Are you Supposed to Feed Turtles Every Day?

Two red-eared turtles eat fish

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Listen to this. My friend does not want to starve his adult turtles. So, he offers them food twice every day. But is he doing it right? Are you supposed to feed turtles every day?

You are not supposed to feed turtles every day unless you are dealing with babies. These hatchlings use the nutrition to develop their body and a strong immunity system. Young and adult turtles, on the contrary, are fine with a thrice-a-week meal routine. The aged ones prefer a twice-a-week diet.

Did I just confuse you? Catch details from the following article. I hope you will get the clarity.

read all our guides on Turtle dietary pattern & metabolism!

Key Takeaways

  • Stuffing turtles with heavy meals every day will make them obese.
  • Only baby turtles require food on a daily basis.
  • The head method is the best way to determine a turtle’s meal quantity.
A turtle waiting to eat a scrimp at the edge of a pond

Turtles Do Not Require Food Everyday Unless…

Turtle Age GroupMeal FrequencyAdditional Information
Baby TurtlesDaily– Require food every day for growth and development.
– Can be fed twice a day by halving the meals.
– Feed in early morning or evening.
Young TurtlesThrice a week– Appetite decreases with age.
– Daily meals for the first 6-12 months only.
– Feeding daily beyond this can lead to obesity.
– Can halve meals for daily feeding if preferred.
Adult TurtlesEvery 2-3 days– Generally have a low appetite.
– Meal frequency may require experimentation for optimal health.
– Feeding every other day may cause weight gain.

Do not compare a turtle’s appetite with ours. This species has a weird digestive system.

Sometimes, it takes days for the creature to break down the meals and poop them out.

And look at us. We eat continuously, even at the most unholy hours. So, just because we are hungry every day, it is not necessary that our turtles will feel the same.

Does it mean turtles do not need meals every day? Well, it depends.

Baby Turtles Want Food Every Single Day

The hatchlings are the most vulnerable. They have an underdeveloped body with low immunity. So, these babies try hard to grow strong.

Thank God that hatchlings have a good appetite. They can enjoy meals every day. With proper nourishment, these babies thrive soon, building a solid skeleton and immunity.

Some owners halve the meals and offer them to the babies twice a day. There is no harm in following this trick.

However, no matter which routine you follow, the feeding time should be either early morning or evening.

Young Turtles Do Not Need Daily Meals

Turtles grow less appetite with their age. For the first 6 to 12 months, a daily meal is fine. But if you continue the routine for longer, the turtle will grow fat. And trust me. Obesity is a curse for turtles.

To keep the pets healthy, switch to a thrice-a-week meal routine. Young turtles do not mind starving one day in between. In fact, the gap day promotes better digestion in them.

Do you feel bad? Okay, here is a trick for you. Halve the entire meal and offer each portion to the turtles every day. Sounds fair?

Adults Turtles Have A Weird Meal Routine

The adults and aged turtles have a low appetite. It can be tough to find out their comfort meal routine.

I used to offer my adult turtles food every other day. But it seemed to put a little weight on them. Then, I started feeding them once every three days, and they are doing great.

Hence, I suggest you do a little experiment with the meal frequency. It will help you come up with a customized routine for your turtles.

How Much Food to Offer to Your Turtles

A perfect meal routine will do no good if you can not determine the right quantity. Most owners seem to struggle in this area.

2 techniques that come in handy are the 15-minute method and the head rule. According to the first law, you keep a balanced meal accessible to the turtles only for 15 turtles.

To follow the second technique, take a container about the size of your turtle’s head if it were empty. Fill the bowl with a healthy diet, and the meal is ready.

Want more? Here, I have discussed a turtle food quantity in detail.

Before You Go

Do you know each turtle species has a specific meal demand? The diet chart varies depending on the appetite and food preference. You will find the ins and outs of a box turtle’s feeding habits in the article below.

Box Turtle Food, Diet & Feeding Guide [DOs And DONTs]

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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