Question: Box Turtle Nutrition?

Topic: I’m getting a box turtle as a pet in a couple of days and I need to get everything figured out on them. What would a box turtle eat in captivity of a cage? I don’t have my specific species yet but you would think box turtles are all pretty much the same diet in captivity. I really need some basic care information on box turtles because I’m getting mine as a pet very soon. Thanks for the help.


*Awarded Answer
Posted by Samantha K:
turtle on roadThe individual species of each box turtle does make a difference in what they each eat because they live in different parts of the world and the idea is to replicate what these turtles eat in their natural habitat scenario. For everything you do with setting up the lifestyle and cage for your turtle, always compare it to what the turtle is used to in “natural habitat” or the real Mother Nature sort of say.

Box turtles eat a wide variety of foods. They are omnivores and feed on both meaty and green foods. You have to remember that box turtles are slow so they can’t be too picky about their next meal. Their diets mainly consist of:

  • Insects and Bugs
  • Loves Earthworms
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Dead Animals

A more in depth look at these food types. Insects are a huge part of the turtles food intake. Anything you can think of as far as bugs and the turtle most likely will eat it. Crickets, spiders, caterpillars, beetles and much more. Go out and catch fresh live insects for your turtle. If you have a little brother they are going to absolutely love finding bugs for your turtle to feed on.

Earthworms are a favorite to the box turtle. Easy to find for the turtle and it doesn’t take too much stress catching them. There is in fact a lot of nutrition for eating earthworms. Make your pet reptile happy by throwing some earthworms in the cage.

As far as fruits and vegetables go you have to remember that the turtles not necessarily getting the fresh fruit that has just fallen off of the trees. A lot of the fruits and vegetables that the turtle actually gets to an time is almost rotten and it’s totally safe for the turtle to eat. So if you’re thinking that your box turtle needs to have the freshest fruit and vegetables from the grocery store you might want to think otherwise because they don’t ever get that and natural habitat.

When you read on the list that the box turtle eats dead animals you probably did not expect to see that. It’s kind of one of those things like those unknown to most people and turtle owners. What happens a lot of time in natural habitat is the turtle will be walking and come across a dead snake or maybe a piece of meat that an eagle drop from the sky or just a dead animal at that. The Box turtle is a very slow-moving animal and needs to eat is going to take advantage of and easy meal especially when it’s right in front of him. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and give your turtle some bacteria infested old hamburger anything like that but just can use your imagination and what they might possibly eat like a piece of chicken here and there or just you can do some more research into that but it is a small piece of what they eat and natural habitat.

Posted by Grant B:
Making sure your turtle or tortoise has the right nutrition is a bigger deal than once whatever think. Reptiles need a lot of nutrition that people don’t think of to do with their skin and how they absorb liquids. I can’t even admit that I understand completely but they did stress this very strongly to me at the pet store and the employee was very knowledged and actually did a lot of breeding of reptiles and I really believe him. He also told me that it’s a huge misconception that people seem to think that turtle’s eat like once a month like snakes do but that’s completely false.

Posted by Jessica N:
If you do a little research online you can find a lot better turtle food that comes in both and is a lot more enriched with nutrients and vitamins and it’s more of a natural product. I read about it online but it took me a while to find but as soon as I found a good produced food that seemed very healthy for my turtle and it was just a more natural food and it my turtles have never been healthier since. You will learn that a lot of the mass produced foods that you buy at Walmart and such I just really crappy and full of additives that have no real benefit to the turtles diet.

Reply from Dan M:
To say they have additives with no real benefit and that the turtles do not need but if that’s the case then why are they even in the food that’s what I don’t understand. You get lucky with keeping box turtles because you don’t need to have a huge filter keeping lots of water clean!

Reply from Jessica N:
The benefit is that the turtle food stays good for 20 years and doesn’t ever expire. This way the manufacture can sit on the product in the stores for 10 years and still make profit from it. It’s a nasty sales deal but they are in it for the money side of things at times. You can’t beat natural foods at the end of the day. Just try to replicate what the box turtle would eat in natural habitat and it will be much more healthy.

Reply from Dan M:
I guess I can do that. Earth worms are easy to find and I can buy them at the fishing bait store when I run out too. Thanks for the help.

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