Food of baby tortoise
Baby Tortoise Diet & Feeding Guide For Beginners – The Turtle Hub
Have you just bought a baby tortoise? Congratulations and welcome to the club. I know as a loving owner, you will do everything to ensure healthy growth for your pet. Do you know what is more important for a baby tortoise besides a proper habitat? Yes, food.
Each tortoise species has its own preferences when it comes to the diet. Generally, the baby tortoises are herbivorous and eat green leafy vegetables. Food supplements along with natural growing vegetables make the perfect diet for your pet tortoise.
What do baby tortoises eat? How often should you feed them? I know you have more questions like these on your mind. Follow this article to get the complete baby tortoise diet guide for beginners.
Table of Contents
What Does A Baby Tortoise Eat?
The baby tortoises have a different appetite than the adult ones. They prefer munching on the leafy vegetables, plant leaves, stems, flowers with occasional fruit treats.
In general, a baby tortoise’s diet can contain the following items,
- Safe plant stems, leaves, or flowers
- Grasses and hays
- Leafy green vegetables
In each meal for the baby tortoise, you should give priority to the greens. The fruits should be an occasional treat for the babies.
Here is a list of safe plants and weeds for your baby tortoise diet:
- Aloe vera
- Bramble (Tender leaf, fruits, shoots)
- Boston fern
- Dandelion (Stem, leaf, flower)
- Greater plantain
- Milk thistle
- Pricky sow thistle
- Ribgrass plantain
- Red clover (Stem, leaf, flower)
- Red dead nettle
- Smooth sow thistle (Stem, leaf, flower)
- Smooth hawks bread (Leaf, flower)
- White clover (Stem, leaf, flower)
- White dead nettle
- Young hedge mustard plant
Tortoises are land dwellers and graze on the grasslands. Experts suggest that eating grasses or hays have benefits for the baby tortoises. The grasses can provide the little creatures with nutrition and fiber.
Here are some safe grass options for your baby tortoise:
- Pampas grass
- Couch grass
- Cat grass
- Bermuda grass
- Oat grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fescue grass
- Barley grass
- Timothy grass
- Fountain grass
Selected vegetable list for your baby tortoise:
- Collard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
- Grape leaf
- Sweet potato
- Bell pepper
- Mesclun lettuce
- Red leaf lettuce
- Spring mix lettuce
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Fruits options for your baby tortoise:
It is better to keep your baby tortoise on natural food items instead of canned ones. In the wild, the species graze around and feed on the weeds, stems, and vegetables. However, make sure any item you purchase for the little tortoise must be pesticide-free and non-toxic.
Some tortoise owners prefer feeding commercial foods or pellets to baby tortoises. In a sense, it is okay if you do not have an idea about the greens and grasses.
From the above list, which items should you add to your baby tortoise’s diet? It totally depends on the species of the tortoise. Hence, identify the baby before preparing the meal plant for it.
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What Can Baby Sulcata Tortoise Eat?
The eating habit of a baby Sulcata tortoise is similar to most other species. The diet consists of greens and vegetables, grasses and hays, and fruits. To cover up the lackings of any minerals or vitamins, you need to add pellets, multivitamins, cuttlebones, or supplements to the meal chart of the baby Sulcata tortoise.
Here is a food chart for a baby Sulcata tortoise:
|Safe Grasses For Sulcata Tortoise
|Safe Weeds For Sulcata Tortoise
|Safe Green Vegetables For Sulcata Tortoise
|Safe Fruits For Sulcata Tortoise
|Alfalfa Ryegrass Bermuda grass Oat grass Barley grass Wheatgrass Kentucky bluegrass Fescue grass Timothy grass Orchardgrass
|Chickweed Dandelion Nettle Clover Milk thistle Mallow Pricky sow thistle Smooth sow thistle Henbit Honeysuckle Greater plantain Ribgrass plantain
|Kale Spring mix lettuce Romaine lettuce Red leaf lettuce Arugula Pumpkin Broccoli Grape leaf Oakleaf Mesclun lettuce Radicchio Watercress Endive Chicory Fennel Escarole
|Pears Banana Strawberry Apple Melon
Besides these items, you can choose any food from the diet lists given in the previous subsection.
