If you have both turkeys and chickens in your backyard, you might be wondering – can turkeys eat chicken feed?
Yes, they can! Turkeys and adult chickens can both enjoy the same type of feed. Since chickens and turkeys are both omnivores, they can benefit from eating chicken feed.
Chicken feed is packed with protein, which is great for turkeys. While there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding turkeys chicken feed, it is generally a healthy and beneficial food for them.
What Is Chicken Feed?
Chicken feed is a specially formulated blend of grains, seeds, and other nutritious ingredients specifically designed to meet the dietary needs of chickens, providing them with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for their growth, egg production, and overall health.
Can Turkeys Eat Chicken Feed?
Yes, turkeys can indeed eat chicken feed. Many folks who raise both chickens and turkeys find it convenient to feed them the same type of feed. Since both chickens and turkeys are omnivores, they can benefit from consuming chicken feed.
Chicken feed is rich in protein, which is crucial for the health of chickens and turkeys alike. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals, promoting their overall well-being and strength.
While some people caution against feeding turkeys chicken feed due to concerns about insufficient protein content, as long as the chicken feed contains approximately 16% protein, it should be suitable for turkeys and hens too.
A baby turkey protein needs at least 25% which is not present in chicken feed. Adult turkeys require a feed that provides them with about 16 to 20% protein but Chicks need a different type of feed than adult turkeys. Once they reach that age, they can safely transition to consuming chicken feed.
Learn More: Nutrient Requirements of Turkeys
Benefits Of Feeding Chickens And Turkeys The Same Feed
Feeding chickens and turkeys the same type of feed can offer several advantages. Some of them Are
When you buy feed, you have to choose the right type of feed for each type of bird. If you have chickens and turkeys, you have to buy two different types of feed.
This can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you don’t know much about poultry nutrition. If you feed your chickens and turkeys the same feed, you only have to choose one type of feed. This is much easier and faster.
Once you buy the feed, you have to store it. If you have chickens and turkeys, you have to store two different types of feed. This can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of storage space.
If you feed your chickens and turkeys the same feed, you only have to store one type of feed. This is much easier and takes up less space.
Feeding backyard chicken diets to turkeys can save the farmer time, money, and equipment by feeding both species the same feed, and is more convenient than feeding them different types of feed. It is easier to buy and store one type of feed than two. This can save you time and money.
Chickens and turkeys have similar nutritional needs, so one type of feed can meet the needs of both birds. Commercial poultry feed is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of chickens and turkeys.
However, it is important to read the label carefully to make sure that the feed is appropriate for your birds.
If you are raising chickens and turkeys for meat, you may want to choose a high-protein feed. Proteins are complex compounds that when digested turn into amino acids.
These amino acids are then used for important body functions such as muscle and egg development, skin, and feathers to mention a few.
If you are raising chickens and turkeys for eggs, you may want to choose a feed that is high in energy.
Fact: Hens lay an average of two eggs per week compared to the almost daily egg of a chicken.
Chickens and turkeys are both poultry birds, and they have similar digestive systems. This means that they produce similar amounts of waste. As a result, one type of feeder and waterer can be used for both birds.
When choosing a feeder and waterer for chickens and turkeys, it is important to consider the size of the birds and the number of birds you have.
You will also need to choose a feeder and waterer that is made from a durable material that can withstand the wear and tear of chicks.
Here are some tips for choosing a feeder and waterer for chickens and turkeys:
Right size for the number of birds you have.
Made from a durable material, such as metal or plastic.
A feeder has a lid to prevent waste from getting into the food and a waterer that has a float to prevent the water from running out.
By following these tips, you can choose a feeder and waterer that will keep your chickens and turkeys healthy and happy.
Chickens and turkeys can be raised together without any problems. They can even become friends. Here are some tips for raising chickens and turkeys together:
Introduce them slowly. When you first bring your turkeys home, introduce them to your chickens slowly. Let them get used to each other’s scent and presence before you let them interact directly.
Provide plenty of space. Chickens and turkeys need plenty of space to roam and forage. Make sure your coop and run are large enough to accommodate both species.
Feed them a balanced diet. Chickens and turkeys have different nutritional needs. Make sure you feed them a balanced diet that meets the needs of both species.
Keep them clean. Chickens and turkeys are susceptible to the same diseases. Make sure you keep their coop and run clean to help prevent the spread of disease.
Watch for signs of aggression. In rare cases, chickens and turkeys may become aggressive towards each other. If you see any signs of aggression, separate the birds immediately.
By following these tips, you can raise chickens and turkeys together without any problems. They can even become friends.
Things To Watch Out For While Feeding Turkeys Chicken Feed
While it’s generally acceptable to feed turkeys chicken feed, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
Chicken feed is not a complete diet for turkeys. Turkeys have a higher nutritional requirement than that of chickens which means that when they are fed conventional chicken diets nutritional deficiencies can occur.
Turkeys are larger compared to chickens so they require much protein to produce more meat and become strong and healthy.
Keep in mind that young turkeys require feeds that contain about 28% protein to maintain their natural growth rate. Most turkeys are fed chicken diets with lack the necessary protein to sustain the requirements of growing turkey poults.
Turkeys are much larger than chickens and can gain weight quickly. If you feed your turkeys too much chicken feed, they may become overweight. Overweight turkeys are more susceptible to health problems, such as heart disease and arthritis.
