Yes, tortoises can eat kiwi fruit. Fruit would typically only make up a small proportion of a tortoise’s diet in the wild. But they’re opportunist eaters, and kiwi is not toxic or harmful in any way.
Table of Contents
- Is Kiwi Good for Tortoises?
- How to Feed Kiwi to Tortoises
- What Should You Feed Your Tortoise?
- Feeding Your Tortoise Plants
- Feeding Your Tortoise Vegetables
- Feeding Your Tortoise Fruits
- Things You Should Not Feed to Tortoises
- Can Redfoot Tortoises Eat Kiwi?
- Can Russian Tortoises Eat Kiwi?
Is Kiwi Good for Tortoises?
You may have heard fruit being referred to as junk food for tortoises, and in some cases, this isn’t far wrong.
Tortoises find it hard to process the sugars in fruits, and this can cause anything from mild stomach upset to more serious health issues in the long run.
It really depends on the species of tortoise and what they would eat in their natural habitat, that as a general rule fruit should be kept to a minimum.
Even species like the Red and Yellow-footed tortoises that are known to eat fruit in the wild shouldn’t really have more than 5% of their diet met with fruit.
So, the important thing to note is that kiwi is safe. But you should only give some to your tort on occasion as a treat!
How to Feed Kiwi to Tortoises
The main issue with kiwi is that it’s a soft, moist fruit (as most are), so it spoils quickly and can be a bit messy.
The skin and seeds are perfectly safe, so you don’t need to worry about anything. Simply chop up the kiwi into smaller parts, and see if your tort likes it or not.
Important: I’ve never met a tortoise that didn’t like kiwi – but it really is junk food for them – so keep it to a minimum no matter how happy it makes them.
What Should You Feed Your Tortoise?
Ideally, you want to try and replicate what your tortoise would eat in the wild as closely as possible.
This usually isn’t very difficult as tortoises roam around eating bits of plants, weeds, and fruits.
There are also some good commercial feeds that provide a good range of nutrition tortoises need, this makes feeding them and ensuring they’re getting the right nutrients a little easier.
I use the combination of commercial pallets and bits of fresh plants daily for my Horsefield, as well as little bits of fresh fruits and vegetables that add some variation when I have them.
To help you know what the best foods for your tortoise are, you need to know what species you have and what kind of food they would have eaten in the wild.
Generally speaking, tortoises are split into two groups; those that live on terrains that provide plenty of plants, weeds, flowers, etc. (Mediterraneans), and those that would have access to more fresh fruits in damper climates.
Some of the common species of tortoise that are commonly kept as pets that need a lot of plants in their diets are:
- African Sulcata
- Hermann’s tortoise
- Egyptian tortoise
- Horsfield’s (Russian) tortoise
- Indian Star tortoise
- Leopard tortoise
Tortoises that would eat some fruits in the wild and benefit from fruits in captivity include:
- Yellow-Footed tortoise
- Red-Footed tortoise
- Elongated tortoises
This isn’t a complete list, so if you have a species that you don’t see above, my best advice is to look at what they would eat in the wild (or ask a local reptile seller).
Feeding Your Tortoise Plants
Plants and flowers make up a huge part of a tortoise’s diet in the wild, so you should find out what your pet’s favorites are and keep them coming.
The best part about feeding plants is that you can easily grow loads of edible plants at home, and you might even find Sam in your yard or around your neighborhood.
Here are just some of the plants that are safe for tortoises you should try offering to your hard-shelled friend:
- Aloe vera
- Brambles (remove thorns)
- Mustard leaves
- Evening primrose
- Dock leaves
Feeding Your Tortoise Vegetables
Vegetables are great for tortoises as they are packed with a good range of nutrition. Here are some veggies that are safe for tortoises:
Feeding Your Tortoise Fruits
Fruits should be fed in moderation due to the high sugar content. That said, some species absolutely love certain fruits.
Here are some fruits that are perfectly safe and will go down a treat in small amounts:
Things You Should Not Feed to Tortoises
It’s very important that you are aware of any foods, plants, vegetables, etc, that are potentially harmful or toxic to tortoises.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to err on the side of caution if you’re unsure about anything.
That said, there aren’t a lot of foods that you have to avoid. I did as much research as I could, and I feel a list below of the foods you should avoid to stay on the safe side:
Fruits, Vegetables, and Foods
- Citrus fruits
- Chili Peppers
- Parts of nightshade plants
- Morning glories
- Tiger Lily
- Ivy/Poison Ivy
- Bleeding Heart
Can Redfoot Tortoises Eat Kiwi?
Redfoot tortoises are native to the tropical forests of South America. I’m sure they come across a wide range of fruits in their natural habitat, like avocado, grapefruits, bananas, mangoes, etc.
They probably wouldn’t come across kiwi, but it’s still perfectly safe for them to eat it so you could try a small piece.
Author Note: Tortoise’s diets do vary slightly depending on the foods they would find while scavenging the areas they are native to.
Can Russian Tortoises Eat Kiwi?
Unlike red-foot tortoises, Russian tortoises, or Horsefields as they’re also called have a diet in the wild almost entirely consisting of high fiber, low protein leafy plants.
They’re less accustomed to eating fruit, but a little bit of kiwi now and then isn’t going to do any harm.
Now you know that while fruits are not good for tortoises, kiwi is not toxic or dangerous in any way in small amounts.
I will leave it up to you as to whether or not and treat your tort to some kiwi or other fruit on occasion. The important thing to note is that a small amount should not cause them any health issues.
Image credits – Taken by author; copyright PetAdviceHub.com