It is very easy to know people who are new to raising turkeys because they ask a lot of questions. It is good to ask questions so that you do not make mistakes when raising your birds. Turkeys, unlike chickens and ducks, need extra care as they are game birds. Can turkeys eat watermelons? What part of the watermelon can a turkey eat? What about the leaves and vine of the watermelon plant?
Can turkeys eat watermelons?
Turkeys can eat watermelons. Watermelons have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your turkeys need to grow. Turkeys can eat every part of watermelon including the flesh, rind, seeds, and vine.
However, there are considerable concerns when feeding turkeys watermelons.
What should you consider when feeding watermelons to turkeys? How often should you give your turkeys watermelons? Continue reading.
Feeding Turkeys Watermelons
Turkeys are omnivorous birds. They eat fruits, nuts, insects, etc. Turkeys, just like other birds, love watermelons. You can give them watermelon as a treat.
Before we discuss the parts of a watermelon that turkeys can eat and how you can give such parts to your turkeys, let us discuss the nutritional content.
Nutrients in Watermelons
The table below shows the nutrients in watermelons and their quantity in 100g of watermelon flesh.
As you can see, watermelons have a lot of water in them. On a hot sunny day, you should give watermelon treats to your turkeys because watermelons are not just delicious and nutritious, they will also hydrate your turkeys. Aside from water, watermelons are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Examples of vitamins in watermelons are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Examples of minerals in watermelons are:
What part of watermelons can turkeys eat and how can you prepare those parts?
Parts of a Watermelon to Give Your Turkeys
What part of watermelons can turkeys eat? They can eat every part.
I know that you love the flesh of watermelons. Turkeys love it too! You can give watermelon flesh to turkeys as a treat and they really enjoy it.
Even though turkeys love watermelons, you should not give them watermelon flesh too often (i.e. as a feed replacement) because watermelons do not have enough proteins that turkeys need. Instead of giving watermelon flesh to turkeys as a regular feed, give them as an occasional treat.
2. Rind (Skin)
Don’t throw away the rind of a watermelon. Instead, give it to your turkeys. Watermelon rind is full of potassium for your turkeys. If pesticides were sprayed on your watermelons, do not give the rind to your turkeys.
To be safe, only give watermelons that you are sure are free from pesticides.
Can turkeys eat and digest watermelon seeds? Turkeys can eat and digest watermelon seeds with the help of their gizzard which is able to crush them and make them easier to digest.
Watermelon seeds can be given to turkeys as a supplement but not a replacement.
4. Leaves and Vines
Turkeys (including other birds) can eat watermelon leaves and vines. Before giving the leaves and vines to your turkeys, make sure to shred them so that your turkeys can eat it.
You should wash the leaves and vines with water before you give them to your turkeys to remove any dirt. This will also help make sure that the plant is free from pesticides.
As you can see, turkeys can eat every part of a watermelon. What are some watermelon treat ideas to give to your turkeys?
Watermelon Treat Ideas
Do you want to make watermelon treats for your turkeys? The following are great ideas:
- Watermelon Salad: Slice watermelon flesh, leaves, and vines, then mix them with the seeds of watermelon. You can give this treat occasionally to your turkeys.
- Frozen Watermelon: On a hot sunny day, give frozen watermelon flesh to your turkeys since it can reduce their temperature and also hydrate them.
- Fruit Salad: Mix watermelon flesh with other turkey safe fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, etc. You can also add carrots.
- Watermelon Piñata: Hang a watermelon over your turkeys’ coop or shelter and when they are bored, they can peck on it. This can keep them active and warm in winter.
What treat will you give to your turkeys? Let us discuss how to give watermelons to turkeys.
How to Give Turkeys Watermelons
Your birds might be scared at first when you give them something new. If you are giving them watermelons for the first time, drop the watermelons close to the shelter or coop then walk away.
At first, they might be afraid of the watermelon, but after a few minutes, they will eat it.
Even though turkeys love watermelons, there are a few instances when you should not give them watermelons.
When Not to Give Watermelons to Turkeys
Take the concerns below seriously.
1. The Watermelon Flesh is Rotten
Rotten watermelon contains mycotoxins that are produced by fungi. Mycotoxins can harm your turkeys. If any part of the watermelon flesh is rotten, do not give it to the birds.
2. When You Have Given Them Enough
Remember that watermelons should be served as occasional treats, not regular feed. Watermelons do not have sufficient protein to satisfy the requirement of turkeys.
If you regularly feed turkeys with watermelons, they will prefer it over their feed and that may lead to a nutrient deficiency.
3. You Do Not Know the Source of the Rind
You should only feed watermelon rinds to the birds if they came from your garden or a place that you are sure that grew watermelons without pesticides.
To be safe, you can slice out the hard green part and give your turkeys the whitish part.
4. Do not Give Watermelon Seeds to Young Turkeys
Young turkeys (called poults) have not developed a gizzard that is strong enough to grind watermelon seeds for digestion. You can give them other watermelon treats, but make sure that you slice the treats into small, bite-size pieces.
That’s it about watermelons. Do you want other treat ideas for turkeys?
Other Turkey Treat Ideas
The list below are some examples of turkey treats:
There are more treat ideas for turkeys. Just make sure that you are giving them safe treats.
Turkeys are birds that can eat insects, earthworms, plants including every part of watermelons, etc. Your turkeys will love it if you give them watermelon treats. Make sure you give your turkeys adequate protein so they can grow properly. Also, do not give turkeys rotten watermelons.