Foods of Young Florida Wild Turkeys

Stomach and crop contents of 75 turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo osceola) poults from 1 to 164 days old and 8 adults, collected from April through October in Glades and Alachua Counties, Florida, were identified and measured by volume displacement. Vegetable material accounted for 75.0 percent and animal material for 25.0 percent of the diet by volume of poults 1 to 14 days old. Poults 15 to 164 days old ate 72.8 percent vegetable and 27.2 percent animal foods. The most important single item in the diet of the I to 14 day old group was "stargrass" (Hypoxis leptocarpa) - this was replaced in importance by the seed of a true grass (Paspalum conjugatum) in the older poults. Eight summer crops of adult turkeys permit a brief comparison between foods of adults and poults.

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