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Can Turkeys Eat Apples? Explained

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Turkeys are naturally greedy birds and love eating various fruits, including apples. You might be wondering if it is safe for your turkeys to eat apples. 

Can turkeys eat apples?

Turkeys can safely eat apples in moderate quantities. Apples are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients that are beneficial to turkeys. They can be fed to turkeys in different forms but be cautious when trying out new treats with your birds.

farm male turkey outdoor

Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of feeding your turkeys different types and forms of apples. We will also discuss how often you can give apples to your turkeys and more. Let’s dive in!

Can Turkeys Eat Apples?

Turkeys can eat apples as treats. 

Apples are full of nutrients. They are a healthy treat to feed turkeys alongside their usual feed. But even though apples are nutritious, they cannot replace the regular feed that your turkeys need to grow and develop well. 

Serve apples in moderation to ensure your turkeys continue eating their staple diet.

Wild Turkey with open wings in the woods

Do Wild Turkeys Eat Apples?

Wild turkeys eat apples; they are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods, both plants and animals

In the wild, the available food varies depending on the season. For instance, what they eat in the summer and spring may not be available in the winter.

Apples: Nutritional Information

Apples are a good source of: 

  • Vitamin C.
  • Soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • Phytochemicals (chlorogenic acid, quercetin, anthocyanin, catechin).

On average, one apple contains the following nutrients:

Fiber 3 grams
Naturally occurring sugar 19 grams
Carbohydrates 25 grams 
Proteins 1 gram 
Fat 0 grams 
Calories 95

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient for turkeys. 

Ascorbic acid improves the performance and growth of birds. Also, vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It boosts the turkeys’ resistance to diseases.

Moreover, ascorbic acid helps turkeys regulate the stress they may face during dry weather.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Fiber helps regulate the digestive system of turkeys. Also, it is digested slowly and will keep turkeys feeling full for longer, meaning they will not overfeed. 


The phytochemicals in apples help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases in birds. They also prevent degenerative diseases and subdue oxidative stress. 

Phytochemicals boost the health of birds by fighting various diseases. They are, therefore, a low-cost dietary therapy.

2 turkeys in the grassland

How Often Should Turkeys Eat Apples?

It is best to feed your turkeys apples once or twice a week, or as per your vet’s advice

If possible, mix apples with other treats. Giving your turkeys apples too often will make them disinterested in their regular food.

You can feed turkeys apples in various forms:

Group of red apples with their leaves

Raw Apples

Raw apples are the best for feeding your turkeys; they contain all the nutrients in their natural form

Raw apple treats will reduce oxidative stress in your turkeys.

Raw apples are available in so many varieties! The most common ones include:

  • Red apples.
  • Green apples.

Red Apples

If you want to give your turkeys a treat full of antioxidants, feed them red apples

Red apples are rich in beta-carotene, carbohydrates, and calories. Also, they have thin skins and are sweet and less crunchy. 

Due to their sweet taste, turkeys will likely love eating them more often.

Red apples are the best for boosting turkeys’ energy levels and heart health.

Green Apples

Green apples are crunchier, taste sour, and have a thicker skin. Thus, they have more fiber. They also contain more vitamins, potassium, iron, and proteins than red apples. 

Green apples are, therefore, good for the turkeys’ digestive system and improve health and bone strength. 

Homemade canned apple and cherry compote in large glass jars on gray tabletop

Canned Apples

If you have canned or refrigerated apples, you may also feed them to your turkeys. Canned apples do not lose all their nutrients in the canning process and are safe for birds and humans. 

Canning is a better way of ensuring that your turkeys’ favorite treat is available all year round. And you don’t have to worry about spoilage.


apple sauce in a small glass jar with sliced apple pieces and a wooden spoon on an old wooden table

Applesauce contains the same nutrients as the fresh fruit and is a good treat for young turkeys. 

The sauce consists of water, apples, and an ascorbic acid preservative. Ascorbic acid is also beneficial for boosting the immune system. It boosts iron absorption and speeds up cell recovery. 

You can prepare applesauce yourself or buy it from the store. 

It is best to use whole apples, including the skin, when preparing the applesauce to ensure it has fiber and retains as many antioxidants as possible.

Cooked Apples

handle of a masher squishes apples together in a steaming pot

Turkeys can also eat cooked apples. However, cooked apples have fewer vitamins than raw ones. 

Cooking the apples will cause them to lose some vitamins because vitamins are sensitive to heat. Also, if you peeled the skins before cooking, the cooked apples won’t have much fiber. 

Overripe rotten yellow apples fruits on the ground under tree in the garden

Can Turkeys Eat Rotten Apples?

Rotten apples are not safe for turkeys to eat. 

They contain mold, which, if ingested by turkeys, may cause health problems. Mold produces mycotoxins, which can be harmful to turkeys. 

Portrait of Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, with blue and red head

What to Keep in Mind When Feeding Your Turkeys Apples

Although apples are healthy for turkeys, you should be mindful when serving them. 

Watch out for:

  • Pesticides: Apple farming involves heavy pesticide spraying, and the pesticides may cause illness. Wash the apples in running water before serving to ensure they are pesticide free.
  • Seeds: Apple seeds may be poisonous to turkeys because they contain cyanide. Ensure you remove the core and seeds before feeding them.
  • Mold: Avoid feeding your turkeys moldy apples. Mold is infectious and harmful to birds.
  • The Skin: Some turkeys may dislike it in the beginning. You may initially feed them peeled apples until they get used to it. Once they start eating well, try giving them the skin too.

Final Thoughts

Apples are an ideal treat for turkeys. Not only are they delicious, but they are also full of nutrients. If your turkey dislikes apples, you can try feeding them a small portion in a different form or type

The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” applies to turkeys too. If your turkeys like apples, you have found them a healthy new treat! 

But it is always safer to seek the vet’s advice before trying out new treats. 


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