Deciding to raise box turtles in captivity means you are responsible to give them suitable food. What do box turtles eat? The answer to this simple query is not easy as there are many distinct species of box turtles that live in different types of environment. This makes difference in their diets, too. Thus it is advisable to really know your box turtle species so you can provide food in accordance to their food in nature.
Most box turtles live in the United States and Mexico. In the wild, turtles eat what nature provides to them ranging from small invertebrates, variety of fruits, and even flowers. In captivity, you can combine their food and make diet variation so they can get sufficient nourishment from food combination.
What Do Box Turtles Eat in the Wild?
What if you want to breed box turtles but don’t know the species? The best way to overcome this problem is by giving different food and let the turtles choose any kind of diet they like. It helps you give important minerals, proteins, and vitamins needed by the turtles. In each serving, make sure you provide berries, leafy greens, protein rich food, and berries. And the most important, give them access to water.
Do you want to make them feel like home? Then you can serve things they actually eat in their natural habitat. There are several preys noted to be wild box turtles’ favorite such as snails, grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders, earthworms, and even carrion. Besides, box turtles also love to devour ripe fruit, flowers, berries, and grass.
Those are some food options that you can provide for box turtles to resemble their natural environment. Make sure not to give products such as bread, cheese, candy, or processed meat so that your box turtles will not get stress.
Nutrition That Box Turtles Need
Box turtles need to stay healthy. One of ways that you can do to maintain their health is by giving nutritious nourishments. In nature, box turtles have instinct to cover all the important substances to maintain their health by choosing specific diets. But in captivity, you are responsible to provide all the nutrition. Make sure you give these to box turtles:
Protein and Calcium
For most box turtle species, protein is important substance to be provided in their diet. It is advisable to make up 50 percent of the total diet. You can choose live animals such as earthworms, slugs, beetles, bugs, and other small animals to fulfill their daily protein intake.
Giving live animals such as slugs and bugs, aside from their protein substance, also provide calcium for box turtles. In nature, box turtles eat those animals in whole and ingest the shells and bones so they do not suffer calcium deficiency.
Box turtles also need fiber to stay healthy. Roughly, fiber is required no less than 40 percent of their total diet. The 30 percent comes from colorful veggies while another 10 percent comes from leafy greens. The recommended veggies to feed your box turtles are peas, carrots, okra, beans, sweet potatoes, and corn. You may also add cauliflower and cabbage for additional fiber.
Leafy greens are good source of fiber. In nature, box turtles eat grasses and leaves to fulfill their fiber needs. In captivity, you may give spinach, parsley, kale, and so on. Providing sufficient amount of fiber avoid your box turtles from serious health problems.
What do box turtles eat? Box turtles are omnivore that they eat both animals and plants. While box turtles eat many things in nature, growing box turtles in captivity requires you to provide the similar food. Make sure to cover all substances they need to stay healthy.