What Do Baby Turtles Eat?


What Do Baby Turtles Eat?

Baby turtles are adorable, little creatures who need a lot of specific care to stay alive and healthy. They are vulnerable to many diseases and bacteria that spread infections.

Despite how adorable they are, what can young turtles eat? Eating at home can be more fun for young turtles. Although those pellets from the pet store may be useful, what’s inside? This is your opportunity to discover what the little turtle babies eat and how to supplement their normal turtle meals to ensure their best health.

What Do Baby Turtles Eat?

When a turtle is young compared to when it is an adult, their diets are very different. While a young turtle will often eat significantly more protein than plant food, an adult turtle can eat nearly anything. A juvenile turtle’s environment and physical form are remarkably similar to those of a hatchling. Tortoises are primarily herbivores, although hatchlings require careful vitamin control. Every turtle’s diet, from infancy to age, is fully controlled by its species. The diets of different turtles differ.

Depending on whether your turtle is an omnivore or a herbivore, the majority of its diet will consist of commercial turtle food pellets, feeder fish and insects, vegetables, and fruits. Only if your pet turtle is a herbivore will it be able to consume fruits and veggies. The most common pet, a red-eared slider, is likely in your possession.

Commercial Food Pellets

Because it will float and is less likely to break apart than pelleted food made for other reptiles, food produced specifically for turtles is preferable. Studies suggest that 25% of your turtle’s food should consist of pellets.

Insects or Feeder Fish

Comet goldfish, which are high in protein, appropriately balanced minerals like calcium and phosphorus, as well as adequate amounts of certain vitamins like vitamin A, are among the feeders. Similar to pellets, these should make up 25% of a tortoise’s diet.

Vegetables & Fruits

Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up the majority of your turtle’s diet. The best chopped dark leafy greens are mustard, kale, and collard. For turtles, shredded carrots, zucchini, and squash are also great sources of nutritional fiber.

Aquatic plants that are edible, such water hyacinth, water lettuce, and duckweed, are another option. Melons, apples, and berries that have been diced up are nice additions to fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables can benefit from nutritional additions like vitamin powders and reptile calcium.

What Do Baby Box Turtles Eat?

The most common land turtle sold as a pet is the box turtle. Box turtles, so named because they can close their hinged shell around their head, legs, and tail to resemble a box as adults, are omnivorous. As adults, they eat both meat and plants. Box turtle hatchlings will prefer meat to greens while they are young.

In the wild, box turtles will consume whatever insects that are there; but, in captivity, you can finely cut and give your pet foods like crickets, mealworms, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, melons, apricots, or bananas.

Every other day, give your box turtle babies sources of meat and vegetables in addition to plants. They will likely reject all plant matter for the first 8 to 10 weeks, but they have an innate understanding of the nutrients and minerals they need and will adjust their diet when their internal clock signals it. Feed for an hour, then take out any leftovers to keep the area tidy.

What Does Baby Red-Footed Tortoise Eat?

In contrast to terrestrial and semi-aquatic turtles, which become omnivorous over time, turtles are herbivorous from birth. The most popular pet in this course is the red-footed turtle. Getting the right vitamin and mineral balance is essential for vegetarians. Your red-footed platypus will consume finely chopped henbit, chickweed, plantain, chicory, green leaves, strawberries, plums, cantaloupes, peaches, and pineapples.

What Do Baby Aquatic Turtles Eat?

What Do Baby Aquatic Turtles Eat?

Use a magnetic or floating-based veggie clip to hold veggies and their associated leafy greens to keep aquatic turtles occupied for longer. The clip will prevent the heavier vegetables from moving around in the tank or container’s bottom compartment.

Feed adults every two to three days, and feed newborns every day. Use a small plate to place food for the semi-aquatic turtles to eat from when you are on land. Don’t feed the turtle in the morning until after it has had a chance to awaken and warm up.

How To Feed A Baby Turtle?

Step 1

Learn about the diet needs of your turtle. Distinct species of turtles have different diets. Due to their omnivorous nature, turtles consume both plants and animals in their diets. However, certain turtles’ eating patterns may alter over time.

As they get older, several types of turtles vary their diet. Some species, including red-eared sliders and green sea turtles, start out as mostly carnivorous creatures before switching to plant-based diets as they age.

Turtles can be categorized based on their preferred method of feeding; some are purely carnivorous or omnivorous, while others are always such. For the rest of its life, a snapping turtle’s diet must consist mostly of meat, whereas a loggerhead turtle must consume both animal and plant items.

Find out what kind of turtle you have. For instance, if you raised the turtles yourself, you might be able to detect this with ease. The species, however, could not have been stated if you purchased it from a pet shop. Take your young turtle to a doctor who has experience with turtles to aid in the diagnosis.

Step 2

Take care to feed the turtle. A high-quality turtle pebble can be transformed into a nourishing one. Nevertheless, alternative meals can be suitable as well, depending on your turtle’s needs. If so, make sure your turtle also has access to other food sources. Turtles need a variety of diets for good nutrition and wellbeing.

