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Do Turkeys Eat Snakes? (All You Need to Know)

Did you know birds and Tyrannosaurus rex are from the same family tree? Harmless-looking birds like turkeys and chickens can be more aggressive than you think. But do turkeys eat snakes? Let’s learn about turkeys’ predatory behavior, their risks from snakes, and more.

Do turkeys eat snakes?

Turkeys can eat small snakes comfortably, and a group of turkeys can even eat bigger ones. However, it can be dangerous for them if the snake is venomous. Wild turkeys are keen to hunt snakes, while pet turkeys may not be as skilled as wild turkeys.  

Turkeys are omnivorous. That means they eat meat, seed, grass, and about anything that looks like food. They are not picky eaters. Different kinds of meat, such as frogs, snakes, lizards, and rodents, are on their food menu. 

Now let’s talk about snakes. There are various snakes in the country, and turkeys can eat most of them without any problem. As long the snake is not too big, turkeys will fight and eat it.

However, more giant snakes can be dangerous for the turkeys. Even a tiny venomous snake can be hazardous to a turkey if it gets the chance to bite. But that’s not that easy for those reptiles. 

Turkeys have thick skin in their leg and a compact layer of feathers in their body that protects them from snake bites. However, turkeys are such expert snake hunters that most snakes can’t touch them.

Turkeys usually live in a group. If someone finds a snake, all the turkeys will join the fight. Turkeys will poke the snake continuously until the snake passes away. So if you have a group of turkeys, snakes will fear the place and never sneak inside your house.

If the snake is a bit bigger, turkeys will still harass him and force the snake to leave their territory. Find out if turkeys can eat those common snakes.


Yes, turkeys can eat rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are highly venomous snakes and can cause the end of their life. But turkeys do not care. Eating snakes is an instinct of turkeys. Snakes are a good source of food and a potential threat to their eggs and babies. 

So, they never let any snake go without a scratch.


Vipers are often found in different regions of the USA, and they are also highly venomous. Turkeys can eat vipers without much problem.

Other snakes:

Turkeys can eat small and medium-sized snakes. No matter if the snake is venomous or not.

Do turkeys keep snakes away?

Yes, turkeys can keep snakes away. Snakes see turkeys as predators and try not to fall in front of them. However, a giant snake can eat baby turkeys and eggs. But no matter how giant the snake is, it will fear a group of turkeys.

So, the question is, should you rely on turkeys to prevent snakes from your house? Well, only depending on turkeys is not a good idea. If your yard is favorable for snakes, snakes can enter if they get a chance. 

However, you should also save the turkeys from snakes. Pet turkeys are not such skillful hunters as wild turkeys. They get readily available foods to form you. On the other hand,  wild turkeys have to fight frogs and snakes now and then.

Turkeys can indeed work as a part of the snake protection system in your house, but we recommend not to depend on them entirely.

3 reasons why turkeys will eat snakes

There are some solid reasons for turkeys to eat snakes. Here we are mentioning some.

As a food:

Small snakes are a lucky treat for them. They eat grass, seeds, insects, leaves, and fruits in the wild, but they like meat the most like most humans. Why so? Meat is the most nutrient-dense food on the earth.

They get protein, fat, and various vitamins and minerals like iron, salts, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, B2, and many more. So, from a survival point of view, It’s a good reason to hunt snakes for food.

To remove hazards:

Turkeys know how dangerous a snake can be, especially for tiny babies and eggs. They eat the snake, so it can’t do any harm to them.

Having fun:

Like most animals, turkeys need some fun things to do. For pet turkeys, not much exciting happens to them. Eating a snake with a whole family is a party for them. Well, for wild turkeys, it’s fun but more for the sake of survival.

What breed of turkeys eat snakes?

There are two species and many subspecies of turkeys. They have differences in size, weight, and feather color, but their food habits are almost the same. They eat everything they find. Check if those turkeys can eat snakes. 

Brush turkeys:

Brush turkeys originated from Australia, and they can eat small snakes. Leaves, fruits, seeds, and insects are their primary food source, but they do not leave any chance to munch on snakes, frogs, and small lizards.

Wild turkeys:

Wild turkeys are skilled hunters of snakes. They strike upon snakes with their beak and watch the snake closely to dodge bites. It is an easy task for them as they often encounter snakes.

Domestic turkeys:

There are two types of domestic turkeys. People farm white turkeys for meat, and they usually stay on a closed farm. Those turkeys are not good hunters, and you will have to protect them from snakes.

Domesticated wild turkeys can comfortably eat small snakes, but more giant venomous snakes can be risky.

Baby turkeys:

After 24 hours of hatching turkey babies, they start roaming with their mother and eat mostly everything their mother eats. Turkey babies may get a chance to eat a snake if their mother can catch one, and there is no competition for that.

Are turkeys immune to snake venom?

No, turkeys are not immune to snake venom. Some hunter birds can survive mild doses of snakebite, but turkeys are not that lucky. Although, it’s tough to bite a turkey if the snake is small.

Turkeys are skilled at catching snakes. A group of turkeys strike upon snakes from different sides, so the snake does not find a way to strike back or escape. 

A more giant and faster snake may find a way to escape, and he will not come back again. By keeping your yard clean and unfavorable for snakes, you can reduce the chance of entering snakes in the yard.

How to keep turkeys safe from snakes?

You can protect your yard and turkeys from snakes by taking simple steps. Protecting your yard is all about making an unfavorable environment for the snakes. Some plants and ingredients may also help you to get rid of snakes. Here we will discuss some effective techniques to keep turkeys and your yard safe from snakes.

Keep your yard clean:

Snakes need a place to hide. They don’t usually want to stay in an open position. Leaves, holes, fallen branches, stones are their favorite places to camouflage. Cleaning your yard and removing stones and holes can help prevent snakes. 

Build walls:

Fences are not so effective against snakes. Walls can prevent snakes from entering your house. However, some snakes can climb walls, but they usually would not give that effort.

Get rid of rodents:

If there are rodents, your every protection can fail. Snakes are highly attracted to rats and mice. Take steps to repel the rats from your house. A pest control agency can help you to get rid of the rodents.

The leftover turkeys’ food attracts rodents. Do not leave any food left anywhere. Clean all the food and keep them in a closed trash can. 

Plant snake-proof plants:

Certain plants release some kind of smell that snakes don’t like at all. You can plant those plants in different parts of your yard to make your yard the worst place to visit for a snake.

Marigold, pink agapanthus, mugwort, snake plant, Onion, garlic, snakeroot, West Indian lemongrass, and yucca are snake repellent plants. Try to plant them in those sides of your yard where it’s hard to clean or a possible place from where snakes can enter.

Use chemicals:

You can use some chemicals to repel snakes from your home or yard. Carbolic acid is one of the most used chemicals to repel snakes. Snakes dislike the smells of carbolic acid. Moreover, carbolic acid damages their skin if it comes into contact with the acid.

There are many different snake repellent agents in the market. Most snake repellent consists of naphthalene as the active ingredient. However, the chemical reagents may have harmful effects on the ecological balance of the yard.

Final thoughts

Turkeys will love eating snakes. They may not be enough to stop snakes from entering your yard. So you should take other steps to protect your yard from venomous snakes. Keeping your yard clean is more important than keeping turkeys to prevent snakes.