Red eared sliders are a kind of turtle, that much fancy keeping as a pet. These turtles get their names from their ability to slide smoothly with ears marred with red marks.
If you wish to pet a red eared slider or already have one, it is important to know which fruit can be part of their diet. The following sections discuss if red eared sliders can eat strawberries as well.
Can red eared sliders eat strawberries?
Red eared slider turtles can eat one or two strawberries occasionally in chopped up form. Strawberries contain high sugar and pesticides which may become unhealthy if eaten too much. Moreover, unlike other turtles, red-eared sliders do not like strawberries as a part of their meal.
You may want to note that red eared sliders that live in the wild are not so fond of fruits, including strawberries. If you have a red eared slider as a pet, you would probably want to offer strawberries to the turtle.
There are probable chances that their wilderness instincts would make them resist eating the red fruits. Granting strawberries are completely safe for red eared sliders to eat, the turtles might just not be so interred.
Even if your red eared sliders like to eat strawberries, you may want to moderate the amount fed to your pet. This is mainly because of the high amounts of sugar content in strawberries.
By measurement, strawberry contains about 7 grams of sugar in a cup. Although not a problem when eaten in moderation for the turtles, red eared sliders feeding on too many strawberries daily can become overweight.
Intaking more sugary fruit like strawberries also sets the diet balance to tip.
Moreover, it is also important to remember that when strawberries are fed to red sliders, they must be washed and processed the right way. Strawberries are always devoured by insects for which farmers spray large amounts of pesticides on them.
While red eared sliders can eat strawberries, having too much may mean they are ingesting more chemicals, which can eventually make them sick.
Do red-eared slider turtles like strawberries? Can baby red-eared sliders eat strawberries?
Red eared slider turtles can eat strawberries but in small amounts and only occasionally. While they are safe to be eaten by this species of turtles, red eared sliders are not as fond of strawberries as some other types of turtles.
If you leave a few strawberries in front of your red eared slider turtle, chances are they would pick on the next food. This may be a genetic inclination since the family of red eared sliders that live in the wilderness do not eat strawberries so often.
On the other hand, you may find box turtles as well as weather turtles enjoying strawberries and wanting to eat more. For baby red eared sliders, eating strawberries may be too much hard work. Baby turtles cannot nibble on the bigger strawberries and hence eat less of them.
The sugar content is also considerably higher for a baby slider. Baby red eared sliders mostly feed on worms, shrimp, and smaller insects which are easier for them to nibble, chew and digest.
Can red-eared sliders eat strawberry leaves?
When in the wild red eared sliders may eat a strawberry with leaves. While it is okay for sliders to eat strawberries with young leaves, but it is not safe for them to eat the older leaves.
When the leaves of strawberries are young, they do not contain any toxic materials. However, red eared sliders should not eat older strawberry leaves since they may contain hydrogen cyanide gas. Hydrogen cyanide gas is highly toxic and can cause poisoning in a turtle gradually.
4 reasons why red-eared sliders cannot eat strawberries
Reasons behind red eared sliders cannot eat strawberries have been discussed below –
They do not like strawberries:
Unlike box turtles or aqua turtles, red eared sliders are not so fond of strawberries.
When not in captivity, red eared slider turtles do not have strawberries as part of their diet. If you do not force feed them and allow them the option to choose, they would not take strawberries as part of their food.
This is simply because they do not like the taste and habitually, and by genetics do not have an attraction towards strawberries
Too rich in sugar:
Strawberries are sugary fruits that contain grams of sugar in each cup. While eating sugary fruits like strawberries in moderation has no adverse effects, red eared sliders should not have strawberries for the sugar content.
This could eventually lead them to become overweight and show symptoms quite similar to any humans.
May be full of pesticides:
Strawberries no matter how much sugar they contain can never be as harmful as pesticides that come with them.
Since insects are easily attracted to strawberries and feed on them all the time, farmers put large amounts of rather chemically charged insect repellents.
This drives away the insects and keeps the strawberry fresh but when eaten by turtles, it can make them severely sick.
Hard to nibble for baby sliders:
For baby red eared slider turtles that feed on worms and small fish, nibbling on strawberries is no easy job.
Sometimes if they are fed strawberries, they might even choke on bigger pieces.
How much strawberries can a red eared slider turtle eat?
Strawberries are a good addition to a turtle’s diet when given in moderation. If you are wondering what is the right amount of strawberries a red eyed turtle can eat, a good measurement is 2 strawberries at a time.
You may want to chop up the strawberries into tiny pieces so that they are easier to eat for the turtle. However, you may want to make sure that you do not allow them to couple for strawberries daily.
While more greens and protein in a turtle’s diet should be regular, it is not advisable to give them strawberries more than two or three times a week. If a red eared slider turtle likes the taste of strawberries and wants more, it is healthy enough to add one or two more occasions.
What happens when your red-eared sliders eat too much strawberry?
Strawberries for turtles are neither toxic nor harmful in any way. Strawberries are full of vitamins and minerals that help make up for any vitamin deficiency in turtles.
For red eared sliders that like to eat strawberries, one or two strawberries can be a great addition to their diets. However, if a red eared turtle eats too much strawberry, they are intaking more sugar than they require.
Intake of too much sugar can eventually lead to overweight and issues related to weight. The red eyes turtle could become inactive as well.
Strawberries come with pesticides that can make a turtle fall ill if they eat too many strawberries that have not been washed properly. Other than that, eating too many strawberries would mean they are not eating other nutrition that the turtle needs.
How to give red-eared sliders strawberries?
If you have a red eared slider turtle that you would like to feed, you may try to give them strawberries as a source of vitamin A and C. If they like the taste, it can be made an addition to their meals every week.
Since strawberries may contain insects and chemical pesticides, you may want to follow the steps before giving your turtle the berries:
Wash the strawberries:
At first, you would need to wash the strawberries as well as you can under running water.
Soak them into baking soda and water mixture:
Once that is done, make a solution of baking soda with water. For each cup of water, you may use a teaspoon of baking soda. Gather the washed strawberries and soak them into the baking soda and water solution.
Here, it is important to use cold water instead of room temperature or hot water. Depending on the number of strawberries that you have soaked, an average time would be for 20 minutes.
Clean off each strawberry thoroughly:
Next, using a brush, clean off each strawberry thoroughly. This would allow the brush to fend off any clinging chemical or baking soda off the strawberries.
Cut one strawberry into tiny pieces:
Lastly, cut one strawberry into tiny pieces and feed them to your turtle.
Although there is no specific answer to whether red sliders can or cannot eat strawberries, there are more reasons for red eared sliders to avoid having strawberries. It is healthy to give one or two finely chopped strawberries to red eared sliders although most may not be fond of the berries.