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Will turkeys eat acorns?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by peewee, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. peewee

    peewee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I am looking for some different types of foods that I can give my turkeys since I cannot free range my birds. I have millions of acorns on the property and was wondering if the turkeys would like to have some of those. Are they safe to feed to them? Do you think that they would even like them?
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Yes, wild turkeys eat them.
     
  3. nancy/pets

    nancy/pets Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Mcveytown,PA
    My turkeys freerange and love to eat acorns!!![​IMG]
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    I use oak leaves as bedding for my birds. They're free, except for the gasoline I takes me to go around the neighborhood and gather them up. We have many oak trees here, mostly red and black oak species with relatively small acorns. The squirrels take most of them, but my birds LOVE going through the oak leaves when I put down fresh bedding, searching for the acorns. Apparently, if your a duck, chicken, or turkey, acorns are a tasty treat. To my knowledge, the birds appear to just swallow them whole, and I have to assume they are broken down in the crop/gizzard in order to release the nutrients.

    Pigs are another thing that can be fed acorns. At Costco.com, they had a 12 lb Spanish ham advertised for $549 plus s/h, said to be from some artisan processor, and made from an heirloom breed of pig which is finished on acorns. I would hope it's delicious, but I'll never know, because the kind on sale at Kroger's for $1.17 a lb is more in my budget.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  5. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    There is a huge post oak tree over one of our turkey pens and they always eat the acorns when they start dropping.
     
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    I do know that acorn fed pigs are highly prized for their $15.00 & up per lb ham's used in making cured Italian Prosciuto ham.

    AL
     
  7. peewee

    peewee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Well I tried to give "them turkeys" some acorns today. I put them in their feed bowl with their normal feed. The tom was the first to rush over to the food dish and as soon as he saw them he looked up at me then back down to the food bowl then back to me. The brat stuck his nose up in the air then walked off with out even eating ANY of the food. The hens came over after the tom walked off an ate around the acorns. I went back to check on them later and everything but the acorns were gone and the tom was following me around the pen begging for food. I wonder if he even ate anything today.[​IMG] I will keep offering them acorns and see if we can get past the "your trying to poison me" stage.
     
  8. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Try cracking a few in front of them and leaving them in the pen for them to discover. (Maybe it's an acquired taste.)
     
  9. nancy/pets

    nancy/pets Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Mcveytown,PA
    I'm lucky enough to have lots of nut trees around my house(shag bark hickory and a few others), but they are a pain in the butt when you roll around on them, LOL. My kids would gather them by the bucket fulls to feed our pig. That is until one sad day my daughter and her friend decided to feed the pig a mayflower plant. Which is poisonous to pigs and a few other things. So our very large and almost ready to eat piggy only lasted two days after this. My young turkeys gobble the nuts up every time they get to free range!
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    There are many species of oaks in the United States and not all of them make palatable acorns. No way to know for sure if the nuts from your local trees are tasty but to try them with your birds. Crushing some of them first is a good first step. If the birds aren't accustomed to eating them it'll help convince them. Whole acorns are tough nuts to crack so do be sure they've got some decent grit to do the job with.
     

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