Do Turtles Eat Carrots? Try This Carrot Pudding Recipe!

Jun 2, 2021

Can turtles eat carrots

A turtle in its baby stage is inclined towards a protein-based diet, which means you need to feed him insects, feeder fish, and other protein-rich foods. However, too much of everything is not good. Feeding your pet turtle too much protein can cause the pyramiding of his shell.

You need to prepare an all-around diet for your turtle, so he gets every kind of vitamin. And there’s no better source than fresh veggies and fruits. There is a variety of greengrocery you can give your turtle. However, not all food good for us is good for them. So it is necessary to know which fresh produce can turtle eat. 

One of the readily available fresh foods you can get in the grocery is carrots. So you might wonder if you can feed your turtle some carrots. 

Do turtles eat carrots? Yes, turtles can eat carrots. They’re rich in Vitamin A, which helps a turtle’s body develop healthy skin, mucous membranes, and ducts. Lack of vitamin A can cause eye problems in turtles. However, remember that carrots have oxalates in them, which bind calcium in a turtle’s intestine and stops calcium production.

Do Turtles Like Eating Carrots?

Yes, turtles like crunching carrots. Turtles are omnivores, and plant-based food holds high value in their diet. Most will instantly nibble on them, but some might avoid it if it’s their first time. However, they will eventually feed on them.

If they do not happen to eat even after a few offerings, you should try mixing it with other veggies or giving a boiled piece. 

Watch this adorable video of turtle absolutely enjoying carrots!

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Are Carrots Healthy For Turtles?

Carrots have abundant carotene antioxidants, which help convert Vitamin A. Turtles need vitamin A to develop healthy skins, mucous membranes, and ducts in their organs. But growing turtles often suffer from vitamin A deficiency as they are inclined towards protein-based diets. All in all, feeding carrots is healthy for turtles.

Feeding the right amount of carrots in the right interval is necessary for upbringing a healthy turtle. However, overfeeding has its share of effects too. 

Nutrition Table For A Single Carrot

Nutrition in 1 medium, raw carrot:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 25
Carbohydrate (g)5.8 — including 2.9 g of sugar
Fiber (g)1.7
Calcium (mg)20.1
Phosphorus (mg)21.4
Potassium (mg)195
Vitamin C (mg)3.6
Folate (mcg DFE)11.6
Vitamin A (mcg RAE)509
Beta-carotene (mcg)5,050
Alpha-carotene (mcg)2,120
Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)156
Vitamin E (mg)0.4
Vitamin K (mcg)8.1

You can see from the table how rich a single carrot is in Vitamin A. The data also shows us carrots are rich in beta carotene. These antioxidants help in the battle against cancer cells. You might think that oh, that’s for humans, but did you know that turtles too suffer from tumors and cancer?

So, feeding carrots helps replenish beta carotene in turtles, an elixir for treating tumors and cancer cells.

Which Carrot Is Healthy For Your Turtle? Raw Or Cooked?

You can give your turtles some cooked carrots if they aren’t fans of raw ones. However, feeding your raw carrots is better than cooked because of their low GI (Glycemic Index) rank. Glycemic index is a range that measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar after consuming them. 

And, as turtles are slow and often relax after eating, they have high chances of getting diabetes. Yes, turtles suffer from diabetes too! 

Raw carrots have a lower glycemic index compared to cooked ones. Though the figures aren’t highly differentiated, a raw carrot is slightly healthier than a cooked carrot.

How Many Carrots Can You Give To A Turtle?

Along with vitamin A, carrots also have a high amount of oxalates in them. These oxalates halt calcium production in turtles. So limiting the amount by providing one small carrot a week can be ideal for your turtle. 

What Happens When You Feed Too Many Carrots To Your Turtle?

You need to know that carrots are also high in oxalates. Foods high in oxalates tend to bind calcium in the stomach, halting calcium production in a turtle’s body. 

Protein and calcium have high importance in turtles, especially babies. Calcium helps in the development of shells. Essentially, a turtle’s skeletal framework depends upon the calcium in his early period. 

