Can Turtles Eat Eggs?

Turtles are great animals to have as pets. These reptiles like to mind their own business and be great companions who will be by your side until the very ends, considering how long their lifespan is. Pet turtles can live up to eighty years! How do these low maintenance pets manage to live so long? They do so by eating well-balanced, healthy meals. If there is one thing that turtles require from their owners, it is that they are fed according to their nutritional requirements.

Turtles also tend to be a bit fussy when it comes to food. They want variety in food, and if they feel like they don’t have that variety, they may end up refusing to eat their food altogether. If there is one thing all pet owners know is that there is nothing more frustrating than rejected meals.

Since turtles are rare pets to have, there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to turtle products that are available in pet stores. Instead, focus on being creative and find different foods that your turtle will enjoy eating, and that will also be following their health requirements. 

Have you ever considered adding eggs into your turtle’s diet? It might sound a bit strange, but in the wild, animals such as foxes, birds, and snakes are all known to steal and eat the eggs of other animals. Does the same apply to turtles? Read on to find out!

What kind of turtle do you own?

There are over 350 different species of turtles that exist, and out of those 350, only a fraction can be kept as pets; the others grow too big to be kept indoors. 

However, turtles can be divided into three categories:

  1. Herbivores: These turtles will only eat plants. Their diets will consist of fruits and dark leafed vegetables.
  2. Carnivores: These turtles will only eat meat.
  3. Omnivores: These turtles will eat both plants and animals.

By identifying what breed your turtle is, you will be able to determine what category they fall in, and that will also help determine what food is appropriate to offer them and what foods should be avoided.

Can turtles eat eggs?

If your turtle is an omnivore, then yes, eggs can be included in their diets. Turtles will enjoy eating eggs as something different from their everyday meal. But they should not be given as anything more than a snack.

While eggs are a super healthy food, a turtle’s major requirements are calcium and vitamins. Eggs, on the other hand, are rich in protein. Turtles do need a fair share of protein in their diet but controlled amounts. Too much protein can prove to be harmful to turtles and can result in health problems such as kidney infections and thus should be given in moderation.

Health benefits of eggs

If fed to your turtle in moderate amounts, your turtle has a lot to gain from eating eggs, health-wise. If we were to take a close look at all the nutrients present in one thing, they would include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate

All of these nutrients are essential to a turtle’s health in terms of their bone growth and development, their reproduction, and the quality of their eggs, which is why a nutrient-rich food like egg is a great food to include in their diets.

The best kind of eggs to include in your turtle’s diet is boiled eggs. The reason why we would advise you to stick to boiled eggs is that scrambled and/or fried eggs are cooked using ingredients that do not belong in your turtle’s diet. Salt, pepper, oil, and butter are all ingredients that are unnatural for your turtle to consume and thus should be avoided at all costs. The safest option is boiled eggs. Do not offer your turtle raw eggs under any circumstance.

Can we feed turtles eggshells?

Turtles can also eat eggshells without facing any health issues. Eggshells have their own set of health benefits for our pets. Eggshells are known to have high calcium content, which is an essential nutrient for your turtle’s bone growth and development. 

Before you offer your turtle eggshells, make sure they have been cleaned properly. A more popular way of including eggshells in your turtle’s diet is to boil the eggs and then crush the eggshells into a very fine powder and sprinkle it on their food.

How to introduce eggs in a turtle’s diet

As we mentioned before, hard-boiled eggs are the most recommended way of including eggs in your turtle’s diet.

You can cut the boiled egg up into smaller bite-sized pieces to make them easier to eat and avoid the risk of choking, or you can simply offer them the egg whole. Turtles enjoy using their teeth to pull food apart and so they will enjoy breaking the egg apart.

The yolk of the egg is known to have a higher content of saturated fat as compared to egg whites. So between the two, it is better to opt to remove the yolk and only offer your turtle the white part.

Turtle species that eat eggs

The following is a list of all the common turtle species that are kept as pets and are also known to be omnivores. It is safe to feed these species of turtles eggs:

  • Box turtles
  • Wood turtles
  • Pond turtles
  • Red-eared Sliders
  • African Sideneck turtles
  • Spotted turtles
  • Yellow-bellied Sliders
  • Musk turtles
  • Painted turtles
  • Map turtles
  • False Map turtles

Conclusion

Thus it is safe to say that turtles can most definitely eat eggs. Eggs are a great source of nutrition for your pet. While there are no conclusive studies to suggest how many eggs you should feed your turtle, you must do so in moderation. At best, eggs count as a treat for your pet to change things up a bit.

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