Feeding turkeys: basic rules and recommendations


Feeding turkeys does not pose any difficulties. These birds are omnivores and not very whimsical. However, in order for turkeys to grow well, be healthy and quickly gain weight, they should be provided with high-quality and balanced nutrition. Be sure to in the diet should be proteins, fats, carbohydrates, trace elements and vitamins. So, how and what to feed the turkeys, let's see together.

How to feed turkeys?

The range of turkey feed is very wide and varied. In principle, they eat everything the same as the rest of the poultry. This grain, and green feed, and wet mash, and dry feed. But do not forget about some of the rules and features of the diet of these birds. First, turkeys need plenty of vitamins and proteins. Secondly, they are very prone to obesity, so the correct daily amount and balance will ensure good health for the bird.

Adults are fed at home three times a day. In the morning and in the evening, as a rule, they give a dry mixture of animal feed, as well as grain, at lunch it is good to feed wet mash with plenty of greens. Since turkeys are very fond of and in need of greenery, it is precisely this that forms the basis of their diet in summer. During the rest of the year, the bird mainly consumes grain.

Per day, one turkey should eat about 120 grams of grain, 50 - derti, 40 - bran, 400 grams - green and juicy feed, up to 35 - grass meal, 5 - meat and bone meal, 10 grams - chalk and 2 grams of salt and gravel. It is this amount of food consumed that will provide the bird with good muscle development, growth and health.

Interesting to know

The structure of the turkey's beak is ideal for consuming hard grain: it is hard and short. According to the results of numerous studies, one bird makes up to 60 pecking movements per minute, which allows it to eat about 8 grams of grain or 25 grams of wet mash. For the first time, the study of the digestive system of turkeys was conducted by the famous scientist Reaumur back in the 17th century. In his experience, he forced the bird to swallow some kind of metal tube that can withstand pressure up to 500 kilograms. When, after a while, the scientist opened the abdominal cavity of a bird, he saw that the tube had turned into a plate.

A similar experiment on turkeys was conducted by another scientist Spallanzani. His experimental bird ate glass balls, which a day later in her stomach turned into glass powder. Here is such a strong and in some way unique turkey stomach!

Feed components

  • Protein or protein - the main nutrients of turkey feed. It is the protein that is present in all physiological processes of the body of the bird. Grain cereals provide up to 70% of protein needs. The grain of legumes contains a lot of raw protein, but it is less valuable in terms of energy. The remaining 30% of the daily protein requirement should be replaced with animal products.
  • Fats - the main carrier of energy, which is necessary for warming and maintaining normal body temperature. They are also necessary for the assimilation of a separate type of vitamins - fat-soluble. It is the fats that increase turkey egg production and improve their feather cover. However, the norm of more than 7% of fat fed to the body slows down the growth and development of birds.
  • Carbohydrates - turkeys especially need starch and sugar, which they in sufficient quantities are obtained from greens and grains.
  • Cellulose - should be within 3.5-9% of the total diet to ensure good digestion of food.
  • Minerals are the building blocks of all fabrics. Turkeys especially need phosphorus, calcium and manganese, which they get from bone and meat meal.
  • Vitamins - turkeys are very sensitive to a lack of vitamins. They begin to hurt, grow poorly, reduce egg production and the quality of hatching eggs. Vitamins should be fat soluble (A, D, K, E) and water soluble (choline, B, H, C). As vitamin supplements, you can include yeast, sprouted grains, protein foods in your diet.


Feeding turkeys at home is often based on grain and bean diets. One bird can eat up to 250 grams of dry grain. Especially, as practice shows, the bird is not indifferent to oats, wheat, barley and buckwheat. The cereal grain is rich in all kinds of vitamins, minerals, contains a lot of fiber and carbohydrates. Also, it is the grain to a greater extent provides the bird with the necessary proteins.

The second most important component of the feed is cake and meal (sunflower, soybean, rapeseed, flaxseed). In them are almost all important for the development and growth of amino acids. Greens and juicy food - a source of vitamins. Meat, bone and bone meal, fish meal are suitable as additional feedings. They provide the body with phosphorus and calcium.

In addition to grain, turkey fiber can be obtained from hay and straw. To do this, they need to grind, steam and add to mash. Fiber in adults contributes to good digestion. Be sure to in the diet should contain fat (no more than 7%), more on that.

For example, its source can be any vegetable oil, walnuts, acorns. Breeding turkeys, as well as young individuals should be given dairy products. From them the bird's organism will receive valuable glycine and arginine.

Feed percentage

  • Grain may be included in the feed: corn - up to 60%, wheat - 70%, barley - 15-30%, oats without films - 40%, millet - 20%, peas - 10%, wheat bran - 15%.
  • Meal: sunflower - 20%, soy - 20%, flax - 5%, rapeseed - 5%, cotton - 4%.
  • Meat meal - 25%, meat and bone - 7%, fish - 10%, powdered milk - 6%, grass meal - 30%.
  • Yeast - 4-6%.
  • Minerals: limestone - 5-6%, chalk - 3%, defluorinated phosphate - 1-2%, salt - 0.3-0.5%, phosphorus - 0.4%.

When preparing your diet, consider the type, age, line and breed of turkeys. We only provided an approximate average result.

Diet in the laying period

Like chickens and ducks, turkeys in the period of intensive egg production require an increase in the amount of minerals and vitamins in the diet. If there are no green succulent feeds, then it is necessary to germinate grains independently by hydroponics. The basis of feeding may be a mixture for laying hens, for example, 30-50% of the total volume of concentrated feed. The diet also needs to be supplemented with animal proteins, for example, to give cottage cheese or add yogurt to the wet mash. Also to the main feed should be added vitamin A, D, E and group B.




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