You can include commercial pellets in your baby Sulcata tortoise diet chart. But make sure you are not overfeeding the turtle with cuttlebones or pellets. Adding the supplements twice or thrice a week is enough for these little buddies.
Also, do not add fruits to the everyday meal of the baby Sulcata tortoise. A Fruit treat every once or twice a month will bring a variety in the meals for the tortoise.
Do you know a Sulcata tortoise can live up to 150 years? Providing a balanced diet from the beginning will surely help your baby pet live to its fullest. Check out what other factors affect a baby Sulcata tortoise’s lifespan from this article.
Foods To Avoid Feeding A Baby Tortoise
Baby tortoises are always sensitive. You have to properly plan through their meals so that they get the required nutrition.
The most common mistake here is that many owners do not have any idea about the forbidden food list of the baby tortoises. The myth here is, a tortoise would consume anything.
But that is not the truth. If you feed anything outside the baby tortoise’s comfort zone, the pet will have an upset stomach. In the case of toxic plants, the babies might choke and fall severely ill.
To stay aware, take a quick look at the foods given below and never enlist them in your baby tortoise’s diet:
- Frozen vegetables
- Dairy products
- Candies and sweets
- Sodium rich foods
- Junk foods
- Asparagus fern
- Calla lily
You can click right here to get a full list of the poisonous plants to baby tortoises.
Perfect Wooden Tortoise House For Outdoor & Indoor!
To tell you the truth, I am not any good with wood working. So, making a house for my tortoise & box turtles myself was out of question. I was always on the lookout for a decent tortoise house at a cheap price.
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- Private sleeping area, public viewing area
- Dimension: 38.1″(L) x 22.4″(W) x 13.1″(H)
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Do Baby Tortoises Drink Water?
Like all other animals, tortoises also need water to stay alive. But yes, the species do not drink much water.
To keep the bodies hydrated, the baby tortoises drink water from time to time. So, it is a good idea to provide a shallow water bowl in the enclosure. You need to fill the container with clean and fresh water regularly.
Never dig up a deep water source in a baby tortoise enclosure. Unlike turtles, tortoises can not swim.
How Much Food Does A Baby Tortoise Eat?
Determining the quantity of food for the baby tortoise is challenging for beginners. From 0 to 6 months, feed the baby pet a quarter cup of vegetables, grasses, leaves, and weeds. When it turns 6 months, increase the quantity from quarter to half cup. Continue the amount till the baby tortoise gets 12 months old.
Many tortoise owners prefer feeding the hatchlings commercial foods. In that case, offer the baby tortoises food that equals 1-4% of its body weight.
Depending on the species, the baby tortoise may have more hunger. If you find your pet devouring aggressively, provide it a little bit more greens or grasses. But do not overfeed the baby.
Usually, a baby tortoise acts like an eating machine. It is because, in the wild, they spend their time grazing here and there. However, overfeeding your baby tortoise can lead to accelerated growth and shell deformation or pyramiding.
How Often Should You Feed A Baby Tortoise?
The baby tortoises require more food than the adults. Generally, for the first 12 months, you should feed the baby pet once every day. After the 1st year, the feeding schedule will change.
Add vegetables, grasses, leaves, and stems to the diet chart of the baby tortoise. Do not feed it fruits every single day. Otherwise, the baby may have an upset tummy.
Some people think baby tortoises can not eat hard vegetables or fruits. Do not forget the tortoises have sharp jaws. They can easily crush carrots, potatoes, or other veggies and fruits like this.
Baby Tortoise And Supplements
When you are raising your baby tortoises in captivity, ensure that the pets are getting all the nutrition they need. You know, in an indoor habitat, the tortoises do not get the natural UV rays. Instead, the lack of UVA and UVB exposures are fulfilled through artificial lights.
Even with UV light, the baby tortoise can not grow stronger bones and shells if its food lacks minerals. To stay safe, vets suggest feeding the tortoise licensed calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. But the question is how much and how often to offer?
Experts believe the requirement for vitamins and calcium totally depends on the individual tortoise. You can sprinkle the supplement on each meal of the pet or try the thrice-a-week schedule.
