The first Pueblo Anasazi ate a variety of wild plants. In the spring time they feasted on lemon berries, mustard seeds, and grain from rice grass. In the late summer the Anasazi gathered the leafy greens of goose foot, pig weed, and purslane. Later in the year they ate a variety of grass grains, berries, and sunflower seeds. Then, in the fall they gathered pinion nuts. At this time they also ate prickly pears which was one of their only sources of natural sugar. In addition, juniper berries were gathered as needed because they remained attached to their branches for long periods of time.
The ancient Mesa Verdeans hunted locally. Mainly, they hunted mule deer, jackrabbits, and cottontail rabbits. They also domesticated turkey. Occasionally, a hunter might come home with an elk, bighorn sheep, or pronghorn antelope. Cottontail rabbits thrived in the vegetation around Mesa Verde. Then, when mule deer became over hunted they began eating more and more turkey. People wove blankets from turkey feathers and rabbit fur, and they made spatulas, flutes, and ornaments from turkey and deer bones.