How to feed Mediterranean turtles


Like most land turtles, the Mediterranean turtle is a herbivorous animal.

This turtle feeds on a great variety of plants, but it has predilection for the grasses and legumes. Instead, denies aromatic plants, such as rosemary, thyme or lavender.

Herbs eating the Mediterranean turtle

Dandelion is one of the favorite plants of the Mediterranean turtle along with the plantago. Too eat regularly the poppies and the chicory of the field.

The Mediterranean turtle along its range It feeds on other plant species like the most tender oak leaves, the tender leaves and the fruits of the strawberry tree, the lentisk, the olive tree and the needles of the pines. The poppy is rejected by most herbivorous animals for its toxicity, but the Mediterranean turtle is immune to her.

This turtle can eat carrion, snails and even feces

The diet of this turtle is primarily vegetarian but occasionally can eat animal foods. If you have the chance, the Mediterranean turtle does not reject remains of some dead animal. This reptile can eat the dead rabbits of myxomatosis or of the pigeon doves that have not been collected by the hunters.

In addition to carrion, the Mediterranean turtle eats invertebrates, such as snails, forever in a complementary way to your vegetarian diet. Small snails ingest them whole and excrete the shells intact. The shells of large snails are digested by the turtle and appear to be a additional source of calcium for females, necessary for the formation and laying of eggs.

Anecdotally, it has been seen cow feces. However, these coprophagous practices seem to be observed also by other turtles of the same family as the Mediterranean turtle (testudinidae), such as the leopard tortoise or the sulcata turtle. Ingestion of feces for herbivorous reptiles fulfills a double function. On the one hand, it allows them incorporate microorganisms for digestion and fermentation of the plants they consume. On the other hand, it allows the incorporation of semi-digested materials by carnivorous animals, such as bone pieces, which are an important source of minerals and other nutrients for turtles. The case of follow-ups of groups of hyenas by leopard turtles to feed on their feces in South Africa is known.

The Mediterranean turtle also feeds on mushrooms

The Mediterranean turtle too has a fondness for mushrooms. Especially before hibernation, this reptile is when more mushrooms ingested.

It is not known the effect that certain mushrooms can produce on turtles and what capacity they have to metabolize their toxic. Some American turtles of the genus Terrapene They are known for their ability to digest toxic mushrooms without being affected and to store their toxins in their bodies, which gives reasonable respect among indigenous communities that feed on turtles.

Why care should be taken to feed a land turtle held in captivity?

The Mediterranean turtle, if kept in captivity, you have to provide a diet as close as possible to your diet in a natural state

Otherwise, there is a risk that the animal has problems of malnutrition, overfeeding, poor fertilization, infant mortality, childhood obesity, infectious diseases, etc.

When is it important to monitor the feeding of the Mediterranean turtle?

Between April and June, the feeding of the turtle has a special relevance because coincides at the moment this reptile leaves hibernation and the energy needs increase exponentially, since there is an increase in your sexual activity. The correct ovulation of the female depends directly on an abundant and quality diet.

This factor determine the number of eggs that the female will lay and the amount of vitello necessary for the formation of healthy and strong young. The formation of eggs implies an expense in fats and essential components for the female. Therefore, special care must be taken in the feeding of turtles that are destined for reproduction.

If the Mediterranean turtle has food rich enough in water, the need to drink does not limit their survival. During the summer, this turtle looks for the wettest areas, such as the bottoms of the valleys because in these spaces you can find more tender plants and has the possibility of finding water in puddles or torrents.

It can be seen with the head fully inserted into the drinking water. If access to water is facilitated for a very dehydrated turtle, it can reach 15% of its body weight at one time. Young turtles and young are more vulnerable to dehydration than adults

More information on the turtles in the listing above.

Types of domestic and semi-aquatic turtles

Domestic turtles are an incredible life partner, even if they do not chase the ball, when they come into trust they are really friendly and become an excellent companion animal, in addition to having a great story next to the human being.

For that reason we also prepare a special section with semi-aquatic and domestic turtles, so you can find the characteristics of your turtle.

Information about turtles

The turtles they are also called cheloniansbut its scientific name is Testudines, are part of the order or family of reptiles.

Among the large number of information on domestic turtles that exists on the web, we have selected what will help you to take care of your pet. We would love you to leave us your opinion about what you thought about this article.

Worldwide the images of turtles have given incredible help when it comes to meeting these wonderful animals, however, nothing compares to the experience of having a turtle at home. Of course, always legally and responsibly. Adopt your little animals and they will give you all their love and affection.

What are the most common characteristics of turtles?

