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Food for Your Box Turtle

Box Turtle

Keeping a box turtle as a pet requires you to pay close attention to their diet. In the wild, they eat whatever they catch. As such, captive turtles require a great variety of foods to give them the proper nutrition they need. Feeding them the same meal repeatedly results in an unhealthy and unhappy turtle.

Live Insects

Live, pesticide-free insects are a great source of protein for box turtles. Earthworms, grubs, slugs and beetles are a favorite box turtle food in the wild. If you are not sure where to get any of these, try a fishing bait and tackle shop. These shops often have live earthworms and other creepy-crawlies on hand.

Prepared Meats

Chopping and boiling a little bit of white meat chicken or some feeder fish makes an excellent meal for your turtle. It is a rarity that they come across food like this in the wild, so leave these offerings sparingly. For additional nutrition, mix the meat with fruit and vegetables. Never give a turtle any fatty, salty, processed or raw meat.

Vegetables and Greens

Box turtles love mushrooms, peas, squash, green beans, okra, corn and tomatoes. Be sure to steam or grate hard vegetables to make them easier to eat. Spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, parsley and kale are all healthy greens to give to your turtle. Also offer a little iceberg lettuce as a snack.


Consider fruits as a dessert when it comes to box turtle food. They love all kinds of fruit and sometimes have a particular favorite. If you find you have a turtle who does not like a certain food, mix it with fruit and watch him or her eat it right up.

Box turtles require a lot of attention and care, and maintaining their diet is one of the most important responsibilities involved in owning one. Keep a regular feeding schedule to make sure you cover all the important food groups every week. With proper nutrition and low stress, box turtles often live for 50 years or more.



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