Whether your pet tortoise lives indoors or out, they need to eat the right foods to stay healthy. As herbivores, tortoises should consume a variety of plant materials daily. Tortoises can eat cilantro but the amount fed may vary depending on what else they eat.
Keep reading to learn how cilantro fits into a balanced diet for your tortoise, including nutrition facts. We’ll also cover some basics about the ideal tortoise diet and how often to feed cilantro.
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- Is Cilantro Healthy for Tortoises? Nutrition Facts
- How Much Cilantro Should Tortoises Eat?
- What Are Some Other Foods That Tortoises Can Eat?
- Can Tortoises Eat Fruit?
- Do Tortoises Need Supplements?
Is Cilantro Healthy for Tortoises? Nutrition Facts
Cilantro, also called coriander in some parts of the world, is a dark green herb used in Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central American cooking. It is a controversial ingredient amongst humans; you either love it or you hate it! The leafy plant contains vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, and manganese.
Proper amounts of Vitamin A help tortoises maintain eye, skin, respiratory, and reproductive health, among other functions. Eating foods like cilantro, which contain this nutrient, is necessary for tortoises to get enough Vitamin A from their diet.
How Much Cilantro Should Tortoises Eat?
Depending on the age and species, tortoises may have different nutritional requirements. You can always check with your veterinarian to ensure your pet eats a balanced diet. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Cilantro is relatively high in oxalic acid, which can negatively affect calcium absorption, so it should only be fed as part of a balanced diet, and not a significant portion of it.
What Are Some Other Foods That Tortoises Can Eat?
Bermuda grass and plants like dandelions or alfalfa offer excellent nutrition for outdoor tortoises. Desert tortoises may also enjoy snacking on cactus leaves. Grass hay like Bermuda, Timothy, and orchard are good options for indoor tortoises. Besides cilantro, the following leafy greens are okay to feed:
Other vegetables that can be offered occasionally include:
Some tortoises may also benefit from commercial pellet diets, especially young ones needing increased protein to grow and develop. Check with your veterinarian for recommended options.
Can Tortoises Eat Fruit?
Tortoises can be offered fruit as a treat on rare occasions. They have a bit of a sweet tooth and may ignore more nutritious food if they eat fruit instead. Some fruits tortoises may enjoy include the following:
Avoid citrus fruits, avocados and bananas.
Do Tortoises Need Supplements?
Whether your tortoise needs supplements will depend on their usual diet and whether they receive enough sunlight or UV lighting daily. Some reptiles may need calcium and vitamin supplements, including Vitamin A. Don’t start your tortoise on a supplement without checking with your vet first.
Most tortoises can eat cilantro as part of their balanced diet. However, the amount of cilantro you feed will depend on where your pet is housed and the other foods they eat daily. Cilantro provides beneficial nutrition to tortoises, but if you’re concerned about choosing the right diet for your tortoise, don’t hesitate to talk to your exotic animal veterinarian.
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