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Can Turkeys Eat Chicken Feed? (Quick Answers)

Turkeys need to be fed high value protein when they are young in order to produce more meat and become fatty. In addition to that, turkeys are known to be very little immune so they need to be fed with food that has a good amount of nutrition. 

Feed that contains at least 28% protein and continue this for first 8 weeks.

Can turkeys eat chicken feed?

It is not recommended to provide the turkeys with chicken feed. It has low proteins and minerals. Besides, to produce more meat on a turkey, you need to provide high nutrient foods to the flock of turkeys. Also, due to the low immunity of turkeys, the chicken feed cannot prevent the upcoming flu.

Turkeys are very little immune to flu and diseases so they need feed that contains a high amount of nutrition elements. Besides, turkeys are larger compared to the chicken, so they will need more food than chicken.

If chicken layer food is fed to turkeys, then a large portion of chicken feed will be spent on turkeys, thus increasing the cost of feeding turkeys. 

If you are considering feeding turkeys with layer chicken feed, you can feed them as they have 16-18% of proteins and a high amount of calcium, minerals, and vitamins that lets the layer chicken increase the amount of laying eggs. 

Based on different sizes of turkeys, the feed serving goes as:

Baby turkeys:

Lack of adequate nutrients in chicken feed is less than the requirement of baby turkey. A baby turkey needs at least 25% protein which is not present in chicken feed.

So, chicken feed should be avoided as they contain a smaller number of vitamins and minerals. Also, baby turkeys are fragile and need high-value nutrition foods, it’s better to provide them with generic turkey feed. 

Wild turkeys:

Wild turkeys mostly rely on natural elements that contain high number of proteins, minerals and calcium. Chicken feed alone can’t complete the need of these elements.

So, it is recommended to provide them feed with a good amount of nutrition. Avoid feeding them high-value protein-based food because that might cause problems to wild turkeys’ excess growth.

Domestic turkey:

Apart from the regular diet, domestic turkeys can be provided with layer chicken food. But it is to remember that always provide feeds to the adult ones.

Because the elements based in the feed are appropriate for the adult ones to maintain their growth.

Heritage breed turkey:

As chicken feed lacks adequate nutrients compared to the needs of a turkey, it is recommended to avoid chicken feed. These turkeys require more protein than the regular ones.

They need at least 30% protein-based foods to support their body. Though chicken feed can be provided for first couple of weeks, still it is better to avoid these for turkeys. 

Can turkeys eat the medicated chicken food?

It is always recommended to avoid chicken feed as well as medicated chicken feed for turkeys. But in case of emergency or unavailability of appropriate feed for turkey, the chicken feed can be provided for turkey. 

Some foods that contain more than 25% of proteins are a good source for turkey. If the chicken feed is provided to turkeys regularly, they might be infected with diseases. The main reason is, the immunity of turkeys is very limited. 

The benefits of using medicated chicken feed are, it is medicated with amprolium, which prevents turkeys from infecting harmful infections. 

Medicated foods contain different types of probiotics, essential oils, and enzymes that help grow up their immune system, and produce more meats.

Is chicken feed bad for turkey?

Chicken feed is not bad for turkeys but it is not recommended for them. Turkeys are large so they need more foods, that contain more nutrition and a balanced diet for them. 

Baby turkeys are very fragile and have a weak immune system that might cause various diseases. Providing feed that contains a high number of proteins will help them balance their diet somehow and grow up. 

But after 8 weeks, you must need to change their diets to the appropriate turkey feed.

As they will become adults and need to produce more meats, so it is important to provide them with a large portion of food and most importantly get the right food to maintain their diet. 

Finally, chicken food is always unable to provide sufficient nutrient elements and help them live longer. 

3 reasons why can’t turkey eat chicken feed

Turkeys shouldn’t be fed chicken feed. The amount of protein in a turkey’s daily diet is not found in chicken feed. Newborn turkeys need higher amounts of proteins for the first few weeks. The reason why turkeys can’t eat chicken feed:

They require much protein:

Turkeys are larger compared to chickens so they require much protein to produce more meat and become strong and healthy. They require at least 28% to 30% protein-enabled feed that helps them grow healthy and become fatty.

The protein needs of a turkey should be taken care of since its birth. A baby turkey needs at least 25% protein for the first 6-7 weeks. Chicken feeds contain an average 18% of protein.

They can’t fight with flu or disease:

Turkeys are born with very little immune system. They can easily be infected by any disease or flu. This is why they need to provide properly medicated feed that helps their immune system to fight severe diseases or flu. 

If a turkey is diagnosed with the flu, it can instantly infect the rest of the flock. An outbreak could cause the rise of mortality rate up to 70% to 90%. 

It increases the average feeding cost:

Turkeys needed to be fed very often. Being a large bird, their mealtime is divided into a few different parts of the day. If you are willing to give chicken feed to your turkeys multiple times a day, it will increase the average feeding cost.

Also, when they grow up, they needed to be fed more often. Considering that, you should avoid feeding chicken feed to your turkeys.

What does a turkey diet require?

turkeys need a good portion of food for their daily meal. It must contain important elements such as protein, minerals, probiotics, vitamins, and calcium. 

You can also add natural elements such as fruits or boiled vegetables and mash them along with seed-based foods.

High protein feed:

You have to make sure you provide a high number of proteins such as a food that contains 25% to 30% of protein. 

After 8 weeks you need to increase the protein intake of turkeys. This will help the turkey grow faster and produce more meat.

Natural diet elements:

Depending on the situation, a turkey can eat different types of foods that come from nature such as corn, barley, sunflower oil seeds, millet, milo, niger, etc. 

You can mix these ingredients to make the natural food for the turkeys or you can mix them along with cooked grits to make healthy food for them. 

You can manage insects such as worms and snails and prepare a biologically nutritious diet for the turkeys.

Fruits & vegetable-based nutrition:

There is a variety of items when it comes to food-based nutrition. It is important to provide foods and vegetables as mandatory supplements as well as treats to avoid malnutrition. 

You can feed regular fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, honeydew, blueberry, peach, etc. You can also feed them vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, peas, eggplant, etc. 

Keep in mind that seed-enabled foods will provide them with extra vitamins and calcium. Apart from that, give them almonds, beechnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, etc. Wash purchased packed nuts to avoid salt.

What to feed turkeys to fatten them up?

You can add high fiber content along with proteins to fatten up your turkeys. Corn is a very mandatory element used to provide as feed to fatten up turkeys. Feed them a good number of grains that help them to grow faster, produce more meats.

It is recommended to feed cracked corns, whole kernel corns, sunflower seeds, and oats. Oats let turkeys become well-flavored and fattened when fed. These are high grain elements that let the turkey grow fast and become fatty. 

Give them ½ cups of any of these foods every day. Add oil-based cereals to their meals, oils produce more and more fats, helping them to grow bigger. 

At least 3 meals a day mixed with some good amounts of high proteins will be good fattening food. Ground wheat or red dog flour mixed with mashed and boiled potato is also a very nutritious food for turkeys.

Final Thoughts

Chicken feed can be provided to turkeys but based on their growth and daily requirements of protein, it is recommended to avoid. Besides, since turkeys have very low immunity, the chicken feed cannot help them fight various diseases and flu. So, it’s better to provide generic turkey feed.