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.
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.
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:
|Naturally occurring sugar||19 grams|
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.