Food For Tortoises

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Follow along as we write about how to keep the most amazing pet of all times, a tortoise! You’ll learn how to care for them, feed them and make sure they live to be over 150 years old.

Food For Tortoises

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.

Shop aquatic turtle food

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.

Foods That Tortoise Eat

Tortoises eat leaves, grasses, fungi, and vegetables for most of their meals. Many species of tortoise are primarily herbivorous, but others are omnivorous. That means they will also consume some types of animal matter.

With that in mind, take a look at the most common foods that tortoises eat while living in the wild:

  • Fungi
  • Millipedes
  • Clover
  • Alfalfa grass
  • Sowthistle grass
  • Bermuda grass
  • Mulberry leaves
  • Hibiscus leaves
  • Aloe
  • Barley
  • Hay
  • Grains
  • Earthworms
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Carrion
  • Mushrooms
  • Melons
  • Apples
  • Pears

These are some of the typical foods that a tortoise can find in the wild. The range of the tortoise is large and stretches across the world, including some of North America, South America, Asia, parts of Africa, and more. Thus, they have access to a lot of different meals around the globe.

Most interestingly, their diet can include actual meat from dead animals (carrion) as well as a variety of insects. They are opportunistic when eating insects and meat; they do not hunt for these foods. Tortoises greatly prefer plants, fruits, and vegetables to any other foods.

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