What Do Baby Turtles Eat? Feeding Tips And Guide For You | Kidadl

FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS

What Do Baby Turtles Eat? Feeding Tips And Guide For You

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Turtle are great pets since they live for so long and are so hardy!

However, it is important for pet owners to watch what their pet turtles eat to make sure that their health is maintained. If you have a pet turtle too and would like it to eat all the nutritional foods, you have stumbled upon the right article!

Turtles eat different foods and have different nutritional requirements depending upon their natural habitat. Some turtles would eat meat and fish, while still others would only feed on greens and vegetables. It is therefore very important that you feed your dearest shelled buddy only the best products, according to their age and species. Keep reading to find out what would be the best diet for your baby turtles!

If you enjoy reading this article, why not also check out what do pigs like and what do iguanas eat here at Kidadl!

How To Make Baby Turtle Food

Having a baby turtle as a pet and watching the animal grow over the years can be quite a special thing. At the same time, making sure that your pet baby turtle's diet is looked after adequately and giving it the correct amounts of food can be confusing.

It is very important to feed a baby turtle the right food according to its species since baby turtles may or may not live to become healthy individuals as they grow up if their diet and feeding schedule are not paid attention to. A baby turtle needs protein, vitamins, and other nutrients from its diet in order to support the immense amounts of growth and development that it goes through. Nutrients such as calcium and protein are available in natural food products as well as in store-bought ones, however, the most important part would be to choose the correct feeder. The first step would thus be to ensure the species and type of baby turtle that you have as a pet. There are certain essential minerals and vitamins that can be found in different food products depending on the nature of the turtle's diet.

There are many turtle species that are strictly carnivorous and live mainly on the meat of other animals and insects. At the same time, there are certain other turtle species that would rarely be seen to be eating anything other can leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. There are other turtle species that are omnivorous and would love to have either fruits and vegetables or meat as a part of their diet. The key, here, would be to determine and put a finger on such a balanced diet that would promote optimum health.

When it comes to 'preparing' turtle food at home, the first thing to understand and keep in mind would be that wild turtles do not have access to human foods. Hence, their digestive tracts are not built in such a way that they would be able to process anything that is cooked in any method. Cooking also kills a lot of the vitamin content in meat and vegetables, hence, your pet turtle's diet would be deprived of a lot of the essential nutrients if the food that you give it is cooked. The only thing that would fall under the parameters of preparing food for wild baby turtles would be the cutting and shredding of fruits and vegetables in order to make them easily chewable.

Additionally, baby turtles mostly survive on pellets and nutritional gels when they are brought up in captivity. In their wild habitat, baby land turtles eat mealworms and crickets among other insects that provide them with ample amounts of protein. Aquatic turtles, on the other hand, would feed on small fish and crustaceans. An aquatic turtle would also eat some plants and aquatic vegetation. When these species of turtles are brought up in captivity as a pet, they seek similar vitamins and minerals in order to sustain health. These nutritional values can easily be found in the pellets and gels that are commonly found in pet stores. Hence, your baby turtle's diet is likely to consist majorly of protein-rich pellets!

Suitable Food For Baby Turtles

Your pet turtle is likely to have a more specific diet as a juvenile. This is because what you feed a baby turtle determines its health as an adult.

Aquatic turtles may be more comfortable when kept in a tank or aquarium. The food that you give your pet aquatic turtle should ideally be of a variety that can hold itself in water. If the pellet brand is such that it disintegrates in the tank while feeding, your turtle may have to live in murky water. These turtles would also hate to be feeding on any fruits and vegetables since these foods and their nutrients are alien to them. Baby river turtles eat aquatic plants and dead fish, which means that they are omnivorous. Semi-aquatic turtles such as baby red-eared turtles would require some calcium in their food, which can be found in feeder fish that is available at pet stores. They would also love to be fed some mealworms and crickets. A red-eared turtle hatchling and all other turtle babies that like to live in water should have a separate feeding tank in order to make sure that the tank is clean at all times.

A pet land turtle, on the other hand, will depend on foods such as pellets and gel for their vitamin intake. While there are some species of land turtles that are carnivorous or omnivorous, there are still others that are herbivorous. The calcium intake would therefore depend largely on the pellets that these turtles have been eating since the hatchling phase. Box turtles are land-based turtles. Box turtles are omnivores that love eating greens, fruits, and vegetables and equally enjoy feeding on foods such as insects and worms. In their wild habitat, their vitamins and minerals would reach them through foods such as insects, however, in captivity, a pellet-based diet would suffice.

Therefore, knowing whether you have a land turtle or aquatic turtle as a pet may not be adequate since the diet is subjective not to habitat, but to species.

Additionally, remember that baby turtles drink water, and hence, their tanks should not have dirt or chemicals. Baby turtles drink a lot of water. Other fluids are harmful to them.

Eastern Painted Turtle

What Not To Feed Baby Turtles

Healthy turtles often live to be quite old and keep humans company for a long time. However, having healthy adult turtles would only be a reality if your pet has been fed the correct food as a juvenile. What baby turtles eat in the ocean or in their wildland habitat may not be easy to replicate, however, your nearest pet store may be able to solve all your woes rather effectively. At the same time, there are certain foods that should be kept away from baby and adult turtles since it isn't natural for them to be feeding on such things.

Any processed human foods or dairy products can prove to be detrimental to your pet turtle's health since such food products lack the nutritional index that the animal would require. A pet turtle needs a rather heavily protein-based diet, which is to be supplied in the form of fish feeder and pellets. Salty and sugary foods are not healthy for your pet turtle either and can hinder its growth.

How To Feed A Baby Turtle

Your pet turtle would need a diet of feeder fish and healthy pellets in order to get its share of calcium and proteins.

Protein and calcium help in making sure that the shell and bones of the turtle are appropriately strong according to the animal's age. Vegetables and greens can also be fed to a baby turtle if in the right amounts. Make sure to feed your baby turtle every day till it is seven years old. After this age, turtles eat three to four times a week in order to remain healthy and strong. Make sure to find the correct food at the pet store, and be assured that your pet will be as happy as in its natural habitat!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do baby turtles eat, then why not take a look at what do baby painted turtles eat or box turtle facts?

Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

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