Calcium deficiency can cause MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). If the turtle has low calcium and phosphorus content in its body, the whole skeletal system weakens. Its shell and carapace can be damaged even during simple accidents. Self rupture of shell, repeated tremors, extreme fragility, cracks, and fractures are common when a turtle suffers from MBD.

So, to prevent the chances of MBD, make sure you are feeding him the proper diet rich in phosphorus and calcium. 

That being said, I also take help from calcium blocks like this one from Zoo Med. 

Is Carrot Top Safe For Turtles To Eat?

Yes, carrot tops are also healthy for turtles. As carrots don’t fall under the nightshade family of vegetables, it is safe to give your turtle some carrot tops.

Offer some to your turtles, and if it eats, you can feed occasionally.

Can You Feed Carrots To Baby Turtles?

Yes, you can feed carrots to your baby turtles. But make sure that you only provide them sparingly. Overfeeding carrots can escalate the level of oxalates, which might bind calcium in a turtle’s intestine. As a result, it will halt calcium production in its body.

A growing turtle needs vitamin A for healthy skin and shells. However, overfeeding carrots with the motive to supplement vitamin A for your baby turtle might be a bad idea. First, a turtle in its early years only consumes a protein-based diet, which means it will seldom feed on veggies and fruits. Secondly, it can take time for them to adapt to the new taste. 

Therefore, the chances of your baby turtle feeding on carrots are few. However, if they like, you can provide them weekly. 

Regular, commercially available pellets are also one of the best sources of vitamin A since they’re explicitly formulated with the nutrients turtles need. However, these pellets shouldn’t be the only item on their palate. 

Vitamin A deficiency is relevant in semi-aquatic or box turtles older than six months. Tortoises seldom suffer Vitamin A deficiency as their herbivore diet contains sufficient amounts of this nutrient. 

Also, deficiency isn’t common in those younger than six months. The yolk will usually have sufficient amounts of vitamin A for a few months of nourishment. As this store of vitamin runs low, you must ensure it from your side. 

I also take help from Nature Zone’s vitamin A supplement, adding a few drops to his food. 

What If Your Turtle Doesn’t Like Carrots?

Yes, there are chances that your turtles might not like carrots. You need to be creative to find new ways to make your turtle eat carrots. 

You can try feeding your turtle a carrot pudding.

Carrot Pudding Recipe For Turtles 

This recipe is a combo pudding of both meat and carrot your turtle will definitely find relishing. 

Here’s how you make a carrot pudding for your turtle. 

  1. First, take a big bowl that can fit all of these ingredients.
  2. Get some frozen cans of fish foods like krill, bloodworms, Mysis. They should comprise only 1/8th portion of the pudding. 
  3. Bring another 1/8th portion of salmon or trout fish. First, boil them and cut them into small slices your turtle can fit in its mouth. 
  4. Add its usual pellets along with dried shrimp. Pellets will give a typical taste to the food, removing his suspicions. 
  5. Now, shred a single piece of carrot. Shred it thin so that your turtle won’t have a hard time digesting it. Carrots should comprise 1/4th portion of your pudding. 
  6. If you have duckweed, dandelion leaves, or other freshwater plants, add them, too, in the bowl.
  7. Now, pour all these ingredients from the bowl into your food blender.

After the mixture is obtained, keep it inside the refrigerator for a night. The next day, you can pour some gelatine powder as instructed on the back of the powder cover. You will now get the jelly texture to your mixture. Voila, your turtle’s favorite pudding is ready for serving.

Carrot Juice Recipe For Turtles 

If you do not have enough time on your hands to prepare such royal pudding for your turtles, you can try this simple carrot juice 

  1. Clean the carrots and finely chop them for easy mixing.
  2. Pour some canned bloodworms and krills in the bowl along with carrots.
  3. Add regular turtle pellets.
  4. Blend it in the food processor.
  5. Serve in limitation occasionally.

Final Words On Do Turtles Eat Carrots

Carrots are rich in vitamin A and other essential nutrients. However, carrots are known to have oxalates in them, which might disturb the production of calcium in your turtle’s body. So generally, it is recommended that you feed your turtle a carrot once a week. This way, you will avoid overfeeding and feel good that you provided your turtle some veggies today.

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rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.