What does a baby snapping turtle eat, did you know it?

Turtles are animals that have received a lot of attention from pet players in recent times. 

For those who have a hobby of taking care of a turtle from small to large for ornamental purposes. It provides them with the necessary and best is always a matter of concern. 

Because this is a creature that requires special care in the first years of life. Although keeping them is not difficult, it does take a lot of time. 

In particular, creating a healthy diet with enough nutrients for baby turtles to develop should be a top priority. GA Pet Sitters will help you better understand this by the following article.

Which kind of food does a baby snapping turtle eat?

Turtles are omnivores, of course, baby turtles will eat the same. Baby turtles are not too picky eaters, so it is easy to provide a food source for them. 

However, the turtle’s favorite food is live animals. You may have heard that turtles are quite agile, and this is true. 

When living in the wild, turtles will often hunt for reptiles or small amphibians present in their habitat. 

The baby turtle’s favorite foods always include small fish, shrimp, tadpoles, and bloodworms. Similarly, when raising baby turtles, you can also feed them these types.

However, if you want to raise a baby turtle not infected with diseases from the wild, the food should not use the kind you catch yourself in the wild. 

Following this rule will help baby turtles avoid certain pathogens, bacteria, viruses in those natural foods. You can easily buy these live foods for turtles at pet stores. 

Purchase food at any part will bring safety and health for baby turtles. When choosing to buy food from these pet stores, you should also prioritize choosing the freshest possible.

If you want to change the taste of baby turtles, sometimes give them other foods such as crickets, mealworms, etc.

In addition, add to their diet vegetables, or seaweed, plant-based algae to make baby turtles healthier. At the same time, household foods such as bread, rice, beef, and pork sometimes evoke interest in them.

Food Diet For baby turtle

Food diet for the turtle

Food diet for the turtle

Although turtles love to eat live animals, to provide adequate nutrition for young turtles, you should combine animals and plants in every daily meal. 

If you only feed your tortoise with animal-based foods to its liking, the baby turtle can be severely deficient. 

The baby turtles might be fed with commercially prepared foods. But, they will still grow steadily. Of course, the best source of nutrition for them will be live foods.

If you’d like to teach your baby turtles how to catch prey in the wild, you can also use store-bought live food to form exercises for your baby.

Of course, you’ll also have to supplement your baby turtle’s diet with vegetation. That is trying to spread water vegetation such as Elodea or adding nutrient tablets like Repton.

From time to time, you should also supplement the baby turtle with some other active ingredients needed by the body, such as vitamins, minerals.

On the other hand, you should regularly clean the turtle tank because sometimes this place will contain many types of harmful bacteria through the dirt.

 It is the unsanitary living environment that will sometimes cause diseases that affect the health of baby turtles. 

Meanwhile, it’s really important to worry about your turtle’s diet. However, you shouldn’t be overly concerned about overfeeding your turtle. 

Overfeeding baby turtles can sometimes harm the baby. During feeding, if you notice that the baby turtle’s skin becomes swollen. Or sometimes their legs are bulging out of the shell, reducing your baby’s daily food intake.

However, it is also advisable to ensure that the amount of food during the day is enough for the baby’s development. 

Because if you feed the baby turtle too little, it will cause the growth of the baby turtle to be stunted. You can easily tell if baby turtles lack nutrients by looking at the baby. 

When they get into the shell, the baby turtle lacks nutrients, so you can’t see their head.

You should feed baby turtles about 1 to 2 times a day. At the same time, the amount of food will also gradually adjust according to the baby’s growth.

Things to Avoid

Because baby turtles are omnivores, whatever you give them, the turtle is likely to eat it. In addition to setting up a suitable diet, you also avoid giving baby turtles dairy foods from sweets in their daily diet. 

Canned foods or preparations made from onions, garlic, and butter are also things that should not be exposed to baby turtles.

A safe diet is really necessary for the development of the baby turtle. The baby turtle eats a sufficient and balanced diet, which helps them grow up physically and mentally.

