Do Turtles Eat Worms?

Do Turtles Eat Worms?

Most turtles are omnivores and eat a diverse range of foods, including worms. Freshwater turtles have a varied diet and may include worms, snails, small aquatic insects and their larvae, water plants, algae, and fallen fruit.

Are worms good for turtles?

Eating worms is perfectly natural and healthy for turtles. Worms are very healthy for turtles and provide a lot of essential nutrients. Wild turtles enjoy snacking on worms alongside a wide range of other insects. Worms are healthy for turtles for the following reasons:

  • Worms are high in protein, iron, and amino acids.
  • They help turtles break down food and repair body tissue.
  • Worms are one of the most nutrient-dense foods that turtles find in the wild.
  • Worms are a terrific source of protein that turtles need. They are especially useful in the early stages of a turtle’s life, when a turtle grows and requires a lot of protein.

What kind of worms can turtles eat?

Turtles are usually not picky eaters. They tend to eat any kind of worm they can get their claws on. Here are a few worms that are safe for turtles when given in moderation:

  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Red Wigglers
  • Bloodworms
  • Silkworms
  • Waxworms
  • Superworms
  • Grubs
  • Red worms
  • Hornworms
  • Butterworms
  • American Nightcrawler

To learn more about what you can feed a wild turtle, check out my article on what to feed a pond turtle.

Quick note: There are more than 300 species of this ancient reptile. Each species has its own preferred diet.

Can Pet Turtles Eat Worms?

Yes, pet turtles can absolutely eat worms. They are part of your turtle’s natural diet. If you do decide to feed your turtle worms, do make sure that you don’t forget about other components of your turtle’s diet, such as leafy green vegetables. Since turtles are omnivores, they will need more than just worms to stay healthy.

To learn more, check out my article on how much should I feed my pet turtle?

How many worms can pet turtles eat?

Turtles generally require 12-14% of their diet to be natural proteins like worms. The amount varies on the type of turtle, age, and the conditions in which the turtle lives. So, you should feed your captive turtle worms only once or twice a week. Overfeeding of worms may cause health issues.

In particular, if you feed your turtle worms too often, they might become obese. This can cause their shell to pyramid.

Can you feed your turtle live worms?

You can absolutely feed your turtle live worms. They are just as healthy as freeze-dried worms. The only downside is that they tend to be more expensive and difficult to obtain by yourself. You also need to make an effort to keep them alive. That being said, there are still benefits of feeding your turtle live worms.

Your turtle will surely love the thrill of chasing the worms around the tank. It will also help stimulate your turtle’s natural hunting instinct. Live worms are especially interesting to young turtles. It is also good for your turtle to chase after worms because it is good exercise.

You can buy live worms at most local pet stores. You can also try to buy them from a local fish and tackle shop.

If you find a live worm in the ground, you can also feed it to your turtle. The only exception is if you find the worms in a grassy area that has been fertilized. This is dangerous because fertilizer is toxic to turtles.

Can Baby Turtles Eat Worms?

Yes, baby turtles can safely eat worms in moderation. They need a good amount of protein during their early formative years. However, it’s not ideal to rely on worms too much. Give smaller worms to baby turtles like mealworms and waxworms. This will help them to munch and swallow easily.

Try to feed small worms to your baby turtle. If you only have big worms at your disposal, you can cut them into two pieces when feeding.

Another great option is to feed your turtle crickets.

Overfeeding worms to turtles

Worms should be given to your turtles in moderation. Overfeeding of worms can make your turtle more prone to several issues including pyramiding, obesity, and worm infestation.

  • Worms can be carriers of potentially dangerous parasites. This is why it is important to buy the worms from a reputable vendor or store.
  • Worms have high protein content. An excessive amount of protein in a turtles diet cause pyramiding.
  • Worms contain high phosphorus levels that can hinder calcium absorption in turtles.
  • Regularly feeding on tasty worms can make your turtle a picky eater. This will in turn hinder its overall development.

Another great protein option to feed your turtle is pellets. You can buy turtle pellets online from amazon for less than $10.

What can turtles not eat?

Certain foods can harm a turtle and must be avoided. These foods include:

  • Raw meats
  • Goldfish
  • Nuts
  • Certain veggies like spinach, chard, and beets
  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • Bread

Pet parent tip: Turtle owners should speak with a vet when planning a diet for their turtle. The diets of captive turtles can vary by species.

Wrapping up

Just like us, turtles need a well-balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy. Worms have several health benefits for turtles when given in moderation. They can be a fabulous source of protein and vitamins that turtles need.

If you have any comments, please do let us know. We would be happy to hear from you.

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