Turtles are small, slow-moving creatures, which are cute in their way. Generally, people love to keep turtles as pets because they are relatively small, quiet, and are easy to take care of. Some researchers state that turtles and tortoises tend to attract positive energy, making the environment of your house filled with positive vibes. For people who don’t like to have a noisy pet in their place, turtles are the best option for them.
Types of pet turtles
Not all species of turtles can make good pets; some of them grow huge in size, or others may be illegal to keep like sea turtles; they are both big and illegal to keep because they have been declared as an endangered species, which is on the verge of being extinct. You have plenty of other options to choose from, like Box turtles, Red-eared sliders, wood turtles, and Caspian turtles are common pets that people usually keep. Turtles can be an ideal pet if they are taken proper care of. Each specific kind of turtle has its particular needs to have a good life.
What do Turtles Eat?
Like every other living being, turtles are diversified species. According to research, there are over 300 types of turtles, and each one of these species has a special diet. Turtles can be herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. There is a wide range of boxed turtle food available in pet stores according to the types of turtles, but if you are looking for some fresh food options for your pet turtles. You can give them a protein-rich diet, for example, boiled eggs. Pet turtles can eat a wide range of food, including insects, which are also rich in protein. In greens and vegetables, you feed them carrot tops, corn, lettuce, peas, yams, etc. From the fruits section, you can give them strawberries, kiwis, grapes, bananas, etc. Turtles can also eat flowers like dandelions, carnations, and lilies.
Also, that turtles do require calcium for their shells, and for that, you can offer them crushed eggshells, oyster shells, and cuttlebones. These are all amazing sources for providing plenty of calcium that will help build a healthy and robust shell.
What about meat?
Depending upon what type of turtle is, they might or might not eat meat. If we talk about carnivorous turtles, they solely depend upon meat. More massive turtles feed upon frogs and snakes, and the soft shell ones eat fishes and crayfish. Wild turtles are similar to land reptiles and can eat almost anything. Turtle’s jaws play a vital role in this diet because some of the species start their diet with meat first, and then they shift on to being herbivores.
Typically, pet turtles are omnivores, so their diet consists of both meat and greens. Red-eyed seared turtles are a very common pet turtle. Their diet is extensive, and they can eat almost everything from insects to fruits and vegetables. Pellet food is a significant part of a turtle’s diet and fulfills most of the nutritional requirements such as minerals, vitamins, and proteins. A small portion of cooked meat like fish can be given to your pet as it is rich in proteins.
Can Turtles Eat Chicken?
As mentioned above, carnivorous and omnivorous turtles can digest meat; however, you should give them in small portions. This includes chicken, too; your pet turtle will enjoy nibbling on small pieces of flesh, but the pieces can be large as they enjoy chewing apart larger pieces as well.
However, one downside of feeding them cooked chicken is that it tends to flake off more than raw chicken, which can contaminate the water.
The downside of Feeding Raw Chicken to your Turtle
As much as turtles enjoy eating raw chicken, it also puts the turtle’s life at high health risk. Look at some disadvantages below:
- Raw meat has an increased risk of being rotten, and if it is rotten, it can contain salmonella because this bacterium is responsible for rotting chicken, and you do not want your turtle to get sick. So, sticking with cooked meat is a better option.
- Another reason is that raw chicken consists of a lot of collagen, which is connective tissue, and turtles will not be able to digest it if you give them more than it is required. This indigestion can lead to building up lots of fibrous material in the tank, and the filter pump will get filthy.
Is it Good or Bad for Turtles?
There is no doubt in the fact that protein is necessary for turtles as it is a source of amino acids and is required for cell regeneration that benefits almost every part of their body.
Contrarily, adding too much protein in the form of chicken or any other meat can be dangerous for turtles, and the turtle’s shell will suffer and start pyramiding. In this disease, the growth of the shell is accelerated, and once the growth reaches its peak, the excess protein builds up and starts to take the shape of a pyramid on top of the shell. But, the good news is that it occurs only in severe cases, and the bad news is that if it happens to your turtle, it is irreversible. You can avoid this situation if you feed them chicken in a moderate amount.
Another drawback is that any meat contains fat. Making it a considerable portion of their diet can cause serious health problems like building up a fatty layer around organs, which causes trouble in their functions.
Pet turtles can eat almost everything wild turtles love to eat. Being humans, we like to feed our pets whatever we like, but you should make sure whatever you are providing them has enough nutritional value or not. In the case of turtles, you can almost feed them everything but in small portions.
Specifically, if we talk about chicken or any other kind of meat, you should get advice from a vet regarding their diet because captive turtles also have many types, and their diet may vary. Before putting them on meat, start it with regular live food and gradually add meat to their diet.