How Many Times A Day Do You Need To Feed A Red-Eared Turtle

How often and at what time to feed the turtles?

In young animals, a bone skeleton is formed and the shell is being built, so they need calcium. Grinded bone meal must be added daily to the food. One pinch will be enough for a small turtle, more adult specimens need to be added 1 tsp. in Week.

Special vitamins for turtles are recommended to be mixed in food in the doses or quantities indicated on the package.

Vitamin feed has a short shelf life. Therefore, do not give them to turtles after the expiration date.

A difficult question that cannot be answered unequivocally. Much depends on the age and size of the animal, on the feed that you feed.

For young individuals up to 1 year old, plant foods and artificial feed are suitable. Feeding should be daily.

From 1 year and older, you can feed in 1-2 days. If the turtle prefers plant foods, feeding is recommended daily. The amount of feed also depends on the age of the turtle.

Proper feeding is the main condition for the normal development of red-eared turtles. Each owner should feel his pet, choose the right food and give him what he likes and what is useful.

Despite the fact that red-eared turtles are unpretentious in food and are omnivorous creatures, food with a high protein content should be the basis of reptile nutrition.

An exemplary diet of a red-eared turtle includes the following components:

  • Meat and offal of animal origin.
  • Various types of fresh fish and seafood, dried factory feed.
  • Vegetable food – greens, fruits and vegetables.
  • Insects.
  • Mushrooms.

In addition to this list of products, for the healthy development of the turtle, additional nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals is necessary. This is especially true at the stage of maturation of an individual whose growing organism needs trace elements.

If the pet regularly eats fresh meat, fish and vegetables, vitamins are not necessary. However, some owners, trying to save on pet content, feed the turtle exclusively semi-finished products, which are of very dubious benefit. In this case, a course of vitamins is vital.

It is important to remember that the diet of turtles is largely dependent on age. Young individuals under the age of one year take the necessary elements for the development of the body in animal products. It is recommended that an adult turtle be fed more diversely by adding plant foods to the diet.

When purchasing a water turtle, the owner of the reptile should be prepared for the fact that you will have to spend money on healthy food for the pet. Meat and offal should be presented as the main source of protein and vitamin A in the diet. Turtles like to eat the following types of meat:

  • rabbit meat;
  • lean poultry;
  • beef.

Fatty pork and lamb are contraindicated in turtles. The meat is rarely given raw, but more often the product needs to be boiled so that pathogenic bacteria do not enter the body of the animal. Eating raw meat regularly can lead to rickets.

One of the most important components of a healthy turtle diet is sea and river fish. Any low-fat variety will do, most importantly, properly process the fillet. In food, bones and offal should be completely absent.

Trachemys love to hunt small fish. They are happy to eat guppies, crucians, swordsmen and other inhabitants of home aquariums. A real delicacy for these reptiles are seafood that does not require pre-treatment and is served raw. Sea cocktail for rubella reptile may consist of the following ingredients:

  • green shrimp;
  • mollusks;
  • sliced ​​squid;
  • octopus meat;
  • snails and more.

To ensure that the turtle regularly receives the necessary dose of calcium, try to spoil your pet more often with pieces of sea fish and other seafood. In the natural habitat, the diet of water turtles is more than fifty percent fish, which must be taken into account when keeping the animal at home.


The owner of the turtle, who decided to treat the pet with the caught cockroaches, acts very rashly. The fact is that their body may contain poison, with which the residents of the house tried to etch unwanted insects. Once in the body of a turtle, a toxic substance often leads to death.

Animal feed

Trachemys is a predatory reptile, so its nutrition must necessarily include animal products. The owner of the shell can be fed the following types of meat and fish food:

  • boiled and raw lean meat (poultry, veal, lamb);
  • sea ​​and river fish treated with hot water;
  • seafood (octopus, squid, mussels, etc.);
  • various types of insects;
  • small mice.

Especially important is the use of protein and calcium, which are the main components of animal feed, for young individuals. The condition of the skin of the animal, its bones and the general health of the pet directly depend on what the red-eared turtle eats.

