Do you own a pet turtle? If you do, then you must be worried about the best diet for your little shelly. Turtles require a lot of attention, just as much as dogs and cats do. One aspect of owning a pet turtle often overlooked is diet. Their diet must consist majorly of fresh produce such as kale, mustard, etc. But people often ask, what about carrots? We’ll answer that in a moment.
So, can turtles eat carrots? Yes, turtles can eat carrots. Carrots are nutrient-dense fruits rich in vitamins and would be a great addition to your turtle’s diet. Carrots are readily available in the markets and can easily be prepared. The benefits of carrots are enormous, one of which is carrot juice soak.
Now you know that your turtle can eat carrots but which is better for them? Cooked or raw? Can they eat carrot tops? We’ll discuss that in a moment.
Do turtles like eating carrots?
Just like humans, some turtles may be averse to eating carrots. While some relish it, others ignore them, and that’s fine. All turtles have their food preferences, and carrots may not appeal to your pet turtle.
As mentioned earlier, some turtles will ignore carrots, but you can get creative. While force-feeding is highly discouraged, carrots are very healthy for them. Do not give up if they reject carrots on your first attempt to feed them some. You can boil them to make them more edible.
Is carrot healthy for turtles?
Based on the nutritional composition of carrots, it’s safe to say yes. A better approach is to determine what nutrients and minerals turtles need the most and match them with the nutritional composition of carrots. The list below will guide us further:
Carrots: Nutritional Facts
- Carbohydrates: 13.81 g
- Protein: 0.93g
- Manganese, Mn: 0.142 mg
- Phosphorus, P: 11 mg
- Sodium, Na: 1 mg
- Magnesium, Mg: 5 mg
- Vitamin A: 835 IU
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.067 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.059 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.982 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): 0.274 mg
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 0.137 mg
- Vitamin C: 5.9 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.661 mg
- Calcium, Ca: 33 mg
- Iron, Fe: 0.3 mg
- Fat: 0.25 g
- Potassium, K: 321 mg
- Zinc, Zn: 0.24 mg
- Dietary fibers: 2.40 g
From the list above, we can see why carrots are nutrient-dense. However, let’s discuss the nutrients turtles require and whether or not they are present in carrots.
Role of Fiber
Besides Vitamin A, Calcium, and phosphorus, carrots are a great source of dietary fibers. They are also rich in nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates that can benefit their digestive function.
Role of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is responsible for the development of their immune and reproductive systems and overall health. Vitamin A deficiency in turtles causes Hypervitaminosis A, Vision problems, and squamous metaplasia.
Role Calcium and Phosphorus
Phosphorous and calcium are primarily responsible for the development of their shell and bones. They are also responsible for maintaining muscle function in turtles.
Calcium deficiency in turtles can be fatal. Some classic signs include robbery and soft shell, including turtle shell pyramiding. Sometimes, it can also manifest as swollen head lumps and a lack of appetite in turtles.
Can you feed your turtle raw carrots?
Yes, but this largely depends on your turtle. Some turtles relish the crunchiness of raw carrots, while others prefer them cooked. You should test both options and learn what works best for your turtle.
should you feed them cooked carrots?
According to WebMD, heating is believed to raise calcium levels in carrots. Carrots are considered heat-stable, so cooking them can be more beneficial. Besides being more edible when cooked, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and K, are preserved.
Most turtles that reject raw carrots tend to relish cooked ones, and this is because of the change in texture.
Are carrot tops safe for turtles?
The bone of contention would be toxins. Carrot tops are free of toxins. Dark and leafy green are a staple for turtles, it makes perfect sense to feed them to your turtles.
Can you feed carrots to baby turtles?
A turtle’s formative years will determine a lot in adulthood. While baby turtles will eat just about anything, you shouldn’t feed them that way. It is best to stick to commercial turtle food at the formative stages. When they become adults, you can broaden their diet by introducing fruits and vegetables to them.
Carrots for turtles – some ideas to make it more fun
Here for some carrot feeding ideas? You’re in the right place. There are many ways to feed carrots to your turtle, and it begins with washing. Wash them thoroughly. Store-bought carrots tend to retain a lot of harmful chemicals which can harm your turtle.
By washing thoroughly, they become safe for consumption. For best results, start by soaking in lukewarm water, then freshwater. By so doing, the carrots become safer for your pet turtle’s consumption.
Does your turtle enjoy boiled or raw carrots? Let the turtle decide. As mentioned earlier, not all turtles relish boiled carrots, so this is entirely up to your shelly. However, if your shelly seems to prefer them raw, you can chop them into bite-sized pieces and serve them along with the carrot tops.
In the event, your little shelly prefers boiled carrots, good news! You can get creative with this. You can serve it mashed, boiled, and even roasted. Irrespective of your choice for serving, the idea is to make it safer for them to consume and digest.
Carrots for turtles – carrot juice soaks for eye irritation and loss of appetite.
Carrot juice soak is a thing and it can make for a healthy and hydrating activity for you and your pet turtle. Though carrot juice soak is considered a healthy practice, the benefits are more apparent if the turtle has lost appetite or has eye irritation.
How to prepare carrot soaks for turtles
The first step is to blend some chopped carrots to extract the juice from them. After extraction, add some water to it. The goal is to achieve a mix of 3/4 carrot juice while the rest water. Heat slowly at 80˚F, and your carrot juice is ready for your turtle soak.
Gently place your turtle in the soak for about 30 minutes.
Benefits of carrot soak
- Improves Vitamin A absorption
- Serves as a cure for chlorine irritation
- Helps with hydration
- Promotes better appetite
- Best way to soothe irritating eyes
How many times should I feed my turtle in a day?
The frequency of feeding largely depends on the age of the turtle. An adult turtle needs to eat 3-4 times a week, while baby turtles should be fed twice or thrice daily.
Can turtles eat cucumbers? Yes, turtles can eat cucumber so long as you chop them in bite-sized pieces before serving.
Final Thoughts – Can Turtles Eat Carrots
At the end of it all, moderation is the key, some turtles like them raw while others boiled. If you decide to feed your turtle carrots, remember to wash them thoroughly and chop them into bite-sized pieces to make them more enjoyable.