If you’re an avid wildlife watcher or a nature lover, you may be interested to know what deer like to eat. Deer are herbivores and their diet mainly consists of plants, fruits and vegetables. Understanding their favorite foods can help you make informed choices about how to attract deer to your feeder, yard or garden, which can provide a great opportunity for observation and appreciation of these beautiful animals.
What to Feed Deer in Backyard?
If you’re interested in feeding deer in your backyard, it’s important to understand that providing food for wild animals comes with risks and responsibilities. Many experts advise against artificial feeding because it can disrupt the natural balance of ecosystems and lead to negative impacts on wildlife’s health and behavior. However, if you still want to provide supplemental feed for deer, it’s essential to choose appropriate options that meet their nutritional needs and don’t cause harm. Some good choices include apples, carrots, corn, oats, alfalfa, soybeans, and clover. It’s also important to note that feeding habits may change depending on the season and availability of resources.
What Not to Feed Deer?
While it’s important to know what deer like to eat, it’s equally important to know what not to feed them. Avoid feeding deer foods that are harmful or non-nutritional for them. Some examples of what not to feed deer include bread, which lacks proper nutrition and can lead to digestive problems, potato chips or other junk food which could cause digestive disturbances and processed sugar which can lead to diabetes and other health complications. Additionally, avoid feeding deer plants that are poisonous such as rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel. It’s important to always research before feeding any new foods to ensure they won’t harm the deer or disrupt their natural eating habits.
Do Deer Eat Apples?
Yes, deer love to eat apples! They are a great source of nutrition for them and make an excellent choice if you’re looking to attract them to your backyard. You can offer fresh apples or even apple-scented deer attractants which can be found at many outdoor supply stores. However, it’s important to note that while feeding deer is generally not recommended, if you do decide to offer them apples, make sure they are cut up into small pieces as larger ones can become choking hazards. Additionally, don’t overfeed them with apples or any other food, as it could disrupt their natural diet and cause health problems in the long run.
Do Deer Eat Carrots?
Yes, carrots are another food that deer enjoy eating. These vegetables are high in fiber and nutrients that are important to a deer’s overall health. You can offer them whole carrots or cut them up into smaller pieces, making it easier for the deer to eat. It’s important to note that while feeding wild animals may seem like a kind gesture, it’s generally best to avoid doing so as it can disrupt their natural diet and behavior. If you want to attract deer to your backyard, planting natural vegetation that they enjoy is a better option than relying on handouts of human-produced foods.
Do Deer Eat Hay or Straw?
While deer are primarily grazers and prefer to feed on grasses, leaves, and shoots, they have been known to eat hay or straw in a pinch. However, these items are not a primary food source for deer and should not be relied upon as a long-term dietary option. Additionally, feeding wild animals like deer hay or straw can attract unwanted pests and rodents to your property. It’s always best to research the natural diet of deer in your area and plant native vegetation that they will naturally gravitate towards.