Vegetable feed

In the second year of life, experienced breeders of turtles gradually introduce most of the plant-derived products into the diet. These include:

  • fruits (apples and pears, some varieties of citrus fruits, peaches and plums);
  • vegetables (broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes, carrots, beets, etc.);
  • green plants (meadow grass, lettuce);
  • occasionally a small amount of mushrooms (champignons, boletus);
  • aquarium algae and dried seaweed.
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As the animal matures, herbal ingredients are added to her diet. Despite the fact that a variety of algae and herbs seem to be the safest food for a turtle, some representatives of aquatic and terrestrial flora can harm the pet.

Rubella reptiles with appetite eat algae growing in the aquarium. Most often, breeders place spirogyra sprouts, duckweed and pond algae in aquariums. But the juice of the poisonous Elodea will poison the turtle, and the animal may die.

Like any other food, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms need to be processed and cut into small pieces. Some inexperienced owners try to feed the red-eared pets berries with pits or even orange peels. Even if the animal eats an inedible dish, this can lead to unpleasant consequences.

Artificial feed

Professional breeders of red-eared pets treat artificial feed with a fair amount of skepticism. Everyone knows that natural food is much healthier than processed foods. In addition, most manufacturers, creating ready-made feeds, do not take into account the features of the turtle organism, and minimally modify dry food for fish, selling it under a different name. To feed a sea turtle with such a dubious product, of course, is not worth it.

Even high-quality food in the form of cereals, capsules or tablets should make up a minimal part of the diet of the red-eared reptile. The best way out of the situation is to make food yourself from vegetables, fruits and fish, which will be useful food for the red-eared turtle.

Sometimes even feeding exclusively with natural products does not guarantee that the organism of the red-eared turtle will develop correctly. An important step in growing up this reptile is the formation of bones and carapace.

As a source of calcium necessary for the construction of skeleton and shell cells, bone meal is most often used, a pinch of which is added to reptile food. Young individuals need a daily dose of calcium, while an adult tortoise will need one teaspoon of flour per week.

The frequency of feeding the sea turtle depends on several factors, the main of which are the animal and its individual characteristics. Thus, the nutrition of adult red-eared turtles will take the minimum amount of time from their owners.

If the pet’s diet preferably consists of plant-based products, the frequency of feeding increases. Meat and fish need more time to digest, in addition, animal food saturates the body of the turtle for a long time.

A turtle of any age needs only one serving of food per day. Very young individuals are fed daily, over time increasing the period of abstinence to a week.

Her future health depends on what the little turtle eats. The diet of young individuals must include seafood. It is useful for armored kids to hunt aquarium fish. Turtles can be given shellfish and pieces of shrimp, while food is always served raw.

Plant food

Young sliders should consume at least 70% of animal food in their daily diet. Whereas older reptiles can completely switch to plant nutrition or save meat consumption in the amount of 10-25%.

The turtle can eat raw and boiled (without salt and spices) pieces of lean meat:

Small mice are also suitable for feeding.

Fatty meats such as lamb or pork, the slider can not digest.

From fish suitable low-fat river fish, from which you need to remove the offal and bones. It is important to soak the fish in hot water for several minutes before use to destroy the thiaminase enzyme in order to prevent the development of vitamin B1 deficiency.

Aquarium fish can go to feed. For example, swordsmen, guppies, goldfish.

As a variety, a raw mixture of squid, green shrimp and octopus is added to the main diet. It is sometimes permissible to give the meat of some snails – marises, coils, ponds.

You can diversify the menu with the help of insects. You can feed the red-eared turtle:

  1. crickets
  2. bugs
  3. bloodworm,
  4. grasshoppers
  5. and even caterpillars.

You can add live or dried gammarus, daphnia and coronet – but this is done occasionally.

Madagascar cockroach is also not the best food for a turtle.

How to feed a red-eared turtle besides meat? Herbs, berries, fruits, vegetables are a mandatory part of your pet’s diet.

Pond algae, spirogyra, water fat, duckweed can be planted in the aquaterrarium. They are quite suitable for food and decorate the reptile’s home.

From land grass turtles eat:

  • sprouted grains of oats and barley,
  • plantain,
  • clover,
  • coltsfoot,
  • dandelion leaves.

As an additional treat, they give:

  1. peaches
  2. apples
  3. plums
  4. apricots
  5. pears, after cutting them into slices.

Another source of vitamins can be pumpkin, celery, zucchini, broccoli, beets, carrots, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes.

Some experts allow the inclusion of legumes and dry seaweed in the feed.

How Many Times A Day Do You Need To Feed A Red-Eared Turtle

Mushrooms can be given several times a month. Slices of champignons, russula, brown boletus are added.

