What do turkeys like to eat?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Alicia G, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Alicia G

    Alicia G Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nova Scotia
    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![​IMG]
  2. melody123

    melody123 Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    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.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. terri9630

    terri9630 Songster

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    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.
  4. melissa41927

    melissa41927 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    northeast corner al
    anything that will fit down their gullet [​IMG] [​IMG]

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

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

    RAREROO Crowing

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    Quote: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.
  7. vtgirls

    vtgirls Songster

    May 20, 2010
    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....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    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.
  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    They will eat, and enjoy, anything but rocks.
  10. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote: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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