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The Nutritional Needs of Red-Footed Tortoise: What to Feed Them?

Red-footed turtles are adorable creatures that require proper care and nutrition to thrive. In this article, we’ll discuss their nutritional needs and suggest some foods that are safe and healthy for them.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Red-Footed Tortoises

Before we dive into the specifics of feeding red-footed tortoises, it’s important to understand their nutritional requirements. A well-balanced diet for these turtles should include the following:


Protein is an essential nutrient for red-footed tortoises. It aids in the development and maintenance of muscle tissue, as well as the production of enzymes and hormones.


Calcium is vital for maintaining strong bones and shells. A lack of calcium can lead to metabolic bone disease, which can be fatal in turtles.


Red-footed tortoises require a variety of vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin E. These vitamins play a critical role in their overall health and wellbeing.


Fiber helps to promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation in turtles.

What to Feed Red-Footed Turtles

Now that we know what nutrients red-footed turtles need, let’s take a closer look at what foods you can offer them.

Protein Sources

Good sources of protein for red-footed tortoises include:

  • Commercial turtle food pellets
  • Cooked chicken, turkey, or beef
  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms

When feeding your turtle meat, make sure it’s cooked thoroughly and free of any seasonings or spices.

Calcium Sources

To ensure your red-footed tortoise is getting enough calcium, you can offer them:

  • Cuttlebone
  • Calcium supplements
  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale and collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Calcium-fortified turtle food pellets

Vitamin Sources

To meet your red-footed turtle’s vitamin needs, you can provide:

  • Vitamin supplements
  • Commercial turtle food pellets
  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale and collard greens
  • Carrots
  • Squash

Fiber Sources

Foods that are high in fiber and safe for red-footed tortoises include:

  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale and collard greens
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin

Foods to Avoid

While there are many foods that are safe and healthy for red-footed turtles, there are also some that should be avoided. These include:

  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • High-fat foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Avocado
  • Rhubarb


Feeding your red-footed tortoises a well-balanced diet is essential for their health and happiness. By providing them with a variety of protein, calcium, vitamin, and fiber sources, you can ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Remember to avoid certain foods and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your tortoise diet.


  1. Can I feed my red-footed tortoise fruits? While some fruits are safe for tortoise, it’s important to limit their intake. Fruits are high in sugar and can lead to health problems if consumed in excess.
  2. How often should I feed my red-footed tortoise? Adult red-footed tortoises should be fed once every two to three days. Juvenile turtles may need to be fed more frequently.
  3. Can I feed my red-footed tortoise cat or dog food? No, cat and dog food is not suitable for red-footed tortoises. It doesn’t contain the nutrients they need and can lead to health problems.
  4. Is it necessary to provide my red-footed tortoise with a calcium