How Much To Feed Baby Painted Turtle?

how much to feed baby painted turtle

If you have recently welcomed a baby-painted turtle into your family, then you are in for a lot of fun and excitement. These little creatures are absolutely adorable and so much fun to watch as they grow. However, caring for a baby-painted turtle is not as easy as it may seem. These baby turtles need a high protein and low-fat diet in order to thrive, and they need to be fed on a daily basis. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how much to feed baby painted turtles and what kinds of food are best suited for their needs.

Related Article: Do Painted Turtles Like Strawberries?

How much to feed a baby-painted turtle?

There isn’t a fixed method to calculate how much you should feed your baby painted turtle. Their feeding activity varies from turtle to turtle. Baby painted turtles require a high protein and low-fat diet for their development. You should offer them food items such as live insects, fish, and worms. The majority of their diet should be turtle pellets and green vegetables.

For feeding your baby turtle you can follow any of the below-given methods:

15 min method

This is one of the easiest methods to follow. All you need to do is offer food to your turtle for 15 minutes and then remove whatever is left uneaten. This will help you in getting an estimate of how much food your baby turtle requires per day. The benefits of this method are that your turtles will get trained to eat their food on time and will also help you in avoiding overfeeding. Turtles will soon understand that they need to eat whatever is offered to them within 15 minutes. This method will also help avoid overfeeding your baby turtle as well as less wastage of food.

The size of the head method

In this method, you need to offer food to your baby turtle according to the size of its head. This is how much a baby turtle should eat per day:

  • If the size of the head is less than ½ inch then offer them food once daily.
  • If the size of the head is between ½ – ¾ inch then offer them food twice daily.
  • If the size of the head is between ¾ –  one inch then offer them food three times a day.
  • If the size of the head is more than one inch then they can be offered food four times a day.

This method is quite easy to follow and will help you in getting an estimate of how much food your baby turtle requires per day. You basically have to give your turtle food as much as the size of the head. For measuring the food you can use a medicine cup or any other small container.

How often does a baby-painted turtle eat?

A baby-painted turtle needs to be fed every day. They are growing quickly and need a lot of energy and nutrients to support their growth. Apart from their regular diet they also need calcium supplements every day. It is best if you can give them food twice a day in small quantities.

In their initial first year, baby-painted turtles grow the most and giving them plenty of protein-rich food is very important. The more you fed them, the faster they will grow. As they grow older their appetite will also change and they will start eating less. After the first year, you can start giving them food once a day or every alternate day.

It is important for pet owners to make a schedule for feeding their baby painted turtle. Following a strict schedule will help the turtle in getting used to a routine. It is best if you can offer them food at the same time every day. This will help them with their appetite, and they will start expecting food at that particular time.

What do baby-painted turtles eat?

Baby-painted turtles are mostly omnivores, which means they will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet revolves around eating snails, worms, insects, tadpoles, and small fish. They will also consume algae and aquatic plants.

For your baby painted turtle you can either buy ready-made turtle pellets or give them vegetables and insects. If you are buying ready-made food, make sure it is of good quality and has all the nutrients that a baby-painted turtle needs.

Turtles need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. A protein-rich diet helps them in their growth and development.

As for vegetables, you can give them dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, or collards. You can also give them vegetables like carrots, squash, or green beans. Make sure to chop the vegetables into small pieces so that they can easily eat them.

Their diet should have plenty of calcium for their shell development. Juvenile turtles need more protein than adult turtles as they are growing and developing rapidly. If their diet does not have calcium then giving them calcium blocks or cuttlebone is a must.

You can also give them live or frozen food like crickets, mealworms, or earthworms. Baby-painted turtles need to eat daily. They are growing and developing quickly, so they need a lot of food.

How do you know if your baby-painted turtle is hungry or not?

There is no way to tell whether your baby-painted turtle is hungry or not. Painted turtles are very active species and they play the whole day long even when they might be hungry. Believe it or not but they can eat all day long too if you let them. The best way to feed your baby painted turtle is to make a schedule for them to eat. It is a good practice to follow the 15-minute rule or the size of their head rule.

Baby-painted turtles often start swimming against the wall of the tank when you come to their tank. This is their way of telling you that they want food. Turtles relate their food with their owners. So, every time they see you coming to the tank they think it’s time to eat. If you are consistent with their feeding time then they will eventually get to know when it is the right time to eat.

It is important not to overfeed your baby-painted turtle. They can easily become obese which eventually leads to other health problems. While it is nearly impossible to tell if your baby turtle is hungry or not, you don’t need to worry as long as you are feeding them every day.

All turtles even baby or juvenile ones will just do well even if not provided food for 1-2 days. However, it is not recommended but I am telling the facts so you can sit relax, and not worry much about your baby turtle.

Related Article: Reasons Why Your Painted Turtle Might Not Be Eating

How do you feed a baby painted turtle?

Feeding a baby-painted turtle is easy as they are not so choosy about food. They would love to eat any kind of food that you offer them. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind while feeding them:

  • Feed your baby turtle a high protein and low-fat diet for their overall development.
  • Offer them variety in their diet so that they get all the nutrients they need.
  • Feed them small meals several times a day instead of one large meal.
  • If you are giving them vegetables, do chop them into small pieces so that they can easily eat them.
  • Feed them live food as much as possible as it is easy for them to digest and packed with nutrients.
  • Worms, crickets, and mealworms make a great diet for baby painted turtles. You can also give them pellets made specifically for baby turtles.
  • Be careful not to overfeed them as it can lead to health problems later on.


Feeding a baby-painted turtle is definitely not an easy task. It’s important that you feed them the right food items and in the right quantity for their overall development. Turtles need a high protein diet with low levels of fat, so make sure to give them plenty of healthy options like fish, insects, and earthworms. You can also give them pellets designed specifically for baby turtles. Whatever you feed, make sure not to let them eat for more than 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can offer them food as the size of their head. These two methods will help avoid overfeeding your turtle.