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What do deer eat?

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Are you wondering, whether these animals will eat what you're willing to give? Is it safe, will they eat it?

We can help you with that, as we've tried many treats and delicacies on our deer farm.

Please note, 🦌 are suspicious of new kinds of food, so likely to not eat it straight away, but the next time they encounter it.

What do deer normally eat?

Deer are herbivores, sustaining themselves on plant-based diet. It's harder to find plants deer won't eat than to list those they will. If it's a plant and a deer can access it - chances are it will be eaten. Not just grass and leaves parts but petals, roots. Deer also eat fruits, veggies, berries, nuts, acorns.
What do deer eat in winter?
Food is significantly harder to find in winter, so deer become reliant on buds, saplings, bark and dried leaves. That's not much and wild deer do lose weight in winter, up to 30% of their body mass, that's why they try to gain as much as possible in warmer months.

What do deer like to eat?

One question if what deer can eat and another - what they prefer. Deer love to eat berries, nuts, corn, fruits like bananas, peaches and pears, carrots and bread. A lot of their favorite picks you'll find in the list below. All such yummies come with a warning though, while feeding tree branches or oats is totaly safe, basically anything deer wouldn't normally find in the woods - isn't. Please see considerations about feeding deer.

What do deer prefer

Deer given choice of food: corn, lemon, orange, carrot or pumpkin. What do they eat first? What is deer's preferred meal?

Search through this list of foods [to be continued]:

Can deer eat bread?

🦌: "You bet!"

deer eating bagel

We've covered deer eating bread here. Please be cautious feeding it though.

Will deer eat bananas?

Deer: "..." - busy chewinng bananas.

deer eat banana


You could even say, deer 'go banabas' over bananas. Even if they've never come in contact with these fruits before, deer will readily destroy a banana, together with skin.

Do deer eat berries?

🦌: "Oh deer god, please send us some!"

berries for deeries

Berries of all kinds are deers favorite food. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes - all are highly appreciated by these gourmets. Berries are packed with minerals and vitamins, acids and sugar and so are perfectly fitted as deer feed. Not that you'd want to share a lot with them, would you?

Do deer eat cabbage?

Deer: "If there's nothing better"

They will eat it, but are not too excited about it. And can you blame them?

Will deer eat capscicum?

Some 🦌: "All right"

When used to them, deer welcome some bell peppers in their diet. No red hot chilli peppers, please.

Can deer eat carrots?

can deer eat carrot tops

Deer: "Yes we can!"

Any carrot, any shape or form, with carrot tops. Watch deer eat carrots.

Do deer eat cheese?


Some 🦌 apparently do, but should they - that's another question.

Even 1 or 2 year old deer have been spotted sneaking in and drinking milk from the utter of a doe who's feeding her fawn. These are grown animals who have long been weaned. Clearly, they must be perfectly capable to still digest it.

Cow's milk is somewhat similar but goat's milk is more so. With cheese, deer might additionally be attracted to salt content inside.

Still, Junkie spat it out: "No thanks, I'm on a diet".

Can deer eat chicken feed?

🦌: "What's in it?"

dietary choices

Deer are herbivores, best accustomed to eating plant based food, while chiken are omnivores, capable of eating both plant and animal products. What is your chicken feed made of? Read the label and if it's not all vegan, it's likely not a good idea to feed deer that. They might eat it, but will it agree with their digestive system - no one can say.

Can deer eat corn?

Deer: "Would sell our souls for it!"

deer licking off maize

Deer love maize, but it presents danger when consumed in big quantities by animals not accustomed to it.

Is cucumber a good treat for deer?

🦌: "Bring it, hooman!"

Cucumber is appreciated by the deer.

Do deer eat dill?

Deer: "Yuck!"

This is one of the few things deer tend to avoid.

Will deer eat dog food?

