One of the most important aspects of caring for your box turtle is making sure they are fed the right foods. In today’s article, I will explain which fruits and vegetables box turtles can eat.
What fruits and vegetables can box turtles eat?
Box turtles can eat most fruits and vegetables. In fact, fruits and vegetables should comprise of about 75% of their diet.
What vegetables do box turtles eat?
Vegetables should be around 60-70% of your box turtle’s diet. In general, dark leafy vegetables are the healthiest vegetables for box turtles. Below is a list of the healthiest vegetables for box turtles.
List of vegetables box turtles can eat
- alfalfa hay
- beet greens
- bell peppers
- brussels sprouts
- collard greens
- green beans
- mustard greens
- romaine lettuce
- turnip greens
Below are some vegetables that you can feed your box turtle, but they should be fed in moderation (no more than once a week).
- Mustard greens
While these foods are not toxic, they are high in oxalates. Oxalates can inhibit your box turtle’s calcium production, which could cause health problems over time. Therefore, it is totally fine to feed your box turtle these vegetables, but they shouldn’t be a staple in your box turtle’s diet. To help ensure your turtle gets enough calcium, you should consider some box turtle calcium supplements.
Some of these vegetables are high in protein or sugar, which can cause digestion issues. Others are high in goitrogens, which can cause damage to your box turtle’s thyroid and liver.
Vegetables you can’t feed your box turtle
Below is a list of vegetables that you shouldn’t feed your box turtle.
- avocado ski or leaves
- iceberg lettuce
- sweet peas
Some of these vegetables are acidic, while others are very high in fiber. Both of these can cause digestion issues with your box turtles.
What fruits can box turtles eat?
Fruits should makeup around 5%-10% of your box turtle’s diet. While box turtles love the taste of fruit, they are topically very high in sugar and can cause digestion issues if overfed. I suggest only feed fruit to your box turtle once or twice a week.
List of fruits you can feed your box turtle
- Prickly pear
- Red tomato
In general, it is best to avoid fruits that are acidic or high in sugar. Below are fruits that you should not feed your box turtle:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.)
- Green tomatoes
- Tomato stems/leaves
- Sweet pepper
Now that you know what fruits and vegetables you can feed your box turtle, it is important to know the best way to feed them.
Tips for feeding your box turtle fruits and vegetables
When feeding your box turtle fruits and vegetables, it is important to wash them thoroughly, remove seeds, chop them up, mix together, and provide water.
Whether you are getting the food from the grocery store or your own garden, you should always thoroughly wash the produce. This will help remove pesticides that might be present. It can also help prevent parasites from being transferred into your box turtle’s enclosure.
You should always make sure to remove any big seeds from the fruit you feed your box turtle. This can be a choking hazard, and some seeds/pits are unhealthy for box turtles.
Chop them up
You should make sure to chop up your fruit and vegetables so that your box turtle can easily consume them. Putting big pieces in their food bowl can cause them to choke or digestive issues.
I suggest that you provide your box turtle with a variety of fruits/vegetables instead of just sticking with one. This will help ensure they are getting a range of nutrients. This can also help you sneak in some vegetables that your box turtle doesn’t want to eat by itself.
While box turtles don’t swim a lot, it is important to always have a fresh clean water bowl for them to drink from. Turtles need water to stay hydrated and to help with digestion.
Aside from fruits and vegetables, your box turtle should also be fed animal based protein. The best options are crickets and worms. Baby box turtles should get a little more protein since they are still growing.