what do box turtals eat…



  1. 0 Votes

    Wild box turtles are omnivores and in will eat earthworms, snails, grubs, beetles, caterpillars, carrion, grasses, fallen fruit, berries, mushrooms and flowers.

    You should try to stick as close as possible to this for turtles in captivity, but here is a good list of foods for turtles relatively easy to obtain:

    This is quoted from the source I linked below, as I don’t think I can state it more clearly:

    PROTEIN makes up about 50% of the diet. Protein foods should be cut up small enough so the turtle cannot get its fill of food with just one bite of protein. Mix the protein with the vegetables and fruits. All muscle meats should be sprinkled with calcium supplement that contains no phosphorus. Cuttlebone given to birds may also be shaved onto food stuff and left in the turtle’s home so the turtle can forage on it at will. It is high in calcium and other trace minerals and should always be available to box turtles.

    Use regularly—Natural live, whole foods like pesticide free earthworms, slugs, waxworms, beetles, grubs, sow bugs. Boiled, chopped chicken, feeder fish or beef heart.
    Occasionally—Low-fat soaked dog kibble, soaked puppy Milkbones®, low-fat premium canned dog food, cooked lean steak, mealworms and crickets that have been gutloaded on dark greens, Prepared box turtle food products.
    Less frequently—Pinky mice, boiled egg, tofu, low-fat cat kibble.
    Never—Due to the possibility of contamination, fat content and salt: raw meats, fatty meats or processed meats.

    VEGETABLES make up about 30% of the diet. Use the part of the vegetable that is colorful as it contains the most nutrition. Use fresh vegetables whenever possible and steam or grate hard vegetables before offering to the box turtle.

    Use regularly—Summer and winter squashes, peas in the pod, sweet potatoes, okra, grated carrots, green beans, wax beans and cactus pads with all spines removed.
    Occasionally—Mushrooms of all types, corn on the cob and tomatoes.
    Less frequently—Bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, beets and cauliflower.
    Never—Avocado peel.

    LEAFY DARK GREENS make up 10% of the diet. Dark leafy greens contain fiber and many minerals and vitamins. Greens help keep the turtle gut healthy through their cleansing action. Always provide your turtles with greens.

    Use regularly—Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, romaine, wheat grass and turnip greens.
    Occasionally—Red leaf lettuce, endive, parsley, kale and Swiss chard.
    Less frequently—Iceberg lettuce and spinach.
    Never—Rhubarb, potato and tobacco leaves.

    FRUITS make up the remaining 10% of the diet and are dessert for your turtles. Most turtles love fruits and each seems to have a favorite. Try to find your turtle’s favorite. If it is a finicky eater, use the fruit to entice it to eat other foods. Chop the favorite fruit into small pieces and mix it with things the turtle should eat but won’t. This way, with every bite of fruit it will also eat the required food. I sprinkle vitamins on the fruit as well.

    REGULARLY—Grapes, apples, fresh figs, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, peaches, crabapples, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwis, cherries and persimmons, banana and most other fruits.”


    There are lots of concerns when feeding box turtles, so see the link.

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