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What Do Baby Turkeys Eat?

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What Do Baby Turkeys Eat?

Turkeys are becoming increasingly common in the livestock industry. This market is gaining momentum. Some are in it for money, while others are simply for pleasure. Whatever the case may be, everyone has a beginning stage that may be stressful at first.

Turkeys are capable of withstanding harsh natural conditions. However, they are defenseless in their juvenile years. This is comparable to raising chicken. That’s why turkeys are frequently raised alongside chickens.

The biggest difficulty, however, starts with feeding. Turkeys are not supposed to eat like adults. They, too, have fast development in their food demand. We’ll go through this issue in-depth in this conversation.

What Do Baby Turkeys Eat?

If you have experience with chickens, this may come in handy when it comes to raising turkeys. Turkeys have a lot of things in common when it comes to nutrition. Of course, because protein requirements are greater, so is the dietary protein requirement.

However, you can’t just increase the amount of protein! Providing this protein must be done through a nutritious diet. This will guarantee proper development and immunity.

Starter food

Baby turkeys can obtain energy from their bodies during the first day or two of their lives. This energy is created by the abdomen, which may store yolk-derived reserves.

However, this is not a permanent source of energy. You must begin feeding on the second day or the third day. It’s dependent on the health of the newborns.

You may purchase starter feed for turkeys at your local store. These feeds provide protein to the fowl. They’re manufactured in such a way that little turkey chicks can absorb the nutrients without expending much energy.

It’s also critical to note that since this starter feeds must be high in protein, they must also be hearty. Furthermore, they must be digested. Some locations may not have ‘turkey starters.’ In such a case, a game bird starter might be the superior option.

The protein content of modern turkey starters ranges from 26 to 30 percent. However, the Game Bird starter can contain up to 28 to 30% protein. There’s a type of starter food known as “chicken starter.” However, this chicken starter has a protein content of 18-19%. This may not be the greatest gift for newborn turkeys.


As soon as the baby turkey appears, expert advice is to put water in them. It’s a good idea to wet the beaks of poults so that they’ll eat faster.

However, the most significant step is to provide water to the poults. Poults are highly susceptible to drowning. You may significantly increase the danger by using a larger vessel. There are several alternatives to consider for this purpose, one of which is a specific water container. A one-gallon chick waterer can do the trick. Furthermore, you may use any other comparable vessel.

It’s critical to keep the poults hydrated. It assures that they are receiving a nutritious diet. However, if you neglect to refill the water container, don’t throw water into it right away. The poults might get startled by all of the water and become disoriented, which can be deadly.

Instead, you may utilize the space around it. Then, after the poults have finished with it, fill the designated pot with water.

Food supplements

Food Pellets
Food Pellets Help To Enhance A Baby Turkey’s Nutritional Value

According to experts, the protein requirement of baby turkeys decreases around the fifth week. But this is entirely dependent on how big the turkeys develop. You may continue to use the starter package until the eighth week with no issues. However, feeding your turkeys an over-protein diet has its drawbacks. It is more advisable to track their growth and make a decision after they have grown.

You can move on to normal turkey food if you are pleased with your birds’ development. It will guarantee that the turkeys thrive healthily. Furthermore, there are some commercially produced foods available during this time period that you may use.

The ‘Grower’ food packs are sold to farmers. It is not necessary to trash the starter feed you just purchased for newborn turkeys. You’ll most certainly have some left in the bag at that time. These young turkeys can be fed with them. However, if you must purchase a fresh bag of feed, choose the Grower feed.

Chicken Food

Baby Turkeys Feed on a Wide Variety of Insects

Another alternative at this stage may be chicken food. It will suffice as the protein requirement of the turkey decreases at this point. Turkeys, on the other hand, require more food than chickens because of their greater size. As a result, chicken feed is not an ideal long-term solution for turkeys.

What Do Baby Turkeys Eat in The Wild?

Food Grain
Baby Turkeys Feed Upon Food Grains

Turkeys are omnivorous, which means they will eat anything that comes their way. They’re also opportunistic feeders; this means they’ll try everything. They feed on a variety of foods, including acorns, walnuts, hickory nuts, seeds, berries, grains, grapes, snakes, lizards, roots, grasses, spiders, caterpillars, snails, worms, and slugs.

How To Feed Baby Turkeys?

A Beautiful Turkey in The Wild

If you don’t know how to care for your turkeys, you may run into a lot of issues and waste money on feed. Although it appears easy, there are several various sorts of waterers and feeders to choose from, as well as different ones that may be appropriate for certain circumstances.

When you get your baby turkeys, you’ll want to have feed and water set up and ready to go. This allows you to check their beaks in the water after they’ve settled in, ensuring that they begin eating right away.

A one-gallon chick waterer is the greatest option for these baby poults. Poults may fall in, become chilled, and die or drown if they fall into an open dish, bucket, or pan of water.

Poults will eat out of the bottom half of an egg carton as a first feeder. Another alternative is a red plastic chick feeder with oval-shaped openings through which the poults can access the food.

