Can Tortoises eat Grass/Grasshoppers from Your Yard? [ANSWERED]

Tortoises require Grass, Flowers, Weeds, and Hay prior to fruit and vegetable consumption. It is recommended to feed the majority of grassland tortoises a diet rich in fiber and nutrient-dense grasses and hays with a small amount of dark, leafy greens and vegetables for variety.

Our pet tortoises are excellent company, and we frequently enjoy being around them both inside and outside. While tortoises are typically self-centered, owners must keep a close eye on their pets when they are outdoors. Naturally, owners may have some concerns about what is and is not safe for a tortoise to do outside, including whether it is safe for our pets to eat grass.

Thus, can tortoises consume grass? Grass is safe, and the majority of grass species are nutritious for tortoises to consume. However, different tortoise species will have varying preferences, tastes, and proclivities to consume it.

Owners frequently observe their tortoises eating weeds such as dandelions and clover when grass is available. Tortoises are primarily herbivores, which means their diet consists primarily of plant-based foods – and grass can supplement their diet with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

As long as the grass has not been chemically treated, eating it occasionally is perfectly safe and even preferable for your tortoise.

As with other pets, certain foods should be avoided by tortoise owners. Grass is not a staple food item for tortoises, and while it is not toxic to them, it provides few nutritional benefits. Thus, while it is not toxic to your tortoise, it is not recommended as a primary source of food.

The grazing habits of your pet tortoise will likely vary depending on its species.

Mediterranean tortoises are unlikely to be interested in eating grass, but they may do so on occasion. While Russian tortoises, for example, are known to consume slightly more grass than other tortoises.

ALSO SEE: Do Turtles eat Grass/Grasshoppers?

A trait shared by all tortoise species is that they prefer to eat weeds (such as dandelions) because they are tastier and provide more nutritional value than grass alone.

Do Tortoises Eat Grass?

While spending time outside with your pet tortoise, you may notice them occasionally eating grass and wonder if this is normal behavior.

Anecdotal evidence from tortoise owners worldwide indicates that most pet tortoises, when allowed to roam outdoors, will occasionally consume grass. Additionally, while grass is not a staple of a tortoise’s diet in the wild, grass is not toxic to tortoises.

Your tortoise will frequently enjoy eating plants and weeds that grow among the grass, as these can be a much tastier treat!

Dandelion leaves, in particular, which grow among the grass on lawns, are frequently consumed by our tortoises. Additionally, you may discover that your tortoise enjoys eating dandelion flowers.

One thing to keep in mind is that the stem of a dandelion flower contains slightly more oxalic acid, which has an effect on a tortoise’s calcium absorption and can be harmful if consumed in excess. This is likely to be an issue only if your tortoise is solely consuming dandelion stems. Flowers and leaves are completely safe and even quite nutritious.

A tortoise may eat grass for a variety of reasons, including curiosity about the taste, exploration of a new area, hunger, or boredom. There are numerous reasons why your tortoise may nibble on your lawn.

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Oftentimes, owners will discover that their pet tortoise prefers to eat weeds and other plants over grass. And if your tortoise is completely uninterested in eating grass, have no fear! This frequently indicates that they are not hungry and are receiving all the necessary nutrients and minerals from the food you provide.

Does A Tortoise Need Grass?

A tortoise is typically considered an omnivore. Their diet should consist primarily of plants. A healthy tortoise diet should be high in fiber to promote regular digestion (which is especially important during hibernation), calcium-rich to promote healthy and strong bone and shell growth, and low in protein to avoid shell growth issues.

Depending on the species of tortoise you own, this is largely determined by their proclivity for grass consumption.

It may surprise you to learn that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of grass. Nonetheless, the majority of grasses are composed of narrow leaves that grow from a base.

Lawn, or turf grass, is what most people think of when the word ‘grass’ is mentioned, and it is typically what you think of when it comes to feeding your tortoise as an owner.

Because grass is not a part of the diet of the majority of pet tortoise species in the wild, while it is not harmful to them, there is no nutritional reason for a tortoise to eat lawn grass.

Due to the fact that tortoises do not consume grass on a regular basis, you may notice that if your pet consumes a large amount of grass, they may struggle to digest it.

Lawn grass, on the other hand, contains vitamins and minerals, so if your tortoise is eating grass, it could be that they are deficient in vitamin A or E.