For red-eared turtles, animal food should account for 70% of the total daily diet. Turtles love meat (horse meat, beef, poultry), fish and seafood, do not mind eating insects.

Some turtles happily eat small mice.

But do not forget that constant feeding of raw meat leads to hypovitaminosis A, rickets develops. Therefore, nutrition should be varied.

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Fish and seafood

Low-fat varieties are suitable for feeding. The fish is cut into pieces, large bones are taken out and put in a feeding trough.


The raw fish contains the thiaminase enzyme, so before feeding it to the turtle, you need to put the fish in hot water for a couple of minutes.

In raw form, you can give a "sea cocktail", which includes green shrimp, pieces of octopus and squid. Meat of snails (large pond, reel, mariza) and squid pieces are a good food supplement, but do not make them the main food.

Turtles do not get along in the aquarium with the fish. Karasiks, guppies, goldfish, carps, swordsmen – serve as food for them. Turtles eat them with pleasure.


As for feeding cockroaches, and even caught in the kitchen, it is better to refrain from such an undertaking, because these insects can creep up to you already poisoned.

The diet must include dried or live gammarus. From time to time it is possible to feed with coronet and daphnia. At this time, it is necessary to turn off the filter for 15 minutes.

Vegetable feed is necessary for all turtles, but with age they make up a large part of the diet.

Animals love plantain, clover, vetch, dandelion leaves and rhubarb. In addition, they can be given lawn grass, coltsfoot, sprouted barley and oats.

Fruits and berries

It is recommended to cut plum, apples, pear, banana, peach, mango into small pieces and offer the turtle as a treat. Mandarin, orange, apricot and melon are also suitable for feeding animals.

It is preferable to plant duckweed, spirogyra, waterpipe, pond algae. Turtles prevent plants from growing even a little – they instantly eat them. You should refrain from landing Elodei! The plant produces toxic juice and is a danger to animals.

The diet should contain bell pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant. You can not do without pumpkins, radishes, legumes, carrots and beets. As an additional feed give broccoli, celery, dry seaweed.

Pieces of brown boletus, mushrooms, russula are recommended to be given to animals no more than 1 time per week.

Turtles do not fit human food! They will also enjoy food intended for other animals, but it will not bring turtles any benefit. It is forbidden to feed the peel of citrus fruits, to give berries with seeds.

Frequency of feeding of red-eared turtles

Small reptiles whose age is less than a year or size up to 10-12 cm (red-eared turtle is measured by the abdominal shield of the carapace) should be fed 1-2 times a day every day.

Serving sizes depend on the activity of the pet. Experts advise that to find out the amount of feed per feed, you need to track how much the animal eats in half an hour and give so much each time. The approximate amount of feed is equal to half the shell of the reptile.

If a young turtle ignores food and does not eat, then it is worth reducing the portion size and keeping the pet hungry for 1-2 days.

If the red-eared turtle is older than a year, then it should be fed 2-3 times a week. At the same time, there should be plant food in the terrarium that the pet could eat when he wanted to.

The older the red-eared turtle, the less often it needs to be fed, up to once a week.

But you need to take into account that the reptiles’ appetite is different, so it is important to carefully monitor your pet: the tortoise reports what it wants to eat with its behavior. She is active at the sight of the owner, in various ways she is trying to attract attention, paws on the water and flops, but if she feeds her, she calms down. Thus, he can ask for food, a reptile every day, or maybe every 7 days.

When an adult refuses to feed, it is advised to reduce its amount and give less.

It must be remembered that the red-eared turtle leads a daily life and its metabolic rate depends on temperature, therefore it should be fed in the morning or afternoon, but if you give it food before you turn off the lamp, then there is a chance that the food will not digest, but will settle in the stomach and begins to rot.

How much red-eared turtles eat depends on the time of the year: in spring and summer they eat more, and in winter less, because they hibernate.

If the turtle is exhausted, then it should be fed every day, the feed should be as much as the pet eats.

Small reptiles are given live aquarium fish as additional food: guppies, mollies, and swordsmen. They are launched right into the terrarium to the turtle.

Artificial feed

Often, turtle food is a modified fish food. Some animals are annoyed by a pungent odor, and they defiantly turn away from it. There are feeds in which the content of calcium, protein and vitamins does not meet the needs of turtles.

