What to Feed Deer in Winter? [4 Secret Foods Revealed]

what to feed deer in winter

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The food management of deer is not a hard nut to crack! They usually eat natural foods like plants, crops or fruits.

But in winter, they face difficulties in getting food for snowfall and the rough weather.

What to feed deer in winter?  In winter you have to feed them some special foods like woody browse, nuts, the brunches, fruits, and oats. You have to mix these in proper ratio and then give them for feed in winter.

You must bear in mind that deer have a sensitive digestive system. So, not every kind of food is perfect for them. There are some food limitations which you’ll have to know about their sound health.

What to feed deer in winter

Okay, I’m making the long story short. Here I have explained about some foods you may provide your deer in winter:

  1. Woody browse

As herbivorous, deer generally eat various kinds of vegetation. Plants, grass, twigs are their common foods. In winter, they run into difficulties because these foods don’t remain available then. Hence, you can collect some woody browse for them since woody browse is available during winter.

  1. Nuts

Deer eat nuts, like also. So, when food management is a concern, then you can feed them nuts. There are various kinds of nuts like acorn, beechnuts acorns in addition to hickory nuts.

Mixing vegetable oil with nuts can be amazing which will larger the energy requirements.

  1. Tree branches

It’s easy to cut down tree branches to feed deer. It is not hard to find in winter. Deer love to eat twigs also. So, cut down them and give your deer which branches are far to reach.

  1. Fruits

Deer love to eat fruits very much. These are blackberries, apples, blueberries, grapes, cherries and so on. Therefore, fruits can be good to feed them in winter.

  1. Oats

Oats are good for deer because of the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and fibers. Oats are available in the market. so you can manage them easily in winter.

These foods you can provide deer in winter.

what to feed deer in winter

Now you can do something else. For feeding deer in multiple ways you may try this also:

Make a proper mixture

You can mix oats, soybeans, alfalfa, molasses, vitamins, and minerals in a proper ratio. Since deer has a sensitive digestive system, a proper ratio is essential from this point of the view.

Now, know about the limitations. Here I have told what you must avoid feeding deer.

What you have to avoid

For the welfare of your deer, you have to avoid these:

A pure corn diet

Ample of corns maybe like death sentenced to deer. The digestive system of deer is a bit complex. Corn contains a high rate of carbohydrates which are tough to digest for a deer. Besides, it causes acidity for the high rate of starch in corn. So, don’t kill them by supplying pure corn.

Supplying pure hay

Like pure corn, hay can play a role to kill your deer. For deer’s digestive system hay is like a shock. Because necessary bacteria for breaking the starch are not available in the stomach of deer. So, why will you tease them to supply hay?

Now, I will say about a special process which is a questionable one. But I tried to clarify its ins and outs. Let’s know about it!

Supplemental feeding program

During winter, deer encounters the lacking of natural foods. So, many decide to supply food by feeders. But it is a matter of great concern because of the improper method of this program.

This is why many authorities do not allow the supplemental program for deer. But if it is done properly then it can be an amazing feeding program in winter when food management is scarce.

At first,   should clarify the need for this program in a nutshell.

Advantages of this program are

  • Proper Nutrition

It provides proper nutrition to deer. You will find much supplemental food in the market. Make sure it consisting of the proper ratio of protein, starch, and fibers.

  • The simplicity of this way

The way of feeding deer is also a matter of concern. This way is considered the best way if the steps are followed properly. The feeders have to be set properly.

But some negative sides also lurk behind this program.

Disadvantages of this program are

  • Too costly

It may be beyond the reach to many of us because of its costs. One has to buy feeders and foods from the market which is really expensive.

  • Disease transmission

By overfeeding and without mixing food elements in the proper ratio, it may cause disease transmission.

Above all, you just have to be careful about feeding deer by the supplemental program. So, check the rules and regulations of your area whether it allows this program or not. If it allows then you can arrange the process.

what to feed deer in winter

The steps of making supplemental feeding programs are:

Follow the steps given below.

Provide all the essentials

Food and water are a must. Foods for supplying to deer are acorns or alfalfa or any other which is collected from the market. Give them 16 percent protein which is a perfect amount for deer. But give them food slowly as they can be accustomed to those new foods.

Place the feeders

Set the feeders on the center of the field as the deer can come and find them easily.

Change the food

Exchange the food with better ones! You have to get used to the deer with the new foods gradually. So, it can be better to change the food with a gap of two or three days. In addition, clean the feeder before changing the food.

Set a camera

Set a camera near the field as if you can see the result. The most awaiting moment is, knowing the result of your hardworking, isn’t it? Thus, you will watch whether this process works or not.

These are the processes of the supplemental feeding program for the deer. I hope these steps will help you at least a bit. So, try this and taste the fruit!

Final Verdict

It’s time to finish the story. I have tried to explain all about what to feed deer in winter easily. I hope I have not wasted all of your times. These suggestions will surely help you in this winter in feeding your deer.

Roland Carroll

Hi, This is Roland. I love Hunting and it's my hobby. I love to share my hunting experience in this blog. Keep reading all the articles here and let me know what do you think about this site.

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