Some people prefer leaving a small bowl of calcium powder in the baby tortoise habitat. However, in any situation, do not force your tortoise to eat any supplement.
I have encountered owners who feed their tortoises multi-vitamin. Those supplements, once or twice every week, may help the baby stay fit. But if your diet chart contains enough vegetables and grasses, there is no need for multi-vitamins for your baby tortoise.
My Baby Tortoise Is Not Eating Food: Why?
People often complain that their baby tortoise is refusing to eat. Well, there can be many reasons behind this behavior. The most common one is mental stress and anxiety.
When you bring the baby tortoise home, everything is new to it. The baby may need some time to adjust to its new home and lifestyle. Other reasons for the baby tortoises to refuse food are,
- Low temperature
- Low-quality UV light
- Food out of reach
Here are a few tips that may help you bring the lost appetite of your baby tortoise,
- Offer the baby a variety of food to find out its preferences. The pet might get bored by eating only one type of food every day.
- Make sure the enclosure temperature lies in the comfort zone of the baby tortoise. Generally, the preferred temperature for the tortoise is 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep a small water source in the enclosure so that the pets can drink water whenever they need it.
- The food bowl should not be out of reach of the baby tortoises.
- Install a quality UV light that provides both UVA and UVB exposures.
- You can try giving the baby tortoises a fruity treat to entice them to eat.
Generally, baby tortoises eat green vegetables, grasses, and fruits. The babies can not digest meat or insects, and it can upset their stomach. To ensure healthy growth, you need to add vitamin and calcium supplements to the baby tortoise’s diet.
This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. Muntaseer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Tortoise Town, MyFahlo, Just Answer and few other sites. These affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to the specific sites. This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.
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Complete List of Foods That Baby Tortoises Eat (+Tips) – Mercury Pets
So, you’ve brought home your very first adorable baby tortoise, but you’re stumped at what to feed it. Should it eat mostly lettuce, or can I give it vegetable scraps from the kitchen? Am I supposed to buy special food for it? Hundreds have asked these questions of tortoise owners before you, and thankfully there are relatively definitive answers.
Tortoises are vegetarians. A baby tortoise’s diet should consist primarily of leafy plants and green vegetables, although they can eat some flowers and fruits. You should provide a baby tortoise with a balanced diet of grass, hay, and nutrient-dense leafy greens.
This article lists all the best foods to give your baby tortoise, how much and how often to feed them, whether or not different tortoises have different food preferences, and what types of food you should never give them.
Tortoises are Vegetarians
All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Confused yet? Well, tortoises are simply a subgroup of turtles, the same way chocolate ice cream is a subgroup of ice cream in general.
Now, turtles are mostly omnivores and will feed on both plants and other animals.
Tortoises, on the other hand, are complete herbivores. Their diet consists only of plants, vegetables, and fruits.
Baby tortoises should, therefore, be fed an exclusively vegetarian diet.
What Type of Food Should I Feed My Baby Tortoise?
When deciding what to feed your baby tortoise, keep in mind what its diet would have been like in the wild.
This would mean the majority of your pet tortoise’s meals should consist of grasses and hay, a small part of fresh green vegetables, and occasional fruit.
Below is a list of all the types of fresh produce that will provide your baby tortoise with a well-rounded, healthy diet.
Almost 70% of a tortoise’s diet will consist of plants, including grasses, hay, flowers, and weeds. In most cases, the whole plant excluding the roots will be safe, but there are some exceptions. If you feed these plants to your baby tortoise, always make sure the majority of it is leaves with only a few flowers.
It is also important to shred the plants into smaller pieces to prevent choking.
The most beneficial plants include:
- Dandelion – A favorite with most tortoises, it should be offered as part of a varied meal as the plant may have a slight diuretic effect which may lead to dehydration.
- Clover – High in protein, red and white clover are great additions to a baby tortoise’s diet when offered in moderation.
- Ribgrass Plantain – A great bulk ingredient in any salad offered to a baby tortoise.
- Sow Thistle – Although they may look a bit prickly, they can’t hurt your tortoise and might become a firm favorite once first introduced into their diet.
- Red Deadnettle – Most nettles are suitable food for baby tortoises as long as they are picked and allowed to wilt before serving.
