Red eared sliders are very popular pets in some parts of the world. Sadly, many turtle owners have no idea how often or how much they should feed their red eared sliders. If you feed them too little, they will suffer a slow and painful death. On the other hand, too much food usually means your turtle gets fat and its health will suffer as well. That is why it is extremely important to learn how often you should feed your red eared slider turtle.
*The information in the following article is based mostly on my experience gained by bringing up baby red eared slider turtle to be healthy and happy 10-year old (that is how long I had her, sadly I had to find her new owners recently since I am moving to country where red eared sliders are illegal).
Little red eared sliders need to be fed every day, preferably several times a day. Just drop few pieces of their favorite food in the water. If they eat it all, you can give them some more until they stop eating. This way, you will learn how much they can eat. Repeat this two or three times a day. But keep a keen eye on them. They might start storing fat!
If your baby red eared sliders are very active, they should not get fat even with dosage such as this. Though it also depends on the type of food you give them. However, in case they start getting fatter, you need to either lower the amounts of food or feed them less often, for example just twice or once a day. My turtle has always been very active, swimming and crawling all day long. I fed her three times a day, always until she refused to eat anymore. Though, I mainly fed her the store-bought turtle food (well, there was only one kind available where I live) with added vitamins and other stuff she needed for healthy growth. I stopped feeding her the store-bought turtle food when she was few years old.
Bigger and adult turtles
As your red eared sliders grow bigger, they will start eating higher volumes of food but less often. The small ones grow fast thus should not get fat, if you over-feed them a little. However, as your turtles get bigger they will probably start getting fat. You must lower the amounts of food to compensate. Anyway, they will eat less often too and after some time they will eat only once in 2 or 3 days. This usually happens when they are several years old and nearly adult. My 10-year old refuses to eat more than once in 2 to 4 days depending on weather (she eats less if it is dark and rainy for more than a few days) and type of food I give her. She is healthy and keeps her weight – she does not seem to grow much anymore.
To conclude, well-being of your red eared sliders depends on your knowledge. You must learn how often and how much to feed your turtles. The basic idea is that baby turtles eat more often while the frequency of feeding the older turtles should be lower. Other than that, you will need to watch your red eared sliders to determine the exact dosage they need. The more active and faster they grow the more food they’ll need.
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