtles is not getting enough food.

What Can I Feed a Wild Box Turtle? 

Box turtle species are omnivores which means that they feed on both meat and plants.

Young and juvenile wild box turtles will need a more protein-based diet than mature turtles. Some of the best common sources of these proteins in the wild include snails, beetles, crickets, slugs, crustaceans, eggs, worms, and insect larva. 

For mature wild box turtles, their diet is more plant-based as they are now fully matured. Some of the plants that wild box turtles eat include mushrooms, fruits, flowers. Dark, leafy vegetables like collards, kale, romaine, broccoli, and mustard greens are suitable for these turtles. Wild box turtles are attracted to bright vegetables such as tomatoes, red bell peppers, carrots, cantaloupe, and strawberries.

From time to time, you can give wild box turtles fruits such as peeled oranges, sliced apples, chopped melons, among other fleshy and succulent fruits. They will appreciate that. However, you should avoid too many fruits as they are hard to come by in the wild.

Like with any other turtle, however, you should never try handling a wild box turtle. Sometimes wild turtles could be carrying infectious diseases that may infect you or your other pets. It is ideal to stay away from wild turtles when possible. If they have to be handled, call a vet to do that.

What Should You Not Feed Turtles?

Turtles have a robust digestive system that can take most foods, even some of the poisonous ones. There are cases where turtles have eaten toxic mushrooms without suffering any effect. Despite tolerating even toxic foods, not all that a turtle eats is healthy or beneficial. Some foods are outright harmful and, with time, may cause significant harm to a turtle.

Some of the well-known foods that you should never feed your turtle include:

·       Potato And Tomato Leaves:

Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family and produce steroidal alkaloids. Potatoes produce two particularly harmful alkaloids; solanine and chaconine. Solanine has a characteristic bitter taste and, for this reason, is avoided by most animals.

If your turtle ingests potato leaves or tomato vines in large quantities, it will suffer several symptoms like diarrhea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, skin sensitivity, and bloating. Potato tubers may also exhibit similar effects.

It is best to keep your turtle clear of these two plants.

·       Dairy Products

Like most animals, turtles are lactose intolerant which means that they cannot break down lactose into simple sugars. Therefore, it is important to avoid feeding your turtle dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and cream, as they will not digest them properly.

Indigestion will significantly affect your turtle’s ability to absorb nutrients. It may also lead to diarrhea and consequently dehydration and energy loss.

·       Processed Foods

These food include sausages, canned foods, and lunch meat. Processed foods are not suitable for both people and animals. They have a high concentration of salts and preservatives, which harm the body. Besides this, their fat content is also high, making the digestive system work more to break it down.

·       Non-food Snacks

Some people love feeding their turtles non-food items such as chocolate bars and candy. These have almost zero nutrients and are of no benefit to your turtles. In addition, they contain high levels of processed sugars which makes it hard for the turtles to metabolize. It is best to avoid them.

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Rice?

Red-eared slider turtles should not be fed rice as their digestive systems are not adapted to it. Also, rice contains a shallow nutritional value that will benefit these turtles. Instead of rice, there are other better and more nutritious foods that you should consider. 

We would not recommend feeding turtles food meant for human consumption. When feeding your red-eared sliders, it is always important to ask whether the turtles can find that food in the wild. If the answer to this is a no, then there is a good chance that such food will be harmful to your turtle.

Giving red-eared sliders rice to eat will affect their development and growth. It is, therefore, essential to avoid giving it to them. If you have to feed them, ensure that the rice is well cooked and avoid making it their staple food. It is best to only feed it occasionally.

What Should I Feed A Baby Box Turtle? 

Baby box turtles are omnivorous, just like their parents. However, since they are still in the development stage, their diet demands more animal protein than plants. A good diet for a baby box turtle has the following composition; 50% animal protein, 30% plants, and 20% fruits.

You should feed your baby box turtles daily, preferably late mid-morning, after they have had a chance to walk around. The food should be easily accessible to your turtles; they should not have to struggle to get to it.

It is crucial to ensure that you spice up their diet to avoid getting them used to the same food. If a baby turtle gets bored with the same food offered, it may stop eating altogether. Below are some foods in each category that you may consider giving your baby box turtles;

Animal Proteins: Commercial pellets, snails, slugs, nightcrawlers, beetles, crickets, earthworms, and a pinch of cat food to supplement other proteins.

