Can Tortoises Eat These Foods

Can Tortoises Eat These Foods

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 Tortoises make for interesting reptile pets. While they may not be as popular as dogs and cats as pets, they are fantastic pets to keep. This article breaks down what they can and cannot eat.


Can Tortoises Eat Acorn

No! Tortoises can't eat acorns. Acorn, also known as oak nuts, contain copious amounts of tannins, which inhibit digestion in tortoises. They should not be given to them as they are toxic. Unlike tortoises, some animals like bears while eating acorns, usually rely on their salivating organs, as a response to the tannins and other toxins within the nuts. 


Can Tortoises Eat Acorn Squash

Tortoises can eat acorn squash because the fruits are not toxic or harmful. However, before giving acorn squash to your tortoise, be sure it is a fruit-eating species. Squash plants' blossoms and foliage are preferable to their fruits. This is because they contain more nutrients and do less harm. 

Can Tortoises Eat African Daisies

The African daisy plant contains saponins and tannins. These are toxic compounds and therefore should not be offered as part of a tortoise diet. Although it won't harm them if they take a little, it should be totally avoided in their diet. African daisies also contain cyanogenic glycosides which have caused illness and some deaths in livestock.

Can Tortoises Eat African Violets

Yes, tortoises can eat African Violets. They occur in violet, pink, lilac, or white and are edible. As long as you're not spraying the leaves with anything like insecticides or herbicides, they're safe for tortoises to eat. It shouldn't be served to them as a main meal but as part of it.

Can Tortoises Eat Agave

Yes, tortoises can eat agave. However, not all species of tortoises can eat this plant as it contains oxalate crystals and has a laxative effect. The species of tortoise that can easily digest it is the Sulcata tortoise. This plant should be fed sparingly because it can irritate the skin of the mouth and throat of the tortoise.

Can Tortoises Eat Agapanthus

No, Tortoises can't eat Agapanthus. Agapanthus or lily of the Nile is a very toxic plant to both humans and animals. Although the leaves are palatable, the tubers are toxic and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid giving this plant to your pet tortoise.  

Can Tortoises Eat Air Plants

Yes, Tortoises can eat air plants. Air plant or Tillandsia is a Bromeliad that grows naturally in Africa and tropical America, and indoors in the UK. They are safe for tortoises to eat. It has no known hazards and would look good in a tortoise enclosure where they can enjoy the occasional nibble. 

Can Tortoises Eat Ajuga

Yes, tortoises can eat ajuga. Ajuga or bugleweed or pine weed is a plant high in tannins. In humans, it treats coughs, fluid retention, pain, and swelling. In tortoises, it is edible but should form part of their meal and not the main meal. Although they can eat ajuga, it should be fed in moderation. 

Can Tortoises Eat Aloe Vera

Yes, Tortoise can eat aloe vera. Aloe vera is not harmful or poisonous to tortoises, therefore they can consume it. However, it's a good idea to always be cautious not to overfeed them with it so they don't have diarrhea while feeding any to your tortoise for the first time.

Can Tortoises Eat Alfalfa

Yes, tortoises can eat alfalfa. Alfalfa pellet bedding is highly palatable, not only to tortoises but to other species. Alfalfa can be preferred over other types of plants due to it being easily digested and an excellent substrate for tortoises. So, they can serve as good food for your tortoises. 


Can Tortoises Eat Alfalfa Hay

No, tortoises can't eat alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay contains a high amount of oxalates that can cause bladder and kidney failure due to stone formation. Avoid feeding alfalfa hay to your tortoises. Grass hays to offer in place of alfalfa include meadow grass, oat hay, orchard grass, or peat moss. 

Can Tortoises Eat Alfalfa Sprouts

Yes, tortoises can eat alfalfa sprouts. Tortoises are mainly plant eaters, so they will eat leaves, flowers, and fruits of plants. However, alfalfa sprouts should be mixed with other greens while feeding them to your tortoises. They should also be fed in moderation, once or twice a week should be okay. 

