Can Turtles Eat Corn? | Do They Eat Cracked Corn?

Do Turtles Like Corn? Turtles are omnivores (which means they eat everything, especially plant and animal-based food). As a pet turtle owner, you have noticed that turtles eat whatever you throw at them. Various pet keepers question, “Can Turtles Eat Corn” and “Is Corn Safe For Turtles.” Yes, corn is safe for turtles to eat.

Corn is a complete diet as it has a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Mostly, turtle owners feed their turtles pellets, fish, vegetables, and some fruits, so feeding them corn can add diversity to their diet. Always give corn in small amounts as it contains loads of protein, sugar, and potassium.

Is Corn Safe For Turtles To Eat?

Corn has a significant portion of sugar and carbohydrates. Like humans, excessive sugar intake can increase the blood sugar levels in turtles, leading to poor health. Juvenile turtles can consume corn as much as they want because they do a lot of activity which will burn the extra calories. You should try to give the calculated amount of corn to your pet turtles as the activity is not that much.

The following table shows the nutrient in single corn:

Sugar6.6 g
Protein3.3 g
Carbohydrates19 g 
Fiber2 g
Potassium275 mg
Vitamin C6.9 mg
Thiamin0.16 mg
Sodium 15 mg
Fats1.4 g

You can sense from the above table that corn has several vital nutrients, but it is also packed with a huge amount of fats, carbohydrates, and sugars.

Why should you not feed corn to your turtles regularly?

Corn is not a diet you can give to your pet regularly like mealworms and snails. Feeding turtles on corn routinely can lead to many complications like obesity and pyramiding in them. It will spark their metabolism rate and result in early aging, which no turtle owner wants.

Corns Make Your Turtle Obese

Single yellow corn comes with 88 Calories in it. It is packed with carbohydrates, sugar, and fat, making it a weight-gaining meal for your pet turtle. For a pet turtle, it is not possible to burn that many calories in a captivative habitat. If your turtle’s calorie intake is more than what it is burning, then it will become obese.

Corns Will Trigger Turtle’s Metabolism Rate

By consuming corn regularly, the internal metabolism rate of turtles will shoot up. We know that turtles are one of the slowest creatures in the world due to their slow metabolism rate. Turtles usually spend their time basking and soaking them in water means they consume minimal calories. If you add corn to turtles’ regular diet, their aging speeds up.

Corns Are Difficult To Digest

Corns are abundant in cellulose. We know that cellulose is an insoluble fiber and is tough to absorb by turtles. Turtles do not create enzymes and acids to break down these fibers. You can better know if a turtle gets a tough time digesting corn, then complications can occur. If a turtle consumes corn daily, then it can cause acidosis in the turtle due to high amounts of contents like potassium, sugar, and protein in corn.

Corns Will Make Turtle Discard Other Diets

Corn is rich in fiber and protein. These organic compounds contain enough calories to fulfill the calorie intake of turtles. If a turtle eats a bunch of corn, then it will not eat any other food like pellets, fish, and vegetables needed for turtle growth. My suggestion is not to feed corn to your pet daily because it will quit eating other foodstuffs.

Can Baby Turtles Eat Corn?

You can feed corn to your baby turtles more than adult ones as they are highly active due to their rigorous swimming. Keep in mind that feeding corn will not be enough to fulfill the calcium and protein requirements of turtles for healthy bones and shell growth. To avoid choking, give your turtle crushed corn kernels to eat. 

Note: Choking is a complication when young turtles swallow food rather than chew it. 

do turtles eat corn

How To Feed Corn To Turtles?

Give crushed kernels to your turtle eating corn. Many turtle owners reported that raw kernels stuck in their pet’s throat, causing difficulty breathing. Never let your turtle eat corn from the con because, except for snapping turtles, other species do not have enough biting power to chew kernels from the cob.

I recommend cooking corn kernels separated from the cob so the turtle can eat without any problem. Do not include dairy products like butter while cooking corn because it is hard for turtles to digest. Why am I saying this to avoid adding dairy products to the turtle’s meal? Turtles are intolerant to lactose which can cause digestive problems in them.

How Often To Feed Corn To Turtles?

Fruits and corn should be provided to turtles twice monthly because they contain nutrients not necessary for their improvement. These food items are not mandatory for your turtle to eat, so feed them occasionally with these meals. In this way, their digestive system remains well from any problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Turtles Eat Cracked Corn?

Yes, turtles prefer to eat cracked corn because they find it easy to bite kernels rather than pulling it out from the cob. 

Can Turtles Eat Corn Husk?

Corn husk is a waste because it is commonly utilized as a wrapper, so a turtle can not eat it because it is fully loaded with cellulose. 

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Corn?

The Red Eared Slider Turtles can surely eat corn as it is safe for them to eat if given in moderate amount. 

Do Box Turtles Eat Corn?

Corn is safe for box turtles to consume as a meal but you should ensure that they eat it in moderation to avoid any complications. 

Final Words

Can turtles eat corn? Yes, corn is an edible vegetable that is both healthy and nutritious for turtles. It is a good source of fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. You can also use corn to quickly get rid of a turtle’s constipation by incorporating it into their diet.

Corn is actually quite a beneficial food, provided in small amounts. It should be no more than 1/4 of the complete diet at once and no more than 3/4 of the diet in total. Corn is high in sugars, so I would recommend that you do not feed your turtle corn for more than a day.

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Hey, I've done my Ph.D. in Marine Biology. I'm a turtle enthusiast and have been owning turtles for the last 22 years and dedicated to sharing my experience to help you in pet turtle upbringing.