- Hedge mustard – Despite adding a variety of flavor to a baby tortoise’s diet, it should not be provided often as it contains chemicals that may damage the thyroid.
- Bramble – A perfectly safe plant, brambles might not be your baby tortoise’s favorite as they might not like the taste all that much.
- Alfalfa hay – The hay to beat all hays, alfalfa is a perfect filler plant and can be eaten in large quantities without issue. Most baby tortoises love the taste more than any other plant on this list.
- Hibiscus flower – A favorite of many tortoises, hibiscus flowers make a delicious occasional snack. Check out this video of baby tortoises trying hibiscus flowers.
- Parsley – A great treat; it should be given in moderation due to its diuretic properties.
- Geranium – The flowers of all geranium plants are a particular favorite amongst tortoises. They may not be all that interested in the rest of the plant, though.
- Plantain lily – Suitable to be fed in moderation.
- Aloe Vera – A great plant to ensure your baby turtle remains hydrated, as long as it is cut into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Pansy – The flowers are an excellent option to provide some variety in your baby tortoise’s diet.
Some plants like chickweed and lemon balm can still be added to a baby tortoise’s diet, but in extreme moderation as chemicals found in them may prevent nutrient absorption and damage essential organs. [Source]
Second to plants and grasses, vegetables should form the most significant part of your baby tortoise’s diet.
A good rule to go by is to stick to mostly green, leafy vegetables with occasional exceptions. Vegetables are only recommended to add variety to your baby tortoise’s meals.
Suitable veggies include:
- Carrot tops
- Radish tops
Fruit should only be seen as a treat, not as part of your baby tortoise’s regular diet.
In most cases, one or two pieces of fruit every other day provide essential nutrients but should not be relied on to form the bulk of the food your tortoise eats.
Good fruit choices include:
- Melon – All melons are suitable
- Strawberry – Other berries are also acceptable, although they should be offered in extreme moderation
- Tomato – The fruit only, never feed tortoises tomato leaves or any other part of the plant
If a balanced diet is provided, it is very rarely necessary to supplement it with store-bought food. However, commercial tortoise food can be a good staple if it is difficult to source fresh produce. Just ensure the food you buy is made with baby tortoises in mind.
What Shouldn’t I Feed My Baby Tortoise?
There are many foods that may be detrimental to your baby tortoise’s health. Do not feed them to your pet under any circumstances.
- Hot peppers
- Citrus fruits
- Dairy products
- Most root vegetables, other than sweet potatoes and carrots
Some plants are toxic to tortoises and should also be avoided.
- Avocado leaves and seeds
- Calla lily
- Tomato leaves and vines
You must educate yourself on the plants in the tortoise no-go list and ensure your baby tortoise does not have access to them at any time.
How Much Should I Feed My Baby Tortoise?
Each meal should be about the size of your tortoise’s shell and should not be made up of only one plant or vegetable but a variety. A tortoise salad, if you please.
Allow your baby tortoise around four hours to eat its fill, then remove remaining food scraps from its enclosure. Eating old produce may cause your tortoise to become sick.
How Often Should I Feed My Baby Tortoise?
Baby tortoises should be fed once a day.
As they grow older, this should change to 5 days a week, with two fasting days at any point and in any order.
The fasting days provide their digestive system with a break as its work is done rather slowly.
What Should I Feed a Baby Desert Tortoise?
Desert tortoises include those native to the USA and Mexico and the Sulcata Tortoise originating in the arid regions of Africa.
Desert tortoises are specially adapted to dry, hot living conditions. They may not respond well to fruits and should be provided with mostly grasses and weeds, similar to what they would have eaten in the wild.
What Should I Feed a Baby Grassland Tortoise?
The most popular grassland tortoise is the Hermann’s Tortoise. Replicating their wild diet would mean providing mainly grasses and hays, with the occasional vegetable like broccoli or zucchini. They may enjoy a fruit now and then, too.
What Should I Feed a Baby Tropical Tortoise?
These include Yellowfoot, Bell’s hinge-back, cherry-head red foot, and Aldabra tortoises. They may show a much greater affinity for fruits and vegetables, although these should still only be supplied in moderation. Their natural environment caters to a much wider variety in their diet, which should be kept in mind when deciding what to feed them.
