can tortoises eat oranges

Can Tortoises Eat Oranges?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

After you have learned that tortoises eat fruits like watermelon, you become curious whether they can eat oranges as well. However, since there are different species of tortoises, they all react to oranges in different ways. Keep reading to find out whether or not tortoises can eat oranges.

Can Tortoises Eat Oranges?

Feeding oranges to tortoises are spoken against by most experts. Oranges and citrus fruits are high in sugar content which may be very dangerous to tortoises but if fed moderately can pose no imminent problem. 

Oranges are high in sugar and citric acid, which may be very harmful to the gut of tortoises. Also, excessive eating of it may cause health issues such as poor digestion. However, when tortoises are fed oranges in little quantities, there are no adverse effects.

The feeding diet of all tortoises regardless of the group should contain fiber-rich food such as grass, vegetables, alfalfa hay, leafy greens, flowers, weeds, and fruits (but in great moderation).

Are Oranges Safe For Tortoises Consumption? 

According to Moffitoh, a pet shop operator, oranges should be fed to tortoises n moderation because they are high sources of vitamin A, which is important for tortoises’ growth and development regardless of their species. But to essentially provide the needed nutrient, tortoises should be fed oranges sparingly. 

Feeding tortoises with oranges excessively is very dangerous to their health due to the high component of sugar and citric acid in oranges. Oranges are amazing sources when fed in moderation. However, it is very advisable to feed tortoises oranges alongside other fruits and vegetables.

Advantages of Feeding Oranges To Tortoises?

Even though oranges are to be given to tortoises in little amounts, they still provide a number of benefits to tortoises. One benefit that oranges provide to tortoises is hydration. Against popular belief that tortoises rarely drink water, water is very essential to their diet. 

However, water offered to tortoises must be clean, fresh, and chlorine-free.

How To Feed Oranges To Tortoises?

As earlier mentioned. It is very advisable to feed your tortoise oranges in as little quantity as possible in other to avoid the health effects that may come from excessive feeding. Therefore, according to Feliz Pets, to correctly feed your tortoise oranges, it is essential to follow these steps;

  • Make sure to thoroughly wash the oranges that you give to tortoises.
  • Cut oranges into smaller pieces for easier consumption.
  • You can also use oranges as a way to tortoises mediation by putting their medication inside it.
  • You can either offer oranges to tortoises alone or mixed with other fruits. Tortoises are color-responsive animals and providing them with a variety of fruits of various colors can help spice up their diets.

Are Orange Peels Safe For Tortoises?

Before you feed your tortoises orange peels, it is very important for you to wash them thoroughly. This is important because washing will help get rid of any pesticide that may have resided in the orange peel from the garden or farm. 

Also, orange peels are great vitamin C and vitamin A components, therefore they are great for tortoises’ consumption.

You might also like: Can Russian Tortoises Eat Spinach?

Are Oranges Good For Russian Tortoises?

As earlier said, feeding oranges to tortoises is very much dependent on their species. For russian tortoises which are Mediterranean species, feeding them oranges might not be the best option. 

Oranges can be totally avoided from the diet of russian tortoises, while other fruits should be provided in minimal quantities. Oranges are not great options for russian tortoises because the high sugar content of these tortoises may later result in a destroyed microflora in their gut.

Are Oranges Safe For Desert Tortoises?

Fruit-eating tortoises are classified as safe orange eaters, desert tortoises are considered at risk if they over-consume oranges. To feed a desert tortoise orange, it is best to do it in moderation and very occasionally. 

Frequent feeding of oranges to desert tortoises can lead to life-threatening health issues like diarrhea and loss of gut microflora. It is very widely advised by experts that oranges should be fed to Mediterranean and Grazing tortoises in moderation. 


If oranges are fed to tortoises moderately, possible health issues can be avoided. However, oranges are great options for offering medication to your tortoises by hiding them in the orange. Before, giving oranges to your tortoises, ensure you clean them thoroughly.

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