Deer definitely do eat pumpkin, as well as summer squash and zucchini. They can eat the whole pumpkin: guts, seeds and shells (rinds). So rest assured deer will gladly eat up any leftovers to save you the trouble. Deer also love to feed on pumpkin plants. In fact, many other animals enjoy this variety of squash and would appreciate this nutritious treat.
Hungry feral deer will be happy to encounter it. Our ones, spoiled and full, can sometimes be picky eaters, so they’ll eat it after prioritizing other foods. Watch the short video below with a little test we’ve done regarding which food deer prefer.
Pumpkins are generally a safe treat for many animals - from pets to livestock.
However, feeding a large amount of a new food may cause gastrointestinal problems. But small quantities should be a tasty and nutritious treat.
Pumpkin has a lot going for it from a nutritional perspective. It is particularly rich in fiber content and vitamin A. This fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, copper, and manganese.
Will deer eat frozen or canned pumpkins? The answer is both are fine as long as there's no added sugar. Boiled or baked lightly salted fruit is ok as well.
How about pumpkin pie or bread?
Pumpkin bread ususally contains eggs so for that reason alone is not suitable for deer. Egg is used in deer repellant spays, and having powerful noses deer will probably not like the scent of the bread. Pumpkin pie filling is also a bad idea as it's likely to be loaded with ingredients these animals don’t need.
If you’re re-purposing your carved Halloween pumpkins, make sure they aren't covered in candle wax or paint before feeding to deer. Any moldy bits should be cut off and discarded.
picture source: unknown, Pinterest
Keep in mind that simply leaving old jack-o-lanterns in your yard for deer to find may also entice them to come back later. Consider taking the pumpkins to them rather than attracting feral deer into urban areas.
The answer is yes, deer enjoy eating pumpkin seeds which are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. Deer will consume almost the entire fruit, sometimes including the stem.
Will deer eat canned pumpkin
We can speculate that - yes. However, you should mind the ingredients on the can. If it has added sugar, colorings, flavorings or preservatives - perhaps it's not the best deer feed, even though a small amount can likely do no harm. Our deer have tried cooked (boiled) carrots, beetroot and potatoes and seem to enjoy them.
It is adviced to smash open the pumpkins so it is easier for deer to eat. You could also cut them in smaller chunks. Otherwise, deer try to crush them with their hooves and that's no easy matter. Deer might leave the shells laying around for a while and then come back to finish the leftovers. The rinds become softer with time, this might be one of the reasons. Also, deer always try to eat the best available foods first.
Deer come - deer eat. The vine of the pumpkins is oftentimes the only part of the plant the deer won’t touch. But leaves, flowers, and fruit are all fair game. So the best way to stop deer from eating your pumpkin plants is to prevent them coming into your yard in the first place. Read our post on how to protect garden from deer.
To put it simply, surefire way to bar deer from accessing your pumpkin patch is erecting a physical barrier. But do not use lightweight plastic meshes as deer can end up tangled in them, which sets panic mode in them, making these animals dangerous to both humans trying to help and themselves!
Bottom line: deer can be fed pumpkin in moderation. It is not their top favorite, but is still appreciated and is a healthy supplement to their diet.
🎃 Do you have any questions for us about feeding deer pumpkins? Ask in the comment section below!
Last modified 2022-11-12 at 02:19