Turkeys are fond of berries and most fruits and strawberries are definitely on their list of favorite treats.
It is quite okay to feed your turkey flock strawberries from time to time if you have them around you.
Not everyone is so eager to feed strawberries to turkeys as they belong to the rose family and some other variants of the group have been associated with cyanide which is poisonous to most birds in large quantities.
However, you have nothing to fear from feeding your turkeys as strawberries are perfectly safe for them and this article will discuss exactly how you should go about feeding your turkeys.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Strawberries To Turkeys?
Berries are known to have a high water content which can be as much as 95%. Feeding strawberries to your turkey flock helps them stay cool and hydrated especially during hot summer months.
Calcium is an essential nutrient required by the body system. Some of the functions of calcium include, egg development and quality, bone strengthening and muscle development. A deficiency of calcium could be dire for your flock.
Vitamins such as C,K and folate are found in good amounts in strawberries. All these vitamins work together to protect your turkey’s body system from illness and disease by boosting the immune system.
Iron is responsible for the transport of blood through the body. If your turkeys are lacking iron then they could become anaemic.
The importance of fiber in food sources cannot be over emphasized. Fiber helps to ease digestion of your birds and with the aid of prebiotics, aids gut health for your birds.
How Often Should I Feed Them Strawberries?
Strawberries are quite the healthy treat to feed your turkeys, however you should keep it in mind that turkeys diets should consist more of protein than sugar.
Fruits like strawberries have a high sugar content. Whilst a few strawberries like that will not harm your turkeys, the sugar content in the berries may cause metabolic issues.
Although berries have a lower sugar content than some other kinds of fruit, eating too many of them can be harmful to the turkeys’ health.
As a result, think of strawberries as a special, once-in-a-while treat.
Feed the turkeys one or strawberries per turkey once or twice a month.
It could be more depending on your discretion but remember to let treats be only 10% of your turkey’s diet.
Here is an article I wrote on what do turkeys eat
Can Baby Turkeys Eat Strawberries?
Yes, turkey poults can have strawberries from time to time as they would quite enjoy it.
However, feeding turkey poults is different from feeding the adults. Poults are still younger with more delicate stomachs.
It’s been established that feeding turkey poults treats or snacks should not start until they are over 6 weeks of age.
This is to allow them to develop their delicate and fragile systems. Until that point they should only feed on turkey or game bird starter feed.
Also, introduce grit to them which will help them in the digestion process.
Before feeding them strawberries, try out a few small pieces on the poults to see how they react to it and if they do not fall sick then you can go ahead to that.
Can Wild Turkeys Eat Strawberries?
Wild turkeys can eat strawberries and they are known for eating them from the plants.
Wild turkeys will eat almost anything they are able to come across.
If you have them around, then it is okay to toss some strawberries to them.
They usually balance out their diet as they feed from nature and their diet consists of fruits, seeds, insects, and basically anything they can eat.
Can Turkeys Eat Strawberry Pie?
Strawberry pie is great especially for humans. The aroma of the pie makes the offering delicious and we can eat it all up at once.
It’s okay for you to give turkeys strawberry pie from the Thanksgiving dinner the previous day.
However, this should not become a frequent experience for the turkeys.
This is because the pies contain extra additives and ingredients which are not healthy for turkeys to eat all the time.
You should avoid giving your turkeys salt or sugar but these are ingredients that will be used a lot in making this food.
Other strawberry processed foods such as strawberry pie should also not be fed to turkeys because of the high sugar content.
Can Turkeys Eat Strawberry Leaves?
There is quite a differing opinion on whether it is safe for turkeys to eat strawberry leaves.
For some strawberry leaves are toxic and should not be fed to them while other people believe it is perfectly safe.
Strawberry leaves tend to have a high coating of agrochemicals especially during planting and growing of the fruit.
Some of these pesticides adhere to the leaves and even after thorough washing might still have residues left on them.
Of course, you do not want to harm your flock so it might be best to avoid feeding the leaves to your turkeys.
Another solution is to buy organically grown strawberries or grow your own patch. This way, you are sure there is no pesticide use and the leaves are safe for your flock to eat.
Also check out this article I wrote on can turkeys eat lettuce
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Strawberries?
Before feeding them strawberries, have it in mind that they might not like the fruit especially if they have not come in contact with it before.
Though turkeys tend to like strawberries, your flock might be different.
Try out a few on the, and watch to see how they react. If none of them falls ill and they eat it well, then you can add strawberries into their diet.
Ensure you incorporate strawberries with other fruits and minimize treats feeding to 10% of ther overall diet.
How Can I Feed Strawberries To My Turkeys
Wash strawberries thoroughly before feeding them to the turkeys to ensure there are no residues on them.
You can slice the strawberries into smaller pieces or place it in a bowl whole for them to eat.
During summer, frozen strawberries are a hit as it helps the birds reduce heat and their level of stress.
Ice cool berries will help cool down their bodies.
Strawberries are a healthy snack for both humans and animals and it is absolutely safe to feed them to turkeys.
As it is, they are a healthier alternative than processed food and provide a wide range of nutritional value to the turkeys.
Strawberries should be fed as a treat and should not take the place of their main feed.