What do turtles eat?

Turtles are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet varies based on their species, age, and habitat. Here are some key points about what turtles eat:

Plant Foods

  • Leafy greens like collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale, romaine, swiss chard, watercress, endive, bok choy, escarole12
  • Vegetables like carrots, squash, green beans, broccoli12
  • Fruits like apples, cantaloupe, bananas, berries, mangoes1
  • Aquatic plants like water hyacinth, water lettuce, duckweed12

Animal Foods

  • Processed foods like drained sardines, turtle pellets, trout chow1
  • Cooked meats like chicken, beef, turkey1
  • Live prey like moths, crickets, shrimp, krill, feeder fish, worms12

Diet by Age and Species

  • Younger turtles (7-10 years) need more animal-based protein12
  • Adult turtles eat more plant matter12
  • Carnivorous turtles like softshell turtles eat mainly animal protein2
  • Herbivorous turtles like green sea turtles eat mainly plants as adults3
  • Omnivorous turtles like red-eared sliders eat a mix of plants and animals4

Feeding Tips

  • Feed juveniles 1-2 times per day, adults every 2-3 days12
  • Vary the foods to provide a nutritious diet12
  • Avoid foods high in oxalates like spinach and parsley1
  • Don't overfeed to prevent obesity1
  • Provide proper tank size and UVB lighting1
In summary, turtles require a varied diet of greens, vegetables, fruits, and animal proteins tailored to their species and life stage for optimal health1234.
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