This may indicate that your tortoise requires more nutritionally dense foods in their diet, as grass is typically not required.

It’s critical to remember that some tortoise species thrive on a diet rich in grass.

Tortoises such as the Sulcata and Leopard tortoises are excellent examples. These are arid grassland tortoises. As such, they are classified as grass grazers, similar to sheep, which munch away on grass when given access to it or provided with it.

Therefore, if you keep a Sulcata or Leopard, providing them with access to the outdoors and grass to graze on is a good idea in general. Similarly, you should include all of the usual leafy green vegetables that you would provide for any other species.

If you own a Mediterranean tortoise, such as a Hermanns, Marginated, Russian, or North American, you can enjoy grass, but only to a certain extent. Rather than that, alternative greens such as kale, spinach, rocket, and baby leaf mixtures should account for a significant portion of the diet.

The Benefits of Grass Eating

The advantage of your tortoise eating grass is that you may not have to weed as frequently! When left alone in the wild, your tortoise may gravitate toward tasty dandelion leaves, clover, or snow thistle plants (weeds)!

These weeds contain beneficial vitamins and minerals for your tortoise and are frequently a good source of fiber, which aids in regular digestion.

Grass can be extremely hydrating for tortoises, and this is amplified when it is covered in dew. Hydration is critical for tortoises, and thus eating grass may provide this benefit!

A healthy level of hydration, which means that your tortoise is getting enough water in their diet, will aid in their cell functions and allow them to digest food completely and feel well.

While there are few nutritional benefits to your tortoise eating grass, other than an added vitamin boost, there are also few negative effects. As long as grass is not your tortoise’s sole source of food, eating grass on occasion is unlikely to harm your pet.

Which Grass Can Tortoises Consume?

Lawn grass, which is found in the majority of backyards, is not toxic to tortoises. The weeds that grow among the grass are frequently preferred by your pet tortoise in terms of taste and nutrition, and they are typically safe to eat.

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You may have additional questions about other types of grass, particularly nutritional grasses such as oat grass, barley grass, and wheatgrass, and whether your tortoise can consume them.

These nutritional grasses are frequently referred to as cereal grasses, and while they are a good source of vitamins and minerals for humans, their nutritional content is not always well absorbed by tortoises.

Indeed, the increased protein content of oat and barley grass may be detrimental to your pet tortoise. Protein should make up around 20% of a tortoise’s diet; excessive protein can be harmful to your tortoise and can result in excessive shell growth, which will require veterinary intervention.

It is best to avoid feeding barley grass or oat grass to your pet tortoise. While lawn grass and wheat grass are less harmful, grass should never be fed to a tortoise as a sole source of nutrition.

Apart from this, there are a variety of other grass varieties that you may be able to source. Numerous excellent options are included in the following list:

  • Buffalo fescue
  • Darnel The rye grass
  • Dallas fescue
  • Kikuyu fescue
  • Bluegrass or Wintergrass
  • Grama grass indigo
  • Bluestem grass, large
  • Couch fescue

If these grasses are unavailable, the following hays are acceptable substitutes:

  • Hay from meadows and orchards
  • Timothy Hay, third-cut (this is an ideal product to get off Amazon for tortoises).

Simply steer clear of hays with excessively “prickly” seed heads.


When you’re out in the great outdoors with your pet tortoise, it’s normal for them to munch on some grass.

Grass can be safely consumed by your pet tortoise, and it is quite common for tortoises to do so on occasion. Indeed, some tortoises benefit from the inclusion of some in their diet, owing to their origins and habitat in arid grasslands.

The majority of tortoise owners will discover that their pet tortoises prefer to eat weeds that grow among the grass, such as dandelions. These are generally more delectable than tortoises and may provide a variety of nutritional benefits.

Can Tortoises Eat Grass from yard

Are Baby Tortoises Allowed to Eat Grass?

Baby tortoises can consume grass and benefit from its nutrients and fiber. However, due to their smaller jaws, baby and smaller tortoises are likely to have a harder time eating tougher grasses.

Can Tortoises eat wheat-grass?

While the majority of tortoises will consume it, not all will and may ignore it if provided. It is critical to consume wheat-grass in moderation and not as the primary or staple food in the diet. Wheat grass is frequently available for purchase in reptile and other pet stores.

