can russian tortoises eat broccoli

Can Russian Tortoises Eat Broccoli?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

Russian tortoises are commonly reared as pets, and their owners wonder what to feed their new pets. However, the eating range of tortoises is very wide as long as the food is plant-based, is broccoli a safe choice?

Can Russian Tortoises Eat Broccoli?

The simple answer is yes. However, it is advisable to serve them to Russian Tortoises sparingly. Broccoli is known to be high in goitrogen, therefore, while they are great additions to the Russian tortoise diet, they should not be served with other plants that are high in goitrogen. 

Broccoli is a great source of nutrients for a Russian tortoise. This is possible if you serve them broccoli alongside other vegetables like shredded carrots, green beans, and many more. But avoid other vegetables that are also high in goitrogens like spinach and kale.

Is Raw Broccoli Safe For Russian Tortoises?

Raw broccoli is advised to be fed instead of cooked broccoli. When Russian tortoises are in the wild, they only feed on raw broccoli, since there is no one to cook for them. However, cooked broccoli takes away part of the nutrients in it. Therefore, it is very advisable to feed your Russian tortoises with raw broccoli.

However, you can still cook and give to them, but you have to do that moderately. Raw broccoli is crunchier anyways!

Can You Feed Canned Broccoli To A Russian Tortoise?

Canned broccoli is not an advised choice of food to feed your Russian tortoise. This is because canned broccoli is mostly high in sodium and salt. Some canned broccoli are high in sodium than others, however, figuring out which is higher in sodium might be difficult. Therefore, it is better to stay clear of canned broccoli altogether. 

Therefore, it is advised to just stay clear of serving canned broccoli to your Russian tortoises. Russian tortoises do not need salt in their diet anyways. However, sodium is essential for Russian tortoises, but not in high quantity.

Russian tortoises and even tortoises, in general, are small in size, therefore a negligible amount of sodium will be harmful to Russian tortoises. Also, canned broccoli is mostly cooked and cooked broccoli is not advised for Russian tortoises.

You might also like: Can Tortoises Eat Oranges?

How Much Broccoli Can A Russian Tortoise Consume?

Experts advise that raw fruits and veggies should make up 20% composition of a Russian tortoise’s diet. However, this does not imply that broccoli should make up all 20%. Broccoli is an amazing nutritional source for Russian tortoises, but they should be served alongside five to six other veggies and fruits. 

According to Kristin Hitchcock, a passionate pet parent, broccoli should typically contain 3% of the total 20% fruits and vegetable diet of your Russian tortoises. However, feeding your Russian tortoise broccoli alone would not harm your tortoise directly, it would lead to nutritional deficiencies that will in the long run cause multiple health issues.  

Broccoli is rich in goitrogen and excessive feeding can be harmful.  

How Should I Feed My Russian Tortoise Broccoli?

It is very important to wash any food you serve to your Russian tortoise, and talk more of a vegetable that could have come in contact with the pesticide. Pesticides can be very harmful to your Russian tortoise, therefore, it is advised to thoroughly wash the broccoli before offering it to your Russian tortoise. 

You should also bear in mind that broccoli should be served alongside other vegetables and fruits, but the complimentary vegetables should not be high in goitrogen like broccoli. Therefore, goitrogen-high vegetables like spinach and kale should not be served with broccoli.  

Also, when you want to feed your Russian tortoise broccoli, it is advised that you cut it into smaller pieces. Smaller Russian tortoises may find it difficult to cut their food into smaller pieces, therefore, it is advised to serve broccoli in smaller cut pieces to smaller Russian tortoises. However, bigger Russian tortoises can break their food into bits but it is never harmful to help them cut it into bits as well. 


Broccoli is a great choice of food for Russian tortoises, however, they should not be served to them alone. Rather they should be served alongside other fruits and vegetables that are not high in goitrogen. According to PetKeen, broccoli is an amazing source of hydration, and vitamins A and C.

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