Entertaining stories from deer life. Curious facts. Funny deer pictures and videos.

Do deer eat apples? Deer farmers advice.

» Deer stories » Do deer eat » Do deer eat apples? Deer farmers advice.
farmer notes Featured Deer
🦌 Babushka #168

We've asked our deer that question and they replied: "Of course!"

An apple a day keeps deer very happy indeed. This doesn't rhyme but fact is, deer love apples. 🍎

Why do deer enjoy apples? Probably because they're sweet and juicy. Well, deer will eat even a sour fruit but no doubt they prefer a sweeter kind. Some of our deer seem to be preferring apples to carrots every time, others may have a preference for carrots over apples. Tastes differ.

Deer eating apple (video)

Watch and listen to our deer crunching on some apple chunks in the following video:

Are apples good for deer?

They are a good treat for them. But as a diet these fruits are not a healthy standalone choice, especially not in winter. During winter months, deers digestive system adjusts to running on lichens, woody browse, barks and dried leaves.
If a deer suddenly consumes apples in large amounts, the change in diet will alter the pH of the digestive tract leading to acidosis.

current thumbnail

It could take up to 3, sometimes 4 weeks for deer to adapt to a new diet, so apples must be introduced in small amounts.

Apples, even though not suitable as main part of the diet, contain healthy nutrients and are beneficial to these animals when consumed in right amounts at the right time. Apples are source of antioxidants, carbohydrates, pectin fibler, potassium.

Can deer eat apples whole?

Yes, deer can eat apples whole. Of course, that makes it a bit of a mission so if you have a chance cut them at least in half, they'll appreciate that.

can deer eat apples

You can cut apples in chunks, or into chips (disks). We find one apple cut horizontally into 3 or 4 chips works great for deer as they're able to position that size easily between their back teeth.

doe tasting cut apple chips

Will deer eat old apples?

Deer don't mind green, ripe, fresh or rotten apples. Bruised, old fruits may even be easier for them to chew. Easiest, of course, if cut in sizable chunks. Old apples can become fermented, so deer can actually get drunk eating too much of them. 😮

drunk deer

Can I feed deer store bought apples?

Properly washed, apples you purchase in your supermarket are safe to feed to deer. Unwashed, these fruits can often contain a layer of preservatives or residues of other chemicals used in the growing process. We've not yet found an apple deer won't eat. They seem to equally enjoy granny smith, royal gala, pink lady, ambrosia varieties.

How should I lay out the bag of apples I bought for deer?

Spread the fruits well on the ground. If the feed is concentrated in one spot, only a couple of dominant bucks are likely to claim it. They'll stand there eating the pile until they feel sick, and not share with the rest of the herd. So make sure these treats are spread around a larger area, perhaps a few fruits per square meter, if possible.

What are "deer apples"?

Sometimes you hear this term thrown around and you start wondering, what does it mean? Is it a particular type of apples or is that a commercial product formulated for feeding deer, sort of like 'deer nuts'?

Well, turns out this term has two meanings:

  • fruits from apple trees, known to grow in the wild, uncultivated
  • lower-quality apples with bruises, insects, damage, or those too tart or sour to be sold to the public

Using apples to attract deer

Deer hunters have been using apples to attract deer to their desired location for a while. They sometimes employ a mixture of apples and peanut butter (yep, deer eat that too) as bait. Keep in mind, apples can also attract fox and raccoons. On the plus side, apples, like carrots, take longer to eat and may keep the deer distracted for longer, if you are in wait.

Doe chewing an apple

Another one of our does happily munching on half an apple, slobbering.

In conclusion. Deer can eat apples and do in nature, if they can access them. However it never represents a significant part of their diet nor can provide most essential nutrients deer need to thrive. Apples are a treat or a bait. Those looking to help deer in the winter by offering alternative food sources should be careful feeding out these fruits and introduce them gradually over 4 weeks period.

Wondering what food deer normally eat?

Read our overview post 'What do deer eat'.

Do you still have questions regarding 🍎 feeding deer apples? Feel free to ask in the comments below ad we'll do our best to answer.

Last modified 2023-09-14 at 14:33

Rate this post:

Add your comment

More «Do deer eat» stories

Do deer eat oatmeal?

Can you feed uncooked oats or oatmeal to deer? Watch our videos to find out and read advice on how to feed deer oat meal.

Do deer eat peanut butter? Peanuts?

Do deer like to eat peanut butter? Is it safe to feed feral deer in your backyard? How much peanut butter is ok for these animals to consume? Is it a good bait?

Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? (Treat or Deter Deer)

When Halloween is around the corner, this question always pops up: Will deer eat whole pumpkin? Is pumpkin good for deer to eat? Can you feed pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread to wild deer?

DMCA.com Protection Status