What do box turtles eat?
Posted: Dec 20, 2018
Box turtles are popular pets. They are charming and readily available. Provided the right care they will live long lives. A pet box turtle can be with you most of your life. The key to a healthy box turtle is a good pen with the right lights and a good diet. In this article, we are going to look at what to feed your box turtle. The information below is suitable for all species of box turtles (Terrapene).
Commercial box turtle food
There are several different types of commercial box turtle foods that you can buy in most pet stores. There are dry food and canned box turtle food. These foods are designed to give your box turtle everything they need. This is not entirely true. These foods are not bad but I would never feed my turtles anything but commercial food. Commercial food can be a good base for a diet, but you should give your turtles a variety of other foods as well. Commercial food can be a good alternative when going on vacation since they are easy to feed which is good if you have an inexperienced turtle sitter.
The box turtles pellets are cheaper and easier to store than the canned food. The canned food has to be feed within a day after having been opened. The pellets last a long time in a resealable container. I think the canned food is a healthier option and the turtle seems to like it better but I appreciate that many will prefer the cheaper pellets.
Vegetables and fruits
You should always include fruit and vegetables in their diet. I try to give my turtles a variety of soft fruit and vegetables every day. Harder vegetables such as carrots can be cooked and the fed to your turtles. Most turtle, not only box turtles, love soft fruits such as mango, papaya, and bananas. They also love berries. Watching a turtle eating a strawberry is one of the cutest things you can see. They look so happy.
Always cut the fruit in small pieces of wedges before you feed them to your turtle. Adjust the size of each piece to the size of your turtle. They do not have to be able to get all of it in their mouth but they have to be able to bite over the corners.
Worms and grubs
Box turtles love different types of worms and grubs. This is a great source of proteins for them. This is not a required part of their diet but if you see a worm while working in your garden you should consider feeding it to your turtle.
Box turtles need protein to be able to grow and stay healthy. There is protein in the commercial box turtle food, but I prefer to feed them more than just that food. I believe that a variety of foods always is better.
Feed your box turtles lean meats such as chicken, shrimp, beef hearth and fish. Avoid fatty meats such as pork or sausages. Do not leave the meat in with the turtle for too long. Let them eat what they want and remove it a couple of hours later. You do not want to have spoiled meat laying around. It is unhygienic and will smell bad. It can also introduce disease to the turtle pen.
Calcium, minerals, and vitamins
I recommend that you buy a calcium and mineral powder to add to your turtles' food to make sure that they get enough calcium to grow a healthy shell. Calcium deficiency in turtles are very serious and can cause severe health problems or even death.
Finance professional who likes writing about finance and pets.