Food Appearance for turtle 

Turtles are an animal with a rather messy form of food

Turtles are an animal with a rather messy form of food

Watching small turtles eat is sometimes a hobby for some people. Some experienced turtle owners have pointed out that feeding turtles always requires planning and specific time. 

You should not feed your turtle anytime you feel free because they can create some trouble in the process of nurturing this small creature.

Turtles are an animal with a rather messy form of food. Therefore, if you do not have a specific plan while feeding the baby turtles, you will spend a lot of time cleaning the tank again.

Some people still choose to feed turtles right in the tank they live in. However, you need to provide the tank with a filter to help clean the water in the tank. 

At the same time, you need to clean the tank regularly to avoid harmful algae or algae growth.

To save cleaning time and still keep the tank clean after eating, you can prepare another tank. 

It is important to use some water from the old tank to fill the tank for the baby turtles to eat to create familiarity with the habitat for them. Then release the turtle and food into this new tank.

After the turtle has finished eating, do not rush to return them to the live tank every day. 

Take a little time to observe them. The stage can be 30 minutes. If your turtle shows no signs of abnormality during that time, you can return the turtle to the old tank.

Baby Turtle’s Habitat and Ecosystem

For a baby turtle to grow well in the rearing process, a secure habitat and a suitable ecosystem are essential. 

You can’t just put turtles in the open and let them find their way. You’ll need to dig through everything to set up your baby turtle a new life. Some essential items to have in the process of raising baby turtles include:

Enclosure furnishing

To help the turtle’s life closely resemble the natural environment, you should use some magnetic sand to line the bottom of the tank. 

The type of sand used for the bottom of the tank is often used to line the aquarium or sometimes be with smooth river rocks. 

At the same time, you should add one or two gems with a smooth surface and not too large to create an island-like feeling. 

Should choose medium-sized stones so that baby turtles can climb on easily. Baby turtles often like to lie on this rock to rest or bask in the sun.

At the same time, you can choose to buy a burrow for your baby turtle at pet stores, or you can also make it yourself using a plastic bottle. 

Having a hiding place in the tank will help the baby turtles become more comfortable and gradually create a sense of security when living in the tank for the turtle.

At the same time, to make the surrounding environment more aesthetic, you can add beneficial algae or algae to the tank of the baby turtle.


Lighting for the turtle

Lighting for the turtle

Turtles are an animal that cannot produce their body heat. So, exposing them to sunlight or exposure to warm light will help balance the body temperature for baby turtles.

You should expose baby turtles to a lot of suns to help them stay healthy if you live in a bright environment.

Another solution that many people use instead of letting turtles bask in the sun every day is to install a heating lamp. 

You can place the light in the area with the shallowest water in the tank. Choose a lamp that can provide a warmth of about 82.5°F (28.1°C). 

Every day, at an appropriate time, turn on the light so that the turtle comes to warm itself, absorbing heat to warm the body.

Basking spot

Of course, baby turtles need a suitable place to warm or sunbathe. You can immediately use the smooth rock you used to create the turtle’s natural habitat to do this as well. 

A good result will be when you can place the soft rock close to the heater to facilitate the sunbathing of the baby turtle. And of course, these two items should be in the place with the shallowest water level in the tank.

The tank water quality

Don’t think that using dechlorinated water is good for baby turtles. This statement is completely incorrect. You should use it on water turtles that have not undergone any sterilization process. 

At the same time, the water in the tank should only be around 68 to 76 degrees F. The water level in the tank should not be too shallow or too deep. 

Too shallow will not make the turtle comfortable. At the same time, too deep water can also drown baby turtles. 

The amount in the tank should only fit the turtle shell.

Another thing worth noting is that you need to install a water purifier right inside the tank. Because turtles have no discipline in life, especially when eating, the water in the tank will often be cloudy. 

At the same time, as the baby turtles get bigger and bigger, the amount of trash that turtles discharge in the tank will also increase. However, an unclean living environment can cause a variety of diseases for baby turtles. 

