What Do Wild Turkeys Eat – Wild Turkey Diet

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Most of us wonder about what do wild turkeys eat but never come up with a sound explanation as to what and why do they go after few things. Wild turkeys gobble a large variety of foodstuff but for the most part, their primary food plan comprise of eating grasslands. However, since they are also omnivorous, so masticating red meat is also part and parcel segment of their food intake but on the odd occasion. Apart from having grasslands that are present throughout the entire year, wild turkeys also take advantage from some eatables that exist in specific times of year. As compare to the fully developed wild turkeys, the juvenile birds are fond of eating young bugs hanging around and sometimes spiders as well.

Wild Turkey Food – What Do Wild Turkeys Eat

Apparently, it seems that wild turkeys gobble red meat more than anything else. However, it is just the opposite of what do wild turkeys eat in reality and a large portion of their diet plan is dependent upon grasslands. Like any other birds, wild turkeys also fancy eating, residing and breeding in empty and wide spaces. Unlike domestic ones, wild turkeys perch on tree branches in the late hours of darkness. This helps them getting rid of potential dangers as well as allowing them to have a sound sleep.

When it comes to food intake, you need to incorporate a large number of diversified eatables in their diet plan and never stick to any particular thing. As compare to the females, male wild turkeys eat relatively more than females and that’s why they carry much bigger weight than their counterparts. When you compare the two, you’ll see that male turkeys called ‘toms‘ are heavier than females called ‘hens‘, by almost 8 to 12 pounds.

Wild turkeys - What do wild turkeys eat
Two Wild Turkeys gazing at something

What Do Wild Turkeys Eat In Different Seasons

As a rule, there is no specific kind of eatables that may impress wild turkeys every time. Depending upon the particular spell of year, they can eat almost anything beginning from little young bugs to the snakes. However, unlike grown turkeys, immature birds known as ‘poults‘ do not fancy eating meat as they are unable to gobble it at the time. But they even out the presence of proteins in their bellies by having numerous amount of young bugs. Having said that, the primary source of energy for wild turkeys stems from grasslands as they are easily available at any time. To my surprise, the rest of the eatables comprise not more than 15% of their entire diet plan.

Apart from eating foliage, they also aim for several fruits and agricultural produce depending of what is available at the particular season. Even though wild turkeys have no particular time period for eating and they eat every now and then, but the notable time periods within which they continually consume high amount of food intake is at the crack of dawn and at the end of the day. Normally, they do not eat alone rather in collection of more than three birds. These kinds of birds have a specially designed internal structure that enables them to eat anything. Thus, you cannot visualize about what do wild turkeys eat in the forest. One study revealed that they possess extended intestines that are extremely helpful in consuming rough grasslands. With the help of a long gullet, wild turkeys manage to take its foodstuff right into the crop, a momentary organ where intake is piled up. Afterwards, foodstuff is shifted to another department that is responsible for squeezing the food and making it easy to digest for the birds.

What Do Wild Turkeys Eat

Nuts and fruits

  • Acorns
  • Beechnuts
  • Hawthorns
  • Crabapples
  • Cherry
  • Blackberry
  • Dogwood
  • Sumac
  • Wild grape
  • Chestnut tree
  • Hickory
  • Peanuts
  • Suet nuggets


  • Soybeans
  • Corns
  • Buckwheat
  • Grain sorghum
  • Oats
  • Sunflower
  • Ragweed
  • Buds


  • Legumes
  • Sedges
  • Forbs
  • Wild grass

Young bugs

  • Ground beetles
  • Crickets
  • Grasshoppers
  • Millipedes
  • Dragonflies
  • Ants
  • Caterpillars
  • Spider
  • Worm

Meat of animals

  • Snake
  • Frog
  • Lizard
  • Snail
  • Salamander

More Facts about Turkey

What do wild turkeys eat – Videos

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