Spring may be the most important season for deer feeding. As winter comes to an end, breeding season also ceases. With the warmer weather, deer begin to shed their antlers and within a month, they’ll start to grow another pair. During this antler growth period, deer’s antlers grow at a rate of half on inch per day. So, it is important they get the most nutritious diet.
Since antler growth is a low priority for deer, other parts of the body receive the nutrients first. This means they must gain the body nutrition they need before any nutrients are given to the antlers. So, making sure the deer around your feeder are being fed properly is even more important during antler growth season.
Consequences of Malnutrition
- Antler growth rate can slow down
- Antlers are less dense and more breakable in fights
- Characteristics that affect a Boone & Crockett Score are negatively impacted
- Bone density diminishes when body’s forced to extract minerals from other parts of the body
Maintaining a substantial feeding diet through the spring and summer will ensure deer are healthy and aren’t susceptible to the consequences of malnutrition. Purchasing feed that is formulated for optimal growth, density, and strength will give the deer eating your feed the opportunity to not only grow strong and healthy antlers, but body as well.
While spring feeding is important for antler growth, a year round feeding program will give you the best advantage. Feeding deer year round is the best way to ensure the most healthy deer. However, if you are an instant gratification seeker, antler season can give you just that. With the right nutrition, the fast growth of deer antler’s can be seen right before your eyes!