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What do turkeys like to eat?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

This spring I am getting some turkeys. I want to know what foods to feed them. I know the general foods to give them, turkey starter for babies, turkey grower for teens and cracked corn(my preference)for fattening up the adults but what other things do they like to eat? Do they like fruit/veggies? what kind? is there anything that is a no-no? What is best for them? This will be my first time with turkeys so I would like all the information I can get for the happiest, healthiest and biggest birds I can have!big_smile

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Here's another curse for you - may all your bacon burn.
~Howls Moving Castle
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post #2 of 13

They love all sorts of greens, ie grass, clover weeds.   Turkeys are the only animals that I have that will eat lemon balm, which is good because I was on the way to having nothing but lemon balm in some areas, since it reproduces like a weed, but they are eating it faster than it can grow.

Once mine are past the baby stage, I put mine out on pasture.  They spend a large part of their day grazing for greens, bugs, and worms. Plus they get to hunt for those little bonuses that the cows leave in the fields.

I supplement my cattle feed with free local onions, and the turkeys love them.  (not turkey related, but the ducks will take onions pieces, wash them in the mud, and then eat them.)

I supplement with local wheat, home grown corn (sweet corn in the summer, Indian corn in the winter), and lots of fruits and vegetables.  (Waste farm produce) Mine also love sunflower seeds as a treat, but they can be on the expensive side.   So watch out for sales.  Frankly at $18 a bag for turkey feed, as it is in my area, it makes no sense to feed them only commercial feed for very long.   I figure that my birds get 75% of their feed from grazing and 25% from feeds that I providel 

Mine are happy, look healthy and have beautiful feathers, so I must be doing something right by avoiding all those $18 a bag of commercial feed..  The commercial feed people would like you to believe that all livestock would die without them.  But the US has a very large wild turkey population.  How do they survive without commercial feed?   Of course, I live on a farm and my turkeys have acres and acres to roam, so you may not be able to feed your turkeys the same.   And I live in the Pacific Northwest, where green grass is available year round.   And I grow heritage birds, which are supposed to have a little more brains.  But you wouldn't know it if you hung around them for long.lol

post #3 of 13

Mine loved peaches.  Every peach that dropped from the tree they ate.  Every time I'd go outside they would be hanging out under the tree.  They ate the nectarines too but not as fast.  I guess they didn't like them as much.  They might have liked the plums but my dogs ate those..... 

Oh, they would fight over left over popcorn too.

post #4 of 13

anything that will fit down their gullet rollbarnie

my turkeys latest tasty treat that they procured themselves was the 16 ft tarp used as a wind break on the outside of the coop.


Edited by melissa41927 - 12/11/10 at 7:43pm
Psalm 22
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
         In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him!
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Psalm 22
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
         In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him!
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post #5 of 13

yuckyuck

I always thought the answer was "anything that doesn't eat them first"

Rachel BB

 

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Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae 

yuckyuck

I always thought the answer was "anything that doesn't eat them first"


Thats pretty much true, they arent picky at all.   My turkey hens love crushed egg shells but for some reason they prefer to be hand fed the egg shells,  they dont always eat them off the ground, and lately since they have been out, they seem to be gobbling up acorns pretty well, but they will take almost any treats.  I took some kind of Orange and cream cheese stuff that was left over from thanksgiving and some left over granberry sause and they ate all of that up too.

Clint     


Hatching eggs are no longer avaiable from any breeds until further notice due to predator problems and birds being too old .
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Clint     


Hatching eggs are no longer avaiable from any breeds until further notice due to predator problems and birds being too old .
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post #7 of 13

My turkeys favorite treat is pumpkins, whole just smashed. Now the trouble is that the cold has the pumpkins frozen rock solid in just a matter of minutes...
Is scratch OK for them as only a supplement? They love it too....


Edited by vtgirls - 12/16/10 at 1:57pm
us, kids, dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys
       
        and lots of love
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us, kids, dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys
       
        and lots of love
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post #8 of 13

My six royal palms seemd to really enjoy eating the paper bag the cracked corn came in.  I took it away as soon as I saw what they were up to, but they had eaten about half of it.  Not just shredded, but actually ate.  Didn't seem to hurt them, it was over a week ago and no signs of anything out of the ordinary.

post #9 of 13

They will eat, and enjoy, anything but rocks.

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For all things chicken go here: http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/index.html
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyH 

They will eat, and enjoy, anything but rocks.


They eat rocks, too, and seem to enjoy them.  In their defense, they need small rocks in their crops to break down food, don't they?

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