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Can Turtles Eat Asparagus? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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A Turtle’s diet depends on its species as well as factors like its age. Most tortoises, which are an order of Turtle, are herbivores. Whereas many sea Turtles are carnivorous. If you have a carnivorous Turtle, then you should feed it viable animal-based ingredients rather than vegetables. However, most Turtles do eat at least some vegetables and greens.

In these cases, asparagus is considered a relatively healthy addition to their diet, but because they do contain a small to moderate amount of goitrogens, they should be fed sparingly and given as an occasional treat rather than as a regular dietary ingredient.

Turtle Diet

Turtles are an order of animals that includes aquatic Turtles as well as Tortoises and Terrapins. This wide range of animals all have shells that protrude from their bodies, but because there is such a wide range of different species, there are different diets for different species. As such, you will need to research the species of Turtle you own before devising a feeding plan and menu. Generally, whether a pet Turtle is an omnivore or an herbivore, it requires at least some vegetables in its diet.

A little turtle eating carrots and broccoli from a rocky dish in a terrarium with red light
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Turtles and Asparagus

It is recommended that Turtles be given vegetables high in vitamin A. Greens like lettuce and celery are known to be high in vitamin A, and so too is Asparagus. Asparagus is not toxic to Turtles, and it can be fed to those that need vegetables in their diet, but it does need to be fed sparingly and occasionally rather than being used to make up a major part of the diet.

Asparagus Benefits

Asparagus does contain vitamin A which is an essential vitamin and supports the immune system. Owners need to ensure that their pet Turtles get enough vitamin A in their diets. It also contains vitamin C which aids in iron absorption, and it contains vitamin K which supports strong and healthy bones, which is especially important in Turtles.

Image Credit: Jumpstory

How to Feed Asparagus

Because it contains a small to moderate amount of goitrogens, asparagus should be given occasionally and should not form a major part of a Turtle’s diet. Goitrogens can prevent the thyroid from working properly. In particular, it prevents the production of hormones by the thyroid. You can give a head of asparagus every few weeks. You should ensure it is properly washed before boiling and then letting it cool. Once cooled, you can slice the asparagus and serve it with other greens and vegetables.

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Top 5 Facts About Turtles

1. Turtles Don’t Live in Their Shells

A Turtle’s shell is actually an extension of its ribs, which means that it doesn’t live in its shell and can’t live outside of its shell. If a Turtle’s shell is removed, it would be very traumatic for the animal and would likely lead to death.

turtle hiding and slightly peeking out of its shell
Image Credit: Jessica Baldwin, Shutterstock

2. They Have Been Around Since the Dinosaurs

Turtles are some of the oldest animals on the planet. They are older than snakes, lizards, and even crocodiles, and they have been around since the time of the dinosaurs.

3. Turtles’ Diets Depend on Their Environment

A Turtle’s diet depends primarily on where it lives. Aquatic sea turtles generally live on a diet of small fish and other aquatic animals and some also consume plants from under or near the water. Terrestrial Turtles usually consume plants from their habitat as well as insects.

4. They Can Live a Very Long Time

Turtles are well known for leading long lives. Tortoises, in particular, can live decades, and some Turtles are known to live more than 150 years.

5. There Are More Than 300 Species of Turtle

There are more than 300 different species of Turtle, but nearly half of these species are considered endangered or in real threat of extinction. Common reasons for number declines include pollution, poaching, and loss of habitat.

spotted turtle
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock

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Turtles make interesting pets, in part due to the wide variety of different species there are. There are aquatic Turtles as well as those that live on land. There are omnivorous, herbivorous, and carnivorous Turtle species, too. Tortoises, which are a type of Turtle, are commonly kept as pets, but so too are many species of aquatic and semi-aquatic Turtles.

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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