Vegetables: Pumpkins, squash, green beans, okra, peas, carrots, bell peppers. Leafy vegetables such as kales, romaine, seaweeds, and collard greens are also a great source of supplements.

Fruits: Fruits are good supplements to the diet of your baby box turtle. Recommended fruits include sliced apples, melons, mangoes, berries, and peaches. Ensure to peel them first before offering them to the babies.

It is crucial to ensure that all these foods are free from contamination, especially pesticides and other chemicals, as this can be fatal to young box turtles.

How Often Should I Feed My Turtle? 

The frequency of feeding your turtle will largely depend on two main factors; the age and size of the turtles. Young, juvenile, and small turtles have a higher energy need compared to big mature turtles. For this reason, the frequency of feeding them will be higher than the older, bigger turtles.

For young and juvenile turtles, a big meal every day should be enough to care for their growth needs. On the other hand, big mature turtles will be content with a meal after every two or three days.

Further, ensure that you feed your turtles a balanced meal according to the dietary needs of each turtle. For instance, young and juvenile turtles have a greater need for meals rich in animal protein than their older counterparts as they are still developing. Old turtles, on the other hand, do not need many proteins since they are fully grown.

Apart from age and size, towards hibernation, it is highly encouraged that you reduce the amount of food you give your turtles. Food rationing helps prepare them for hibernation. However, it would be best to gradually do it to ensure that the turtles do not go into shock due to sudden dietary changes.

As the overwintering period draws nearer, you should feed your turtles lesser food. A week to the commencement of hibernation, your turtle should be surviving on at most one meal per week. However, no matter the turtle age pr the period they are in, it is crucial to ensure that they have access to clean water at all times and that they stay hydrated.

Do Turtles Eat Bananas? 

Turtles can and do it bananas. Since most people love bananas, it is natural for them to try and feed their turtles with them.  However, before feeding bananas to your turtle, it is important to consider the nutrient content against the health risks posed.

If you want to feed your turtle bananas, you must do it under strict restrictions. Several harmful effects may result from too many bananas. These include;

·       Sugar

Naturally occurring sugar is the best-recommended type of sugar. It gives a good energy boost that can sustain the body for a long time. For the same reasons, this is why bananas are not suitable for turtles. These sugars are usually converted to fat which leads to weight gain in turtles.

·       Fiber

Fiber is a solid material that is found in bananas. It consists of the largest part of a banana. While fiber is useful in humans, in turtles, it just sits in the stomach and ends up causing digestive issues and constipation.

·       Banana Peels

When feeding your turtles bananas, you should always avoid feeding them peels. Banana peels are laden with pesticides and chemicals. These chemicals are detrimental to your turtles’ health.

The ideal banana feeding should be kept as low as possible—a maximum of 3 days a week and a piece not bigger than your thumb. This will avoid the possibility of your turtles suffering from the above negative effects. In general, however, if possible, you should avoid giving bananas to your turtles. Instead, give them healthier fruits like melons. 

What Happens When You Overfeed A Turtle?

Overfeeding your turtle may happen if you are not very keen on your turtles’ feeding habits. Like many other pets, turtles will not shy away from food; they will feed on whatever you give them. If left unchecked, these turtles will within no time become obese. Several dangers face overfed turtles. Among them are;

·       Excessive Growth and Shedding of The Shell

An overfed turtle will grow fast as it accumulates body mass. Sadly, this growth also happens in its shell. Natural lifecycle is that the old worn parts fall off and are replaced by other newer ones. However, with an overfed turtle, the shell growth is rapid, and so is the shedding. The result is an uneven shell structure.

·       Premature Sexuality

Due availability of food, sexual maturity in turtles happens faster than it should. Premature sexuality means that some of the sexual organs in turtles will not have formed completely. When the turtles mate and fertilization occurs, most of the offspring produced have deformities while others die young due to the rushed sexual development.

·       Organ Failure, Especially Kidneys and Liver

Organ failure is a common and severe effect of overfeeding your turtles. Due to the large intake of food, some body organs like kidneys and liver are overworked. Hepatic lipidosis is a condition that results from fat deposition on the liver. If left untreated, it will eventually lead to liver failure.

·       Difficult Mobility

An overfed turtle will have puffed-up limbs, and this will hinder its mobility. As the shell grows slower than other body parts, your turtle will experience difficulties retracting the body, leaving it exposed to predators. It will also not be able to walk fast away from danger.

