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How Much Should I Feed My Red Eared Slider?

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Red Eared Slider Photo

Red Eared Slider

Lianne McLeod
Question: How Much Should I Feed My Red Eared Slider?
Answer: Red eared sliders and other aquatic turtles can be fed daily as hatchlings and juveniles, reducing the feedings to every other day as adults. Some people choose to feed adults only every 3 days, while others prefer to stick to smaller meals and continue feeding them daily. The important thing is not to over feed your turtle, especially items high in proteins and fats for adults, as red eared sliders and other aquatic turtles often have voracious appetites and will "beg" for food. However often you feed, monitor the body condition of your turtle. If folds of skin are developing around the legs, especially when the turtle pulls its legs in, it is getting too fat and needs to be fed a smaller amount, or less often (or food with a lower fat content). Remember that adults are quite herbivorous, so if your turtle seems overly hungry, try feeding more leafy greens and plant materials rather than pellets or prey items.

How Much to Feed
This will depend a bit on your individual turtle. A good rule of thumb is to feed as much as your turtle will consume in 15 minutes. If you feed in a separate container, it is easier to monitor how much and how fast your turtle eats. It is important to offer a variety of foods at the same time -- don't just give your turtle its favorite items.

As an alternative guideline, another common "rule of thumb" is to give meals that are roughly the same size (in total volume) as the turtle's head and neck. Still, you'll need to monitor your turtle's body condition and adjust if necessary.

Keep in mind, that if you are feeding strictly by these rules, feeding every day might be too much, and every two or three days might be too little. You will likely need to adjust the amount you give your turtle. The best guide is to monitor your turtle's weight and condition, and with a little experience you will get to know better how much your turtle can eat and stay in good condition. You also do not want to let juvenile turtles grow too quickly.

Also See

  1. About.com
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  3. Exotic Pets
  4. Reptiles and Amphibians
  5. Turtles and Tortoises
  6. Aquatic Turtles
  7. How Much and How Often to Feed Red Eared Sliders and other Aquatic Turtles

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