Should I Give My Baby Tortoise Supplements?
Food supplements are essential for baby tortoises. The two most important being vitamin D3 and Calcium. Reptile multivitamins could also come in useful but aren’t necessities.
As tortoises spend most of their lives outdoors, they can usually synthesize their own vitamin D3. In the case of baby tortoises or tortoises kept indoors, a powder supplement is vital.
Without it, a baby tortoise may become very ill, and not grow properly. [Source]
The easiest way to administer vitamin D3 to a baby tortoise is to brush its food with the powdered form of the vitamin. Another option is to set up a UV light source in your tortoise’s enclosure, although this will have to be replaced every year.
Vitamin D3 is necessary to allow normal absorption of minerals like calcium and phosphorus by a tortoise’s body.
Dandelions are one of the most calcium-rich plants available to tortoises. This may not, however, be enough to fulfill a baby tortoise’s demand for the mineral.
Luckily, calcium powder is also available and should be dusted onto your baby tortoise’s food two to three times a week.
Calcium promotes healthy bone development and, since a tortoise’s shell is actually part bone, it is vital to letting your baby tortoise grow and develop properly.
Although some tortoise owners refuse to give their pets multivitamins, others swear by them. It can be challenging to provide the exact combination and quantity of food to ensure your baby tortoise is getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs.
If you suspect your baby tortoise may be developing a deficiency, a synthetic vitamin and mineral source may be necessary.
This can come in the following forms:
Besides calcium and vitamin D3, multivitamin powders may also contain minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and iron.
If you are worried your baby tortoise is not getting enough protein, many multivitamin powders also contain essential amino acids, which may supplement a protein deficiency. Vitamins included in these powders may also include niacin, folic acid, and a variety of B-vitamins necessary to maintain normal bodily functions.
Produced by vets and zoos, fortified food pellets can be form part of your tortoise’s diet to ensure it gets the full range of minerals and vitamins it requires.
You should consult your vet before giving your baby tortoise fortified food, as it should be done in the right quantities and with the correct frequency.
Whenever evaluating whether or not your baby tortoise needs supplements outside of the recommended calcium and vitamin D3, it is essential to consult with a vet first as excesses of some of these substances may be more detrimental to the health of your pet than helpful.
It can seem tricky to choose the right diet for your baby tortoise, but as long as the ratio of 75:20:5 of plants : vegetables : fruits is maintained, they should have access to most of their needs.
Since a tortoise’s health relies heavily on its nutrition, if you suspect something may be missing from its diet, or being given in excess, consult with an exotics vet to ensure you are on the right track so that you and your new pet can spend a long, happy time together.
What turtles eat
Land tortoises, unlike aquatic tortoises, are slow reptiles and unable to hunt, so plant foods form the basis of their diet. But this does not mean at all that everything that has grown on the earth can become their food. How to feed turtles at home? What products will prolong their life, and what can be dangerous?
The diet for a pet reptile should be tailored to its species and age. The wrong ratio of feed leads to digestive and metabolic disorders. nine0003
Contents of the article
Types of tortoises
At home, tortoises live in special sandy terrariums. Keeping animals, although it excludes walking, sterilization and other chores that dog and cat owners are doomed to, still cannot be called simple. Nevertheless, this type of reptile has many fans.
Among the terrestrial species that can be found at home:
- The Central Asian steppe tortoise is a Red Book and the most studied species today. The length of the shell reaches 20 centimeters, and life expectancy with proper care is 30 years. nine0022
- Mediterranean (Caucasian, Greek) tortoise - a reptile with a variegated shell and a maximum shell size of 35 centimeters. It is better to buy an adult immediately, the cubs do not tolerate relocation.
- The Egyptian tortoise is one of the smallest land tortoises. The size of males does not exceed 10-12 cm, females can be larger.
- Balkan tortoise - with a yellow-brown shell and a long tail with a spike at the end.
- The star turtle is one of the rarest and most expensive to keep at home. nine0022
What foods do tortoises eat?