If artificial food is not suitable for purchase, you can independently prepare a treat for turtles.

  • cabbage – 50 gr.;
  • carrots – 70 gr.;
  • non-fatty fish – 145 gr.;
  • apples – 50 gr.;
  • squid meat – 100 gr.
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Cooking method. All the ingredients should be passed through a meat grinder, add 2 eggs, gelatin diluted in hot water (150 ml – 30 g.) And milk in a volume of 150 g. Mix thoroughly, allow to cool and add 20 drops of Tetravity.

The prepared food will be enough for 10 feedings, per 1 turtle with a shell length of 15 cm. If the animal is sick, you can add medicine to the feed. Gelatin can be replaced with agar. This will prevent the cubes from melting quickly in the water.

Combined feeds are very popular with the “rubella”, but they are intended for feeding warm-blooded animals and are not suitable for turtles. The feed contains a completely different set of substances useful for cats and dogs, but completely useless for turtles.

What can not feed the red-eared turtle

  • poisonous terrestrial plants and algae (elodia, ambulia, legenander);
  • plant and animal products containing a large number of oscars, phosphorus, purines (tomatoes, cabbage, raw liver, fatty meat, etc.);
  • etched and poisonous insects;
  • locusts and grasshoppers with denticles on legs;
  • fatty meat and fish;
  • bread, potatoes, etc.

Many of the above products contain substances that can lead to the development of diseases such as gout, goiter and causing iodine deficiency in the turtle. Useful, it would seem, phosphorus, interferes with the absorption of calcium, which also applies to the Oscalates.

How to feed a red-eared turtle

The turtle feeder should not be overfilled; an abundance of food can also lead to overeating. After feeding the pet to the dump, after some time the owner notices that the animal has become lethargic and passive.

In this case, contact your veterinarian. If you still think that the reptile is not enough food, it is better to give preference to algae and other plant products. The health and longevity of the turtle directly depends on how much food the pet regularly consumes.

What excess feeding can lead to

Often come to the veterinarians owners eared reptiles complaining about the apathy of water pets. At the same time, the animal diet consists of natural products, and the diet is very diverse. The problem is that animals feed too often or too densely.

Getting a red-eared sea creature, it is necessary to think over an animal’s diet in advance. Despite the fact that turtles require a variety of food, their portions are negligible and pets eat very rarely. Even the laziest animal lover can have an adult turtle, which will have to be fed once a week.

Therefore, if the owners must leave, then you can leave the adult turtle for 7-10 days, nothing will happen to her alone. However, it is advisable to launch small fish, snails and algae into the terrarium, if the reptile is hungry, it can eat them.

The turtle may not eat for several reasons:

  • due to the cold;
  • due to stress;
  • during the breeding season, if the terrarium contains heterosexual individuals, then during mating they do not eat, but after they finish, the appetite will return to reptiles;
  • due to too early transfer of the pet to an adult diet, small turtles should not be given fish and boiled eggs;
  • because of illness.

When you just started a reptile, it needs some time to get used to the change of scenery. If the turtle refuses to feed for more than 3 days, but is mobile and has no visible signs of the disease, then you may be taking care of it incorrectly.

When the pet is passive, it has nasal discharge, sneezing, swollen eyes, a turtle blows bubbles, then it should be shown to a specialist.

It is important not to overfeed the red-eared turtle, but it cannot be starved either. Feed should be thrown directly into the water, but at the same time make sure that the remnants of the food do not begin to rot in the terrarium. To avoid this, you can put your pet in a separate container with water at the time of feeding, and then return it to the terrarium.

Danger of overfeeding and underfeeding

Overfeeding of the red-eared turtle can cause:

  • abnormal growth of young individuals, in this case they have a disproportionately large shell and fragile, small paws;
  • obesity of adult reptiles, they can notice fat on the sides, when they pull their paws into the shell, skin folds that look like vesicles are visible;
  • the carapace pyramidality, in which you can notice tubercles on it, such a pathology provokes various diseases of the internal organs of the turtle;
  • tympanum, in which the reptile does not sink in the water and falls on its right side, undigested food is visible in the feces, it can blow bubbles from the mouth, and vomiting may open.

Lack of food will lead to depletion of the pet, in which peeling of the skin from the paws of the reptile is observed.

Therefore, it is so important to know how much and how often you need to feed the red-eared turtles.

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