Give your omnivorous or herbivorous turtle a range of fruits and vegetables in addition to pellets. The best options include kale, lettuce, carrots, strawberries, and melon. Think about the aquatic vegetation that a turtle would typically consume, such as water lettuce, duckweed, and water hyacinth.

A turtle that needs to consume flesh may be given wax worms. There are several suitable possibilities, including earthworms, mealworms, crayfish, snails, minnows, slugs, and wax worms. These can be bought from pet stores that offer turtles and other reptiles as well as reptile specialty stores.

Step 3

Assist your turtle with settling in. For turtles to thrive, eating must be enjoyable. To encourage your turtle to consume food in its tank, make the environment conducive to eating. Give your turtle food occasionally in a separate cage to keep its home tidy. For adult turtles, this can be important even though it is not for newborn turtles. Even though it’s not ideal, you should still think about feeding the baby turtle in its usual cage if it refuses to be fed in another way. In that case, cleaning its tank will be necessary more frequently.

The type of food and how it is set up in a cage differ depending on the species. When making meals, try to imitate how your turtle feeds in its natural habitat. For example, putting minnows into a small body of water may be a lot of fun if your turtle is a carnivore.

Have a little pool of water in the tank where you feed the freshwater turtle because they are good swimmers. To prevent drowning, young turtles shouldn’t be submerged more than two inches.

If you’re offering the insects to your turtle, put them on land. If the insects get into the water, they can increase the ammonia levels there. The skin and shell of your turtle would suffer from this.

Food that is fresh will spoil. Put every fresh food item in a different dish to avoid cross-contamination. Discard fresh food after being absent for a few hours.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Turtles?

There are various kinds of turtles, including sea turtles, freshwater terrapins, tortoises, and turtles. Each of these critters has a shell made of bones that they can retreat within in the event of danger. Two turtle species with fully shutting shells are the box turtle and the hinge-back turtle. Despite this defense, turtles are frequently preyed upon. Additionally, hatchlings and embryos in eggs may be preyed upon by predators.

Predators that target young turtles include:


Sea turtles are caught by bearded vultures, who then drop them high above the earth, usually on rocky or bouldery terrain. These vultures will attempt the technique again if the turtle shell does not break on the first effort. After being released, the turtle’s meat is now easily accessible and is eaten by the bearded vulture.

One of the main predators of the western swamp turtle is the crow. Turtles are also preyed upon by other raptors, including ravens and herons. Baby turtles are born on the beach and seek to escape to the ocean, but are caught and eaten by seagulls.

Carnivorous Mammals

Numerous creatures consume turtles. Strong hunters, raccoons will often bring a turtle to a secure area so they may eat it without being noticed. Turtles are preyed upon by foxes, coyotes, and even some domesticated dogs.

The dog usually just plays around with the baby turtle. However, there is a significant probability that the infant turtle’s vital organs will be damaged or destroyed if the shark’s teeth get to touch it. Rarely, domestic cats have been observed to kill small turtles.

If given the chance, predators like weasels, skunks, and ferrets will all take turtles from their homes. Any area of the turtle’s shell that it cannot push back far enough is nibbled on by these critters.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Some adult frogs will attempt to eat tiny freshwater turtles when they have no other options for food. While crocodiles and alligators devour adult turtles, nile monitors prey on turtle eggs and young. Terrapins can be easily eliminated by mature alligators, which can weigh up to 500 pounds.

How To Protect Baby Turtles From Predators?

How To Protect Baby Turtles From Predators?

The easiest way to protect a nest is to cover it with chicken wire or hardware cloth so that raccoons cannot dig through it but it can resist rain and sunlight. She could have produced anything from a dozen to several dozen eggs, if she had been a sliding door. Over the course of their nesting cycle, snappers have been known to lay over 50 eggs.

Depending on the summer season, the eggs of the majority of freshwater species will hatch in a few months. However, after hatching, baby sliders and painted turtles typically stay in the nest until spring. Fall is when snappers usually start to appear.

If you want to know when they leave the nest, enclose the area with a hardware cloth fence that is six inches high and check it as often as you can. To protect the nest from damage, don’t forget to remove the wire covering that was put in place.

The most common time for emergence is in the early spring or fall on a warm day after rain. It will require daily checking to determine whether it’s a good day for them to have emerged in order to find young turtles, but it will be well worth it. Either you or someone else can carry them to the destination.


Do baby turtles like to be pet?

Turtles never enjoy being picked up and handled; they much prefer to be left alone. Many individuals lose interest in caring for turtles since they are not affectionate, don’t enjoy being handled, stroked, or hugged, and don’t play with toys.

What do we call a baby turtle?


Is a tortoise a baby turtle?

In actuality, all turtles and tortoises are members of the same order, the Testudines or Chelonia, which includes reptiles with bony shells covering their bodies.

What is a toddler turtle called?

Hatchlings are the turtles’ baby forms: (countable and uncountable eclosions) (biology) a larva emerging from an egg or an insect emerging from its pupal casing. Wiktionary’s eclosion wiki can be found at https://en.wiktionary.org.

What do baby tortoises look like?


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author