How are Grasses fed to Tortoises?

You can either allow tortoises to forage for grass in your backyard as long as the grass has been determined to be safe for tortoises.

Alternatively, you can plant safe grass for tortoises in their enclosure and leave them alone to enjoy it.

However, it is critical to remember that tortoises lack teeth that enable them to cut through grass.

Rather than that, they have a beak that allows them to grasp and pull grass materials. In the wild, it has been observed that old tortoises have a preference for old grass materials.

This behavior was thought to be influenced by the fact that mature plant materials contain more fiber than young plant materials.

This may also be true for captive tortoises that are allowed to graze on their own.

Is Grass Possible to Grow in a Tortoise Enclosure?

Additionally, grass and other ornamental plants can be grown in your tortoise enclosure. These will provide enough fiber for the tortoises throughout the day and will also provide them with places to hide, especially if your tortoise is kept in an open enclosure.

Barley, carex, cat grass, couch grass, fescue grass, Fountaingrass, oat grass, pampas grass, timothy, and wheatgrass are all safe for tortoises’ enclosures. Boston Fern, Boston Fern [feed moderately] are all safe ornamental plants for tortoises’ enclosures.

Is Lawn Grass beneficial to Tortoises?

Lawn grass is completely safe to eat in moderation by tortoises as long as it is not chemically treated. You can occasionally allow your tortoise to loam in your lawn as it munches on the grass, particularly in overgrown areas.

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However, you should not expect tortoises to wreak havoc on your lawn, as they do not completely consume one patch of grass before moving on to the next.

Clovers, which grow among the lawn grass, are also a delicacy to grazing tortoises.

Is Lemongrass safe to consume by tortoises?

Tortoises can also consume lemongrass in moderation; when combined with other tortoise-safe grasses, lemongrass can provide a good source of fiber.

Can Tortoises consume cat grass?

Tortoises can safely consume cat grass without experiencing any adverse effects; however, ensure that the cat grass is not chemically treated. However, you should not feed cat grass seeds to tortoises because they contain a high protein content that exceeds the recommended minimum protein requirements for tortoises.

Do Tortoises enjoy Strolling through Grass?

Tortoises will enjoy eating and walking on grass. However, we do not recommend installing artificial grass in a tortoise enclosure because it is made of plastic, which tortoises can ingest and become ill from. Tortoises, on the other hand, are unaffected by artificial grass.

Tortoises enjoy burrowing, so do not be surprised if you find them uprooting and burrowing in your grass if it is grown on soft soils.

What is the Best Grass for Desert Tortoises?

Barley, carex, cat grass, couch grass, fescue grass, Fountaingrass, oat grass, pampas grass, timothy, and wheatgrass are the best grasses for desert tortoises. You can either plant these grasses in an enclosure for desert tortoises or plant them elsewhere and feed them.

Can Tortoises Eat Grasshoppers?

The grasshopper is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present in the grass it is from.

Can Tortoises Eat Grass From Your Yard?

Yes! The grass in your front/back yard is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Tortoises Eat Grass Sulcatas?

The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Russian Tortoises Eat Grass?

Yes! The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Tortoises Eat Cat Grass?

Yes! Cat grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Horsefield Tortoises Eat Grass?

Yeah! The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

What Kind Of Grass Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat?

All grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat St Augustine Grass?

The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Hermann Tortoises Eat Grass?

The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present, but hermanni are not grass eaters and will typically avoid it. If yours does, that is acceptable. I’m guessing it has something to do with the season. Numerous Testudo will attempt to consume more fiber-dense foods than “normal” foods in preparation for hibernation. This could be the case with your gentleman. Or he may simply enjoy grass.

If the weather is sunny, dry, and calm, you should feel safe letting him out as long as the temperature is above 16 degrees. Allowing him to roam freely outside of an enclosure, on the other hand, is a recipe for disaster.

Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Grass?

The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Red Footed Tortoises Eat Grass?

The grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Baby Sulcata Tortoises Eat Grass?

Grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Baby Tortoises Eat Grass?

Sure! Grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Greek Tortoises Eat Grass?

Sure! Grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Leopard Tortoises Eat Grass?

Sure! Grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

Can Desert Tortoises Eat Grass?

Sure! Grass is safe to eat as long as there are no lawn chemicals present

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