Can Turtles Eat Chicken?

Are you planning on adding chicken to your turtle’s diet? There are a few things to consider before doing so. We’ll explain why chicken is a potential health risk to your turtle’s digestive system throughout this guide. That way, you’ll know how to feed your turtle properly. 

Can Turtles Eat Chicken?

Turtles can eat chicken but in limited amounts. The main downside of raw chicken is that the skin tends to flake off and pollute your water. In addition, turtles aren’t excited about eating cooked chicken. Instead, they are more interested in raw chicken. They can eat chicken but only in conservative amounts. 

Here is video of turtle eating chicken.

Can I feed My Turtle Chicken?

Just because turtles can eat chicken, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy food choice. You can feed your turtle a head-sized chicken once a month. Since turtles have an omnivore diet, you should not feed them more than that. 

However, you should feed your turtle chicken sparingly. When you feed your turtle chicken, make sure you have vegetables to add to their diet. Having too much protein will lead to kidney problems in your turtle. 

It also depends on your turtle’s species and age. For example, snapping turtles eat chicken more than red-eared-sliders. When turtles get older, they eat leaves and greens, while younger turtles like meat-based food. Regardless of their species or age, you should not make chicken the main part of their diet. 

Why Shouldn’t Turtles Eat Raw Chicken?

Giving raw meat is dangerous for your turtle. Raw meat contains several different forms of bacteria, such as salmonella. Plus, it doesn’t have the vitamins and nutrients that turtles need. In addition, raw chicken can lead to indigestion and a few other complications. Here are some reasons why you should avoid giving your turtles raw chicken:

Chances Of Salmonella

Chicken is one of the most common foods that lead to poisoning. Giving your turtle raw chicken is a recipe for disaster. The chicken’s raw flesh contains bacterias such as campylobacter and salmonella. 

Salmonella will not only make your turtle sick but also can be transmitted to humans. So giving your turtle raw chicken will increase the chances of it catching salmonella and getting severely injured. 

Collagen Content

Raw Chicken has a high amount of collagen due to its connective tissues in the beat. But the turtle’s digestive system won’t be able to fully digest it. Collagen is a great protein source, but chicken isn’t the best form of protein. 

Collagen isn’t a good nutrient for turtles. It does have some benefits, but its drawbacks outweigh the pros. 

Bad Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio

Raw chicken does not have the right calcium-phosphorus ratio for turtles; that’s why it’s not recommended. Based on the USDA findings, 100g of chicken has 222 mg (phosphorus) and 15 mg (chicken). This is more than ideal for a turtle’s diet. 

Turtle’s need a 2:1 calcium-phosphorus ratio. But in raw chicken meat, the ratio is unbalanced. If your turtle doesn’t have enough calcium in their diet, they’ll start to obtain bone disorders such as metabolic bone pain. 

Because of these three reasons, you should not give your turtle raw chicken. Cooked chicken is fine, but only in minimal amounts. By doing so, you’ll reduce the chances of indigestion and give your turtle the chance to live longer. 

Can Turtles Eat Chicken Bones

Depending on their hunger level, turtles can eat chicken bones. Chicken bones are full of protein, making them a good treat for occasions. But the size of the bone can determine whether it is edible or dangerous for your turtle. A chicken bone, the size of 2 inches, won’t pose a threat. But if it’s 4 inches or taller, chances are it can be a potential choking hazard. 

Can Turtles Eat Chicken Nugget?

Turtles should eat chicken nuggets as a one-off. You don’t want to give them too much as it will start to cause problems with their digestion. When feeding them chicken nuggets, make sure it is sliced up into smaller pieces. 

Here is video chicken eating chicken nugged.

Can Turtles Eat Chicken Eggs?

In the wild, a turtle would eat an egg that’s left unattended. So turtles can eat chicken eggs with no harm. If you are going to feed your turtle chicken eggs, make sure the eggs are powdered or hard boiled. This makes it easier for your turtle to digest the eggs and receive the calcium from them. 

Also read -> Can Turtles Eat Eggs?

Do Snapping Turtles Eat Chicken?

Snapping turtles are carnivores, meaning that they will eat any raw meat, including chicken. However, you should not give your pet snapping turtle eat because of the inherent risks involved. 

Video of snapping turtles eating raw chicken.

On average, adult snapping turtles weigh 35 pounds. Adult snapping turtles can weigh up to 250 pounds. But in the wild, they are only able to grow up to 175 pounds. Still, snapping turtles can grow large throughout their lives. 

In the wild, snapping turtles hunt birds like geese and ducks. Still, eating raw chicken is unnatural and should be avoided. 

Snapping turtles can eat small birds and baby chicks. While adult chickens are too large to be considered “lunch,” a snapping turtle will go after a hen! Still if you have a snapping turtle as a pet, you’ll know about their mannerisms already. 

Even young snapping turtles are grumpy and territorial. When provoked, they will seriously injure the legs and feet of chickens who were nearby. However, this is a turtle’s defense mechanism when they are on land. If they are approached near or in water, the turtles would just swim away. 

Snapping turtles can dig, but they will rarely get to a chicken coop. They dig in the sand and place their eggs, and tend to avoid the chicken coop. To protect your chickens from snapping turtles, have a sturdy fence around their habitat. 

Turtles take an opportunistic approach to hunting. This means that if they approach a chicken while in the wild, they might take a bite because it’s just a meal to turtles. 

For snapping turtles, their hunting strategy consists of waiting for something to wander nearby to be eaten. In addition, alligator snapping turtles have a “lure” placed on the tips of their tongues. 

It has a worm-like bait appearance and is used to attack prey. With it, they lure fish to swim towards their mouths. Once they are in their mouths, they eat them with a quick and powerful bite. Unless your chickens can swim, this is not going to be an issue. 

Can Turtles and Chickens Live Together?

There is a caveat of having turtles and chickens live together. For instance, if you have a farm where the chicken eggs are used for consumption, you’ll want to keep the chickens away from the turtle. Some tortoises and turtles contain salmonella. 

Keep your turtles away from areas where food is consumed or prepared. If not, you run the risk of salmonella infecting the food, which will affect human beings as well. 

While turtles and chickens will get along, turtles should be far away from food. 


To conclude, turtles should only eat chicken periodically. Only feed them chicken once a month to reduce the chances of future health issues. Whole chicken does have calcium, giving your turtle a balanced diet (i.e., including fruits and vegetables) will help them in the long term.

Keep reading

Do Turtles Eat Ducks

Do Turtles Eat Mice

Do Turtles eat Lizards


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