As a owner of a turtle it is important to give them a wild balanced and healthy diet. A proper diet for a turtle would consist of similar foods to what they would be use to eating in the wild. So can turtles eat crickets if this is something they eat in the wild? Lets explore the answer below in greater detail.
Another important thing to consider is that there is a difference in diets for turtles depending on the type of species.
Grasshoppers and bush crickets are part of the same family of insects as crickets are. Crickets are mainly nocturnal creatures and there are over nine hundred different types of species in the world.
People mainly notice crickets because of the chirping noise the males make.
In some countries such as Laos and Cambodia crickets are actually considered a food and eaten as snacks and with other meals. For the most part countries in Asia have people who enjoy eating crickets.
Crickets can be very easily grown compared to cows and therefore crickets are a more popular source of food for some humans in Asian countries as compared to the rest of the world that mainly eat chicken and beef.
Crickets can also be used as food for animals at the zoo. Animals that are carnivorous such as tree frogs enjoy eating crickets. The good thing about crickets is that they are loaded with minerals such as calcium.
When it comes to turtles the answer isn’t black and white is to if they can eat crickets or not. This depends on the species of turtles as some are carnivorous and some are not.
Some of the positive nutritional value of crickets includes carbohydrates, proteins and fat.
On top of all that crickets can also reduce the risk of heart disease because they have small amounts of iron and unsaturated fats.
Different Turtle Species
When it comes to difference species of turtles it is important to make the differentiation between painted turtles and sea turtles as they have very different diets for the most part.
Sea turtles like to have a diet of jellyfish, sponges and soft sea life in the wild. In addition some sea turtles are herbivores and will also eat algae. As well depending on the strength of their jaw the stronger ones will also eat shellfish. However on the other hand some sea turtles won’t eat meat at all.
Painted turtles on the other hand like to consume bugs like crickets and worms, small fish and/or fresh water shellfish. In addition painted turtles are fresh water turtles and like to eat leafy vegetation. They should be kept in a different tank as they are messy eaters and will contaminate the water.
Options For Types of Crickets
If you want the easiest way to acquire crickets is to purchase them for a pet store. The other option is to actually grow the crickets yourself with a cricket farm.
Crickets can be either served dried or alive to your turtle and crickets can become eatable between 1 – 6 weeks of age.
The best choice for insects for your turtle are live feeder insects which can be live frozen in advance.
In order to make meals more balanced for your turtle it is a good idea to mix in other foods such as meal worms and even greens or fruit.
Crickets themselves should be considered a treat and the main part of a turtles diet should consist of turtle pellets as they contain majority of the nutrients they need to live a well balance and healthy lifestyle.
The most important nutritional element of a turtles diet is the proteins especially for an adult. This protein can include insects, cooked eggs, leafy veggies and cooked meat.
It is important also that a turtle gets a decent amount of calcium in their diet as some sort of supplement. As well fruits and flowers can be added to their diet.
In order to give your turtle calcium one good option is to use powder or commercial gels which are added to their food but this can only be done on land as in water it gets washed off. The other option is a piece of apple instead.
For young turtles the best option for them is live crickets as a source of protein. Make sure though to not overfeed them crickets though as it could cause them to grow to quickly and this isn’t a great option as well.
Only a few crickets a week is enough for their diet.
The size matters when it comes to which crickets to pick to feed to your turtle. The cricket needs to be significantly smaller than the turtles head so that they will be able to eat it easily.
This is an important concept pet turtle owners need to know if they want to give the most calcium to their pet from crickets.
How it works is that you need to put some crickets in a container with some cricket feed (found at the pet store) along with a natural sponge so that the crickets can drink from it.
Leave the crickets in the container for one or two days to fatten them up with calcium before you feed the crickets to your turtle.
The calcium that the crickets ingest will then be passed along to the turtle when the turtle eats the cricket.
It is important to note that you never feed dairy products to your turtle. A turtles stomach cannot properly digest lactose and would have a negative effect on their health. Therefore do not confuse a turtles need for calcium with providing them with dairy products as its bad for them.
Additionally do not give any processed foods to your turtle as well as it is also bad for their health.
Depending on the species of turtle you have crickets can be a good source of protein and other nutritional elements. They should be considered a treat and only give 1 – 3 times a week at most and shouldn’t be the main part of their diet. As well you can gut load the crickets first before feeding them to your turtle in order to get more calcium in your turtle.