Turkeys are great birds to have as pets and also to raise for their eggs and meat.
Turkeys are oftentimes raised on turkey commercial feed however, from time to time you might want to give them healthy snacks.
Turkeys can eat cucumber, it is a totally safe green and nutrient packed vegetable for turkeys.
You can safely feed cucumbers as a snack and during the hot summer months they keep your turkeys cool and hydrated.
This article will look into the health benefits of cucumber for turkeys, how often they should eat it, if baby turkeys can eat among a few other things.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Cucumber?
Water of course is an essential nutrient. Cucumbers are made up mostly of water content. Feeding your turkeys cucumbers on a hot day helps to keep them hydrated.
Cucumbers have a high level of vitamins and include vitamins A, C and K.
These vitamins such as Vitamin A, helps to improve your birds vision, boost their immunity and reproductive systems and also bone health and development.
The importance of vitamins in turkey feed cannot be overemphasized and as such finding it in cucumbers is a great way to get vitamins into your turkey’s diet.
Manganese is an essential nutrient that primarily functions in enzyme systems involved in fatty acid and carbohydrate metabolism.
It is essential for turkeys’ growth, bone development, optimal eggshell quality, and performance maintenance of the turkeys.
Magnesium works hand in hand with calcium and phosphorus. It usually functions in cell development, bone and muscle strengthening and cellular metabolism and breakdown in turkeys.
Cucumbers are a rich source of fibre which is important for turkeys for keeping the digestion process smooth and helping them avoid constipation.
Soluble and insoluble fibers generally help to kick the turkey’s gut healthy.
How Often Should I Feed Them Cucumbers?
Just like every scrap and treat given to turkeys, it should not be overfed to them.
Cucumbers are nutrient packed and have a wide range of goodness to offer your turkeys. This does not mean however that it should be the turkey’s main feed.
Feed your turkeys on quality commercial feed which has the nutrients they require to grow. If you cannot find turkey feed then you can opt for gamebird feed.
This should be their main feed and other vegetables and fruits can come in as supplements.
As a matter of fact, limit cucumber feeding to about 5% of their diet.
It is advisable to feed the turkeys more cucumbers during the hot summer months when the water content will help them from feeling dehydrated.
As such, you can feed them cucumber between once and twice a week and you can increase the frequency when it’s summer.
Can Baby Turkeys Eat Cucumbers?
Baby turkeys also known as poults can benefit from having cucumbers in their diet from time to time.
The high water and fiber content of cucumbers help to ensure they are never constipated and also remain hydrated even in hot weather.
Turkey poults however have to start out on their feed for the first six weeks of their life.
Do not make the mistake of feeding newly hatched turkey poults, cucumbers or any other scraps for that matter.
They should survive on turkey or game bird starter feed which provides them with protein.
A baby turkey requires about 28% of protein as they require a higher amount of protein than most other poultry including chickens.
When serving them the cucumbers, ensure to cut it into tiny pieces for them so they can be able to easily swallow and digest them.
Do Turkeys Eat Cucumber Seeds?
Cucumber seeds can also be fed to turkeys because they are naturally safe and nutritious for them to eat.
Cucumber seeds also contain the amino acid cucurbitine, which has vermifuge properties. As a result, it can assist your birds in getting rid of worms.
When you feed cucumbers to your birds, it is okay for you to leave the seeds in.
Unlike those of apples which contain cyanide and can be poisonous to the turkeys in large amounts, cucumber seeds are safe and perfectly healthy for your turkeys to eat.
Also check out this article I wrote on feeding turkeys with chicken feed.
Can Turkeys Eat Cucumber Leaves?
Cucumber leaves can also be consumed by your turkeys. However, before feeding them to your birds, make certain that you thoroughly wash them.
Additionally, make certain that they do not contain any pesticides or harsh chemicals that could harm your turkeys.
However, keep in mind that cucumber leaves are tough and might be unpleasant to your turkeys.
You could also find cucumber leaves on the ground more often as they take longer to eat. However I’m sure your turkeys would soon get the hang of it.
Once you notice moldy cucumber leaves that have stayed on the ground for quite some time, discard them immediately so they do not cause infections for the turkeys.
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Cucumber
If you are just introducing cucumbers to your turkeys, it is important that you introduce it to them in small amounts to see how they react to it.
If there are no adverse effects, then you can go ahead and feed it to them regularly.
Also, although turkeys will eat anything and everything they see, your flock might be particularly picky and averse to cucumbers.
If they are picky and do not eat the cucumbers you feed to them, then try other vegetables and fruits that they might love.
If they do like the cucumbers, then ensure that you do not give them an excess amount of cucumber.
Too much cucumber simply makes their diet watery and can disrupt the nutrient balance in the feed. Restrict feeding of cucumbers to about once or twice a week.
How Can I Feed Cucumber To My Turkeys?
The best way to feed cucumbers to your turkeys is to thoroughly wash them and then slice them in pieces for the turkeys.
This way it is easy for both the turkey adults and poults to easily digest.
You can also hang cucumbers up for them with twine and watch them peck at it. Turkeys love pecking at food and they would do that till the cucumber is gone.
You could also make large slices of cucumbers together with other vegetables and also hang them up.
Do not forget the vegetable mix. Slice cucumbers, apples, carrots, sunflower seeds, nuts and mealworms.
Mix them together and place in a bowl out for the turkeys or in their feeders for them to enjoy.
Ice cold cucumbers are also a great way to cool the bird during hot weather and keep them hydrated.
The cucumber is a favorite vegetable for many people and it serves both healthy and medicinal uses.
Turkeys of course are not left out as it is a safe and healthy treat for them.
Cucumbers help to keep your turkeys hydrated, provide them with vitamins, minerals and of course fiber.
Just like any other treat being fed to turkeys, cucumbers should be fed in moderation and should not for any reason replace their main feed.
Both adult and baby turkeys can eat cucumbers safely and they can eat the skin, seeds and core safely without any adverse effects.