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10 Foods Not to Feed Turkeys

Some foods turkeys cannot eat include:

  • Raw meat
  • Chocolate
  • Livestock feed
  • Onions
  • Processed human foods
  • Avocados
  • Citrus fruits
  • Eggplants
  • Fruit pits and seeds
  • Raw beans

These are just some of the main foods that turkeys should not eat. Turkeys are also very vulnerable to foods that contain pesticides,so you should be very wary when feeding them fruits that you buy in a supermarket. Similarly, they do cannot eat rotten foods and algae.

Foods Not to Feed Turkeys

Foods Not o Feed Turkeys

Turkeys thrive on corn and seeds, as well as small fruits, and even small reptiles on occasion, such as lizards and snakes. But there are many foods that should never be fed to turkeys. Most of these foods are toxic to turkeys, while some of them just don’t sit well with their metabolism.

1. Raw Meat

While turkeys might enjoy the taste of the raw meat and will happily eat it, this type of meat might also contain bacteria that can seriously harm turkeys. Just like humans, raw meat may harm turkeys.

For example, turkeys that eat raw meat might contract salmonella or e.coli, which are both difficult diseases to overcome.

Coming into contact with these bacteria might cause your turkeys not only to get very sick but, on some occasions, it might even cause them to die.

Similarly, meat that is rotting (even if it’s been cooked) is probably not great for turkeys.

Read Also: Do Turkeys Eats Mushroom?

2. Chocolate

Turkeys don’t like to eat chocolate, but it’s also not healthy for them. It contains toxins that may harm turkeys, so most feeders refrain from feeding them chocolate. In addition, chocolate usually has a lot of refined sugar, which turkeys are not used to eating.

3. Livestock Feed

While you might be tempted to feed your turkeys low-quality livestock feed, it’s not always a good idea. Most types of livestock feed have low amounts of protein, especially if you buy low-quality, budget foods that you feed to your chicken if you have them.

Many turkey owners make the mistake of feeding their turkeys chicken feed, but that’s not a great idea.

While turkeys will likely consume these foods, they usually don’t have nearly enough protein for turkeys, especially for younger ones that need to grow. So, it’s best to stick to feed specifically made for turkeys.

4. Onions, Raw Beans, Eggplants, Green Potatoes

Generally speaking, feeding onions to turkeys is a bad idea. Onions contain thiosulphate, which is a toxin that can cause the red blood cells to decrease significantly in turkeys, causing them to get ill.

Additionally, raw beans are also not a good type of food for your turkeys. The reason for this is that raw beans also contain phytohemagglutinin which occurs naturally in uncooked beans.

This type of insecticide can be potentially lethal to turkeys, so you should always avoid feeding them to turkeys.

Eggplants and green potatoes are also toxic to turkeys. They contain certain chemicals that are similar to solanine, which is toxic to turkeys. Feeding turkeys eggplants and green potatoes may cause them to get sick.

5. Fruit Pits and Seeds, Citrus Fruits, Avocados

Avocados are not good food for turkeys because they can cause myocardial necrosis. This type of condition also occurs in other animals and mammals.

There are many split opinions when it comes to feeding citrus fruits to turkeys. Some studies say that citrus fruits might cause them to be more fertile, while others say these fruits will cause turkeys to lose feathers and struggle with calcium intake. I personally avoid feeding them these fruits to avoid the potential negative effects.

Lastly, fruit pits and seeds are also not often fed to turkeys. Many pits and seeds (apples, peaches, apricot, and pear) contain cyanide, which may beunhealthy for turkeys. While you’ll be okay with offering turkeys the above fruits, you should remove the seeds and the pits as they contain any toxins.

6. Processed Human Foods

It’s also a good idea to avoid feeding processed human foods to turkeys. While many people decide to feed their turkeys human leftovers, it’s not always a good idea. It might be ok if the foods are low in salt and fat, but most processed foods have high levels of salt and unhealthy fats that cause turkeys to be unhealthy.

This is because turkeys are used to eating natural and raw foods from the environment.

So if you have foods with high amounts of salt and fat, it’s best to avoid feeding them to your turkeys. It might cause their metabolism problems, but it’s almost certain to cause obesity in turkeys and it will also make them unhealthy.

What Can I Feed My Turkeys?

If you’re looking for good-quality foods for turkeys, then you should choose from the following food sources:

  • Grains – corn or wheat are good foods for turkeys, in general. If you can get good-quality grains of this type, then this should be the primary type of food that you feed your turkeys.
  • Seeds – equally, seeds are also good if you can find the right sources of food. You should avoid feeding your turkeys fruit seeds at all costs, but plant seeds should generally be fine.
  • Berries, small and fresh fruits – in general, smaller berries and fruits are always a good meal for the turkeys. They provide them with vitamins and additional nutritious sources that make them healthy. As long as you avoid the fruits mentioned above (especially citrus fruits), your turkey will be fine.
  • Insects and lizards – Check with your local store or vet for advice on the best insects and lizards to feed them. They’re usually not fed these animals but may be eaten in the yard if they enter a turkey’s pen.
  • Fleshy plant parts and grass – Turkeys will naturally peck away at grasses in gardens.


Turkeys should not eat processed foods, low-quality livestock feeds, onions, chocolate, processed foods, and many other types of food. If you pay attention to what you’re feeding to your turkeys, then you’ll be able to keep them healthy for a long time.The best option is always to consult with your local experts and purchase specifically produced mixes that can help turkeys to grow healthily.

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