What Do Turkeys Eat?

turkeys-eat Credit: Dawn Huczek/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The natural diet of the wild turkey is omnivorous with the majority of it being plant matter, although the turkey also opportunistically eats insects and other small animals. Turkeys are foragers, and their diet changes with the location and season.

Turkeys consume leaves, grass, roots, berries, seeds, nuts and grains or whatever is available at the time. Some favorite foods are clover, hickory nuts, sunflower seeds and crab apples. As they forage for plant matter, they also eat caterpillars, slugs and animals such as frogs or lizards. However, insects and animals make up no more than 10 percent of an adult turkey's diet. For turkeys up to five months in age, this figure changes to 75 percent. Their diet is especially heavy on meat and insects when they are very young, as turkeys need the protein to grow.