The turtle is a reptile characterized by its striking and resistant shell, which protects them from the dangers of nature. Inside its shell is its trunk that is wide and short, and its head and front legs come out in front, and its tail and hind legs behind.

Its shell is divided into 2 parts, the back which is the top, and what stands out in sight, and the plastron that would be the lower or ventral part, which is always facing the ground.

Turtles, like all reptiles are ectothermic animals, this means that their metabolism is directly related to the ambient temperature. Like the snake, turtles also shed skin, however, they do so little by little. The shell of the turtle can also be moved or changed, although this is a long and occasional process, which they often perform without an apparent order.

What do domestic turtles eat?

Domestic turtles are animals with a giant food variety, moreover, we could say that they are omnivorous animals but this will depend on the type or species of turtle and its age or maturity.

Food for domestic turtles can vary from raw or cooked meat, to plants and carrion, but for your turtle to have a healthy and happy life, a good option is to feed it with prefabricated turtle food or on a controlled diet.

If sometimes you lose your mind thinking about what you are going to give your turtle at home, here you will find very good advice. For example, by type of turtle you can see:

What do water turtles eat?

The food will vary depending on the species of the turtle, however, the species of domestic water turtles are animals that generally need certain fats in their diet, which is why a balanced diet will be indispensable. In its feeding we can use worms and tiny fish.

Do not give cat or dog food to your turtle, nor human food. Although turtles can eat almost anything, you must maintain a proper diet so that she grows healthy and alive for a long time.

Among the foods that you can give them, it is recommended that you give them veterinary food made for reptiles, and varying from time to time to give different foods and sweets or treats for turtles.

Water turtle food

Some of the things you can give them as special food from time to time are:

  • Earthworms
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Assorted fruits and soft vegetables
  • Fish
  • Brine shrimp
  • Hard boiled egg yolk
  • Earthworms
  • Mosquito larvae

These foods depend on the species and age of your turtle, if it is a baby or does not have much time, it is better that you prefer to give it soft foods. But, even if she is an adult, don't put a whole watermelon in her tank, offer it all in pieces for her to digest.

How often to feed a freshwater turtle?

There are several different opinions about this, but the most frequent is that baby turtles should feed them with small rations and up to 3 times per day, depending on their response, from 2 to 3 months and until the first year you must feed it Once a day, young adult turtles up to every 2 days, and adult or older turtles you can feed them every 3 days, but you should leave edible plants to feed as you wish on intermediate days.

It is important that you remember that overfeeding can hurt your turtle a lot, being one of the worst things that affect it.

You can also investigate with your veterinarian the frequency and the best type of food for your turtle.

How to feed a water turtle?

The first thing you have to keep in mind to feed a domestic water turtle, is that, they have to be in the water to eat, since in their instincts they like to wash their food, and this is quite necessary. Now, many sea turtle breeders recommend feeding them in a separate tank from where they live, this especially so that they do not dirty their tank, however this is not so necessary, and if you use floating dry food it will be really easy to remove the remains with a net of water.

What do domestic land turtles eat?

Domestic land turtles are omnivorous, that is, they eat almost anything you give them, this includes fruits, vegetables and meats. However, never feed your turtle with food that she cannot naturally get in her habitat. Avoid under any circumstances give things like fast foods, or processed foods for humans.

It is recommended that you give veterinary food made for reptiles, and varying every month or 2 months your diet from time to time to give different foods and sweets or treats for turtles, so that they do not acquire addictions.

Land turtles like to eat fruitsHowever, these should not exceed 12.5% ​​of your diet, this is because fruits are not the main proportion of nutrients and vitamins they need.

Food for land turtles

Something very essential when giving food for domestic turtles is that you should include fruits, but that is not a large percentage of your diet. Among the fruits you can give them are:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas (habanos)
  • grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwis
  • Peaches

The vegetables they should constitute 75% of the feeding of your land turtle, preferably dark leafy vegetables. The best options will be:

  • Crespa cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Lion teeth
  • Mustard leaves
  • Spinach (not very next>

To stay in good health, land turtles also need protein, but like fruits, proteins should not pass 12.5% ​​of their diet. And the best thing is that you give him proteins that he would normally find in his natural habitat:

  • Earthworms
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Crickets, beetles, caterpillars, worms and non-poisonous or toxic insects.
  • Chicken or beef hearts> How much should I feed a land turtle?

With domestic land turtles you can handle a frequency equal to or similar to that of water turtles, that is to say that baby turtles should be fed with small rations and up to 3 times per day, depending on their responses, from 2 to 3 months and until the first year you must feed it once a day, young adult turtles up to every 2 days, and adult or older turtles you can feed them every 3 days, but you must leave edible plants to feed as you wish in the days intermediate It is important that you remember that overfeeding can do a lot of damage to your turtle, being one of the worst things that can happen to you.

You can also investigate with your veterinarian the frequency and the best type of food for your turtle.

What do small domestic turtles eat?

All the food you provide to your turtle should be very clean, in case you give it chicken or beef hearts, you must cook them well, never give it raw meat to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination.

Leave the food close to her but without invading her space, and if she already has confidence you can give her your hand, that does avoid her bites.

Always remember that they are unique animals, each of them, they are extremely fascinating and it is even known that some species can hibernate and stay for up to a year without eating food.

How to care for your domestic turtles?

Domestic turtles need some care. To care for a turtle correctly, and that she loves you forever, you will need to have some points present. Before buying a turtle, know the laws of your locality regarding the acquisition of exotic animals, it is not going to be that you find surprises. Especially keep this in mind before buying water turtles.

Whether you ask yourself What are the care of domestic water turtles? or How to take care of one of land?, here we list the main thing you will have to keep in mind:

Water turtles

One of the cares that domestic water turtles They need to have enough water. An aquarium for turtles will be excellent, although you must keep in mind that the correct ratio is 40 liters (10 gallons) per 2.5 cm (1 inch). That is, if your turtle is about 12.5 cm (5 inches), it means that you need an aquarium of at least 190 liters (50 gallons), for a larger turtle you will need a turtle pond.

Some are almost completely aquatic, and they will be fine in a turtle tank with enough space and with little land, others will need a little more, especially if you want them to reproduce, in which case more land will be needed.

Tropical land turtles

These turtles need a somewhat hot environment, they can be outdoors when the weather is warm, however, they must remain indoors most of the year. You should consider having additional heating and ways to provide the turtle with the necessary humidity (heating tanks, compresses, etc.).

A terrarium is a very good alternative for these turtles and it is an option that, depending on the care you give it, will last long enough, enough for you to discover how old do domestic water turtles live, which are usually a few years.

Domestic land turtles

These require much more land and less water, a turtle terrarium will be perfect, usually they are acclimatized to the subtropic and need a period of hibernation. Many of them will be well in a properly fenced outdoor area, provided with a suitable place of refuge, in addition to areas covered with “weeds” or plants and grass where they can take refuge. These turtles love to dig, so make sure it doesn't escape, and if it's very hot, give it a place with plenty of water to cool off.

For indoor habitats

For the ones care of a domestic turtle covering all aspects, you will need an aquarium with a warm light source, such as a conventional non-powerful light bulb, some stones and somewhere to sunbathe.

If necessary, a place to swim with some relative depth, and small stones for the base of the aquarium.

For outdoor habitats

For outdoor turtles, it will be necessary to maintain a fenced area outdoors, with good sun exposure and lots of wild vegetation. You can place a tub or an improvised pond because they like to swim a little, with some small plants and pebbles. It is necessary that they have a closed shed where they can snuggle at night. Be sure to place the fence too deeply, as they like to dig a lot.

Get the right food for your domestic turtle

Remember the upper part about turtle feeding, if necessary read it again, as it is important. Always provide food cut into small or grated pieces, and try to change your diet maybe every month or 2 months since they like the variety.

You can help your pet quite a lot if, with the food for domestic turtles, you can moisten it and cut it into small pieces, this will make it very easy for you to eat.

And remember to remove the waste that your turtle leaves so that it does not smell its habitat.

How should your turtle's habitat be?

Change approximately 25% of the water every 7 days, do not remove more because it would not be good for your turtle's habitat, and do not forget to use devices to remove chlorine and chemicals from drinking water, as this will help you to avoid diseases that domestic water turtles may have.

Also, remember to remove leftover food for more than 2 days, to avoid bad odors.

Fecal pellets

Surely in any of the images of domestic turtles have you seen these small fecal balls, but believe me, you will feel them if you do not clean them. That's why you should take out the stool balls every day with a small net or shovel. In the case of an interior habitat this step is very important.

Spend time with your turtle

It is necessary for the turtle to adapt to its environment before she develops confidence towards you, so avoid lifting it in the first 3 weeks. Then it will increase its confidence, then you can lift it, but make sure it does not bite you, if so, leave it in its habitat for at least 1 week, and wash your hands.

Many people have wondered if the turtle is wild or domestic, but this depends on its species. There are turtles in very calm and peaceful natural habitats, and there are others in captivity very aggressive and angry. If you want your turtle to be domestic, you should treat it with love and give it what it needs.

And from now on enjoy your favorite life partner.