Can Turtles Eat Chicken

Can Turtles Eat Chicken? Is It Even Healthy?

While we treat turtles as pets in our homes, it’s reasonable to ask if we can share our chicken meal with them. We’ll tell you today if they can eat chicken with you and whether it’s healthy or not. Additionally, you will learn what kind of turtles you should feed it to.

So, can turtles eat chicken? Most young turtles, except herbivorous ones, can be fed small pieces of boiled chicken rather than raw chicken. Given that raw chicken carries parasites like salmonella, they pose serious threats. However, adult turtles are inclined toward eating vegan food.

Nevertheless, there are other factors to consider when thinking about feeding chicken to turtles, such as how frequently. Let’s explore them in detail.

Can You Feed Chicken To Your Pet Turtles?


There are three kinds of turtles: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Even though it’s believed that most turtles can accept chicken in their diets, herbivorous turtles like green sea turtles shouldn’t ever be given any kind of meat. Moreover, most herbivorous animals rely on a diet of greens and thrive close to the ocean.

On the other hand, the other two types, carnivores, and omnivores, are the ones that can withstand chicken in their diet, especially carnivores. However, the carnivorous turtle’s diet depends entirely on meat and is not seen so much in homes. Moreover, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a young carnivore animal or an old one; they will eat chicken any day, any time of the year. 

Contrarily, the omnivores turtles are the ones that are famous for being pet-friendly such as box turtles and red-eared turtles. To sustain life, they eat both meat and herbs. Giving them chicken to eat is, therefore, a safe option, but be careful not to go overboard.

Can You Feed Chicken To Your Pet Turtles

The stomachs of omnivorous turtles can’t handle regular protein very well. They can only eat a modest amount of chicken to meet their protein requirements. Giving them chicken every day is therefore not a wise choice. Furthermore, because of the increased consumption of chicken can damage the kidneys.

Consequently, you can safely feed your pet turtles chicken once a month and no more than twice a month. You should also consider your turtle’s future diet after giving them chicken to eat. 

Your turtle must not consume any other kind of protein; doing so will cause numerous issues, including yellowing of the eyes and frequent food vomiting. This is because their digestive systems were not designed to process meat effectively.

No turtle should be fed raw chicken when it comes to diet. Salmonella, one of the parasites it harbors, has the potential to harm both you and your turtle if you get into contact with it. Additionally, compared to boiled chicken, raw chicken has more protein, and as noted earlier, turtles shouldn’t intake too much protein.

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Do Turtles Like Chicken?

Even if you might want to give your pet turtle chicken, you must also consider their preferences if you want your turtle to remain healthy. To assess their preferences, you might start by looking at their kind. Compared to all other varieties of turtles, carnivorous turtles, whose main source of food is meat, are more likely to enjoy eating chicken.

On the other side, omnivorous turtles favor both vegetation and meat. They might favor one over the other as a result. Whether they prefer chicken to plants largely depends on them. Age must also be taken into account in this situation. A turtle is regarded as an adult when it reaches the age of 5-8. Adult omnivorous turtles begin to favor green foods over meats.

Turtles Like Chicken

Moreover, you can tell if the turtle loves the chicken or not by looking for specific indicators. The presence of turtles strolling around the area where the chicken was placed is a surefire indication that the turtle loved it.

Health Risks For Turtles Eating Chicken

There is nothing to worry about as long as you don’t overfeed your turtle with chicken. Additionally, giving the turtle boiled chicken once a month is helpful to it. It satisfies the body’s need for protein in turtles.

On the contrary, if the raw chicken is consumed, your companion pet would suffer several health problems. First, there are the bacteria, like salmonella, that are present in raw chicken. This causes digestive issues and doesn’t contain a sufficient number of nutrients. Moreover, salmonella can potentially be spread from your pet to you.

Health Risks For Turtles Eating Chicken

Similarly, raw chickens’ high collagen content makes them difficult to digest. Lastly, the calcium-phosphorus ratio in raw chicken is out of balance. Your pet may get bone disorders because of a calcium deficiency.

How Much Chicken Should Turtles Eat?

As previously said, you should only give your turtles a minimal bit of chicken. Books don’t specify how much to serve, but a small bowl of sliced chickens should be sufficient.

How Much Chicken Should Turtles Eat

The standard method for slicing chicken is to calculate the distance between a turtle’s two eyes and cut the chicken into desired-sized pieces.

How Do You Prepare Chicken For Turtles?

Preparing chicken for turtles is the easiest thing you will come across. Unlike us, who like to add spices to our chicken, turtles like them simply. Just take the pieced chickens and put them in a bowl of water, and let it boil.

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Nevertheless, ensure the chicken is boiled enough otherwise, the turtle will not be able to chew it with its tiny jaw. Also, don’t make the mistake of sharing your leftover cooked chicken with your pet. 

Can You Feed Chicken To Baby Turtles? If So, How?

The young turtles are the ones who favor meat over plants. As a result, feeding them chicken is never a headache. The baby turtles genuinely love to chew those tiny pieces of meat with their small jaws. 

However, feeding chicken to baby turtles is the same for everyone; just make sure to boil the chicken thoroughly and ensure it’s well-cooked. 

Video Of A Turtle Eating Chicken

Nevertheless, here’s how chicken-lover turtles eat their well-prepared meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can Box Turtles Eat Chicken?

Box turtles are one example of an omnivorous turtle. As previously noted, they are willing to eat both plants and meats, and chicken is no exception. They will eat chicken as long as it is fresh and cooked in water. 

Box Turtles Eat Chicken
2. Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Chicken?

Red-eared sliders are not different from box turtles. However, you must make sure the portions are smaller with red-eared slider turtles. As previously mentioned, the rule for cutting the chicken into appropriate-sized pieces is to assess the distance between the turtle’s eyes. Red-eared slider turtles have smaller eye distances comparatively.

Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Chicken
3. Can Painted Turtles Eat Chicken?

Carnivorous painted turtles only consume foods that resemble meat. As a result, they won’t enjoy boiled chicken and will prefer steamed chicken. The difference is that instead of boiling the chicken, you steam it by covering the bowl with a lid. Apart from that, everything else is the same.


In conclusion, whether your turtle is a carnivore or an omnivore, don’t be afraid to feed it a small volume of chicken. As long as they are not fed raw meat and are not fed regularly, there is no reason for concern.

However, never attempt to combine chicken with salts or spices. The turtles only like it fresh, boiled, and in small pieces.

Do you want to know if turtles eat carrots or watermelon? Read our articles about it to learn more.

Can Turtles Eat Chicken

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