Red Footed Tortoise Diet Guide

red footed tortoise diet

Red-footed tortoises are standard size, sturdy tortoises with a distinct personality. The red footed tortoise is found in a broad range of environments. The species loves a humid habitat in general. Red footed tortoise diet sheet consists of anything as they are omnivorous. In the wild, they eat both animal and plant stuff. 

They are predominantly herbivorous, but have been observed in the outdoors eating carcasses, insects, wildflowers, fruits, and plants. While choosing a red footed tortoise diet, keep in mind that these tortoises are not finicky about their meals and have a diversified diet like other forest tortoises, so you must guarantee you have the proper diet.

Red-Footed Tortoise Diet List

Red-footed tortoises are naturally drawn to red, orange, and yellow meals, and this tendency may be leveraged to urge them to have a diverse diet by combining food items. Red footed tortoises in the wild eat 55 % fruit, 35 % veggies, and 10 % protein in general.


Vegetables are the most significant component, accounting for around 40% of the red-footed tortoise diet. Use as many different types of veggies as feasible. Once every 2 weeks or so, add any one of the mentioned veggies to a salad of combined leafy greens and fruits. Collard, mustard, turnip, dandelion, watercress, broccoli, escarole, Swiss chard, parsley, kale, spinach, endive, romaine, bell peppers, carrots, peas, zucchini, pumpkin, parsnips, cooked sweet potatoes, and squash. Some of the very best choices could be:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Zucchini
  3. Yellow squash
  4. Winter squash
  5. Carrots (on occasion)
  6. Green Beans (on occasion)
Image Credit: squeaksandnibbles

What to Avoid in Veggies?

Skip light greens like iceberg lettuce and celery tops. Hibiscus flowers, rose flowers, dandelion leaf, as well as other non-toxic vegetables can be provided. Before offering some new plants to the tortoises, one must first consult a reliable source, since many attractive plants and wildflowers are hazardous.


Fresh fruits should account for around 55% of the red footed tortoise’s diet. Apples, mangoes, berries, melons, papaya, guava, pineapple, bananas, cactus fruit, grapes, plums, peaches, and tomatoes all qualify. Fruits, like leafy green vegetables, are key components of the red footed tortoise diet. Below are some ideas to supplement your tortoise’s leafy greens each day:


Red foot tortoise diet requires a huge amount of calcium, so every single serving, add a modest quantity of nutrients calcium/Vitamin D3 supplementation to the tortoise’s diet. Once every week, sprinkle calcium carbonate or calcium dehydrate supplements on fresh veggies for non-breeding adult tortoises. Calcium products need to be phosphorus-free or limited in phosphorus. Must provide high-calcium grazing as well as forages like wildflowers and grasses because red-foots like both but neither need dusting. Excessively nutrients may pose issues, so limit your intake. 

Animal Protein

According to research, a totally vegetarian red foot tortoise diet frequently results in brain disorders such as hind-leg paralysis. Serving an exclusively meatless red footed tortoise diet can also result in low reproduction and complete inability to flourish. Red foots require tiny quantities of animal protein each week. Top picks from some of the viable choices are:

  • Dry cat food with a low fat content (take time to soften it up in the water).
  • Slugs, snails, worms, and beetles that are alive
  • Hard-boiled eggs (should be chopped)
  • Chicken or shrimp (should be steamed or boiled)

Red footed tortoises consume a range of animal material in the wild, including carcasses. When it’s outside, try feeding pre-killed animals once a month. In the wintertime, feed animal protein thrice a month since bugs are scarce at that time of year.  Tortoises are kept indoors throughout the winter.

A healthy diet may be developed by varying the red footed tortoise diet so never feed the same meal every day. Once every day, mix varieties and use a new green as the foundation.

Plant Protein

Red footed tortoises require plant-based protein at least once a month, such as a tiny portion of mushrooms. It might predominantly contain shitake or portobello mushrooms. Mushrooms contain a lot of minerals, and also some nasty stuff, that’s why one must use it cautiously, and always use mushrooms because they are components of the red-footed tortoise diet sheet.

A few more plant-based meals (must be pesticide and herbicide free) that are healthy and may be introduced to a red footed tortoise diet include:

  1. Various flowers such as roses and dandelion
  2. Mulberry foliage
  3. Hosta leaves


Nutrients like vitamins are necessary for proper physiological function. Vitamins particularly fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin D are easily medicated, and excessive vitamin prescription can really be dangerous. A tortoise multivitamin supplement shall be properly put on the meal just once every between one or two weeks like a basic guideline.


All of them are not completely dangerous to be added to the red footed food chart. Some can be with a moderate amount like Tannins. Although tannins are pretty helpful, in big concentrations (like with all anti-nutrients), tannins absorb protein and disrupt digestion. A number of anti-nutrients are:

  • Ethanedioic acid
  • Acid Phytic.
  • Tannic acid.
  • Goitrogens.

Some Common Foods To Avoid In Red Foot Tortoise Diet Plan

Many foods possess minimal nutrient benefit, could inhibit nutrient uptake or may have other detrimental health impacts. The preceding foodstuffs should be prohibited in the red foot tortoise diet plan for a number of reasons.