Chicken feed is not balanced for the nutritional needs of turkeys. If you feed your turkeys only chicken feed, they may develop dietary imbalances.
If you are raising turkey hens for their eggs, you must consider their calcium needs; from the time hens are 30 weeks, they need a special layer feed for that extra calcium boost.
Dietary imbalances can lead to health problems, such as feather loss, diarrhea, and lethargy. Due to the low immunity of turkeys, the chicken feed cannot prevent the upcoming flu.
Always use quality feed. Chicken feed is not a complete diet for turkeys. It does not contain the high protein content, fat, or vitamins that turkeys need. Some cheaper feeds may not have as much protein as they claim, or they may not have the right balance of nutrients. Adult turkeys need regular turkey feed or gamebird feed. Make sure to use a high-quality feed that is specifically formulated for turkeys.
Provide them with enough feed. Turkeys need more food than chickens. Make sure to provide them with an unlimited supply of feed. Non-medicated chicken feed can be fed safely to turkeys without any effect on their performance on their health but only for maintenance.
Supplement their diet with other foods. Chicken feed is not a complete diet for turkeys. Supplement their diet with other foods that are high in protein, fat, and vitamins.
Monitor their weight. Turkeys can gain weight quickly. Make sure to monitor their weight and adjust their diet accordingly.
Provide them with plenty of fresh water. Turkeys need to drink more water than chickens, especially in hot weather. Water is as essential as food for healthy growth and productive egg-laying.
Fact: An adult laying hen will drink a pint of water each day.
Turkeys Nutrient and Dietary Requirements
Turkeys have unique dietary requirements that should be taken into account for their optimal health. The following table shows the turkey’s nutrient requirements
Starter(1 & 2)
Grower(3 & 4)
Crude protein (%)
28 & 26
23 & 21.5
2900 & 3000
3050 & 3100
1.7 & 1.6
1.5 & 1.3
0.62 & 0.55
0.50 & 0.47
1.4 & 1.3
1.2 & 1.3
0.7 & 0.6
0.5 & 0.6
Source: Nutrient requirements of turkeys
The following foods can assist in providing the dietary requirements of turkeys:
They need a diet rich in high-quality protein sources, such as insects, worms, and legumes. If they don’t get enough food, they may become malnourished and sick. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables can provide important vitamins and minerals.
Fact: Turkey eggs have a higher protein content than chicken eggs and many people who eat them think they have a richer taste.
Chickens Nutrient and Dietary Requirements
On the other hand, backyard chickens have their own set of dietary needs. The following table shows the chicken’s nutrient requirements:
Crude protein (%)
Available phosphorus (%)
They require a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Baby chicks need to be fed a feed with around 20% protein from a day old up to 6 weeks or so. Chicken feed is formulated to fulfill these requirements and promote healthy growth, egg production, and overall well-being.
Importance Of A Balanced Diet For Turkeys
Maintaining a balanced diet is vital for the well-being of turkeys. A proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals ensures optimal growth, feather development, immune system function, and reproductive health. Apart from the regular diet, domestic turkeys can be provided with layer chicken food. It is crucial to provide turkeys with the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.
What Should I Feed My Turkeys?
To ensure a healthy and balanced diet for turkeys, it is advisable to provide a combination of chicken feed and additional protein sources.
This can include:
Other sources of high-quality protein
Foods Not To Feed Your Turkeys
While it’s important to know what to feed turkeys, it’s equally important to be aware of foods that should be avoided. Turkeys should not be given foods such as
It is important to avoid feeding your turkeys any of these foods, as they can be harmful to their health. It is always recommended to avoid medicated chicken feed for turkeys. If you are unsure about whether or not a particular food is safe for turkeys, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian or poultry nutritionist. These items can be harmful or toxic to their health.
How Can I Feed Chicken Feed To My Turkeys?
Feeding chicken feed to turkeys can be done straightforwardly. Ensure that the feed is easily accessible to the turkeys, allowing them to consume it freely.
Make sure that the feed is high-quality and has enough protein, and give your turkeys enough food so that they can eat their fill. Monitoring their intake and observing any potential digestive issues or adverse reactions is crucial to ensure their well-being.
How To Store Chicken Feed So That It Remains Fresh
Proper storage of chicken feed is essential to maintain its freshness and nutritional value. Store the feed in a cool, dry place, preferably in airtight containers or bins.
This helps to prevent moisture, pests, and other contaminants from compromising the quality of the feed. Regularly check for any signs of spoilage and discard any feed that appears moldy or has an unpleasant odor.
In conclusion, while turkeys can eat chicken feed, it’s important to consider their specific dietary requirements. Monitoring their health, supplementing their diet with additional protein sources, and providing a balanced nutritional intake are key factors in ensuring the well-being of turkeys.
By understanding their needs and implementing appropriate feeding practices, poultry enthusiasts can keep their turkeys healthy, happy, and thriving.
What Do You Feed Baby Turkeys?
Baby turkeys, also known as poults, should be fed a balanced diet consisting of turkey starter feed. This specialized feed contains the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support their growth and development. It is important to provide them with fresh, clean water at all times as well.
Can Turkey Poults Eat Chicken Feed?
While turkey poults and chicks have similar dietary requirements, it is not recommended to feed turkey poults with chicken feed.
Turkey starter feed is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of turkey poults, providing them with the right balance of proteins, amino acids, and vitamins essential for their healthy growth.
Therefore, it is best to use turkey starter feed for baby turkeys to ensure their optimal health and development.