What Do Baby Tortoises Eat

What Do Baby Tortoises Eat? Everything You Need To Know

Providing your pet baby tortoise or hatchlings with a proper diet plan is vital to its health and growth. The diet plan is different from an adult tortoise and requires special care when it comes to their diet.

So what do baby tortoises eat? A baby tortoise’s diet consists mainly of plant-based items such as leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits. Occasionally, you need to provide them with protein sources and calcium supplements to support their body.

Nevertheless, just because it is labeled to be a vegetable or fruit doesn’t mean you can feed that to your pet. There are certain boundaries that you need to follow when you feed them. Well, this is why knowing the do’s and don’ts is essential, and that is exactly what we will do today. Let’s get started.

Diet Table: What Do Baby Tortoises Eat


What Do Baby Tortoises Eat

Here’s a table of a baby tortoise’s dietary needs along with examples. It will ensure that you are feeding them the right amount of everything for their proper growth.

Food TypeAmountExamples
Leafy Greens75%Collard Greens
Turnip Greens
Romaine Lettuce
Vegetable20%Bell peppers

This table doesn’t contain protein sources or calcium supplementary as they are not part of their primary diet and should be fed occasionally only.

Dietary Needs Of A Baby Tortoise

As already mentioned, there are five types of food you can feed your baby tortoise with. Let’s check some of their examples and which ones to avoid from that particular food type.

Dietary Needs Of A Baby Tortoise

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are necessary for the overall health of the tortoise. Similarly, leafy greens are an excellent source of hydration for baby tortoises as they contain a high water content. So here are the leafy greens that are safe for your pet;

  • Collard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Spring Mix
  • Chicory Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Watercress
  • Endive
  • Red Leaf Lettuce

Nevertheless, you must prepare the greens before feeding your pet. You can do that by soaking the leaves in water for a few minutes and then rinse them under running water.  Later on, chop or shred the leafy greens into small pieces.

See also  Tortoise Substrate Options For Common Tortoises 

Here’s a video that should help you with the preparation process;

Leafy Greens To Avoid

Here’s a list of leafy greens that you shouldn’t let your baby tortoise eat in any condition;

  • Spinach
  • Beet Greens
  • Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
  • Chard


Vegetables provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for the proper growth and development of a young tortoise. Furthermore, it aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation in baby tortoises. 

Baby Tortoise Eat Vegetables

So here’s a list of vegetables that are helpful for your baby tortoise’s growth;

  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens

While these vegetables are generally healthy for baby tortoises, it is vital to introduce new meals gradually. Furthermore, keep an eye on how they respond to ensure they tolerate them well.

Vegetables To Avoid

Here are the vegetables that you should avoid feeding;

  • Avocado
  • Rhubarb
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms


Before we get into the list, you need to know that fruits can provide essential nutrients and hydration. However, they should not be the primary source of nutrition for baby tortoises. It’s because they might consume excess sugar from these fruits which is not healthy at all.

Baby Tortoise Eat Fruits

Nevertheless, here are the fruits you should aim to feed your hatchlings;

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Pear
  • Seedless Grapes

Fruits To Avoid

Here are the fruits you should avoid;

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins


As already mentioned, protein is never a daily thing to add to their diet. You should only feed them occasionally as there are numerous benefits.

Firstly, protein is particularly important during the early stages of a baby tortoise’s life as they are rapidly growing and developing. It helps them to build strong bones and shells.

Furthermore, it ensures proper muscle growth in your hatchlings. Nevertheless, don’t overfeed protein sources as it can lead to kidney problems. 

Baby Tortoise Eat Proteins

Here are some of the protein sources you can provide your hatchlings while ensuring an adequate amount;

Proteins To Avoid

Here’s what you can’t feed to your baby tortoise;

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Any Fish
  • Sausages
  • Insects treated with pesticides
See also  Types of Indian Tortoise; Their Physical Description, Habitat, and Lifespan

Calcium Supplements

A calcium deficit during this important stage of development can result in a variety of health problems, such as metabolic bone disease or shell abnormalities. By giving baby tortoises calcium supplements, you can ensure that they have enough of this important mineral.

However, there isn’t any list of calcium supplements that you can feed to your baby tortoise. You just need to ensure that it is powdered and specifically formulated for reptiles.

On the other hand, you need to ensure that these supplements are not fed regularly but occasionally.

Baby Tortoise


Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the diet of a baby tortoise;

Q. How often do baby tortoises eat?

Baby tortoises should be fed daily, with a diet consisting primarily of leafy greens and vegetables. Nevertheless, the frequency and quantity of feeding may vary depending on the species, age, size, and health of the tortoise.

Q. How much water does a baby tortoise require in their diet?

You shouldn’t worry about feeding an excess amount of water to baby tortoise. Instead, you should put a bowl of water in front of them consistently and they will drink as much as needed. However, ensure that the bowl is not big enough for them to drown.

Q. Can baby tortoises eat dairy products?

No, you shouldn’t feed dairy products to your baby tortoise. Dairy products are not a natural part of a tortoise’s diet and can cause digestive issues and other health problems.


To conclude, that was all there was to know about what do baby tortoises eat. You need to ensure there are 75% leafy greens, 20% vegetables, and 5% fruits in their diet. On the other hand, you have to feed them protein sources such as crickets and roaches to help them build strong bones and shells.

Similarly, calcium supplements that it is powdered and specifically formulated for reptiles are also vital for their growth. Nevertheless, protein sources and calcium supplements are something that you can’t feed daily. It should only be fed occasionally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *