In Canada, turkeys are NOT given hormones or steroids. These have been prohibited for over 30 years. It is scientific advancements such as selective breeding, better feed formulation and on-farm management practices that are responsible for the larger, healthier turkeys raised today.
Turkeys are fed nutritionally balanced diets of mixed grains and oilseeds, which typically include corn, soya, wheat, barley and canola, for healthy growth and development. There may also be a small percentage (6 to 8 percent) of animal protein, such as meat and bone meal, in some turkey feeds, which helps to ensure that there is enough protein, calories, minerals and fat to meet a naturally omnivorous turkey’s nutritional requirements.
Feed is often adjusted to match the growth stages of the birds. Young turkeys (poults) are fed a “starter” mixture. As they grow, the feed is changed to meet nutritional requirements. Each type of feed includes the proper balance of protein, energy, fibre, fat and other elements such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins.
Turkeys have free access to feed 24 hours a day, which means they can help themselves to food or water at any time.