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Home > Turtles > Can Turtles Eat Kale? What You Need to Know!

Can Turtles Eat Kale? What You Need to Know!

Can Turtles Eat Kale

We don’t have to worry about what wild turtles consume to stay healthy and thrive throughout their lives. After all, we do not have the responsibility of feeding them. However, we are responsible for any food that our pet turtles receive, so it is important to know what they should or should not eat. Otherwise, we cannot provide them a proper diet full of the vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive throughout their life.

It is generally known that turtles can eat greens as part of a healthy diet, but can they eat kale? Turtles can eat many things, including kale! However, this food should not be available to your pet turtle in unlimited supply. Here is everything that you need to know about feeding kale to your pet turtle.


Why Should Turtles Eat Kale?

Kale is a healthy addition to any pet turtle’s diet for a few reasons. First and foremost, it is full of vitamins and minerals that turtles need to maintain good health throughout their entire lives. Kale is high in fiber, which can help keep your turtle’s digestion system in good shape, especially when they get up there in age.

Kale is filling and low in fat, so it will help keep your turtle full without putting unwanted weight on the animal. Most turtles enjoy munching on kale, which can make mealtime more exciting for them. Kale is easy to feed to turtles too: Just rip or cut a few pieces up, and add it to their meal bowls on occasion.

Image By: Pixabay

How Much Kale Should Turtles Eat?

Even though kale is good for turtles, there is such a thing as feeding a turtle too much of it. If your turtle munches on a large amount of kale in one sitting, chances are that they will not touch any other food throughout the day, which could lead to nutrient deficiencies. Too much kale can also become a digestive problem.

How much is too much kale? It depends on the age of your turtle and their health condition. Younger turtles should be offered no more than the equivalent of a small leaf or two throughout the week, while adult turtles can have two or three times more than that as long as it does not make up most of their diet.

If your turtle has any known health problems or displays trouble digesting kale, it is a good idea to consult with a veterinarian before offering any kale to your turtle as a meal or a small snack. Your vet can tell you exactly how much kale your turtle should be eating, if any.

What Other Kinds of Foods Can Turtles Eat?

Land turtles and tortoises are herbivores, so they eat only vegetables and fruits. Most of their diet is comprised of veggies, but about 20% is made up of fruits. Other types of turtles eat fruits, veggies, and a variety of fish and insects. About 25% of a water-dwelling turtle’s diet is made up of animal products, 25% is made up of commercial pellets, and the rest is made up of plant foods.

Here are the kinds of fish and insects that a water-dwelling turtle might enjoy eating along with their commercial food and produce:

  • Goldfish
  • Frogs
  • Tadpoles
  • Earthworms
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
Eastern box turtle in Michigan
Image By: Suzanne Tucker, Shutterstock

Here are fruit and vegetable items that both water-dwelling and land turtles tend to enjoy consuming with meals and as snacks:

  • Dandelions
  • Geraniums
  • Romaine and butter lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Melons
  • Bananas
  • Berries

Try offering different kinds of fruits and vegetables to your turtle to find out what they do and don’t like. This will help you create meals that your turtle will enjoy eating daily, which in turn, will promote good health.


Final Thoughts

Turtles are amazing creatures that have their own preferences and opinions about things. Your pet turtle may not like eating kale or any other type of fruit or veggie. All you can do is to try to offer an array of healthy plant foods to your pet turtle and see what they like. If your turtle ends up not liking kale, there are many other healthy foods that they are likely to enjoy instead. Unless your turtle turns down almost all the fruits and veggies that you offer, there is no need to worry about exactly what they will or won’t eat.

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