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Q: Why Wont My Turtle Eat?

I feed her “Sun Dried Shrimp”, Turtle Ball Pellets. And I Tried to feed her a slice of a apple. She Is A baby! I haven’t scene her eat since I got her. I had her for a week.
She must be eating something to still be alive?
I think she either has been eating her feces or algae. I even Took her out of the tank to feed her she still want eat.

A:

What kind of turtle is she? Im assuming she is a red eared slider.

Lack of appetite can signal illness, anxiety, age, or environment, among many other things.

Here are some tips:

1) She will not really eat out of the water. You need to drop the food into the water and let her “catch it.” This helps them soften and tear their food apart under water, where they naturally eat in the wild.

2) Do not feed her shrimp pellets as a main diet. Those are treats and are not healthy. Feed her ReptoMin Pellets for turtles/red eared sliders. You can get them at any pet store. They are small and grey.

2) If she is very new she may just be nervous in her new environment. Turtles don’t need to eat the same way humans do. They can go a few days without eating, and can survive up to 2 weeks. But still try to feed her every day, obviously 😛

They also don’t need to eat that much. A few pellets twice a day is fine

3) Do not feed her apples. While they are OK to eat, turtles don’t eat fruit in the wild. Try offering her dark greens like Lettuce or some vegetables such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, etc. Here is a link to a website with some more info on care and food:

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm check it out–there are many others online too.

4) If she eats the veggies that’s good just to get her started eating, but if she is a small young turtle it is important she eventually eats the pellets. That should be her main diet. Young turtles needs protein, and later grow to eat more leafy dark greens, algae, etc.

5) If she is STILL not eating anything after a few days, try offering her pieces of raw fish, like raw (NOT FROZEN OR COOKED) shrimp you get from the supermarket, or salmon sushi. If you want you can even try live shrimp or tadpoles! (My turtles go ballistic for shrimp). It should only be fed sometimes as a treat though and is very messy. Water needs to be cleaned immediately after eating cause she will tear at it and leftover pieces will rot in tank.

6) GET HER A U.V.B. LAMP and a rock to sit on (“basking rock” also found at pet-store). The U.V.B. lamp does more than dry her and make her warm. it provides the nutrients she is not getting from food right now. She needs U.V.B. to create calcium and protein

**These last two factors are very important!! She needs the rock to be able to get FULLY out of the water at least once a day. she will love basking in it and it will stimulate her appetite. Turn the light off at night.

7) If she is STILL not eating after a week and a half or so, take her to the vet.

I hope this helped!!!! Good luck with your new baby 🙂 Let us know if she starts eating.

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