Deer may surprise you when you look out to see one standing in your yard. They may eat vegetables, plants, and flowers that are properly cultivated and well-tended. It may be annoying, but there might come a time you will welcome them in your yard, either to photograph them, or simply sit back observing them.
But how do you keep them from eating your vegetables and plants? What to feed deer?
Deer are not picky eaters; they eat what is readily available in their environment. But it does not mean that they necessarily love what they eat. Therefore, why are they eating your well- cultivated vegetables and plants? Let us find out in this article.
So, you have decided to entice them into your yard. What do deer eat and which kinds of food do they like?
Basic deer food: What to feed deer
White-tailed deer are the most common in the wild. They are herbivores, and they browse during the night and eat almost any plant that they come across. They avoid staying long in one spot are as a survival measure.
They eat fast and eat anything they can find in a specific spot. They quickly move to the next spot once they’re done in one location.
The typical foods that deer eat are grass, nuts, alfalfa, fungi, fruit, and corn. They also eat wild crabapples, clover, leaves, sedges, and sumac foliage.
Seasons change and the plants available in the summer may not be available in the winter. During the winter, deer find it difficult to find plants in their usual diet. Therefore, they feed mostly on bamboo shoots, bark, and buds during these times. During the summer season, they feed on nuts, corn, and greens.
Feeding deer with formulated deer food mix
During the winter, you might want to feed the deer because it is difficult for them to find food. You may feed them with new types of food that they do not usually eat.
These types of food are formulated deer food mixes which are a combination of oats, alfalfa, molasses, soybeans, and minerals and vitamins. This kind of deer food is easy to digest, making it safe for complementary deer feeding.
However, formulated deer food mixes should be slowly introduced to the deer; this means that you need to help the deer adjust to this new kind of food. Gradually include this deer food mix with their natural diet.
It takes the deer 2-4 weeks to fully adjust on the new food mixes. You might also want to add deer food mix all year long so they will always be adjusted to the supplemental diet.
Feeding the deer with deer feeder kits
Deer feeder kits are also useful in feeding deer. Examples of good feeder kits are the Moultrie Pro Hunter Quick Lock Feeder Kit, the Moultrie Deer Feeder Classic Tripod, JKL Outdoors Spyder Deer and Wildlife Gravity Feeder Attachment, and more.
These kinds of feeders have auto-lock features that prevent wasted food, and timers that control the amount of food that the deer feed on in a specific period of time. These are a few features that help you save money on feeding the deer.
What not to feed deer
Even though deer are not picky eaters, there are some kinds of food that are not good for them. One of these foods is corn, which is one of the worst kinds of food for deer. When fed corn, the deer’s complex digestive system has problems digesting the carbohydrates in corn, which could cause them to get seriously sick or even die.
Instead of corn, feed them tree branches. Deer munch on twigs, leaves, and other forest vegetation. You may also feed them oats because they have a good combination of carbohydrates and fiber that is safe for the deer’s digestive system. You may also feed them fruit and vegetables.
What do deer eat: Deer favorite foods
As stated earlier, deer are not picky eaters. But they have their favorite foods too. These kinds of food are not always available to them. They love nuts such as beechnuts acorns, pecans, and hickory nuts, and fruits such as persimmons, blueberries, blackberries, and apples. Unfortunately for homeowners, deer also love vegetables, flowers, and ornamental trees and shrubs.
Feed the deer with proper food to help them survive, especially during the winter season.