Best Deer Feed: What Do Deer Like To Eat?

While you may be keen to attract and keep deer on your property, it’s usually never at the cost of the plants and vegetables on your land. It is well known that herds will eat what ever is most readily and easily available to them. And unfortunately, they are particularly fond of vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs in your gardens.

Or perhaps you simply want to know how to supplement their diet in times when food is scarce. In this post, we have reviewed four of the best deer feed products on the market so that you get an understanding of what they love to eat. This should help you decide what is best for the animals you wish to attract.

What Do Deer Like To Eat?

Best deer feed for all seasonsIn the summer months, whitetail deer and other species of deer eat mostly grass, nuts, fungi, trees, and foliage.

It is possible to feed a herd naturally using homemade food plots. These are areas where you grow the foods they are particularly drawn to, like grass, nuts, alfalfa, fungi, fruit, corn, apples, clover, leaves, sedges, and sumac foliage. Of course, feeding deer during the winter is more of a challenge. This is because, depending on where you live, these food sources can be nearly impossible to grow.

As an alternative, they will then typically find shoots, tree bark, and tree buds. It’s during this time that their diet is more likely needing to be supplemented with an additional feed.

The best deer feed, like the ones we review below, are formulated mixes. They often contain different amounts of oats, alfalfa, soybeans which are easy for the animals to digest. Manufacturers typically add vitamins and minerals in too, which helps the animals get the best nutritional content out of the feed.

While the animals rely more heavily on receiving feed during winter, you can introduce supplemental feeding all year around to ensure they are getting enough nutrition.

We have written more on best deer feeding times in this article. In it, you’ll find some useful feeding tips and information on when to feed them.

The Best Deer Feed Products on the Market

Purina Antler Advantage Feed

This feed comes in pellet form and is made of 20% protein to promote antler growth and reproductive health, as well as milk production in does. Having a high protein ratio can help bucks and fawns grow much larger and stronger, and does will be more able to produce more milk for their fawns.

There is also a high content of vitamins and minerals to help the animals get the most nutrition from their feed.

Both bucks and does have complex digestive systems, which often break down most proteins too soon by diluting them early. However, the high ratio of amino acids in this feed ensures that the protein can be used effectively and is absorbed fully by the animals so they really benefit from the goodness.

Purina is a well established and trusted animal feed brand, and the high standard at which this Purina deer feed is produced guarantees consistency. This means that each batch shares the same promise of good quality too.

The feed comes in a 50lbs pack as standard, and because the animals are naturally attracted to apple trees, the apple flavor of the feed will attract them away from your fruit trees too!

Specifically tailored to whitetail, mule, and exotic varieties, the feed is designed to be used as part of a feed program in combination with naturally occurring food to supplement the natural diet.

Product Overview

  • High-quality protein content
  • Pellet form feed that is useful for use in most types of deer feeders
  • Apple Flavour to attract animals from far

BIG&J Deadly Dust Sweet Corn Attractant

Big & J Deadly Dust Attractant is a sweet feed for deer, although really, less of a food in its own right. Made from a sweetcorn hybrid, the powder is designed to be added to your normal corn feed. In turn, this sweetens the mix and attracts the animals.

The powder is five times sweeter than normal corn, something which the animals love. It also has a particularly long ranging pungent sweet corn smell that will attract herds from further afield, especially whitetails.

You can even use this feed on its own by placing it strategically around your camera for filming or photography or nearby a viewing spot to simply observe them. It’s certainly one of the best deer feed products to catch deer’s attention and keep them coming back for more.

Product Overview

  • Attractants for deer to supplement corn feed
  • Popular sweet taste
  • Long-ranging aroma that can be smelled from afar

Rack Snack Attractant Bait Salt Lick

Designed for both penned and wild deer, Rack Snack aims to mimic natural nutritional content for the animals. This deer attractant feed has been popular in the industry for over ten years. As a result, it’s a trusted product and reviews often consider it to be one of the best deer feed products available.

It comes in a granular state rather than a block form. The salt lick powder is made up of a specific blend of ingredients which are aimed to help achieve the best growth and performance through thorough and wholesome nourishment.

The powder is designed to be scattered on the ground, and the high amount of minerals within the salt lick feed are activated when wet. It becomes fizzy or effervescent when in contact with water or moisture on the tongue.

As we know, salt effectively attracts animals. But unfortunately, with high salt content, any minerals and vitamins contained can often be blocked. A high salt content can also irritate the tongue too. Rack Snack has found a solution to this, and their salt lick product is actually formulated with only 26% salt. It’s supplemented with a salt-like product so that deer are still attracted by the taste, but don’t experience any of the irritation that can occur. Also, minerals and vitamins can be more easily absorbed.

This feed does come recommended for year-round feeding. However, in the spring and summer seasons, it comes into its own while deer are looking for water.

It should be noted that if chronic wasting deer disease, otherwise known as zombie deer disease is an issue in your region, this feed could be problematic. This is because it is spread by bodily fluids, including saliva. Having a ground feed that induces saliva production will increase the risk of contaminating healthy animals.

Product Overview

  • High mineral content
  • Very popular in the industry especially for deer hunters who practice hunting with baits
  • Moisture activated

Sportsmans Choice Record Rack Feed

This record rack deer feed is tailor-made for those managing a deer population.

Sportsmans choice is a feed designed to supplement the food that is naturally available. It has a content of 20% protein with specific aims of increasing antler growth and improving body condition.

The game food manufacturer boasts exclusive food technology called ‘Optimum Performance Technology’. It’s a sophisticated nutrient formula which balances critical by-pass amino acid levels. This, together with the organic trace minerals of bio-available sources, means that the optimum amount of nutrients in the deer protein feed are absorbed by your deer herds for optimum health.

Sportsmans use a vast amount of science-backed research in making their products, something you can see in their technical feed specifications. Furthermore, their unique manufacturing methods ensure that their feed is nutrient rich and able to sustain deer throughout the year.

Deer get a natural taste from eating the rack feed, which means they easily take to it. And to to top it all, the feed has weather resistant properties. So when it rains and gets wet, valuable nutrients and minerals are retained.

Product Overview

  • Exclusive technology to ensure nutrient uptake
  • More sophisticated flavoring
  • Weather resistant for keeping nutrients within the food
  • High nutrients and amino bypass system

Final Thoughts

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is possible to feed the animals yourself using homemade deer feed. But if you are wanting to attract and keep deer on your land, using one of the best deer feed products like the ones we have reviewed above, is great for supplementing a natural diet. During the winter months, this is even more important as vegetation is scarce and the animals can become undernourished.

Feeds can come in many different forms. Some of the ones we reviewed above can be used alone. Others, however, are used mainly to add attractiveness to existing feed, like corn.

It is important to ensure the feeds are brought in on a longer-term basis to really see the benefit to the animals. Slowly integrating this feed with the natural food available, will ensure that when the colder months come around and animals need supplemental feeding, that they are used to it. If it’s already been fully ingrained in their diet, they will be more accepting of eating it.

Should you be looking for a feeder to compliment your setup, we have some suggestions to give you. One of the latest to catch our attention was the Moultrie PVC Feeder, read about it in our comprehensive review.

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