A metal or wooden feeder might be utilized after a few days. Hanging feeders tend to save food. Make certain the turkey poults can reach the bottom of the feeder. Open pails of feed should also be avoided as the poults may climb on top of one another, injuring themselves.

Baby Turkeys That Are Aged 5 Weeks or Above

When the poults get bigger, you may use a five-gallon metal waterer or a nipple watering method. Make sure your water tank is strong and durable; turkeys are very powerful.

A big hanging feeder that can hold the entire contents of a 50-pound bag of food is recommended for feeding. A trough feeder is used by some turkey farmers. Make sure the edge of the feeder is at or near to the level of the turkeys’ backs, but don’t overfeed them.

To fulfill the grit that turkeys require to digest their food, give them coarse sand or fine gravel after they’re on pasture. Most likely, they’ll be able to discover this right on the ground, mingled in with the dirt.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Turkeys?


We don’t think coyotes are the turkey’s worst predator, but they’re one of the most dangerous. Coyotes may be found throughout the United States, even in metropolitan areas where they adapt quickly and are among the world’s most opportunistic hunters. When Coyotes get a chance to capture one, they will eat everything from berries and peaches to mice and turkeys.


They are stealthy enough to wait and take down a gobbler or hen in the Southeast, although that’s just my personal preference. Bobcats are quiet enough to sit and ambush a turkey or hen without being discovered.

Raccoons and Opossums

In certain areas, we’ll go through cycles of raccoon and opossum population booms and busts as trapping and fur sales stagnate or decline. These clever creatures are not passing up the opportunity to steal an egg or three from a nest. And while opossums aren’t typically regarded as meat-eaters, if they discovered a young poult wounded or accessible, they’d most certainly consume it.


Snakes are yet another opportunistic feeder that may steal a few eggs every spring when they discover a nest. You can’t do much about it, given that snakes are undoubtedly snatching a few eggs during the season. We believe they get their fair share of individuals, considering how many there appear to be.

Fire Ants

Fire ants, like all other types of ant mounds, prefer sweet foods. They’ve spread throughout the Southeast and are now in the Southwest. Perhaps they’re also present elsewhere. Fire ants are aggressive insects that may cause serious damage to your home and, if left unchecked, will certainly devour your turkey poults this spring when possible.

How To Protect Baby Turkeys From Predators?

Turkeys are prey animals, like all poultry in a pasture-based system. If a flock isn’t adequately guarded, most predators will perceive it as an easy target. Coyotes, skunks, weasels, opossums, snakes, raccoons, rats, and mice are among the many species that prey on poultry.

Cats and dogs are also examples of domestic animals that can become dangerous. Dogs, particularly strays, will pursue a flock and become more agitated as the flock tries to flee, frequently murdering many individuals in the process.

How can I protect pastured turkeys from predators?

Turkeys, like all poultry in a pasture-based system, are preyed upon by predators. If the flock is not adequately protected, most predators will consider it a simple target.

Secure housing is the first line of defense in preventing a flock from being preyed upon. Doors should have locks that are difficult to open. Exterior siding should allow for ventilation and airflow, but not have large openings that a predator might slip through. To decrease the size of the aperture, chicken wire or hardware cloth can be used in offset layers. To prevent the pen from stretching, it must be sturdy enough to withstand stretching. The pen should be firmly staked down in a mobile range house to keep predators from digging under or raising it. To assist anchor the pen to the ground, rebar shapes may be used as U-shaped pieces.

What Are The Benefits of Eating Turkey Meat?

A Delicious Turkey!

The flesh of the turkey is high in protein. Protein is used to create and mend bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, and tissue in the body. Protein is a macronutrient that implies your body requires a lot of it. Since your body can’t store protein, you must eat it on a daily basis.

It’s a great way to get the protein you need, as long as you don’t overdo it with turkey. It also contains important vitamins and minerals like magnesium and niacin.

Protection Against Diseases

Selenium is abundant in turkey. Selenium is also present in turkey. A diet high in minerals has been shown to help prevent some types of cancer, including bladder, breast, lung, and stomach cancers.

When it comes to blood sugar regulation, turkey is a low-glycemic-index (GI) food. This means that it won’t cause the blood sugar spike that you would get from foods with a high glycemic index and carbohydrates. Diabetes, in particular, can benefit from turkey consumption because it can help you maintain blood sugar levels.

Healthy For The Heart

Turkey is a great source of high-quality protein and has a low glycemic index. It’s also a good way to increase the amount of good HDL cholesterol in your body. Low glycemic index foods like turkey can also help you boost your levels of excellent HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol works to remove harmful LDL cholesterol through circulation. LDL cholesterol, if not removed from the body, can damage the walls of your arteries and raise your risk of heart attack and stroke. You can improve your resistance to heart disease and other illnesses by consuming foods like turkey that boost your HDL cholesterol.

Sharpened Eyesight

Due to its high zinc and niacin content, which helps prevent cataracts, Turkey is frequently promoted as one of the finest foods for your eyes.

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