Can Tortoises Eat Almonds

No, tortoises can’t eat almonds. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are very high in protein and fat which are two things that tortoises shouldn’t have much of. Too much protein in a tortoises diet can cause rapid growth and issues within their kidneys. Excessive fat can also be stored in their neck and limbs, limiting their retraction into their shells. 

Can Tortoises Eat Alyssum

Yes, tortoises can eat alyssum. Alyssum or sweet alyssum is a member of the Brassica family and has no known toxin, so it is safe for your tortoises. Although, alyssum should be fed to them in moderation and not in excess. Alyssum, Lobularia maritima, cultivated plants, and leaves are all safe for your tortoise. 

Can Tortoises Eat Amaranth

No, tortoises can't eat amaranthus or amaranth. Amaranth, also referred to as pigweed, contains high levels of oxalic acid. It is not a recommended plant for your tortoise. Oxalic acid in amaranths prevents calcium production which can cause deformation in their bones and shell. They should therefore be avoided in their diets.

Can Tortoises Eat Amaryllis

No, tortoises can't eat amaryllis. Amaryllis is an indoor flowering plant with a very toxic nature. It contains various alkaloids including a crystalline alkaloid known as Lycorine, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your tortoise. Amaryllis should be strictly avoided in your tortoise's diet and should be avoided near the tortoise enclosure.

Can Tortoises Eat Ants

No, tortoises can't eat ants. Some species of ants can be very harmful to your tortoises. Species like the fire ants, when ingested by the tortoise, are deadly to them especially if they are not successful in killing them. If the ants are the biting kind, they could kill the tortoise. 

Can Tortoises Eat Antirrhinum

Yes, tortoises can eat antirrhinum. There are no known hazards or toxins in the flowers as long as it's not sprayed. Although, antirrhinum (also known as snapdragon) resembles the toxic plant toadflax, so be sure of the plant you're giving your tortoise. Antirrhinum can be given as part of a varied diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Apples

Yes, tortoises can eat apples. Apples are among the many fruits your tortoise can eat and digest properly, but they should be given in moderation. Apples are rich in antioxidants, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. They also have very low sugar and fat content in them and they are very beneficial.

Can Tortoises Eat Apple Skin / Peels

Yes, tortoises can eat apple peels or skin. Apple peels, just like apples themselves, are perfectly safe for your tortoises. As long as it has good quality and is safely prepared. However, ensure that the peels are devoid of pesticides or herbicides as these are toxic to them and can make them sick. 

Apple Skin / Peels

Can Tortoises Eat Apple Tree Leaves

No, tortoises can't eat apple tree leaves. Apple tree leaves produce a cyanic compound as they get old and wilt. Although, if your tortoise accidentally eats the leaves, it would cause them no harm, it is safe to avoid it. It is advisable to prevent them from eating the leaves. 

Can Tortoises Eat Applesauce

Yes, tortoises can eat applesauce. Apple sauce just like apples is safe for your tortoises. Applesauce is a great treat for babies since it contains fiber, Vitamin C, and other good stuff. If you have a baby tortoise that can't chew apples, you can make applesauce but avoid blending the seeds as they are poisonous. 

Can Tortoises Eat Apples and Grapes

Yes, tortoises can eat apples and grapes. Apples and grapes like most fruits including bananas, strawberries, and pears, are good for your tortoise. Fruits are ideal treats for your tortoise because they are rich in antioxidants and fibers which are beneficial to them. However, ensure that these fruits only make up 10% of their diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Apollo Lettuce

Yes, tortoises can eat Apollo lettuce. Apollo lettuce and other types of lettuce are safe for your tortoise. Lettuces generally are a great source of water for tortoises because of their high water content in them. They require a lot of water and hydration as they tend to dehydrate very easily.

