turtle eats a cichlid fish

Pet turtles are omnivorous, which is good because it means they can eat both meat and plants. It also means they eat everything, living or not (sometimes they even eat their own solid waste!). Some pet turtles eat nothing but commercially prepared pet turtle food. Some get a good supply of aquarium plants like anacharis or duckweed. Others still get a steady stream of live feeders like fish, worms or snails. Yet others, and perhaps even rarer, some pet turtles eat home-made food.

Home-made food can range from washed vegetables or sliced fruit, to cooked fish and other meats. Of course turtles will eat anything, especially if they like the flavor, but just because they eat something doesn’t mean that it’s good for them or that they should eat it.

What do you do for your pet turtles? Do you prepare food for them at home? If you do, how often?

Answer our poll:

Why or why don’t you give your pet turtles home-made food? Let us know why in the comments!

Based on 113 answers at the time of this writing, the following are the survey results for the question “Do you feed your pet turtles home-made food?” This is a review of the answers provided to this pet turtle related question (note: all percentages listed have been rounded up).

Of all (100% of) voters the following have said that they give their pet turtles home-made food…:

  • 22% at least once a week
  • 2% at least once a month
  • 7% at least every other month
  • 4% at least twice a year
  • 16% rarely do so
  • 53% do not

Looking at the numbers, I was first surprised…. almost half (47%) of turtle owners give their pets home-made food! I thought it would be the rare turtle that had home-made food – it turns out that it is actually more common than first thought.

Looking deeper into the data obtained by the poll, only 22% of pet turtles get home-made food once a week. That’s almost half of all the turtles that do get some home made food, and that makes 1 out of every 5 pet turtle owner that prepares home made food. Much smaller that the 47%, but still more than expected (which was around 5-10%).

I wonder if the 22% of responders have tortoises/land turtles. In my opinion, there are less commercially available food for those species than aquatic turtle species do – which would contribute to a higher chance of tortoises getting home prepared meals.

What about you? Do you have a land turtle or an aquatic turtle? Want to put your vote in? Let us know if you do or don’t feed your pet turtles home-made food.


    1. I don’t know the effects of nothing but pure corn on a turtles diet, anyone else know?

      my personal rule of thumb for food appropriateness for turtles (all reptiles actually) is this question: can they eat it in their natural habitat?

    1. You need to find out what kind of pet turtles you have first, then do some research as to how to find out the sex of your turtle’s species

  1. I really need a picture of a red ear turtle taken from above, I have made carvings out of bone, but I have an idea I want to do in which I want to use the knot from some beautiful wood I have. My thinking is that using the knot, would give me the lines at least in an artistic way that we see on a turtles shell. I hope you understand what I’m saying. I’m 62 now and I have always had turtles. I just find them very interesting. I also be very interested in the turtle release program. I would think they have some here in florida. I’m disabled but I’m sure that would be something I’m capable of.

  2. I have a Musk Turtle, a Map turtle and 2 Yellow Bellies, and they all love chicken ( cooked ). If you give yours chicken, be sure to clean the filter afterwards because it can be rather messy and turn the water cloudy.