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.
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.
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.
Search through this list of foods [to be continued]:
🦌: "You bet!"
We've covered deer eating bread here. Please be cautious feeding it though.
Deer: "..." - busy chewinng bananas.
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.
🦌: "Oh deer god, please send us some!"
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?
Deer: "If there's nothing better"
They will eat it, but are not too excited about it. And can you blame them?
Some 🦌: "All right"
When used to them, deer welcome some bell peppers in their diet. No red hot chilli peppers, please.
Deer: "Yes we can!"
Any carrot, any shape or form, with carrot tops. Watch deer eat carrots.
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".
🦌: "What's in it?"
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.
Deer: "Would sell our souls for it!"
Deer love maize, but it presents danger when consumed in big quantities by animals not accustomed to it.
🦌: "Bring it, hooman!"
Cucumber is appreciated by the deer.
This is one of the few things deer tend to avoid.
🦌: "You gotta be kidding me!"
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.
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.
🦌: "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:
So is jasmine deer resistant? Well, one by our house that's currently stripped of all leaves wouldn't say so.
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'.
🦌: "Just put them down and step away!"
You'll make them very happy if you share your melon, even scraps with deer.
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.
🦌: "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.
Deer: "Any day!"
🦌: "Hard to stay away"
Make sure it contains no eggs though, deer hate them. Wheat spachetti - great. Gluten - bring it on!
Adore these fruits, will consume whole.
Yep. It's like being in the Garden of Eden for them.
They don't even spit out the bones.
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.
🦌: "Damn right it is!"
They'll crunch on the skin as well as on the insides, pumpkin is quite enthusiastically consumed by deer species.
Deer: "Love 'em! Scraps or whole - we dig 'em all!"
🦌: "You bet!"
Record speed pecking at zucchini type veges.
Deer: "Deer god, do we enjoys it on a hot summer day!"
Save those watermelon rinds for deer, they'll love you forever.
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:
Where a few deer are today 🦌🦌 tomorrow can be a hundred 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌 In deer world 'the word travels fast'. So more animals will burn their precious fat deposits hoping to come and dine at your sites. If they then arrive to an empty spot or there's only enough to feed half of them you may have made a bad situation worse;
Even if you succeed in saving more deer one winter through supplemental feeding, overpopulation of these animals does not benefit them in the end. Since you stop supplement feeding in spring, they're on their own but in bigger numbers than vegetation in the area can sustain. There will also be detrimental effect on the birds whose habitats deer eat away.
You can do this by creating and maintaining good quality deer habitat and improving food resources that will actually benefit all wildlife.
Disclosure: This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Some of the below links are 'affiliate links', meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Last modified 2022-11-27 at 04:14