Can Tortoises Eat Apricots

Yes, tortoises can eat apricots. Apricots are tiny, golden fruits with a stone in the center. They are high in vitamins and minerals, as are most fruits and can be a nutritious addition to your tortoises' diet. All species of tortoises are not fruit eaters, so you should be sure if your tortoise is one before giving it an apricot.

Can Tortoises Eat Aquatic Turtle Food

No, tortoises can't eat aquatic turtle food. Turtles are omnivores meaning that they eat both meat and plants. Tortoises, on the other hand, are mostly vegetarians or herbivores. Aquatic turtle food like insects and small fishes is a diet that is higher in protein and too much protein can be harmful to your tortoises. 

Can Tortoises Eat Aquilegia

No, tortoises can't eat Aquilegia. Aquilegia specie also known as Columbine can be very toxic to your tortoise and therefore should be considered with caution. This plant contains cyanogenic glycoside and although there are no cases of poisoning in either humans or animals, it would be best avoided. Your tortoises can be fed other edible plants and vegetables instead. 

Can Tortoises Eat Arugula

Yes, tortoises can eat arugula. Arugula contains many essential nutrients and vitamins. Although they should be given small quantities to eat because of the phosphorus content in them. Phosphorus prevents the absorption of calcium in the body of the tortoise. This calcium is essential for a good bone and shell structure.

Can Tortoises Eat Artichoke

Yes, tortoises can eat artichokes. Artichokes or Globe artichokes have no known hazards to tortoises and they can safely eat all parts of the plant. Artichokes come from the Mediterranean, and it contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals, calcium, and fiber especially when given raw. They are therefore safe and beneficial. 

Can Tortoises Eat Asparagus

 Yes, tortoises can eat asparagus. The majority of tortoise species can eat asparagus and digest it without any issues. However, it is advised to serve it in moderation and in moderate portions. Due to its low water content and the possibility of increasing urination, asparagus can have a diuretic effect and cause dehydration if consumed in excess.

Can Tortoises Eat Asters

Yes, tortoises can eat asters. Asters are a genus of perennial plants that bloom and spread sporadically. In humans, they can cause skin irritation because of their high pollen content, but they are safe to feed to tortoises. Tortoises should only be given asters in small quantities and not in excess. 


Can Tortoises Eat Aubergine

No, tortoises can’t eat aubergine. Aubergine, also known as eggplant contains poisonous alkaloids which are highly toxic to tortoises if they consume enough of them. The toxic compound in aubergine is solanine. Solanine can cause poisoning in your tortoise resulting in nausea, vomiting, digestive issues, cardiovascular problems, and inflammation so it should be avoided.

Can Tortoises Eat Avocado

No, tortoises can't eat avocado. Although avocados are good for humans, your tortoise should not be given any portion of an avocado because it is unsafe. This is so because avocados contain Persin, an antifungal substance that is poisonous to tortoises. Consuming Persin can result in organ failure, so it should be avoided in their diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Avocado Leaves

No, tortoises can't eat avocado leaves. All parts of avocado should not be given to your tortoises because they are toxic. This is so because avocados contain Persin, an antifungal substance that is poisonous to tortoises. Consuming persin can result in organ failure, so it should be avoided in their diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Azaleas

No, tortoises can't eat azaleas. Azaleas contain harmful grayanotoxins which block normal muscle function and can cause heart failure and damage nerve function. Therefore, they should not be fed to tortoises, and make sure they are not grown around the tortoise. All parts of azaleas like the leaves, flowers, and pollens should be avoided because they contain this toxin.


Can Tortoises Eat Baby Carrots

Yes, tortoises can eat baby carrots. However, feeding your tortoise carrots every day with baby carrots could lead to health issues. Baby carrots contain high amounts of oxalic acid therefore it is advised to feed tortoises sparingly. Feeding tortoises this food in excess can hinder the absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney and bladder stones. 

