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Nauti-Lass Ponds & Critters, Inc. 

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Here are some foods you can try for Omnivorous Turtles. We suggest experimenting to see what your particular turtle enjoys.


Aquatic plants (duckweed, water lettuce, parrot feather, etc.), watercress, collards, turnip greens, red and green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, dandelion, chickweed, plantain weed, carrot tops, red clover, endive, fig leaves, grape leaves, sow thistle, tufted vetch


Squashes, peas in the pod, okra, grated or sliced carrots, sweet potatoes beets, green beans, wax beans, corn


Figs, grapes, blueberries, cantaloupe, blackberries, tomato, banana, strawberry, apple, citrus fruits, mango, kiwi, pumpkin-- all fruits are fine for occasional use


Geraniums (Pelargonium species), Chinese Lantern (Abutilon hybridum not Physalis sp.), nasturtium, borage, hyssop, hostas, hibiscus, carnations, daylilies, petunia, pansies, chives, dandelion, rose and rose hips

Animal Matter:

Silkworms, earthworms, crickets, snails, shrimp, slugs, waxworms, mealworms, zoophobas, pinky mice (live or pre-killed), cooked chicken or turkey, boiled eggs, cooked fish.

OK on rare occasion:

Cat or dog food, lean beef (hamburger and other fatty red meats should be avoided, and never use raw meats because of contamination dangers)

Prepared turtle foods:

Commercial foods can be used as part of the diet-- Reptomin and Mazuri are the breeder’s choice.

In general, however, it all comes down to variety. If you feed just cantaloupe and crickets, there will be problems down the line. There's nothing wrong with those foods. They're simply insufficient. If you feed a wide variety of foods, the occasional use of cabbage, lettuce, or even cooked beef heart will not cause problems. Further, feeding some foods that are low calcium foods, or high in phosphorous or oxalates, will matter not at all if a separate source of calcium (cuttlebones/ plasterblocks/ eggshells/ crushed oystershell) is always available. This is more in keeping with the way turtles feed in the wild anyway. While some keepers carefully consider the calcium/phosphorus ratio, turtles don't waste a precious second pondering the chemical analysis of their food. If it's tasty and it's there, they'll eat it! Later, they'll munch some carrion bones or birds' eggshells and get caught up on calcium. It may be impossible for us to really "think like a turtle" but we can at least try. Turtles fed a wide variety of foods are happier and less likely to develop dangerous food fetishes.

Rather than avoiding perfectly fine, nutritious foods such as spinach or broccoli, we should use everything in moderation. And always keep calcium available in a separate form (such as cuttlebone.)

There are very few foods that should be avoided or strictly limited:

1.) Reptiles do not utilize milk products at any stage of their lives, and lack the enzymes to break down lactose. So do not feed cheese, yogurt, or other dairy products to your turtles.

2.) Canned and other processed foods often are very high in salt and other preservatives. The effects of these things are not fully known, but they would not be part of a natural diet. It would be prudent to limit their use.

3.) Avoid candy, chocolates, breads, and any other refined sugars and flours, or other highly processed food-like products.

4.) Although some turtles are known to eat poisonous plants in the wild, the specifics of that behavior are not well studied. It is probably wisest to avoid the use of toxic plants in their habitats (i.e. poison ivy, rhubarb plants, avocado plants, etc.)