Feeding Your Baby Turtle
1Decide how much to feed your turtle.How much and how often to feed baby turtles is contested by turtle owners and experts. However, it is generally recommended that baby turtles be fed often -- typically once a day -- because they are growing and need the extra vitamins and minerals.
- Baby turtles should be fed every day. Afternoons and mornings are ideal feeding times; they are typically most active then and will be more likely to eat the food provided.
- While people generally agree that babies should be fed each day, how much food they need is debated. Some people advise feeding babies as much as they will eat while others recommend limiting feeding times to a 15 to 20 minute time period. Talk to your vet about your turtle and ask her for advice on feeding.
2Give the turtle food.Refrain from feeding your turtle by hand. If you do, it will associate food with your hands and might become inclined to bite. When dealing with baby turtles, special considerations need to be taken in terms of preparing food.
- Turtle pellets should be broken into fourths as a baby turtle's mouth is smaller and you don't want it to choke.
- Any fruits bigger than a blueberry should be mashed or cut up to prevent choking.
- Vitamin and calcium supplements are sometimes recommended for young turtles to make sure they're getting adequate nutrition. If you opt to give your turtle supplements, you should do so about three times a week.
3Deal with eating problems.Baby turtles are sometimes hesitant to eat, especially when first introduced to a tank. This is normal, but should be rectified. There are several approaches to deal with this sort of situation.
- Check the water temperature. Turtles will sometimes refrain from eating if the water is too cold or warm. Correct water temperature depends on breed, but generally it is approximately 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sometimes, movement can encourage eating. If your baby turtles are disinterested in pellets, live crickets or mealworms might stimulate their appetite.
- If the problem persists for more than a few days, seek veterinary care to rule out any health problems.