What do Land Turtles Eat

The land turtle has become increasingly common as a pet at home. They are easy to care for and can roam freely around the house without the need for an aquatic environment, so they are much more attractive than water. However, they need to have a terrarium with everything necessary (temperature, lighting and bathtub, for example) where they can sleep and rest. In addition, the ideal would be that they could be in a patio with a garden, since they live better outside.

For your reptile to have an optimal state of health, in addition to the environment, you have to take into account what land turtles eat to provide a complete and balanced diet .

What do land Turtles Eat in the Wild?

Terrestrial turtles follow a mainly vegetarian diet , based on leaves, stems, roots, flowers, seeds and fruits found in nature. You can also eat, depending on the species and occasionally, insects, earthworms, slugs, snails, grasshoppers, etc. A very common mistake in feeding land turtles as pets is to provide them with a diet with an excess of animal protein, something that is far from their natural diet. Terrestrial turtles are also scavengers and eat remains of animal carcasses, as well as feces.

It is impossible to imitate 100% the diet that these animals follow in the wild, but it is very important to try to make it as close as possible so that they have a good state of health.

Feeding for captive land turtles

Before knowing what land turtles eat, you should consider their species , as each one needs to follow a different diet. The Mediterranean should not consume any animals, while the tropical ones should , although in a very low percentage and occasionally.

  • Testudo : 70% of green leafy vegetables, 20% of the rest of vegetables and 10% of flowers or fruits.
  • Geochelone : 90% of green leafy vegetables and 10% of other vegetables. Flowers and fruits are offered occasionally as an extra in the diet.
  • Omnivorous turtles such as Terrapene : 70% vegetables, 10% fruits and 20% animal protein.

Once we know what genus our land turtle belongs to, we must take into account some general conditions:

  • Food should have a 2: 1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus .
  • The plant should be as varied as possible.
  • In omnivorous turtles, animal protein should be offered only occasionally . In vegetarian turtles, never.

Even knowing what land turtles eat, it is very difficult to provide exactly what they need; That is why the diet must be supplemented with calcium, phosphorus and vitamin supplements , necessary to maintain a strong and healthy shell. To get vitamin D, a little time of sunlight is very important every day.

Ground turtle food

The food should be offered in small pieces (depending on the size of the turtle), mixed as a salad to eat everything.

An example of a daily diet for a Testudo would be:

  • 70% of leafy vegetables : dandelion, clover, spinach, cabbage, chard, lettuce, turnip greens, cabbage, fresh grass, escarole, celery leaves. It is not necessary to offer all daily, combine a few and go changing them every day for different ones.
  • 20% fresh vegetables : broccoli, tomato, cauliflower, pumpkin, cucumber.
  • 10% fruit : apple, pear, orange, melon, watermelon, strawberries.
  • Vitamin supplements and powdered minerals , mixed with food once a week.
  • Do not forget the water always available.

Now that you know what land turtles eat, it is important that you know the forbidden foods that can harm your health:

Dangerous food for land turtles

  • Legumes and grains: beans, corn, rice, lentils, peas, cookies.
  • Vegetables and vegetables : carrot, zucchini, pepper, asparagus, beet. This group can be offered occasionally, but it is preferable to avoid them.
  • Fruits : banana, grapes, peach, kiwi, apricot.
  • Mushrooms : mushrooms.
  • Sugars .

I think for land turtles

In ThinkEatSave you can find different extruded feed for turtles such as Trixie and Zoo Med . They are complete and quality foods that allow you to feed your reptile more comfortably and quickly. However, they should never replace fresh vegetables or be the basis of the diet. Ideally, complement them or use the feed when you do not have enough green leaves.

Now that you know what land turtles eat, give it imagination and create the best and most varied and complete salads for your chelonian.

Miriam Zazo
Veterinary Tiendanimal

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