Do Brushturkeys Eat Chicken Feed?

Australian Brushturkey

Australian Brushturkey

When Frank and I recently spotted a brushturkey in our back garden, it prompted me to wonder aloud, “Do you think brushturkeys would eat our chook’s food?” Frank assured me they wouldn’t. I wasn’t convinced. They do scratch up insects and such, but then, so do our chickens. Aren’t they pretty similar in their eating habits? We are about as far from ornithologists as you can get, but that doesn’t stop us from pretending we know a thing or 2 about birds and speaking confidently on topic.

Anyway, we decided this brushturkey wasn’t hanging around because of a free meal, she was just hanging around. We speculated whether or not having chickens attracted other birds to our back yard. I’ve heard that if you have an aviary, wild birds start spending time in your garden.

Then the answer to my earlier question made itself patently obvious.

Brushturkey eating from the chicken feeder

Brushturkey eating from the chicken feeder

And before long I wondered if we really did have an aviary in our back yard. The noisy miner just missed getting his photo taken but the whistling dove and myna were happy to share the spot light with the brushturkey and our chicken (Rosie here, but the others kept popping over for a snack as well). No parrots around but when those sunflowers ripen they’ll join in the fun!

Brushturkey, whistling dove, myna and our chickens all sharing feed and the garden

Brushturkey, whistling dove, myna and our chickens all sharing feed and the garden

Even Frank got in on the act hanging around the feeders which didn’t bother the brushturkey in the slightest. Just to be clear, Frank was feeding Isabel, not nibbling grains himself.


So the answer to my question is a resounding yes. 

Watching the menagerie caused Frank to ask a question of his own, “Are we going to feed all the native animals in the neighbourhood?” Funnily enough, the answer to his question is also yes 🙂 (Daily, in fact, as the brushturkey – and every other wild creature- now visits us every day.)


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in Chickens, Garden, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Do Brushturkeys Eat Chicken Feed?

  1. I don’t know, your original premise about the brush turkey was wrong, you could be wrong as well about Frank. You might want to keep a keener eye on the feeders.

  2. I could see this coming. Once they start visiting it just seems mean not to provide a snack (or two).

    • I really don’t like to feed native animals – it throws the natural balance out. But when I have chickens and plant fruit and vegetables I’m kidding myself to think I’m not impacting nature. Of course I love the visitors, I just don’t want them to become fat and lazy – that’s my job 🙂

  3. Likewise we end up feeding the crows and the pheasants with our chook food, not intentionally but they come and feed when the chooks aren’t looking

  4. vuchickens says:

    if your garden wasn’t such a utopia…

  5. Pingback: Crimson Rosellas | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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