Do Turkeys Eat Snakes? Everything You Need To Know

It’s a common question: do turkeys eat snakes? The answer is yes. Both wild and pet turkeys will eat snakes given the opportunity.

Snakes are an important part of wild turkey’s diet, providing them with essential nutrients like protein and fat. Pet turkeys don’t need to eat snakes for nutrition reasons, but they will eat a snake if given a chance, especially if their young or eggs are in danger.

While venomous snakes can kill a turkey, most snakes aren’t a threat and make for an important part of the bird’s diet. This article will explore why turkeys eat snakes and what things you should watch out for.

do turkeys eat snakes

Do turkeys eat snakes?

Thanks to their sharp beaks and powerful talons, turkeys are adept at hunting a variety of small prey, including snakes. Snakes typically make up a significant portion of a wild turkey’s diet.

While most snakes are not venomous to turkeys, they can still pose a threat. To protect themselves, turkeys often target young or small snakes that are easier to kill. However, adult turkeys have been known to fight and kill larger snakes.

Regardless of the snake’s size, turkeys will usually eat the entire thing, except for the snake’s rattle (if it has one).

country feeds gamebird feed

Worried your turkeys aren't getting enough nutrients?

Then you need this healthy and tasty gamebird feed. My birds love the taste, are full of energy, and have never been healthier! Check out this feed on Amazon now.

Why do turkeys eat snakes?

king cobra snake

There are a few reasons why turkeys eat snakes.


Wild turkeys eat snakes for nutrition. Snakes are a good source of protein and fat, essential nutrients for turkeys.

While pet turkeys don’t need to eat snakes for nutrition, they may still eat them if given the opportunity.


Turkeys also eat snakes to protect their eggs and babies. Snakes are a threat to both, and by eating them, turkeys can reduce the number of snakes that pose a danger to their young.

Venomous snakes can kill a turkey, so turkeys need to be aware of the types of snakes that are dangerous and to avoid them if possible.

Do all turkeys eat snakes?

No, not all turkeys eat snakes. Some turkeys may not be skilled at catching snakes, and others may not be interested in eating them.

Some turkeys may also avoid eating snakes because they fear being bitten by a venomous snake.

Can pet turkeys eat snakes safely?

Yes, pet turkeys can eat snakes safely. However, it’s important to ensure the snake is not venomous. Venomous snakes can kill a turkey. If you’re not sure if the snake is venomous, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not let your turkey eat it.

Pet turkeys will typically eat small snakes. However, they are not skilled at catching larger snakes. If you have a pet turkey and you’re concerned about it being harmed by a snake, it’s best to keep the turkey away from snakes.

What are the dangers of venomous snakes for turkeys?

turkeys in grass

Venomous snakes can pose a serious threat to turkeys. While most snakes are not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened, venomous snakes can be dangerous even if they don’t mean to be.

Their venom is designed to kill prey; even a small amount can be fatal to a turkey. In addition, venomous snakes are often difficult to spot, and their bites can be painful and difficult to recover from.

As a result, it’s important to take precautions when spending time in areas where venomous snakes might be present. If you see a snake, give it a wide berth and contact authorities if necessary. Taking these steps can help keep yourself and your turkey safe from the dangers of venomous snakes.

What type of snakes do turkeys eat?

Turkeys are known to eat a variety of snakes, including garter snakes, rat snakes, and black rat snakes. Turkeys have even been known to predate on venomous snakes such as copperheads and rattlesnakes.

While most think of turkeys as docile creatures, they are quite adept predators. Their long necks and sharp beaks allow them to strike quickly and accurately, and their powerful legs allow them to chase down their prey.

So, next time you see a snake in your backyard, don’t be surprised if a turkey is soon hot on its heels.

Read More: Do Turkeys Eat Worms? 5 Excellent Benefits

How to keep pet turkeys safe from snakes

turkey standing

If you’re lucky enough to have pet turkeys, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them safe from harm. One of the biggest dangers they face is snakes.

While not all snakes are venomous, even a non-venomous snake can cause serious injury to a turkey if it’s not properly cared for. Here are some tips to help keep your pet turkeys safe from snakes.

  • Make sure your turkey coop is well-sealed and snake-proof. This means no cracks or holes that a snake could slither through.
  • Keep your turkey coop clean and free of food scraps or other potential attractants. A clean coop will be less attractive to snakes looking for an easy meal.
  • Remove any potential hiding places for snakes around the perimeter of the coop. This could include piles of wood or debris, tall grass, or anything else that might give a snake a place to hide.
  • Inspect your turkeys regularly for signs of snakebite, such as swelling or puncture wounds. If you find any injuries, seek veterinary care immediately.

Following these simple steps can help keep your pet turkeys safe and healthy for years to come.

Can turkeys eat snakes – final thoughts

Turkeys are known to eat snakes and can safely digest them if they are small enough. However, if you have a pet turkey, it’s important to take precautions to keep it safe from venomous snakes.

Keep the turkey coop clean and well-sealed, and remove any potential hiding places for snakes around the perimeter. Inspect your turkeys regularly for signs of snakebite, and seek veterinary care immediately if any injuries are found.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure your pet turkey has a long and healthy life.

Related Articles:

Jill Taylor Happy Farmyard

Jill Taylor

Jill is a full-time homesteader who enjoys learning about sustainable living and practicing self-reliance. She'll most likely be found tending to her many animals including chickens, ducks, goats, and alpacas. You find out more about her on LinkedIn.