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Do deer eat bananas? ๐ŸŒ

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Deer are known to be herbivores and they primarily feed on vegetation such as leaves, twigs, and bark. However, many people often wonder if deer can eat bananas. The answer is yes, deer can eat bananas, and they are actually good for them.

deer taking a banana from handBananas are a rich source of potassium, fiber, and other essential nutrients that can benefit a deer's health. However, feeding deer bananas should not be the only thing they consume, as they need a balanced diet of vegetation to stay healthy, plus, it's crucial there's no significant sudden change in deer's diet.

It it safe to feed deer bananas?

When it comes to feeding deer bananas, it is generally safe to do so under certain conditions:

deer eating banana

Can deer eat banana peels or dried bananas?

Another question that people often ask is whether deer can eat banana peels or dried bananas. The answer is yes, they can. Moreover, even humans can eat banana peels, according to WebMD:

Bananas are a rich source of:

The banana peels themselves offer additional nutrients, including: 

Our deer have been eating bananas whole. We often peel them or cut into chunks to make them easier to chew. Deer of course love the soft part better, but peels rarely spend too long sitting on the ground - some deer will always some pick them up.

To sum up, deer can eat the whole banana fruits, with peels. But it is easier for them to eat them either in chunks or when the skin is separated from the soft bit.

Dried bananas can be more difficult for deer to digest, and they're full of sugar, so it is best to avoid feeding them any significant amount of these. A couple of chips, organic, no preservatives or added sugar, should be fine though.

How to feed bananas to deer

The best way to feed bananas to deer is to place them on the ground or in a feeding area, where the deer can easily access them. 

In the same time, other wild animals such as rabbits, birds, raccoons will all have a nibble at your banana fruits if they find them first.

By placing banana above the ground, perhaps on the lower branches of the tree or on the shrubs, you would make it more difficult for foxes and rabbits to reach them because they cannot climb. It would also keep insects numbers fewer.

How many bananas can I feed the deer

The amount of bananas you can feed the deer is determined by several factors, including their existing diet and if they are already accustomed to eating bananas. While bananas can be a great way to lure deer into your yard, it is important to not overdo it.
If the deer in your area are already familiar with eating bananas, you can feed them a little more. However, it is still important to limit the amount they consume, as too much fruit can lead to digestive problems. On average, a mature deer can consume a few slices of banana without any adverse effects.

If the deer in your area are not accustomed to eating bananas, it is important to start slow. If you introduce them to this new food source, you should not feed them more than a 1/5 of a banana each. This will allow them to get used to the new food gradually and reduce the risk of digestive issues.

On our farm, deer who are first introduced to banana fruits, may get as much as 1/5 of the banana. Those, who get these treats regularly, may eat as many as 2 per day on occasion.

Are Banana trees deer-resistant?

The answer is no, banana trees are not deer-resistant. However, they may be deer-tolerant. Deer are known to eat the tender shoots and leaves of banana trees, as well as the fruit when it is ripe. But they may prefer other fruit trees if they're available, leaving your banana trees alone until pears, peaches, feijoas and plums are gone. If there's nothing better in the vicinity for your local deer population to find your banana trees are likely in trouble. We have a post on protecting trees from deer damage.

What other animals eat bananas?

Some of the most common animals that eat bananas include:

  1. Monkeys: Bananas are a staple food for many species of monkeys and are often a major part of their diet.
  2. Elephants: Elephants have a highly diverse diet and they are known to enjoy eating bananas, along with other fruit, vegetation, and roots.
  3. Parrots: Parrots are omnivores and they enjoy eating a variety of fruits, including bananas.
  4. Sloths: Sloths are known for their slow movements, but they can be quite quick when it comes to eating bananas. They feed on a variety of vegetation, including bananas and other fruit.
  5. Squirrels: Squirrels are known for their love of nuts and seeds, but they also enjoy eating fruit, including bananas.
  6. Pigs: Pigs are omnivores and they enjoy eating a variety of food, including fruit like bananas.
  7. Raccoons: Raccoons are omnivores and they will eat just about anything, including fruit like bananas.

bird eating banana

Photo by Daniel Restrepo Londoño on Unsplash

In addition to these species, many other animals, such as bears, mice, and opossums, may also consume bananas in the wild. However, it is important to note that not all animals are equipped to handle this type of food and some may experience digestive problems if they consume too much.

A silly poem about deer eating banana

Deer in the garden, nibbling away,

Gobbling up bananas, every day.

Munching with delight, they eat with glee,

Burping with pleasure, as happy as can be.

Their tails wag with joy, as they eat their fill,

Bananas so sweet, a delicious thrill.

A burst of flavor, with every bite,

A feast for the senses, what a delight!

๐ŸŒ๐ŸฆŒ In conclusion, deer can safely eat bananas, and these fruits can provide them with a range of health benefits. However, it is important to feed deer properly and to avoid feeding them bananas that have been treated with chemicals. With these guidelines in mind, you can provide a healthy and enjoyable snack for the deer in your area.

Last modified 2023-02-22 at 14:08

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