Corn is a staple grain which is beneficial to both humans and animals. It can be cooked and served in different ways to make sumptuous delicacies.
Turkeys are also not left out of the corn eating race as they are usually fed corn by their owners from time to time.
Corn is healthy and nutritious for turkeys and as a turkey owner it is something you should consider adding to their diet.
Today we will discuss the health benefits of corn to turkeys, how often to feed them corn, types of corn they can eat and a host of other corn related issues.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Corn To Turkeys?
Fiber is an important nutrient whose uses cannot be underestimated for turkey. Fiber is important for the ease of the digestive process.
Dietary fiber also contains prebiotics which help to improve gut health of the turkeys.`
Folate which is also known as folic, vitamin B9, or folacin, is a B-vitamin that turkeys of all ages require.
Vitamins are essential nutrients that protect the body from diseases, repair the body and boost the immune system.
Corn is a rich source of Vitamins A and C. These vitamins not only boost eyesight, they are also necessary for muscle and brain development of turkeys.
Corn also provides turkeys with magnesium. Magnesium is required for cellular metabolism and bone development in turkeys.
It also works closely with the other minerals calcium and phosphorus. Therefore the proper proportion of these elements in turkey diets is very important.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral found in good quantities in corn. Phosphorus is necessary for good bone and muscle development.
Phosphorus works hand in hand with other minerals such as calcium to ensure good egg quality and easier egg laying process for the hens.
Here is an article I wrote on what do turkeys eat.
How Often Should I Feed Them Corn?
Corn is a great and delicious food for turkeys.
Unlike other foods or snacks which are essentially supplements for turkeys, corn can actually be fed to them almost everyday as part of their basic diet.
Although corn is great it should still not be replaced with turkey feed to get the best meat and eggs from your turkey flock.
Unlike chickens and some other poultry which can survive almost entirely on corn, turkeys should be given both their feed and corn.
Corn is the most commonly fed grain to turkeys for fattening, it serves as a method of getting more healthy meat on your flock.
On its own, corn is not the most nutritious food for turkeys but when mixed with their feed or other seeds and grains, it can serve as a great meal.
Corn is also particularly useful in the winter, and you should include it in their winter feed as it provides them with energy.
Can Baby Turkeys Eat Corn?
Turkey poults can eat corn, especially cracked corn. Some turkey owners have had to ask if they can feed their young turkeys corn.
An important thing to put in mind when raising turkeys is that they have a high protein need.
A baby turkey should start being fed on starter feed which provides 28% protein that they need.
Corn doesn’t have a high protein content and feeding them corn early at below 6 weeks can cause them to have less muscle development.
After 8 weeks you can start adding corn to their feed by mixing it using a 75:25 ratio for example.
This way they can get the protein they need to grow and survive while still getting other nutrients such as carbs for energy.
It will also prime them for fattening till they reach their slaughter age of 6 months.
Do Turkeys Eat Sweet Corn?
Turkeys can eat sweet corn and it is also given as a supplement by most turkey owners. They prefer whole sweet corn to cracked corn as it’s more delicious for them.
As much as it’s fun to spread sweetcorn round for the turkeys, it is important to note that it is not very high in protein.
Turkeys require a diet which is high in protein as it helps their muscle development and egg laying.
Sweet corn can be given as a treat or supplement from time to time but it should not be their basic feed.
It will give them a lot of carbs and fatten them up but they still require proteins.
Also check out this article I wrote on can turkeys eat bananas
Can Turkeys Eat Corn On The Cob?
Corn on the cob is a favorite for turkeys.
They enjoy pecking the corn from the cob. This is usually fun for them and many owners love to throw it to their turkeys to watch them.
Turkeys are usually opportunistic eaters and will eat anything that comes their way as long as it doesn’t eat them first.
You can offer corn on the cob to your turkeys either cooked or raw.
Even if you do not raise turkeys on your homestead you can attract wild turkeys by planting stalks of corn and leaving it out there for them to eat on the cob.
Can Turkeys Eat Corn Husks
Corn husks are the outer coverings of an ear of corn. They are usually green and humans sometimes use them for wrapping food.
Corn husks are usually safe to eat for most animals and some turkeys and other poultry animals can be seen eating it from time to time.
However corn husks are most often usually disposed of and even turkeys who eat anything they see might not exactly want to eat them.
It is best to throw them out or feed them to goats.
Can Turkeys Eat Corn Kernels
Corn kernels are the fruits of corn which grow on the cob.
Corn kernels are corn seeds and though technically a grain, corn kernels can be used as a vegetable or starch in cooking.
In 16 rows, one ear of corn contains approximately 800 kernels.
These kernels can be fed raw, cracked or cooked before being fed to turkeys. Turkeys can eat corn kernels on or off the cob.
It is easier for turkeys to digest corn when they have access to grit. Also, cracked corn kernels are much easier for them to digest.
Cracked corn are corn kernels which have been dried and broken down into smaller pieces.
This makes it easy for consumption and digestion while also being delicious.
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Corn
Corn is quite nutritious and healthy to turkeys and can be fed to them everyday. However corn doesn’t have all the necessary nutritional value which turkeys require.
Corn is fantastic for turkeys, and they adore it. However, ensure to give it to them sparingly.
It’s all too easy to get carried away when it comes to feeding turkeys treats because they’re always eager to eat anything.
As a turkey owner, provide them with a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
Make sure they have access to a high-quality feed throughout the day, and give them treats like corn on occasion or mix in with their feed from time to time especially if you plan to fatten them up.
How Can I Feed Corn To My Turkeys?
Turkeys will eat corn in any way you feed it to them. You can feed them whole corn or cracked corn.
Cracked corn are corn kernels that have been sun dried and split into smaller pieces. It is easier for the turkeys to eat and also delicious.
You can give them corn on the cob whether cooked or raw and have some fun watching them peck away at it.
You can also hang up the corn cobs for them to peck.
Of course, you can also mix in corn with their feed making your own delicious custom made feed.
You should however ensure that you follow a good ration so your turkeys are not lacking any particular nutrient.
Corn is essentially a tasty treat for our turkey friends. It comes packed with nutrients and is one of the few healthy grains they can live on.
However, corn alone cannot provide all the health necessities that your turkeys require.
As such you should only feed corn to them in moderation or otherwise feed corn with other supplements or mix in with their regular quality feed.
Turkeys will eat anything they come across and you can feed it to them in several ways.
Baby turkeys should not be fed corn till they are about 6 to 8 weeks old and it can be mixed in with their feed as they grow to give them some fat.