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Don’t know what to feed turkeys?
Here comes the perfect guide on what to feed turkeys and what not to feed to turkeys. It seems like you can feed anything to your backyard birds including poultry and turkeys. But the reality is totally different.
Learning how to feed turkeys and what to feed turkeys helps you to prevent a lot of diseases and problems by improper foods. There are many human foods that are not good for turkeys but some are good for their health.
Bread is a ubiquitous food item of human breakfast, and some people like to feed the bread to turkeys to show them love and feed them the soft and sugary bread. But before doing this act, you should get some knowledge about Do turkeys eat bread? Or is bread bad for turkeys?
To get you to know the reality and precautions on feeding bread to turkeys, we build this guide that nicely explains which food items including bread are good for turkeys and what are bad.
Before moving to guide, here is a comprehensive book on “feeding turkeys”. I read this book several times to learn the feeding habits of turkeys.
Let’s get to know that, can turkeys eat bread?
Can Turkeys Eat Bread?
Can turkeys eat bread? Yes, turkeys can eat bread. Bread is good food for turkeys, nutritionally, and it’s best to feed bread to turkeys occasionally but there are some toxic effects of feeding the moldy bread. Make sure to not put the moldy bread on turkeys and other poultry birds.
Which Bread is Good for Turkeys?
Only fresh bread is good for turkeys. Torn the bread into small pieces and put these pieces in front of the turkeys. But it should be occasional feeding, bread is not good for routine feeding. Bread gets moldy in a few days so make sure that turkeys don’t eat moldy bread otherwise it would cause fatal diseases.
What happens if you feed wet bread to turkeys?
Bread is a little sugary and soft food and it stops the birds from eating their actual feed. So feed them bread occasionally.
Bread becomes sticky on getting wet and it can get lodged in the digestive system of turkeys that will cause impaction and fermentation till death.
The major problem that seems by feeding wet bread to birds is “ANGEL WING”. It is a malformation caused by improper nutrition through feeding birdseed and bread. It is a permanent problem and non-treatable.
Is bread bad for turkeys?
Actually, it can be both good or bad. It is safe to feed fresh bread to turkeys as additional supplementary food but feeding the wet or moldy bread on a permanent basis is not safe for turkeys.
Nutritional needs of Turkeys
The very first thing to clear is that the nutritional requirements of chickens are not the same as turkeys too. It’s a misconception that feeding turkeys with chicken feed is enough but they don’t even fall near either.
A very famous line for turkeys feed is
Turkeys grow much larger than typical chickens so they need far more protein and supplements for meeting their nutritional demands.
Turkeys need food containing about 28% protein to meet the natural growth rate and running the body’s functions properly. During the early growth of body size building, this requirement is much higher than later life.
Over time, the protein needs become a little lower but the vitamin requirement remains the same.
The basic nutritional requirements of turkeys include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
It is beneficial to feed the “specific turkeys feed” to offer the nutritional requirements of the body to let the turkeys thrive and be healthy.
Feeding Habits of Turkeys
By feeding the proper and healthy food to turkeys, it grows enough bigger to get them to slaughterhouses. It takes on average six months to become the adult-sized turkeys for slaughtering.
During the growth period, Turkeys eat an average of 100 pounds of feed as compared to 60 pounds for the hen.
On becoming adults, the turkeys fulfill their fifty percent of body needs by feeding on pasture and range grass. Range grass is a grass type having a four to six inches leaf blade. Turkeys love to eat these tips of grass blades.
These are some other foods that turkeys love to eat:
- Garden Scraps
- Sweet corn
- Summer squash
What not to feed turkeys
Feeding the turkeys seem a little complex but it would become simpler when you start to feed them correctly. Feeding the right foods and prohibiting the moldy and bad items to turkeys will ultimately result in the formation of healthy turkeys.
There are many food items in our kitchen, dinner table, and garden that look good but have harmful effects on the health of turkeys. Here is some food that you should not feed to turkeys:
- Low-Quality chicken feed
- Dairy foods
- Raw meat
- Processed foods
- Fruit pits and seeds
- Tomato and eggplant leaves
- Other livestock feeds
- Dried/Raw beans
Can wild turkeys eat bread?
Wild turkeys are opportunistic omnivores that means they can eat a wide range of foods including meat and vegetables. Bread is not ok for wild turkeys as they might eat moldy bread which would cause a malfunction in the body.
What do wild turkeys eat?
Being an omnivores bird, they can eat a lot of various foods including Acorns, hickory nuts, seeds, grains, berries, wild grapes, lizards, snakes, fleshy plants, grass, snails, slug, and worms.
Can brush turkeys eat bread?
Brush turkeys are generally wary of humans so It would be wrong to say that they will eat bread. Brush turkeys love to eat leaf litter and mulch, seeds and fruits, pet foods, and insects.
Bread is ok to feed to turkeys but there are some caring to observe. Make sure to feed the torn pieces of bread that are not old to be moldy and wet.
The wet pieces of bread can cause a malfunction in turkeys and will cause permanent ANGEL WING malformation. Sometimes turkey smells odd bread and other treats.
Many other foods that are not ok for turkeys are discussed above in the guide. Make sure to read them carefully so as to protect your birds from any harm.
- Schrider, Don. Storey’s Guide to Raising Turkeys, Breeds, Care, Marketing (3rd Edition). Storey Publishing. 2013.
- “Small-Flock Turkey Production.” Penn State University.
- Damerow, Gail. The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh Eggs, Collect Fresh Milk, Make Your Own Cheese, Keep Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees. Storey Publishing. 2011.
- “Special Care Recommendations For Turkey Chicks.” The Open Sanctuary Project.
- “The Species: Turkeys.” The Farm Sanctuary.
- “Raising Turkeys.” University of New Hampshire.