A Partial Nutritional Analysis of Wild Turkey Hen Diets In Springtime

A partial nutritional analysis of the springtime diets in 1975 and 1976 of 40 Rio Grande turkey (Meleagris gaUopauo intermedia) hens from southern Texas suggested they fulfilled their nutritional needs by a progressive shift in food use from forb leaves to forb fruits and seeds to animal matter to grass seeds during 5 equally-time-spaced sampling dates. It was apparent in this area that the approximately 14% protein, 2% calcium, and 0.75% phosphorus requirements for breeding turkeys could only be met by a diet composed primarily of animal matter. However, management to enhance the abundance of selected, high quality forbs could provide the absolute, minimal requirements and relieve the dependence on a potentially undependable animal food supply.

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