What Do Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles Eat

The Red Eared turtle is one of the most popular varieties that you can find in almost all the pet shops in the US. They are fun and easy to take care of. Even a novice can easily captive a red eared turtle as it is tolerant of different circumstances. However, you need to be a little bit careful if you are petting the baby red eared turtle. The first thing you need to comprehend is what do baby red eared slider turtles eat?

When compared with the other turtle verities, the baby red eared turtle can consume a variety of foods. As a result, feeding the baby red eared turtle is pretty straightforward. You will need to ensure a balanced diet that includes enough green, protein, and commercial foods. Keep reading the guide to know what you can offer to the red eared slider turtles.

What Do Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles Eat

What to Offer to the Baby Red Eared Slider?

The baby red eared slider turtles are voracious. That means they are a fan of the foods and love to eat different types of food at a large quantity. However, offering the wrong diet can be very unhealthy for the baby turtles, which can lead to diseases and even deaths.

Ensuring a Proper Diet

The commercially available pellets are an excellent protein source for the babies and one of the most widespread foods for this species. However, the pellets are not enough for overall nutrition.  The pellet contains only a 5% diet of the turtle, and offering the pellets on large order can make them overweight.

On the other hand, the vegetables contain around 30% nutrition of the baby red eared sliders. You can offer dark and leafy greens vegetables such as carrots, squash, etc. in the aquarium. Make sure to chop the vegetable properly as they will not even touch if you give them in whole. The babies are not a great fan of veggies, but you should still give them.

Meat or prey items compromise the most diet percentage of the turtles, around 75%. You can give them various types of prey items, including the silkworm, waxworm, earthworms, crickets, daphnia, bloodworms, shrimp, krill, mealworms, and aquatic snails. Make sure to cut down the meals into smaller pieces so that they can consume easily.

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You can also offer them fruits and cooked chicken or beef in a small order once in a while (preferably, once in a month). Note that these foods are not the turtle’s regular foods and can become sick if you offer them these foods in a large order.

How to Feed the Baby Red Eared Slider?

In most cases, the baby red eared slider should eat from its own. However, if you find that the turtle is not eating anything at all, you will need to feed it manually. Here is how you should do it:

Choose the right place for feeding

The red-eared slider turtles are pretty messy. They will make the tank dirty if you directly feed them in the tank. It will be a hassle to change the water every time you feed the turtle. So, it is better to feed the turtle in a separate and smaller plastic container. You can put it back on the pond or aquarium once the turtle did eating. It can be a great way to keep the habitat of the turtle clan.

Inspect the eating habits of the turtle

Usually, the baby turtles don’t eat more than once a day. However, it is better to feed the turtle smaller meals two or three times every day. The turtles tend to eat at a preferred time. So, it will be better if you inspect the turtle to explore the turtle’s eating schedule.  You can offer the diet as mentioned above for it in the first seven-year by increasing the amount as required. In the later years, it will start losing appetite and require fewer meals.

Select the right food

Most of the individuals keep feeding the turtle as long as it expresses appetite. However, it is not considered the best manner as the varieties of the turtle is voracious. Overfeeding the turtle will cause over-weight and make it more prone to disease. Give them the food depending on the age of the turtle. Besides, Offer the food in a smaller amount and if the turtle eats it up and then you can give some more food. That should be enough.

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Add nutrition supplement with food

Turtle eat a variety of foods when they are in the wild, which covers most of the nutrition required for the turtle. It is quite impossible to offer all the foods in captivity that are available for them in the wild. The nutrition supplement can be an excellent way to ensure adequate nutrition in the turtle diet. You can mix multivitamin supplements containing calcium, vitamin D, minerals with foods to ensure to keep the turtle healthy.

What to Do If the Turtle Don’t Want to Eat?

In the first few days, the turtle may not want to eat anything due to the change in its environment. However, it should start eating with a full appetite after a while. Almost all turtles eat protein-based foods in the natural environment. So, the turtle may not want to consume the food if it consists of vegetables. It is totally normal in the first, and you can entirely rely on the protein-based in the first phase of its life. 

You will need to offer the turtle dark and leafy greens to balance its diet as it grows. The protein source will also need to be decreased to once a week. So, you can take it as usual if the turtle is only eating the proteins and ignoring the vegetables. However, you should be concerned if it is also ignoring the protein sources. Here is what you can do:

  1. The red eared turtle can be a picky eater. Bring variation in the protein source of the turtle. Don’t offer it the same varieties of prey every time.
  2. The baby turtle may not want to eat anything if it is sick. Check out the common illness of the turtle from online and treat it as per the guides.
  3. The turtle may not eat anything if it is stressed. Ensure that the habitat, basking spot, water level, temperature, etc. are okay.  Also, try to resemble a wild environment in the aquarium and move it away from the high-traffic area.
  4. If you don’t find any clue, it will be better to consult with a vet for further diagnosing.

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