A turtle’s appetite might change seasonally as well. Since turtles are less active in the winter, turtles may eat less during this time of year. A turtle’s diet in the wild includes whatever it can get its hands on. Pet turtles, on the other hand, are often fed pellets or veggies. And you might have the same thought about broccoli.
Can turtles eat broccoli? Yes, they can eat them. But no, they shouldn’t. Broccoli has anti-nutrients that may injure your turtle’s organs. Broccoli shouldn’t be a regular part of your turtle’s diet.
In this article, we will discuss feeding your pet turtles broccoli. Why it’s not good and how much should be a good amount to feed them, all are included here.
Can You Feed Broccoli To Your Pet Turtles?
On rare occasions, you can feed your pet turtles with some broccoli. It should never be a part of your turtle’s daily diet. Broccoli contains glucosinolate and riboflavin, which both converts into goitrogens.
And Goitrogens are harmful if it is fed daily. Feeding broccoli regularly may hurt your turtle’s organs rather than keeping them healthy. You can give them on a rare occasion, but broccoli should not be a bulk part of your pet turtle’s diet.
All parts of broccoli, including its flower, stems, and leaves, contain goitrogens. You can feed them rarely. But the stems of broccoli can be difficult for turtles to ingest. But they can easily have broccoli leaves. However, while they aren’t fatal to turtles, they contain goitrogens traces.
Goitrogen interferes with the thyroid gland’s ability to absorb iodine. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is thus overproduced, causing an overgrowth of thyroid tissue and, ultimately, a goiter. Broccoli’s side effect isn’t limited to turtles. People who are vulnerable to thyroid problems are also affected. Thyroid glands in mammals have two lobes.
However, turtles have a single thyroid gland located just above the ventral side of the trachea, towards the bottom of their heart. Also, there are oxalic acids and purine compounds in broccoli. Oxalic acids can interfere with calcium absorption, resulting in metabolic bone disorders. Gout and other uric acid-related diseases are caused by excess purine compounds in the turtle’s body.
Considering everything we discussed, we can say you shouldn’t feed broccoli. If you don’t have other options besides broccoli, read ‘How Do You Prepare Broccoli For Turtles?’. You will find out how to feed it to the turtle if you have no option.
Do Turtles Like Broccoli?
It’s not unusual for turtles to eat a wide variety of foods in the wild. This, of course, does not imply that turtles can eat anything they want.
Turtles, who are omnivores, enjoy broccoli as much as any other vegetable they can get their hands on. They’ll munch anything that even closely resembles food. Just because they like it, doesn’t mean they should overeat broccoli.
Health Benefits For Turtles Eating Broccoli
Vitamins A and D are all that turtles require for healthy growth. Fortunately, a moderate amount of Vitamin A (131 mcg per 100gm) can be found in broccoli. Vitamin A increases a turtle’s eyesight and strengthens the immune system, reproductive health, and body growth.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause visual issues, auditory abscesses, and Hypervitaminosis A. They also need Calcium and Phosphorus, which are in broccoli (47mg calcium and 66mg phosphorus per 100gm serving size). Regardless, it is not recommended to feed broccoli to your reptilian friend in a bulk amount. But It does have some health benefits. So, it’s not totally worthless to turtles.
How Much Broccoli Should Turtles Eat?
First of all, reading this part, you know you shouldn’t feed any broccoli to your turtle. But if there is no option, you can feed broccoli with a vet’s recommended amount. There is no specific amount on how much broccoli you should feed to the turtle because it depends on its age and size. But no matter what, don’t feed them too much broccoli and never put it on your pet’s daily diet. It will cause severe damage to the reptilian.
How Do You Prepare Broccoli For Turtles?
Now you are aware of not feeding them broccoli and why you shouldn’t. But if you don’t have any options but to add broccoli (try your best not to), you can boil the broccoli. Cooking, on the other hand, diminishes the food’s goitrogenic content.
Then there’s the fact that it’s easier for your pet reptilian to swallow and digest. In any case, be sure you don’t overfeed your turtles. As we mentioned before, your turtle’s diet should never include them on a regular basis.
Can You Feed Broccoli To Baby Turtles?
Broccoli should never be part of a baby turtles diet. As we discussed, Goitrogens in broccoli prevent turtles from absorbing iodine, which hinders growth. A balanced diet is essential for adult and baby turtles to grow.
Anything that could hinder their development should be avoided as a food source. Instead of broccoli for baby turtles, give them dandelion or lettuce leaves. But never broccoli; it may cause much damage to them.
Video of a turtle eating Broccoli
Here is a cute ASMR video of a turtle eating a small amount of broccoli.
The occasional serving of steamed broccoli is acceptable as long as it is not consumed in large quantities. Providing box turtles with a varied diet that includes both plant and animal products is crucial. Some fruits turtles enjoy in their ideal diet are watermelon, papaya, and raspberries.
Red-eared Sliders consume anything they can get their hands on, even though they are semi-aquatic, omnivorous turtles that prefer liquid diets. It’s a bad idea to feed them broccoli because it’s not part of their natural diet.
Small animals, including fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and some carrion, are the primary food sources for painted turtles. Young painted turtles are primarily carnivorous, developing a liking for plants later in adulthood. So, as they prefer carnivorous food, broccoli should not be a part of their diet.
As we discussed thoroughly turtles eating broccoli, there shouldn’t be any confusion about why you should not feed them broccoli. It is acceptable for a small amount of broccoli to provide to your turtle. Even if your turtle isn’t absorbing any helpful nutrients from broccoli, its anti-nutrients and goitrogens can induce thyroid problems.
Consequently, It’s a good thing there are plenty of other safe vegetables like Asparagus, Squash, Carrot, Bell peppers, Pea, Parsnip, Green beans, etc. Your turtle can eat these vegetables without fear of poisoning. So, we think it is not worth risking to feed your turtle broccoli.