Many of us consider getting a turtle because we believe that they are low-maintenance and, thus, easy to keep. This, however, is far from the truth. A turtle needs just as much attention to thrive as a fully-grown dog or cat, if not more. Turtles might not be as vocal as other pets in demanding attention, but without proper care, they begin to wither both physically and mentally.
Turtles are also free spirits; captivity is not ideal for them. However, turtles who are born in captivity can do well as pets. When it comes to feeding them, turtles are mainly dependent on fresh produce such as kale, mustard, etc. But what about carrots? Let’s find out whether or not turtles eat carrots.
Can turtles eat carrots? Yes, turtles can eat carrots. Carrot is packed with vitamins and nutrients and makes delicious treats for your pet turtle. Carrots are easily available in the markets and can be prepped within minutes. Carrots have other benefits for turtles as well: carrot juice soak. Therefore, you can safely use carrots as a healthy addition in their diet.
Which is better for turtles: raw or cooked carrot? How should you feed carrots to your turtles? What about their tops? Can turtles eat them too? If you are looking for the answers to these questions, you’re at just the right place. In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about feeding turtles carrot.
Do turtles like eating carrots?
In most cases, turtles do like to eat carrots. However, it is not always the case. Like us, turtles have their individual taste and can refuse to eat what they don’t like.
It is possible that your turtle won’t touch carrots, especially if it is the first time you are feeding them these treats. While you shouldn’t force-feed your pet, you should also not give up on them, since carrot is very healthy for them.
Instead, you can look for ways to change the taste of carrots a little (e.g., by cooking them) so that they can find it appealing.
Is carrot healthy for turtles?
Do you have an idea about the nutrients a carrot contains? Take a look at the nutritional chart given below.
|Vitamin A||835 µg|
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.067 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.059 mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||0.982 mg|
|Choline (Vitamin B4)||8.8 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)||0.274 mg|
|Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)||0.137 mg|
|Vitamin C||5.9 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.661 mg|
Serving size: 100 grams
Let’s move on to see which of these nutrients serve the dietary need of turtles.
Turtles store Vitamin A in their liver. This vitamin is vital for their body growth, eyesight, reproductive, and immune system. Vitamin A also maintains its epithelial tissues. A deficiency of vitamin A can lead to Hypervitaminosis A, ear and aural abscesses, squamous metaplasia, and vision problems.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Both calcium and phosphorous are minerals essential to the bone and shell health of turtles. They also maintain the muscle functions in turtles.
If turtles don’t receive sufficient calcium in their diet, their shell can grow soft and rubbery, and they can suffer from turtle shell pyramiding as well. Calcium deficiency can also cause swollen head lumps and a lack of appetite in turtles.
High fiber content
Carrot is rich in dietary fibers which improve and maintain the digestive functions of turtles. Apart from these vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus, other nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, and energy are healthy for turtles as well.
Can you feed your turtle raw carrots?
Yes, you can. Most of the turtles prefer carrots in their raw form and would eat it lovingly. Raw carrots are both tasty and crunchy. Therefore, if your turtle can eat raw carrots, that is precisely what you should feed them.
What about cooked carrots?
Contrary to popular belief, cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw ones. How? Carrots contain fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and K. These vitamins are heat-stable, i.e., boiling has no impact on them.
In fact, the process of cooking can break down the cell walls in carrots, freeing up more nutrients than before. Heating is also believed to raise the calcium levels in carrots.
If your turtle doesn’t like raw carrots, there’s a good chance that they will like roasted or boiled carrots because of the changed texture.
Are carrot tops safe for turtles?
Dark and leafy greens are the staple diet of turtles. Since carrot tops contain no toxins for them, there is no reason why your turtle cannot eat them.
Can you feed carrots to baby turtles?
Although baby turtles will most likely eat everything you feed them, it is best to stick to commercial turtle food while they are young. In their formative years, turtles need the right nutrition for proper growth and development. Once they are adults, you can feed them fruits and vegetables like carrots without a second thought.
Carrots for turtles – serving ideas
If you are confused about how to feed your turtle carrots, we’ve got you. There are a number of ways in which you can feed carrots to a turtle. However, the first step should always be to wash it thoroughly, especially if you buy carrots from the market.
Many vegetable and fruit sellers use chemicals to make them look fresh. These chemicals can be harmful to your pets if they consume them. Therefore, you should first soak carrots in lukewarm water for a while. Afterward, wash it with fresh water, and it’s ready to be devoured.
Do you want to feed raw or cooked carrots to your turtles? The decision should take your turtle’s preferences into consideration as well. If you want to feed them raw carrots, you can chop them into little bite-sized pieces to prevent a choking hazard. You can chop the carrot tops and serve them together with it as well.
However, if your little pet friend likes cooked carrots, you can simply boil and mash them roughly. If you are feeling more creative, roasting them is a good idea as well. Whatever you do, make sure that it doesn’t create a choking hazard for the turtle’s small body.
Other uses of carrots for turtles – carrot juice soaks
Have you ever heard of carrot juice soak before? Carrot juice soak is a healthy and hydrating activity you can practice with your pet turtle occasionally. Although carrot juice soaks are healthy under normal circumstances, they are more beneficial if turtles have an eye irritation or have lost their appetite.
How to prepare?
Chop up thoroughly washed carrots into smaller pieces and process them into a blender to extract organic carrot juice. Once the juice is ready, add water to it.
The mix should contain about ¾ portions of carrot juice and the rest of the water. Then, heat it passively at 80˚F. Your carrot juice mix is ready for your turtle to soak in. Place your turtle in it for about 30 minutes.
- Adds vitamin A in their bodies
- Cures chlorine irritation
- A great source of hydration
- Helps in building/regaining appetite
- Soothes irritated eyes
Frequently Asked Questions
How many times should I feed my turtle in a day? If you have a baby turtle, you should feed them twice or thrice in a day. However, an adult turtle needs to eat only 3-4 times in a week, especially the omnivore ones.
Can turtles eat cucumbers? Yes, they can safely eat cucumbers that are chopped into smaller pieces.
To sum it up
To sum it up, carrots are great for a turtle’s health and can be safely fed to them in a number of ways. All part of the vegetable is healthy for your pet turtle.