Therefore, a water purifier will be an effective assistant to remove the waste or impurities in the tank. If it is not possible to equip a water purifier, it will certainly take you a lot of time to continuously change the water’s water for the turtle tank.

Unique Features and Description of Baby Turtle 

The Shell

You can easily notice that the shell of a baby turtle is rougher than that of an adult turtle. At the same time, apricots are usually round with the same length and width. The relative size of a baby turtle shell is about 1inch

The upper layer of the shell is usually black or brown, but the lower layer of the surface is yellow or tan. You will see a uniform case of all upper and lower shells being black in some wild black turtles.

The Head and Tail

The Head and Tail

The Head and Tail

For normal baby snapping turtles, they are quite small in size. Their heads are usually larger than their carapaces, which is why they have difficulty burying their heads in. 

At the same time, the head of baby turtles is often pointed at the top. The eyes of baby turtles are also high on the top of the head, so they can easily see everything. 

Not only that, but they also have a long tail. Some baby snapping turtles have seats that are longer than their shells.

Life Expectancy

Because turtles are fairly long-lived animals, snapping turtles can safely pass their infancy and add a very long time. Usually, they mature for 8-10 years and can live up to 45 years.

Turtle’s Environment Adaptation

When baby turtles are adults, they no longer receive too many threats from their surroundings. Because of the hard shell and its inherently aggressive nature, snapping turtles are often the top species in the food chain. 

Besides, snapping turtles are also carnivores, so they can readily attack and turn small animals around into their prey.


Snapping turtles are quite aggressive animals, so they rarely feel afraid of any animal when they reach adulthood. When they think they are in danger, snapping turtles are ready to fight back.

However, they are not always so aggressive. Sometimes, if you put your feet in the water, you can feel the touch of snapping turtles on the tip of your toes. 

If you move close in the aquatic environment, there is a high chance that this animal will move away to keep its distance from you. And at the same time, it will find a safe shelter for itself.

Why do we find some snapping turtles around?

Snapping turtles usually only move on land when they need to change to a new home or breed.

There are many reasons for snapping turtles to leave their habitats, including constant threats from other animals, pollution of water sources. 

Once they have decided to find a new place to live, they often look for places as far away from their current water sources as possible.

For snapping turtles that come ashore to lay eggs, after safely burrowing and laying, they will cover the mouth of the burrow with soil.

Nesting and Hatching

The period of laying eggs for turtles usually starts in 6 months (from April to October every year). However, the peak time for this to happen is from July to September. 

A special feature of this species is the amount of sperm that can be kept in the female turtle’s body through many seasons until they feel good. 

Nesting and spawning of snapping turtles take place on land. When the mother turtle has finished digging a burrow as deep as she wants in the area it wants and feels safe with its surroundings, they will lay eggs. 

The amount of turtle eggs per year usually reaches 25 – 80 eggs and sometimes more or less than the above number. 

If snapping turtles feel unsafe during this process, they will abandon the nest and sometimes stop laying. 

The inability to lay eggs can be dangerous for the mother turtle and lead to their death. After laying eggs in the cave, the mother turtle will cover it with soil, then leave to observe the cave from afar.

Incubation: What are the chances that snapping turtle eggs will hatch?

After the mother turtle successfully lays eggs in her nest. It is very difficult for baby turtles to survive to adulthood without human intervention. 

Normally, every time a mother turtle lays eggs, only 1% of her young can survive and grow well into adulthood.

How to take care of a baby snapping turtle? 

How to take care of a baby snapping turtle

How to take care of a baby snapping turtle

Taking care of a baby snapping turtle is not too difficult because turtles are easy to keep. However, for a baby turtle to grow and develop at its best, you need to spend a lot of time preparing many things necessary for it.

The first thing that you should prepare for is a favorable environment in the tank. That means more than just keeping in an empty tank. 

You need more than that for a baby turtle. You will probably need a few essentials: a water purifier, a small cafe, a place to bask, light heating, and the right water temperature.

If a baby turtle doesn’t have a burrow, it will easily feel unsafe and insecure in its own place.