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Corn

Yes, tortoises can eat baby corn. Baby Corn is a cereal grain made from corn or maize and harvested early while the stalks are still small and immature. Tortoises require a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy and baby corn provides this. So, baby corn is safe for your tortoises.

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Food

Yes, tortoises can eat baby food. Feeding baby food to tortoises is fine on occasion because it does no harm whatsoever and can provide the same vitamins and minerals as whole fresh vegetables. However, if your tortoise isn't sick, don't feed it baby food. This is because your tortoise needs to tear at food to keep its beak in shape.

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Gem Lettuce

Yes, tortoises can eat baby gem lettuce. Lettuces, however, shouldn't form the main meal for your tortoise but part of it. Baby gem lettuce contains a high amount of water, so in hot weather, it helps keep them hydrated. You can combine it with other greens in a rotation for a balanced diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Kale

Yes, tortoises can eat baby kale. Kale is a good source of calcium for all tortoises species. It also contains high amounts of iodine, which lessens the goitrogen effect and is, therefore, acceptable to feed to your tortoise in moderation. Kale also contains oxalate but is not high enough to be toxic to them. 

Leaf Salad

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Leaf Salad

Yes, tortoises can eat baby leaf salads. However, you should be cautious as to what plant or vegetable you use for the salad. You should avoid plants like coriander, parsley, and spinach as they aren't great for tortoises. They contain oxalate which can be harmful to them if they eat it. 

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Red Leaf

Yes, tortoises can eat baby red leaves. Baby red leaves should not make up the bulk of the diet but part of it. Other greens to try include bok choy, green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, watercress, escarole, parsley, turnip greens, and green onions. Dark, leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collard, mustard, and dandelion greens are also good choices. 

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Sweetcorn

Yes, tortoises can eat baby sweet corn. It is safe to feed the leaves to your tortoise, but you should not feed the cobs of the corn itself. The corn cob is high in phosphorus, protein, and sugars which can ferment in the tortoise's gut causing acidosis, a condition that can cause severe intestinal problems and possibly death.  

Can Tortoises Eat Baby Tomatoes

No, tortoises can't eat baby tomatoes. Baby tomatoes are unripe and toxic. They should never be fed to tortoises. The ripe or mature tomato fruit, however, should not also be given because it has a high sugar content, low level of calcium, and high phosphorus content with almost no fiber. 

Can Tortoises Eat Bamboo

Yes, tortoises can eat bamboo. Bamboo is a native grass that can serve as food to your tortoise and also as shelter. There are no known health hazards of bamboo to tortoises. The species of bamboo that is most palatable is the fast-spreading ones like vine mesquite which can make a good source of food for your tortoise.

Can Tortoises Eat Bamboo Leaves

Yes, tortoises can eat bamboo leaves. The shoots and leaves are the edible part of bamboo. There are no known health hazards to eating bamboo leaves although many tortoises will not find them palatable. The species of bamboo that is most palatable is the fast-spreading ones like vine mesquite which can make a good source of food for your tortoise.

Can Tortoises Eat Bananas

Yes, tortoises can eat bananas. Bananas serve as good food for tortoises because they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients are very beneficial to your tortoise's health. Although it is advisable to know the specie of the tortoise you’re about to feed because not all species of tortoise can properly digest it. 

Can Tortoises Eat Banana Peels

Yes, tortoises can eat banana peels. Banana peels can serve as good food for tortoises because it contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants which are very beneficial to your tortoise's health. Tortoises love to eat banana peels due to their color, texture, and flavor. However, be sure that the banana peels don't have insecticides on their surface. 

Can Tortoises Eat Basil

Yes, tortoises can eat basil. There are no risks related to giving them basils, however, they should be given in moderation. There is a high possibility that your tortoise will not be interested in eating basil because of its strong aroma and taste. They might not find it appetizing, but it is safe.

