Feeding turtles is not an easy task. In fact, it should be one of the many concerns of first-time turtle owners in choosing to purchase a turtle as a pet. One must realize that the dietary needs of turtles vary from species to species. Some prefer plants only, while others eat a selection of foods. Some are even picky eaters, such as a box turtle. So if you are a novice turtle keeper, look for a pet turtle that will not require you to spend more time thinking about its daily diet than you do for your own. For your guidance, here are more tips on feeding turtles.
A balanced diet is very important for aquatic turtles. Any fish is appropriate for its diet: goldfish, guppies, trout, bait minnows, and smelt. However, to avoid the transfer of parasites, do not forget to freeze fish for more than three days prior to serving. Older mice are the best source of calcium for the shell growth of aquatic turtles while mouse liver is their best source of Vitamin A. Commercial diets, such as trout chow, an also be eaten, but in small amounts, and should be softened. Insects are also good, but best if fed with calcium-rich diets to boost calcium content. Moreover, the widely available and nutritious earth worms and night crawlers are fine, but small aquatic turtles need them chopped.
Most red-eared sliders are carnivorous when young, but eventually become herbivorous as they grow. Mud turtles and softshell turtles are both carnivorous. Softshell turtles eat commercial trout or catfish food. Meanwhile, captive-bred painted turtles necessitate a diet of about 25% meat, 20% or so of turtle pellets, and the balance of fresh greens and vegetables.
Semi-aquatic turtles eat small amounts of vegetables, meat, fish (preferably live and particularly whole), worms, snails (whole, including the shell), small frogs, baby mice, and floating turtle food pellets. Terrestrial turtles, on the other hand, require nutrients provided in both animals and plant matters. A diet of 85% vegetables, 10% fruits, and 5% animal protein is recommended. Brightly-colored berries and vegetables, such as strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, among others, can also be fed. Vegetables with a high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio are suggested for feeding rather than those with a lower value.
Grassland tortoises enjoy grasses and leafy greens. Among the favorite foods of tortoises are soaked alfalfa pellets, timothy hay, other grass hay, alfalfa hay, clover, dandelion, mulberry, grape leaves, and flowers, such as roses, carnations, and hibiscus. African spurred tortoises, on the other hand, require a high fiber diet. They also enjoy mixed salads of greens and vegetables every day. You must make sure, though, that there is a sprinkle of calcium on the salad from time to time. Serve fruits only in moderation; melon, apple, and other fruits during hot summers, but only once every 10 days to 2 weeks. Avoid any dog food or cat food.
After reading this article, you will begin to understand that feeding a turtle is not easy, but it can be an enjoyable task. The secret here is to ensure that you are always well-informed.