Deer feeds are not as widely available as cattle feeds are, which is why you are less likely to find a variety of options for them. Fortunately, sweet feed for deer is a better option to go for that is more readily available than others.
Only a few deer feeds online contain the necessary grains for proper growth and well-being. An inexpensive way to feed deer is by choosing homemade feed that you know is free of artificial flavors.
So, let’s find out which items you can provide your deer and how to prepare or mix them. Well, we got it all covered for you. Stick till the end to find out about sweet feed for deer.
Table of Contents
- Sweet Feed for Deer: Everything You Need to Know
- What Feeds to Avoid While Choosing A Deer?
- How To Feed Deer
- Bottom Line
Sweet Feed for Deer: Everything You Need to Know
As mentioned before, deers need sweet feed to live a healthy life. They usually live off of various herbs and plants, but you can also specially prepare their meal to ensure they get every nutrient needed if they are under your care.
1. Traditional Feed for Deer
A few companies offer sweet feed for deer that you can buy whenever needed as they are readily available to purchase. Although the packaging is available in different sizes, the contents of it are the same as each other.
The feed is made of various blended seeds, especially sunflowers, ryes, wheat, and other useful ones. These items are fortified with different vitamins, minerals, and salts to boost nutrients. Moreover, they contain a high amount of protein, which is essential for deer.
The ideal size of the package is 25 pounds, as it should be enough to last you quite a while, depending on the number of deers you have.
People who usually ask – what to feed deer instead of corn can count on these as healthy and balanced feed. Additionally, these foods contain whole grains, which is very good for deer as they provide adequate energy.
2. Homemade Deer Feed
If you don’t buy specially manufactured feed for deer, you must know how to prepare homemade ones as an alternative option. Remember that the maximum proportion of deer feed contains whole grains and should be protein-rich.
Molasses will help you mix the ingredients together and release both an aroma and sweetness into the feed. You must prepare a dry mixture containing oats and corn before adding the wet ingredients to bind them. You must add molasses to the oats and dry corn mixture to bind them.
So, molasses and oats are the compulsory ingredients to be added to the deer feed. But you must take care of the sweeteners you add to it. That’s because excessive sweetening can harm deer, as it would the human body.
However, adding some protein pellets to the mixture increases the feed’s biological value. Preparing deer feed at home is easy if you have the right ingredients and knowledge of the proper proportions of it.
3. Plants for Deer
Some of you ask what to feed deer in the backyard and need clarification about the food choice. Deers living in your backyard can also have homemade food containing corn, oats, and molasses.
But those foods are high in carbohydrate content and can possibly harm the deer if they can’t digest it. So, it would help if you had an alternative plan for deer in your backyard.
Your backyard or lawn may be full of unnecessary grass and weeds. As a result, you can let the deer have those grass, weeds, and other small plants that are not part of your decorations or cultivation as free food for them while getting rid of unnecessary plants and weeds.
4. Fruits and Nuts
Plenty of natural sweet fruits and nuts are good for humans, deer, and other herbivorous animals. Fruits and nuts can be good if you want to feed the lovely deer foods that won’t affect their health or harm their bodies.
Nuts and fruits contain a low or moderate value of carbohydrates and fats. However, the protein content may need to be higher for the deer so that you can add external protein sources to the mix.
If you have deer coming in and out to your backyard, it may make you calm knowing these animals trust you. You will also need to provide them with proper and healthy foods to keep them returning.
You can save your time and energy by buying artificial deer feed available in the market. On the other hand, you should also be careful about introducing new food items to deer.
This is because deer can’t cope quickly with new foods being introduced. They may develop digestion problems if you provide them with too much of the newer food. It can also be caused if the quantity of the food being provided is too much or more than they are used to.
You must slowly provide newly introduced foods such as corn with other mixed items. Once they get used to the new food, you can proceed to provide this to them daily.
Also, you must be careful while feeding deer corn in summer because deer don’t intake melted food. But the corn, oats, and molasses mixture can be melted and spoiled if you keep it in a warm bowl for a long time.
What Feeds to Avoid While Choosing A Deer?
Some specific feeds or other animal food are strictly prohibited for deer. This is either because some contain harmful substances for deer, while other feeds can be difficult for them to digest.
This is why you should never give deer such food items to ensure they are living well and are healthy.
1. Horse Feed
Though many people give deer horse feed instead of deer feed, experts say it’s not good in the long run. You can use it if the deer feed is temporarily unavailable around you. But the nutrient proportions in horse feed are different from what is required.
2. Cattle Feed
Cattle and deer are both herbivorous, which may make you think that cattle feed can be an excellent alternative to deer feed. But that is incorrect because cattle feed contains a minor amount of copper that the deer can’t tolerate. Hence, it is better not to give deer any cattle feed.
3. Chicken Feed
Chicken feeds have plant and animal derivatives in them because they are omnivores and can digest both. On the other hand, ruminant deer can not have chicken feed because they can’t digest it, which is why you must not choose chicken feed for deer.
How To Feed Deer
How Much Corn to Feed Deer Per Day?
How much a deer can have depends on its body weight and metabolism. But the percentage should be 6-8% of the total body weight.
A deer usually takes up to 10-12 pounds of feed daily. Of course, the quantity should be divided into several meals.
What to Mix with Corn for Deer Corn?
You can mix various ingredients to prepare deer corn at home, especially oats, molasses, etc. You may also add dried, sweet fruits and nuts, primarily walnuts, to the mixture to make the food tastier.
These ingredients incorporate themselves with corn well without reducing its food value. So, you can get fewer things to mix with corn for deer feed.
Is It Illegal To Feed Deer Corn?
It is legal to feed deer corn in most parts of the world, even if you use it for hunting. But you must ensure that the corn has no pesticides left after processing, as the corn rollers may have residues left in it.
The pesticides can harm the deer, so you must take care during processing it. On the other hand, you can’t use deer scent if you want to hunt using the deer corn bait.
Making deer feed is easy at home, as well as being cost-efficient. There are many methods and alternatives that you can choose from. All you need to do is know how to prepare sweet feed for deer.
Remember that they are part of nature, and you must protect them. Responsibly feeding and caring for deer that show up in your backyard is one of them.