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REPTILE / nutrition

What Do I Feed My New Turtle or Tortoise?

Tortoises are vegetarians. Turtles are omnivores.

Overview

Feeding your turtle

Turtles are generally omnivores, eating a mixed diet that includes:

  • Commercial turtle food: Turtles like turtle pellets and frozen or freeze-dried fish food. Offer a small amount of food at a time to avoid overfeeding or dirtying the water too much and stop when your turtle stops showing interest in your offerings.
  • Protein: Feed turtles crickets or mealworms or feeder fish on occasion for variety. Turtles love the excitement from a good hunt.
  • Vegetables: Three or four times a week, serve 1 to 2 teaspoons of dark, leafy greens such as kale, collards or mustard greens. Remove any greens they don’t eat within four hours.

Start turtles on about a quarter-cup of fresh food daily and adjust the portion according to how quickly (relatively speaking for a turtle) they eat it.

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Feeding your tortoise

Tortoises like a variety of plant-based foods.

Produce: Depending on the species of your tortoise, about 80% of your pet tortoise’s daily diet should be fresh vegetables like kale, dandelions, mustard and collard greens. For fun, toss in a little green or yellow bell pepper, sweet potato, squash or cauliflower. These should all be offered fresh daily.

Fruit: Berries, melon, kiwi, oranges and other fruits should make up 5-10% of a tortoise’s diet. Offer your tortoise fruit every third or fourth feeding.

Other: Tortoises also like Timothy and alfalfa hay and commercial tortoise food, which can be offered at all times.

Vitamins & supplements

Calcium and vitamin A are important for both turtles and tortoises. Dust with a calcium powder 2-3x a week and dust with a reptile multivitamin 2x a month, or as instructed by your pet’s veterinarian.

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