Can Turtles Eat Shrimp

Can Turtles Eat Shrimp? An Amazing Protein Source to Learn About

Shrimp is an excellent food to offer your pet turtles. They contain healthy fat and can be provided in different textures and variations to your aquatic pet.

Can turtles eat shrimp? Shrimps don’t contain toxicity for turtles and they’re perfectly safe to eat. The turtle can eat live raw shrimps, dried shrimps, shrimp pellets, and even cooked shrimps. But they must be prepared well and included in a balanced diet. They should form around 10 to 25% of their weekly diet, and the rest should consist of other turtle foods and pellets.

Shrimps are high in fat, so feeding them moderately is a good way to minimize their ill effects. If you’re wondering how you can turn the shrimp into an amazing dietary supplement for your aquatic pet? Check out the article here to learn more.

Can You Feed Shrimp To Your Pet Turtles?


Yes, you can and should feed shrimp to your pet turtles. Turtles enjoy eating shrimps in any form. Check out the following facts before feeding shrimps to your pet turtle:

Can You Feed Shrimp To Your Pet Turtles
  • Although most pet turtles prefer dried shrimps, you can also feed them raw or cooked shrimps. The shrimps shouldn’t be too tiny or too big. Turtles don’t like tiny shrimp, and big ones could be difficult to eat through the shell and may even cause a choking hazard.
  • If the dried or raw shrimp is too big, break it into pieces so your turtle can easily chow it down. You can also give them shrimp pellets once or twice a week. Your turtle will like shrimp pellets, but they’re not as nutritious as the whole shrimps.
  • Freshwater shrimps are enriched with protein, fat, and other essential minerals, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, etc. They contain low calories and make a great dietary choice for most pet turtles.
  • It’s not wise to simply throw some shrimps into your turtle’s tank. Whether you’re feeding raw or dried shrimps, ensure they’re not spoiled. Some turtle owners like to boil the shrimps before serving them to their pet turtles to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
  • You don’t need to devein or peel the shrimp before offering them to the turtles because the outside layer can contain beneficial nutrients for your turtle. 
Turtles Eat Shrimp

Do Turtles Like Shrimp?

Turtles love the taste and texture of shrimp. You can easily realize from the moment you offer some shrimps in their tank or aquarium. They enjoy raw, dried, or pelleted shrimps. 

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But out of all the variations, turtles mostly love eating the dried shrimps. You can see they’re happily munching them down when offered. 

Turtles Like Shrimp

Health Benefits for Turtles Eating Shrimp

Although raw shrimp, dried shrimp, and shrimp pellets vary in nutritional values, these are healthy for pet turtles. Let’s look at their key benefits here.

Health Benefits for Turtles Eating Shrimp
  • Shrimps contain healthy fats for turtles that aren’t available in other turtle foods. A small portion of dried or raw shrimp in the diet can fulfill the fat requirement for the turtles. However, overconsumption can lead to obesity.
  • Shrimps are enriched with protein and can make a great addition to young turtle whose shell is still growing. You can mix a small portion of shrimp with leafy green vegetables and regular turtle pellets to provide a balanced diet.
  • Shrimps can be fed regularly (in a moderate amount) to your turtle because it’s low in calories. So it’s less likely to deposit extra weight.
  • Shrimp contains Vitamin A & D3, which are essential for turtles.
Turtles Like Shrimp

How Much Shrimp Should Turtles Eat?

There’s one rule of thumb the total amount of protein sources should be around the size of the turtle head. If you’re considering shrimps alone for your turtle’s daily diet, keep a position equal to its head size. 

How Much Shrimp Should Turtles Eat

But if you’ve got other protein sources like mealworms or feeder fish, you need to reduce the amount of shrimp accordingly. Remember, the amount of veggies and leafy greens should be more (three times) than the amount of these protein sources.

How Do You Prepare Shrimp For Turtles?

Buy the right size dried or raw shrimps from the pet stores. Store them in the freeze and make sure they’re not spoiled. You can also boil the dried or raw shrimp and offer cooked shrimp to your turtle as they’re less likely to contain bacteria or parasites. 

Being dry floating foods, you can pour them into the tank or aquarium they live in. You can hand feed the live shrimps if you want to have a good time with your turtle. Make sure to scoop the leftover using a net to keep the environment hygienic.

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

Shrimps are fine to feed your baby turtles. They’re enriched with protein and healthy fat, which will help their shell and bone development. Although baby turtles will enjoy live shrimps, it’s better to feed them freeze-dried shrimps since they’re less likely to carry germs. 

Baby Turtles

Take a small amount of shrimp and mix it with other dietary elements like veggies and greens. It’s always better to moderately offer a specific type of food to your baby turtle.

Video Of A Turtle Eating Shrimp 

See how a keeper is hand-feeding a raw shrimp to his semi-aquatic turtles and having fun.


1. Can Box Turtles Eat Shrimp?

Box turtles can safely eat all variations of shrimp, including live shrimp, dried shrimp, raw shrimp, and cooked shrimp. They can eat the dried shrimp pellets as well.

2. Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Shrimp? 

Shrimp is a food for all turtles, including the Red-eared Slider Turtles. They can safely consume the live, raw, and cooked versions of shrimps.

3. Can Painted Turtles Eat Shrimp?

Painted turtles love eating shrimps. They can be offered as treats from time to time to fulfill the protein and fat requirement for painted turtles.


Shrimps are the most popular protein source for turtles. They’re available in different textures and forms, including live shrimps, raw shrimps, dried shrimps, and shrimp pellets. Among them, turtles mostly prefer freeze-dried shrimps. They’re widely available in pet stores and easy to serve. Remember, your turtles don’t need too much protein. 

Keep the amount of shrimp between 10 to 25% in the diet. Green leafy items and vegetables should form the major part of the diet (75-80%). Protein and other minerals in the shrimp are important for your turtle, but an excessive amount could be detrimental and lead to issues like shell pyramiding or obesity. So be careful about that.

Do you want to know if turtles eat betta fish food or peaches? Read our articles about it to learn more.

Can Turtles Eat Shrimp

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