Is it ok to feed my turkeys all of the fresh produce they want?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Denninmi, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Can you overfeed turkeys on fresh produce?

    I always have a lot of extra produce and produce scraps/trimmings this time of year. Things like apples, pears, melons, tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, carrots, winter squash, peaches, plums, greens, cabbage. Some of it is cosmetically unacceptable, or wormy/buggy. Some is just extra that I can't use or give away. A lot of it is scraps and trimmings from canning, freezing, pickling, and preserving, such as big bowls full of pear/apple cores and peelings.

    With my chickens, I've always given them big piles of it to eat, pretty much on daily basis, and they love it.

    Is it ok to do the same with the turkeys from a health standpoint -- won't make them sick or anything?

    They are currently about 11/12 weeks old. I give them some everyday, but have limited the quantity quite a bit for the turkeys -- for example, daily I might give them maybe 6 or 8 average sized apples, or 2-3 overripe cucumbers, or the trimmings and outer leaves from a head of cabbage, or the peels and seed from a muskmelon. They go crazy for it.

    PS -- they're just pets, so I don't really care if it slows down their growth or ultimate size, as long as it won't harm them. I realize that this type of food isn't nearly as calorie or nutrient dense as turkey grower pellets, which is their basic diet available to them at all times, due to the high water content of the produce. I also use a vitamin supplement in their water a couple of times a week. I just don't want to make them sick.
     
  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Sounds like to me, they are really spoiled birds!!! [​IMG] Wish I had all that to give my girls!!
     
  3. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

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    I take the view that they can eat only until their crops are full and then they rest. I don't think over feeding is likely to be a problem.

    We give ours a base diet of turkey feed and let them roam in daylight. They will eat grass and bugs and go back to the coops to eat the feed in there a couple of times each day. We also give them fruit from the garden; banana, melon and papaya mostly. In the season we give them ants eggs that an old lady collects from the nearby jungle. They will eat some cooked rice too.

    Your birds must be very happy with their diet! [​IMG]
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

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    Thanks. I just don't want to make them sick. Turkeys seem to be a lot more susceptible to health issues than others birds, so I guess I'm just a worry-wort.

    As I up the quantities, I'll do it gradually.
     
  5. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

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    In my experience so far, they eat what they want, quantity and type, and leave the rest. I don't think that good fresh food that the enjoy will harm them.
     
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    They will only eat until they are full...they are not like Gold Fish...once full the turkeys will stop. They sound really lucky to have you.
     

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