Under natural conditions, grass, young leaves of shrubs, berries and fruits form the basis of food for tortoises. Reptiles obtain the protein necessary for growth and development by hunting worms, slugs, snails and other small, inactive insects. The task of the owner of this type of turtle is to provide the pet with food that is as close as possible in composition to what they receive in the wild.
Greens - lettuce, dandelions, clover, other grass - can become the basis of the diet of a domestic tortoise. You can diversify your diet by introducing fruits, vegetables and berries - up to 30% of the total amount of food. It is recommended to feed turtles once a day, adults can eat every other day, and turtles over 5 years old - once every three days. nine0003
The most suitable foods for turtles
- Fruits and berries (given about once a month): strawberries, peaches, grapes, figs, dates, pears, apples, mangoes, raspberries and apricots. Melons, peaches, kiwis and unpeeled bananas can be given in limited quantities due to their high sugar content.
- Garden and field plants: clover, mulberry leaves, dandelions, carnations, geranium, hibiscus, rose, nasturtium, plantain, alfalfa, nettle, goutweed, lamb, knapweed, bluebell, forget-me-not, thistle, aster, basil, begonia, bromeliad , verbena, gerbera, oregano, calendula, jasmine, coleus, snapdragon, mint (not pepper), pilea, thyme, violet, chlorophytum, sage, pike tail, echinacea. nine0022
- Vegetables (provided every 2-4 weeks): sweet potatoes, artichoke, bell peppers, tomatoes (rarely), leafy greens (kale, watercress, broccoli, etc.), grated carrots, zucchini, grated pumpkin, cucumbers, leeks
- Legumes: Peas and green beans in moderation.
Foods to avoid
For your turtle to live long, you need to pay attention to its nutrition. There are foods that a reptile will certainly want to try, but their inclusion in the diet is highly undesirable due to the possible consequences for digestion and metabolism. This is:
- Celery - too much fiber, not enough nutrients.
- Bread and bakery products - for the same reasons. They contain a lot of starch, and the nutritional value is minimal.
- Spinach and chard - these plants contain oxalates and goitrogens that can interfere with the absorption of calcium by reptiles.
- Flowers from shops - withered plants will be given to you almost for free, but you should not regale your pet turtle with them because of the risk of poisoning by pesticides and herbicides. nine0022
- If you decide to feed your turtle with insects, grow them yourself or buy them from pet stores. It is not worth catching "live food" on the street, since it is not known whether it is poisoned by chemicals.
- Do not give turtles dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, etc.). They can't digest them!
Would you like to try your hand at reptile breeding?
Expert Irina Klinskaya tells how to properly prepare a diet for a domestic turtle:
Click and watch
What do baby turtles eat? - Other
Turtles are adorable and make great pets, but what can turtles eat? Those pellets from the pet store might be handy, but what's in them? Now's your chance to find out what baby turtles eat and how to complement traditional turtle food for optimal health.
Baby turtles in nature
Turtles can find many sources of food roaming the wild from deep bathing holes to shaded lands, which they often do. Land tortoises can swim in ponds or swamps, where they will find completely different food than when they spend the day in the field. Because turtles are omnivores, the most replica turtle diet consists of lean raw meats, herbs and greens, and sometimes fruits. nine0003
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What do baby turtles eat?
The building block of your baby turtle's diet is a supplement in the form of pellets or softgels, easily found at any pet store that sells turtle supplies. There are two caveats, however: you should read every label to make sure your newborn turtle is on the best possible diet, and you should choose a formula approved for your baby. special pet . For example, what a baby box turtle eats is more of a true omnivorous diet than an aquatic turtle eats, which includes more raw meat as an infant but a more omnivorous diet as an adult. nine0003
Nutrient balance for feeding baby turtles
Here is a rough analysis of ReptoMin Tetra This will give you an idea of what balance to look for:
When looking at the actual ingredients of turtle food, you will find the following types of ingredients:
The proposed live food for cubs of turtles
The proposed live products include:
- Slugs Snails
is interesting, how to get any of it. these insects for your turtle, you just need to ask pet stores for live reptile food. They should have a selection of mealworms, crickets, and beetles that you can buy for your pet, and then all you have to do is bring them home and split them into your pet turtle.