How to feed your terrapins
CHOOSING FOOD FOR MY TERRAPIN
Terrapins have different dietary habits depending on the species. Some are herbivores, and others are carnivores. Complete pellet feeds are suitable for all species.
Complete pellet feeds are suitable for all species. You can add variety to their diet with fresh food adapted to their different characteristics: some greenery (dandelion, chicory, broad-leaf endive, etc.) or small pieces of fruit for herbivores, and insects or pieces of low-fat fish for carnivores.
Treats, such as dried water fleas, are not a substitute for feed, and are for recreational use only.
PAY ATTENTION TO QUANTITIES
Terrapins are greedy! They can demand food even when they're not hungry, and will finish their ration even if it is too large. The quantities distributed and feeding times should be adapted to the terrapin’s age and weight. Young terrapins eat volumes equivalent to approximately 10% of their body weight daily. Adults should be fed 2 to 3 times a week, in volumes equivalent to approximately 3 to 5% of their body weight as they move less than younger animals. Terrapins reach maturity from around the age of 10 years, but this can vary depending on the species. Don’t hesitate to find out more information.
FOODS TO BE AVOIDED
Terrapins have preferences and intolerances which differ depending on the species. Lemons, mushrooms, cabbage, beans and peas, garlic, potatoes, fruit and vegetable peel and trimmings (which may contain pesticides) should preferably be avoided.
Fruit should be fed in very small quantities, not more than 10% of the total ration, as it acidifies the contents of the stomach and can interfere with digestion.
Certain terrapins hibernate in winter: they will eat larger amounts of food before they hibernate, then nothing until they come out of hibernation. If a terrapin is not eating and not hibernating, this is a sign of illness and you should seek veterinary advice.
Advice written by Dr Padiolleau, HOPI Veterinary Surgeon.