  1. Iceberg lettuce, celery, and cucumber are among them.
  2. Tomatoes.
  3. Spinach.
  4. Green mustard.
  5. Grains of all kinds. Despite proper sunlight exposure, grain-rich diets can have a deleterious influence on bone formation. Grains affect the metabolism of vitamin D.
  6. Broccoli, rhubarb, and beet greens
  7. Fruits with citrus peels.
  8. Except for what has been designated as good, every human diets.
  9. Pellet feeds are detrimental because they contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. They even have a highly acidic impact, which leads bone to leach. They have a high phytate content, which absorbs calcium as well as other minerals.

All Greens In Red Footed Tortoise Diet

Most green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium and poor in phosphorus (both of which are needed for a robust red foot tortoise), and thus lay the backbone of the everyday red foot tortoise diet. Red-footed tortoises consume carrion and sluggish crustaceans like worms and snails. Red foot tortoise’s food list involves a wide variety of greens. Greens should preferably be organic and fungicide. 

Image Credit: saginawzoo

The following are some common greens that should be included in the red foot tortoise food list.

  • Lettuce Romaine
  • Lettuce with red and green leaves
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Chicory
  • Radicchio
  • Green turnip
  • Green mustards
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Spring Mix (mixed salad greens)
  • Cabbage (on occasion)

Adding Water In Red Footed Tortoise Dietary

Pure and fresh water should be readily available in the red-footed tortoise diet that should be served in a small bowl shallow enough for the tortoise’s nose and lips to dip to drink. Since most tortoises consume and urinate on the dishes, sanitation should always be done frequently. Because they drink far less in the winter, red-footed tortoises hold more water in the summer.

Feeding Schedule Of The Red Foot Tortoise Food Chart

Babies should always be fed every day, whereas grownups can be served every other day. The preceding is a feeding timetable for a red foot tortoise that is less than a year old.

DAY 1Leafy greens as a base diet
DAY 2Fruit-based diet
DAY 3Leafy greens as a base diet
DAY 4Vegetable-based diet
DAY 5Fruit-based diet
DAY 6Meat-based diet
DAY 7Day without food

How Often Should a Red-Footed Tortoise be Fed?

If you keep the objective of a diverse and healthy food in mind, there is plenty of leeway in the proposed feeding schedule. Make a plan of 2 days of meals and 2 days off. Greens for the first two days, fruit for the next two. You may also use a mixture of these two or even add some animal protein. Feed the red-footed tortoises as much as they can consume in half an hour. The ideal method is to place the dish on a large slab. 

Red-footed tortoises are normally opportunistic consumers that rarely refuse food. Mature tortoises should be fed a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and leaves. 

How Much Should Red Footed Tortoises be Fed?

Provide them with fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis by splitting it into parts or sets. You may provide two sets every day. No food will be wasted this way, and tortoises will be able to eat fresh food every day.

Image Credit: pinterest

Feeding Behavior

Many foods, including fruits and little carrion, were swallowed whole by red-foot. When wild red foot tortoises were kept in captivity, most of their behaviors changed; these tortoises started chewing meals and biting off bits of food. Red-footed tortoises are frequently seen eating sand because the sand either assisted digestion or could be consumed for its mineral richness. Mazuri is well-known in the group for almost all tortoises. It is also nutritious and fortified foods. Feed it to red-footed tortoises with each meal, but never in large quantities. They are enthusiastic eaters, so they follow up with a large helping of vegetables and melon chunks.

Safe and Hygienic Food

Try to give the red footed tortoise 100 % organic food to keep them safe and healthy. It is feasible to make it happen by producing specific seed mixes for tortoises on a shelf at home and just placing the containers in the pet’s enclosure, allowing it to peruse normally. When dealing with juvenile tortoises, make very sure the tray’s edges are low enough that the pet can get in without issue and won’t tip over.

How to Grow?

Digging out the extended root of an already existing plant is one approach to ensure a steady supply of plants. Place the trimmed roots so the top portion of each one is slightly visible well above soil’s surface. Water plants, after which place the containers in a transparent plastic container in a bright location (where sunlight can be accessible) for about one week. Plants should begin growing shortly, based on the ambient temperature.


It’s difficult to talk about the red-footed tortoises diet since they eat so many different things. The diet fluctuates with the seasons and what is accessible. Meals that could be produced from seed, such as dandelion, can be included to the red footed food list. A little amount of shredded carrot can be mixed in with the greens for red footed tortoises. In balance, Brussel sprouts can also be consumed. Fresh fruits should make up around 40% of the red footed tortoise’s diet. In the wild, red footed tortoises consume 35% vegetables and 10% protein overall. Vitamins and other nutrients are required for appropriate physiological function.


What distinguishes tortoises from turtles?

One feature that distinguishes tortoises from turtles is that they graze nearly completely on plant stuff. Tortoises eat a wide variety of foods, which are determined by the habitat in which they live in the wild.

What foods do red-footed tortoises appreciate in their diet?

Red-footed tortoises prefer Mazuri tortoise food the most of any tortoise meal, and it is an excellent supplement diet since it fills any nutritional deficiencies.

What fruits can tortoises consume?

Mango and apple can be served in tiny slices. Mango may also be eaten, however it is quite sticky and attracts flies. Bananas and cherries can be regularly consumed. 

What foods are restricted by tortoises?

While roaming freely in a garden, tortoises will typically avoid eating plants that may injure them such as daffodils.

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