Without proper sun exposure and heating, baby turtles can suffer from various diseases when their body temperature cannot be balanced.

Water temperature is also a sensitive factor for baby turtles. So, if the water in the tank is too cold, it will sometimes cause the baby turtles to go into hibernation. 

They might stop eating and gradually weaken their health. At the same time, if you do not filter and change the water, the dirt that accumulates inside the tank will sometimes be a breeding ground for turtles.

These careful preparations will help the baby turtles feel more comfortable when living in the aquarium.

At the same time, because an appropriate diet is essential for baby turtles, you also need to understand how to distribute food in a meal. 

If you need to feed your turtle 2-3 meals a day for an adult turtle, then in a baby turtle, you only have to provide 1-2 times is enough.

You need to understand the principles of combining animal and plant foods. So, baby turtles have enough nutrients and grow healthy. Also, you should only feed baby turtles store-bought food.

What if a Baby Snapping Turtle Won’t Eat? 

Although abstention can happen to any pet, including turtles. Usually, if the turtle is growing well, the anorexia will resolve on its own within a short time. However, skipping food will still make their owners worry. 

You can look at them for a short time before concluding. Or you can also check to see if they are under any pressure through 2 main reasons that lead to turtles not eating, including.

Water Temperature and Environment

Although people often consider turtles as a type of animal with high endurance and resilience. However, it can also be an animal that is sensitive to water temperature. 

Therefore, sometimes the temperature change will affect the baby’s eating, especially when the water environment is too cold. 

This is because turtles are cold-blooded animals, so being in a warm climate is necessary and suitable for them. 

When the temperature is cold, turtles will often hibernate, so their normal activities are slow, including eating.

On the other hand, when the water environment is too dirty, it will also affect the eating process of baby turtles. If you have not changed the water for a long time, change the water immediately to improve this situation.

Recognizing Signs of Illness

Skipping food can also signify that a baby turtle is sick, especially when it doesn’t even eat its favorite foods. 

Some common ailments in turtles include stress, eye or respiratory disease, vitamin deficiency, or sometimes they can also be pregnant.

What animals eat snapping turtles?

While the turtle is still in its eggs or as a baby turtle, the turtle will often fall prey to other large animals, including large turtles. Some common snapping turtles include great blue herons, skunks, crows, birds.

However, as turtles grow older, they will be less likely to be eaten because of their hard shells and aggressive behavior, ready to respond when faced with a disadvantage.

Fun Fact: How long do snapping turtles live? 

Turtles can be animals with a fairly long lifespan. It is very difficult to know the lifespan of a snapping turtle accurately.

However, researchers have concluded that the average lifespan of snapping turtles is up to 30 – 47 years based on their shells.

What Is The Best filter for snapping turtle 

Filters for turtle tanks are a necessity for turtles to stay healthy. Today, there are many filters on the market with many reasonable prices and uses. 

Depending on different requirements, you can make the necessary choice with your baby turtle tank. However, you can choose from one of the filter types worth considering, such as the Marineland Magniflow canister filter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should you feed a snapping turtle?

Normally, baby turtles need to be fed every day. Besides, to make sure the turtle eats enough, you should feed the turtle twice a day.

What is the best snapping turtle food?

You should feed your turtle a combination of animal and plant foods. Some examples are crayfish, 7-color fish, insects, and algae sold at specialized pet stores.

How do you take care of a wild baby snapping turtle?

The first is patience and love. Next, prepare all the necessary turtles to live in, such as a tank, a heat lamp, filtration, and water.

Do baby snapping turtles eat lettuce?

Yes. You should feed your turtle lettuce to supplement their nutrients.

What do you do if you find a baby snapping turtle?

You can completely raise them or release them into a natural environment that suits their living situation.

Do baby snapping turtles need water?

Yes. However, release the baby turtles into a shallow tank. The standard water level is only up to about the shell of a baby turtle. Baby snapping turtles are poor swimmers, so they can drown if the water level is too high.