Can Tortoises Eat Nettles

In this article we are going to talk about – Can tortoises eat nettles?

Is it safe for them to eat? Should you stop them if you see them eating it?

Let’s find out in this article!

Carry on reading

Can tortoises eat nettles

Tortoises love eating nettle leaves, Nettles are a healthy diet for tortoises and can improve your pet’s well-being.

However, there are a couple considerations you need to go over and that is what I’ll go over in this article.

Nettles are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and many other nutrients.

Nettle leaves contain phytochemicals called polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.

The following information will help you understand feeding nettles to your turtle.

Does eating nettles harm tortoises?

Nettles are a good source of calcium and iron for tortoises.

They also provide vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

However, it is not recommended to feed tortoises large quantities of nettles because this can cause digestive issues.

There are certain things to remember.

It is best to only give your pet new leaves.

Additionally, some tortoises may become irritated by the stinging cells on nettle leaves, therefore I would advise wilting the leaves before giving them to your tortoise.

Nettles contain vitamins C & E, plus minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. They have been used medicinally throughout history.

Vitamins (like vitamin A, C, K, and B vitamins)

Vitamins A, C, K, and B Vitamins; Minerals Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium

(Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium) Fatty Acids (Palmitic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, and Stearic Acid)

(Palmitic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid) Essential Fatty Acids (All of the ​Essential Fatty Acids)

(All essential amino acids) Polyphenols (Caffeic Acid, Quercetin, Coumarins, Kaempferol, Other Flavonoids)

Which is better – Stingy Nettle vs. Dead Nettle for tortoise food?

Nettles are naturally drawn to tortoises, but is this the best food for them?

Let’s find out the differences between stinging and dead nettles.

Stinging nettles

Oval leaves with a fuzzy surface can be found on stinging nettles.

Tortoises enjoy eating stinging nettles, despite the plant’s apparent unsuitability as food for these unusual animals.

Although the nettles’ irritating hairs are not harmful to tortoises, it is usually preferable to blanch the nettles before serving them to them.

As stinging nettles age, their oxalates content increases.

The nutrients are concentrated most in young leaves. Older leaves contain oxalates, which can bond to calcium and other minerals and pose a risk to your tortoise if fed in significant quantities.

It is therefore preferable to only feed your tortoise fresh stinging nettle leaves.

Dead nettles

Dead nettles differ from other members of the mint family in having deeper veins and leaves with a heart shape.

Dead nettles are less toxic to tortoises than stinging nettles because they contain fewer oxalates.

Dead nettles come in a wide variety as well.

The most well-liked types include white dead nettle and yellow archangel.

Prepare nettles for tortoises – How do you do it?

Nettles are edible plants that grow naturally throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of Central and Southern Africa.

They are also known as stinging nettle, stinging weed, and stinging grass. 

Tortoises love nettle leaves and nettles are a healthy treat for tortoises, but they need to be well cleaned to get rid of any insecticides that may have been applied.

Before handling nettles, start by putting on gloves to prevent getting stung.

After that, remove the plant’s leaves and stems and quickly submerge them in boiling water.

By doing this, the stinging cells will be neutralized and the nettles will be safe for your tortoise to eat.

The nettles can then be blanched in cold water before being included in your tortoise’s varied diet.

Nettles are an excellent supplement to your tortoises’ normal diet because they are rich in iron and other elements.

The benefits of feeding nettles to turtles

Reptiles from warm areas are known as tortoises.

They consume a range of plants and insects in the wild.

Nettles are a good source of calcium, other minerals, and vitamins A and C. Additionally, they function as an antioxidant meal, which is crucial for tortoises to strengthen their immune systems against infections.

Does the Tortoise’s Mouth Get Stung by Nettle?

Nettles do not sting the tortoise’s mouth.

Tortoises are actually resistant to nettles’ stinging effects.

This is so that they are shielded from the sting by the thick coating of mucus that lines the inside of their lips.

Therefore, if a tortoise is eating a nettle, don’t be alarmed; they are not in agony.

They may even be having fun!

To keep tortoises healthy and active, nettles are a fantastic food source.

If your tortoise does end up consuming a lot of nettles, don’t freak out.

Instead, watch out for any signs of discomfort and call your veterinarian if you have any worries.


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