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Do deer eat peanut butter?

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Perhaps you've heard that deer love nuts, many like peanuts, and so maybe peanut butter is also a treat they enjoy? We've decided to put this hypothesis to the test and offer our deer some peanut butter.

peanut butter on a plate for the deer

Results. Not all deer, and not straight away, but soon enough several heads were competing for access to the peanut butter plate. Here's one happy customer, Top10 the deer:

deer licked peanut butter off the plate

We have since tried making 'peanut butter sandwiches' for these animals and they loved it even better, probably because they're used to bread.

Watch deer eating peanut butter sandwiches

Deer eating peanut butter sandwiches, grabbing them from the plate.

Is peanut butter good for deer? Is it safe?

Look, we don't know for sure as we're not bilogists or vets, BUT we can testify deer can be fed some as a treat. We only use sugar-free and salt-free peanut butter (although salt should be fine, salt licks are well known for helping deer survive winter). We don't buy products that are anything but 95% peanuts. The less ingredients in the list the better - usually a good rule of thumb for picking most commercially made products. Same butter we offer our doggo, btw. He also enjoys some peanut butter on toasts now and again.

Theoretically, additive and sugar-free peanut butter should be a safe snack for deer. It is rich in healthy fats, protein, vitamins B and E, and niacin. Being high in calories, it helps satiate faster. The key is always in small quantities though. Deer in nature hardly ever come across anything as rich in fat, except perhaps avocado, which is not their main food source anyway:

peanut butter vs avocado contents

image source

So the bottom line is, peanut butter can be either an excellent bait or a treat fot deer, but never a significant part of their diet.

Do deer enjoy peanuts?

Deer will eat peanuts once they get used to them. These animals are generally slow to take to something new, even things they will come to love. Any new food they encounter they may be suspicious of at first. But once they've tried a peanut or two - they're hooked! Raw or roasted, shelled or unshelled, even salted ones - all loved by deer.

In our experience, deer may prefer cashews, almonds and walnuts to peanuts, but they'll gobble up all of them. And all are too expensive a treat to offer regularly, unless you're growing your own. Also, other wildlife will compete with deer for peanuts, so if you just throw them on the ground and leave you can't be sure who got to them first.

🥜Do you have any questions for us regarding feeding deer peanuts or peanut butter? Please use the comment for below to ask.

Last modified 2022-10-15 at 08:49


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