🦌: "You gotta be kidding me!"

suspicious deer

Seriously, dogs are omnivores (evolved from carnivores), even the cheapest dog food contains (hopefully, for dogs sake) some meat. You shouldn't try and feed herbivores meat products.

Do deer appreciate garlic?

Deer: "We're not fans!"

This is one of the few things deer tend to avoid. But our deer have on a rare occasion been spotted eating toasts with some garlic rubbed into them. So it's not a deer repellent, in case you were wondering. Might protect you against vampires, but not your garden from deer.

Do deer like eating jasmine?

🦌: "Surprise! We sometimes do"

Far from being deer's favorite, but they come and pick it now and again. Here's Junkie reaching for some jasmine:

good appetite for jasmine

So is jasmine deer resistant? Well, one by our house that's currently stripped of all leaves wouldn't say so.
At the very least when it's not flowering, and there is no scent, it is definitely still ON the deer's menu. And our deer are well fed, so definitely not out of hunger do they munch on it. They will totally reject basil, but jasmine is fine.

Do deer make lemonade out of lemons?

Deer: "We do, if we have to!"

Lemon is not on top of the list, but these animals will down a few sour bombs whole if they're hungry. They will eat skin alone or whole fruits. However, they'd much prefer carrots or apples. Read more in our post 'Do deer like lemons'.

Will deer gobble up melons?

🦌: "Just put them down and step away!"

You'll make them very happy if you share your melon, even scraps with deer.

How do deer feel about nuts?

Deer: "We go nuts over them!"

Deer will gorge on a variety of nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds and peanuts. Raw or fried, salted or unsalted. These mighty nutcrackers have been spotted destroying shelled walnuts that have fallen from the tree.

Do deer touch onion?

🦌: "Hell, no!"

However, a few days later the onion tends to disappear. So they might nibble at it once it's wilted, when they've got nothing better to peck at.

Can deer eat parsley?

Deer: "Any day!"

Will deer munch on some pasta?

🦌: "Hard to stay away"

can deer eat macaroni

Watch deer eating pasta.

Deer also enjoy uncooked pasta

Apparently, they also love crunching dry pasta like chips. Watch deer crunch on some dry spachetti (fettuchini) with sound.

Make sure it contains no eggs though, deer hate them. Wheat spachetti - great. Gluten - bring it on!

Ok to feed deer pears?

🦌: "Sure!"

Adore these fruits, will consume whole.

Do deer attack plum trees?

Yep. It's like being in the Garden of Eden for them.

They don't even spit out the bones.

doe picking plums of a tree

Will deer eat potato?

Deer: "We'll have large fries and soda, please!"

In truth, these animals will likely eat potato. It does not appear to be their favorite, but eventually it gets cleaned up.

Is pumpkin coveted by deer?

🦌: "Damn right it is!"

They'll crunch on the skin as well as on the insides, pumpkin is quite enthusiastically consumed by deer species.

How about some sweet potato?

Deer: "Love 'em! Scraps or whole - we dig 'em all!"

Will summer squash get polished off?

🦌: "You bet!"

Record speed pecking at zucchini type veges.

courgette inside deer mouth

Do deer enjoy watermelon?

Deer: "Deer god, do we enjoys it on a hot summer day!"

Save those watermelon rinds for deer, they'll love you forever.

Should you feed wild deer?

If you've landed here searching for «what do deer like to eat», you're likely thinking of feeding deer in your backyard. In that case, keep in mind that depending on where you live it may be illegal for you to do that.

Winter is a challenging time for deer, and a nature's way of culling the weaker herd members. (( As heartbreaking as that may be, supplemental feeding of them presents its own set of problems and according to many reputable sources can do more harm than good. Such as:

If you want to help deer survive winter:

You can do this by creating and maintaining good quality deer habitat and improving food resources that will actually benefit all wildlife.

If you can't resist feeding deer, follow these guidelines:

What is the best food to feed deer?

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Last modified 2022-11-27 at 04:14

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