Types of turtle food and recommendations! Explains how to give and what to do when not eating

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You need various things to raise a turtle, but one of the most important ones is “turtle food”, isn’t it? Of course, you can’t keep a turtle without food, but there are many types of turtle food, and when you start keeping it, you may be wondering what to feed.

This time, we will summarize the turtle food for those who are wondering what kind of food should be given in turtle breeding. If you read this article, you will have questions about turtle food, such as what kind of turtle food is available, what nutrients are needed and what should not be eaten, how much should be given and how often. Should be resolved at once! I think it will be useful for breeding not only turtles but also other reptiles such as lizards, geckos and snakes.

Nutrients needed for turtles

First, let’s think about the nutrients that turtles need to survive. The purpose of feeding food is to ensure that the turtle is getting these nutrients.

However, it is not known in detail what nutrients and how much a turtle needs and what happens if it is deficient. Please consider that the introduction here is just a guide.


Protein is a major component that makes the body such as blood and muscles, and it is also an enzyme that is indispensable for maintaining life. This protein is the main component of food for reptiles such as turtles.


Fat is the main source of energy. It also contains essential fatty acids that the body cannot make, and can be used as a source of hormones in the body. It also helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.


Vitamins are not an energy source or a body-building ingredient, but they work to help other nutrients work. Although the amount of vitamins required is low, it is important to get them from food because the body can hardly make them.

A particular problem in raising reptiles, including turtles, is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for the formation of shells and bones, and it can be synthesized in the body by exposure to ultraviolet rays as well as ingested from food.


Minerals, also called minerals, are nutrients that, like vitamins, help maintain and regulate body function. It is similar to vitamins in that it plays an important role in small amounts, but it differs from vitamins in that minerals are also constituents of the body.

Types of turtle food

The food given to turtles can be broadly divided into animal and vegetable foods . Depending on the type and growth of the turtle, the preference for animal or vegetable foods will differ. The staple food is completely different depending on whether it is a tortoise or a red-eared slider. There is a feature.

In many cases, animal food is more palatable (it has a better bite), but in order to maintain the health of the turtles that are kept, animal food is also available so that various nutrients can be ingested. A well-balanced diet should also be given.

In addition to the classification of animal and plant matter, turtle food can also be classified as follows according to the method and condition of food production.

  • Artificial feed / compound feed
  • Dry feed
  • Live food / live food
  • Raw food
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Self-made feed

Food that should not be given

I have introduced various foods for turtles, but there are some foods that should not be given to turtles. Turtles and humans are quite different creatures, so it is very dangerous to judge whether they can eat or not with human senses. With the right knowledge, be careful not to feed turtles dangerous foods.

Food processed for humans

Basically, food processed for human consumption should not be given to turtles . For example, I sometimes see people feeding turtles in a park pond, but since breads are rich in additives, seasonings, fats, etc. and do not contain the nutrients necessary for turtles, they can be used as food for turtles. Is inappropriate.

Dog food and cat food

Like human food, dog food and cat food should not be given because turtles do not contain the necessary nutrients and have too much salt, fat, and additives. If you can buy food for dogs and cats, please buy food for turtles. It should be much cheaper than dog and cat food.

How to feed turtles

Now that we have introduced the types of turtle food, nutrients, and food that should not be given, the next step is to explain how to feed turtles. This is just a guide, so if you want to hibernate, give more food in the summer, feed the female immediately after spawning, and if you are a fat turtle, reduce the amount of food a little, depending on the condition of the turtle. Please adjust.


It is said that the amount of food given at one time is about 1 to 3 turtle heads, but it is a bit confusing. I think it’s good to be aware that the turtle will give enough to eat in about 2 to 3 minutes. I have a stance of observing the turtle while feeding it and feeding it until the bite becomes dull.

Frequency / number of times

The frequency and frequency of feeding depends on the growth of the turtle. Basically, the juveniles (child turtles) are fed more frequently, and when they become adults (parent turtles), the number of feedings is reduced a little.

There are many different ways to feed turtles. Choose a method that is easy to feed according to the type of turtle you are breeding and the breeding environment. Also, if the turtle doesn’t eat the food, you may be able to eat it by keeping this way of feeding, so please try various methods.

Sprinkle bait

Sprinkling is a method of feeding food in a breeding cage. This method corresponds to cases such as distributing food to water with aquatic turtles, or distributing insects for food to terrestrial and animal-eating turtles.

What to do when a turtle does not eat food

Immediately after introducing a wild individual or when a turtle loses its length, the turtle you are breeding may stop eating food. Turtles have low metabolism, and if you have eaten enough food until then, you don’t have to eat anything for about a month, so I will think about a way to feed them carefully without being too impatient.

Raise water temperature / temperature

The first possibility is that you will not eat because the water temperature and temperature are too low to digest the food. Turtles are poikilotherms, so their activity decreases when the ambient temperature is low. Check if the water temperature is 26 ° C or higher and the temperature in a warm place (hot spot) on land is about 35 ° C, and if the temperature is low, raise the temperature using a heater or the like.

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