Bell Peppers

Can Tortoises Eat Bell Peppers

Yes, tortoises can eat bell peppers. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamins, which are beneficial to your tortoise. They should however be given bell peppers in moderation and have them as part of a meal and not the main meal. Bell peppers contribute to a healthy and balanced diet.


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beetroot 
  • Yes, tortoises can eat Beetroot. Beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant. However, Beetroot should be given in small quantities and not frequently. This is because it contains a high level of oxalic acid even though it is not toxic. Beetroots are a great source of essential nutrients like fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beetroot leaves
  • Yes, tortoises can eat Beetroot leaves. Beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant. However, Beetroot leaves and flowers should be given occasionally, and in small quantities because it contains a high level of oxalic acid even though it is not toxic. It is also important to ensure that your tortoise is fully hydrated before offering. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Bean sprout
  • Yes, tortoises can eat bean sprouts. Bean sprouts are tender edible shoots and can serve as a good source of nutrition for your tortoise. But, before you serve your tortoise bean sprouts, you should make sure they like them in the first place. You should also feed them the right amount, and in the right way. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beet Green
  • Yes, tortoises can eat beet greens. Beet greens are sweet, mild, and edible plants for your tortoises. They are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. However, caution should be taken while feeding them to your tortoises because of the harm they could likely cause. Beans, just like peas and cereals all contain a high concentration of Phytic Acid.


  • Can Tortoises Eat Bee food 
  • Yes, tortoises can eat bee food. Bee foods like bee bread and bee pollen are good sources of carbohydrates. Also referred to as nature's perfect food, bee pollen is an ideal food for tortoises. But, it should be given in moderation because of the high sugar content in bee food which can be harmful to your tortoises. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beet    
  • Yes, tortoises can eat Beet. Beet are edible vegetables for tortoises. Although not toxic, Beet, its leaves, roots, and flowers should be given occasionally, and in small quantities because it contains a high level of oxalic acid. Beet is also used for liver diseases and educing muscle soreness in Tortoises. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beetles
  • No, tortoises can't eat beetles. Most tortoises are herbivores, they can only eat plants, leaves, flowers, and vegetables. If you are to feed your tortoises beetles, bugs, or other insects, make sure they are not plan-eaters but omnivores. Red-Footed tortoises can have some animal-based protein in their diet like bugs but they shouldn't be fed every day.


  • Can Tortoises Eat Bee pollen
  • Yes, tortoises can eat bee pollen. Bee pollen is also known as bee bread and ambrosia. It is good food for your tortoises because it contains simple sugars, protein, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids. But, it should be given in moderation because of the high sugar content in bee food which can be harmful to your tortoises. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Bee balm
  • Yes, tortoises can eat bee balm. Bee balm, also called Bergamot, Oswego Tea, or Scarlet Monarda is a flowering plant from the mint family. It is safe to eat and pose no threat to your tortoise's health. However, bee balm should not be confused with Bergamot Orange, which is a citrus tree and is not safe to feed.


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beef 
  • No, Tortoises can't eat beef. Tortoises do not eat beef or any kind of meat because they are herbivores, and their diet consists of mainly green leafy vegetables. There are some species of tortoise that consume little meat in the wild like the Red-footed and the Russian tortoises. However, pet and homegrown tortoises should deter meat. 


  • Can Tortoises Eat Beans
  • Yes, tortoises can eat beans. Beans are generally a good source of protein and fiber and are packed with many nutrients like vitamin K that your tortoises need. However, when feeding your tortoises beans, especially green beans, do so in moderation. Beans contain too much protein which can be harmful to tortoises if given in excess.


  • Can Tortoises Eat Berries
  • Yes, tortoises can eat Berries. Fruit-eating tortoises can eat Berries like blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries but in small amounts. When a tortoise's food contains too many berries, it can cause health complications like diarrhea, kidney problem, and malnutrition. Make sure you identify the berries before serving as wild Berries are too risky.

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