Feeding Turtles


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Hi everyone,
I have a relatively new pond that is doing great on filtration and water quality. Its 1800 gallons and currently it is my "turtle pond" as all it has is three red eared sliders. Two are about 4 inches and one is about 8 inches. They have been in the pond for 8 months now and I have just been feeding them the normal turtle feed sticks. I have plants in the pond and they seem to nibble on those some but I have been wanting to start feeding them more real raw food and less of he pellets.

So I am asking for any experience anyone has with feeding turtles something other than just the feed sticks.

Besides the food itself, I am after tips in training them to eat the stuff also as I suspect I might toss something in their they might otherwise eat, but they might miss it and it might just go out the skimmer or sink to the bottom and rot.
 
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j.w

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@John McKinsey
I had baby red eared sliders when I was a kid and I remember they loved raw hamburger.
 

Mmathis

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I have box turtles, with different dietary needs. Maybe this will help:


 
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Welcome John! I have two Red Ear Sliders. The female is 34 years old and we got her as a hatchling and the male is 25 years old that we rescued when it was 3 years old. Your concerns are valid. Here is what I feed my turtles on a weekly basis:
A variety of pellet foods such as Omega One turtle sticks, Zoomed, Tetra etc.)
Fresh fruits and vegetables include:
Green leaf lettuce (not iceberg but the really green stuff)
Red leaf lettuce
Blueberries
Banana (small slices)
Apple (chopped into very small pieces) watch to be sure they are eating this. My male sometimes won't eat it.
Raw carrots (very tiny pieces)
Raw frozen (thaw first) peas
Fresh pineapple pieces (small)
Fresh tomato pieces
(Yep, I love fruits and veggies so my babies have a good deal)
Meats include:
Small mealworms (not those giant 'super worms' but the ones that require refrigeration) I grow these so the supply is endless.
Uncooked fish
Uncooked (lean, no fat) chicken (small chunks)
The below foods are given occasionally:
Earthworms (not from the yard)
Uncooked beef chunks (lean, no fat) again very small pieces
There are a few I am not thinking of but that is a pretty good picture of what my turtles eat. They get a wide variety of foods. The key is to not toss the food in and leave but to drop in a small amount and see who eats what. Net out what isn't taken. And, even if they beg for more (and they will) avoid the temptation to overfeed.
My female eats everything and would eat her filter if she could. The male is sometimes fussy. Some days he will eat apple and then another day he ignores it. Go figure. You might find one turtle will eat anything while the others are picky which runs the risk of one turtle becoming obese. Just monitor them. Also, put your turtles on a scale every six months and record the results. It will help you monitor their health.
A wide variety of foods and avoiding overfeeding will lead to healthy turtles.
 

Jhn

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I keep Diamondback terrapins in my pond, I target feed them individually when giving them food besides their staple pellet/stick diet. As Stephen mentioned I remove anything they don’t eat.
 
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Mmathis

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The main thing to keep in mind is that you should vary their diet — IOW, don’t feed them the same things all the time.
 
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