These effects, if not treated, will eventually lead to the death of your turtle. It is therefore essential to monitor how much food your turtle gets every day. Proper feeding will help it live a long and comfortable life.

What Can You Feed a Wild Baby Turtle? 

Wild turtles are no different from those in captivity-their dietary needs are the same. Turtles still in infancy stages are undergoing development. For this reason, their diet must contain more animal protein to aid in the building of body mass.

There are several sources where wild turtles get their food. These sources include the following:

  • Protein sources: wild baby turtles get most of their proteins from insects and small animals, namely grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms, silkworms, waxworms, snails, moths, and slugs. You may also feed them commercially manufactured pellets and hard-boiled eggs.
  • Vegetable sources: There are several vegetables that wild turtles eat. Some of them include collard greens, kales, dandelions, sliced carrots, and mustard greens.  A wild baby will enjoy such a delicacy since it may be hard to find such in the wild.
  • Fruits: Turtles love fruits more than they love vegetables. It is, as such, important to ensure that you do not feed your wild baby turtles too many fruits as they may get hooked on them and forget the healthy vegetables. Some of the common fruits to feed your wild baby turtles include; peaches, guava, raisins, kiwis, star fruit, and melons.

When feeding wild baby turtles, you shouldn’t handle them as they carry salmonella bacteria that doesn’t affect them but will certainly cause illness in humans.

What Can I Feed a Baby Turtle? 

Juvenile turtles have different dietary needs from those of adult turtles. When feeding a baby turtle, you should always choose a diet that is rich in animal proteins. Young and baby turtles have a high demand for proteins to build their body mass since they are still developing.

You can get proteins from manufactured pellets, earthworms, small fish, shrimps, crickets, and an occasional pinch of dog food. You can feed your baby turtles cucumbers, sliced carrots, peeled pumpkins, red peppers, winter squash, and parsnips, as they are all great vegetables. Kales, hyacinth, seaweeds, dandelions, and collard greens are great sources of leafy vegetables.

When feeding a baby turtle, you need to ensure that the diet has both proteins and vegetables, as these are the two staple diets for the proper development of baby turtles. In addition, to sweeten the turtles’ diet and avoid them getting bored from eating the same food, you should include some fruits.

Examples of fruits that you can feed your baby turtles include sliced apples, berries, pears,  peach, tomatoes, and mangoes. Ensure to peel the fruits first before feeding them to your turtles, as they may usually store up harmful pesticides and other chemicals.

How Many Times In a Day Should You Feed Turtles?

It is important to develop a routine that you will stick to when feeding your turtles. A routine is good as it helps you quickly notice any changes in your turtle’s feeding patterns. The best way to feed these reptiles is by giving them one full meal until the next feeding time.

Due to the different dietary requirements, younger turtles eat more than older ones. Per day, you should give young and juvenile turtles one full meal per day. The beauty of this model of feeding is that you can account for how much your turtles eat. It will also assist in avoiding overfeeding your turtles.

For turtles above one year, you should feed them one meal after every two days. The reason behind this is that their dietary requirements are lower since they have almost matured. Lastly, mature turtles should be fed after every three days. Nutritional demands for adult turtles are the lowest, which means they need little food to sustain them.

Feeding these turtles one meal every few days helps avoid instances where your turtles have more than they need. You would rather deal with an underfed turtle than an overfed one. If you notice a reduced feeding in your turtle, you should call a vet immediately to have them check your pet. There is a decent chance that your turtle is sick.


The above are some of the most frequently asked questions on feeding habits in turtles. Below, we have a few summary points that you need to be aware of to take care of your turtles effectively;

  • Turtles have different nutritional requirements based on their age and size. Young turtles lean more towards a protein-rich diet than older ones.
  • Fruit peels affect turtles negatively and should not be fed to turtles.
  • The frequency of feeding turtles should reduce as the turtles grow older to avoid overfeeding.
  • Overfeeding is detrimental to a turtle; it results in obesity and liver and kidney conditions.
  • Leafy vegetables are healthy foods to feed your turtles, while cat and dog foods should be avoided.

Noting the above points will help take care of your pet more effectively. If you are still unsure what is best for your turtles, research further or consult your vet.

Recent Posts