I looked on the web and found huge lists of plants foods that box turtles supposedly eat. I have not had success with any suggested that I have tried and have wasted a lot of money. Does anyone here have a box turtle that eats plant foods given him or her?
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On 18 Aug 2006 12:31:45 -0700 in
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I looked on the web and found huge lists of plants foods that box turtles supposedly eat. I have not ... wasted a lot of money. Does anyone here have a box turtle that eats plant foods given him or her?

From what I've been reading, and from what I've experienced the last few weeks with my newfound friend, those aren't lists of what they eat, they're lists of what they eat, if they feel like it. I found today that my turtle likes strawberries, so at least I know she'll eat besides live food!
I looked on the web and found huge lists of ... box turtle that eats plant foods given him or her?

From what I've been reading, and from what I've experienced the last few weeks with my newfound friend, those aren't ... it. I found today that my turtle likes strawberries, so at least I know she'll eat besides live food!

Thanks! My box turtle now has a diet of three foods: meal worms, strawberry pieces, and crickets.. yup, mine eats strawberries too, the only plant food I know for sure he will eat.
On 21 Aug 2006 13:19:44 -0700 in
(Email Removed), "(Email Removed)" (Email Removed) graced the world with this thought:
Thanks! My box turtle now has a diet of three foods: meal worms, strawberry pieces, and crickets.. yup, mine eats strawberries too, the only plant food I know for sure he will eat.

I also got a jar of box turtle kibble, and put a couple pinches of that in the bowl, too. I don't know whether she eats it or not, but I've seen her at the bowl several times when there's nothing in it but kibble. If she does eat it, she doesn't eat much, but it's dried, so it lasts for a while.
Box turtles should eat almost anything. My outdoor herd will grab whatever bugs they can, as well as all the garden veggies I toss in.

I suspect that you are keeping your box turtle indoors. If this is the case, that is likely to be one cause of the poor eating. Despite what the pet stores tell you, and some older books, turtles in general do not do well kept indoors - PERIOD. They are almost always wild-caught specimens, and stress easily when put indoors. They need direct UVB from the sun; glass and screen filter most of it out. UVB lights are available for indoors, but don't come close to the real thing.

I recommend that you set up an outdoor turtle garden where you can enjoy watching your turtle live as it would in the wild. It needs to be fenced, with the fence dug down at least a foot (more is preferable). You'll need a shallow water area for drinking and bathing, and lots of natural vegetation for hiding and eating. The more natural you make it, the better it will attract the natural foods of the turtle.

One benefit of a natural outdoor habitat is that it can hibernate naturally.
If your turtle has not been to a vet yet, you should take it in for an exam. They often carry internal parasites that will eventually kill them if not treated. (In the wild, the turtles do fine, but the stress of captivity seems to make them more vulnerable to those parasites.)

Good luck,
Bonnie Keller
VA Reptile Rescue
Thanks! My box turtle now has a diet of three ... only plant food I know for sure he will eat.

I also got a jar of box turtle kibble, and put a couple pinches of that in the bowl, too. ... but kibble. If she does eat it, she doesn't eat much, but it's dried, so it lasts for a while.

what is turtle kibble? I know my pet store cells a food called "turtle pellets" which they feed to the red-eared sliders they sell.
Box turtles should eat almost anything. My outdoor herd will grab whatever bugs they can, as well as all the ... the wild, the turtles do fine, but the stress of captivity seems to make them more vulnerable to those parasites.)

On your comment on UVB, I have a lamp with 7% UVB turned on in the tank
12 hours per day, unfiltered by glass or screen. I suspect that thelamp produces quite a bit of UV in general compared to outdoors (not sure of UVB compared to outdoors), because I use the same lamp type on my red-eared slider, and it was strong enough to kill all the algae/bacteria on her back. I go out and observe painted turtles in the wild, and they have the the algae/bacteria even though they use the actual sun.
Does the parasite comment apply to red-eared sliders sold in pet stores? From what I understand, most pet stores get their turtles from the wild - which would explain why mine was very shy when I first got her. I don't know which states they get them from, because its not legal to sell turtles one catches in Michigan.
Bill Boelema
actual address is
On 22 Aug 2006 03:57:42 -0700 in
(Email Removed), "VA Reptile Rescue" (Email Removed) graced the world with this thought:
Box turtles should eat almost anything. My outdoor herd will grab whatever bugs they can, as well as all the ... your box turtle indoors. If this is the case, that is likely to be one cause of the poor eating

I've gathered that she's just kind of a fussy eater... she started outdoors, where she ate nothing, but it started getting cold at night, so I moved her indoors. As for her origin, I can't say, I found her walking down the sidewalk in Santa Clara, California, a hell of a long ways from her natural habitat, even if we had box turtles in Santa Clara.
On 22 Aug 2006 13:59:48 -0700 in
(Email Removed), "(Email Removed)" (Email Removed) graced the world with this thought:
what is turtle kibble? I know my pet store cells a food called "turtle pellets" which they feed to the red-eared sliders they sell.

basically the same thing, if you google for it, you may find someone carrying "Rep Cal Box Turtle Food," small pellets resembling dog food.
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