Terrapins are generally considered to be carnivorous when they are in the juvenile stages. However, as terrapins grow and age, their feeding habits tend to change into an omnivorous diet. Generally, an adults terrapin’s food will consist of ¼ meat and at least ½ plants. The juvenile terrapin’s food choices may include plants on occasion, but in general the preference is meat. There are four basic choices you will have for your terrapin’s food.
When you are considering the best choice for your terrapin’s food, a commercial diet is one option. A commercial diet consists of the processed terrapin’s food you can purchase online or at a pet store. These foods can be made from trout chow or even dog food. There are also varieties of pellets that are actually made from fish or shrimp. In general, this food type allows for convenience, but a fresh diet is typically healthier. However, if you do your research and are sure of what is included, you may use this food type with no problem.
Fresh Animal Products
Many people choose to use fresh fish or shrimp in their terrapin’s food. However, if you do not live close to a fresh fish source, there are other options you can use for a fresh animal source. There are many types of animal products that terrapins will eat for protein. You could include fresh raw beef or cooked chicken. Most terrapins will also eat a large variety of worms or crickets. Worms and crickets can be purchased live form bait shops or most pet stores.
Vegetation or Plant Matter
This category should make up over half of your terrapin’s food. Terrapins will eat most forms of greens and squash. Carrots and some roots also make great terrapin food. You may also try certain fruits like apples, melons, or grapes. However, any fruit you provide should be shredded or chopped in small pieces about an inch in size. While most types of vegetation are safe, you should buy or go online to find an inclusive list of appropriate types, as some vegetation can actually be harmful. Most book stores or pet shops offer books about developing an appropriate terrapin diet.
Supplements can add dietary value to any terrapin’s diet. Since it hard for terrapins to maintain high enough levels of vitamin D3 you might add this to the foods you offer. Many companies now make a powdered substance that you can sprinkle over the foods you offer. You can also slice open a small chunk of meat and place the powder inside. Since terrapins often take their food into the water by inserting it you will have a better chance for consumption. You can also a vitamin supplement pill a few times a week to help promote a healthy diet. Cuttlefish bone also provides a great source of calcium for your terrapin.
Trial and error is usually the best way to develop a terrapin diet. Terrapins are just like any other animal; they will have likes and dislikes. Never try to force your terrapin to eat something it does not want. There may be a reason it is avoiding a certain food.