When it comes to deer feeding, you might be familiar with numerous methods to do so. No matter if you like to feed deer that come to your area or you’re about to join a small-scale preserve, you have to follow some methods.
In this article, we’ll help you know how to feed deer in a proper manner with your deer feeder. So, keep reading till the end.
How to Feed Deer: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Ensure Proper Food
Introduce a new diet
It may take 1 month for deer to get used to a new diet and start them feeding gradually. Starting a new food slowly into the diet helps the animals process it easily by their digestive system. In general, deer like to eat woody vegetation from forests. So, feeding them fats and carbohydrates can be harmful.
Combine supplemental food with a natural diet to feed deer. Start by adding a small amount to the natural food and increase the amount gradually up to 100%. As winter significantly decreases the natural food supply so, making the transition before winter comes is recommended.
Buy Formulated Food Mixes
Visit your local pet supply store for these food mixes. Deer feed mixes generally come with oats, alfalfa, soybeans, vitamins, and minerals that are easy for deer to digest. So, no doubt food mixes are great for supplement feeding.
Feed the Right Food Instead of Food Mixes
One should be more careful while feeding deer supplemental foods because of the sensitive digestive system deer have. If you become unable to find the formulated food mixtures, oats can be the next best supplemental food that provides a healthy combination of carbohydrates and fiber without making any harm to their digestive system.
Also, fruits can be a great option. Fruits and vegetables like cherries, grapes, apples, carrots, pears, and snap peas are the food eaten by deer.
Say “No” to Corn Diet
Corns can be very bad for the complex digestive system of deer. They can end up with extreme sickness or death if a sudden supply of corn is given to them. They will be unable to adjust to this type of diet rich in carbohydrates.
Cut Tree Branches
Deer love to eat forest vegetation like twigs. Ensure enough natural food sources for them by cutting down the branches that they can’t reach. Remember- this is the safest option to feed them all year round.
Step 2: Know the proper Time to Feed Deer
Feed Them in Winter
As the main natural source of deer food is the woody vegetation, it becomes harder to find them in the winter. This is the reason people like to feed them in winter. When you’re about to feed them in the winter season, be careful about the food type and introduce a new type of food to them slowly so that the food does not harm the deer.
Try to mix supplementary food with the natural woody vegetation to ensure a smooth transition to their digestive system.
Set up troughs or feeders as far as possible from your home. Also, you can set them up in your yard.
Keep these feeders or troughs full all the time or set a particular feeding time. Maintaining a regular schedule will help accustom them to eating your meal. Early in the morning and during sunset are the good times to feed deer.
Provide Supplemental Food All Year Round
People tend to feed deer in the winter season when their natural food becomes unavailable. But, if you have enough, give supplemental foods to your deer all year-round to help them adapt to the new diet without shocking their system. This is how they’ll be familiar with the combination of natural and supplemental food sources.
Do Not Stop Feeding Suddenly
The deer you feed daily, simply become dependent on you and stop obtaining food from nature. A sudden stop of feeding your deer can leave them hungry and they will start bothering you.
Step 3: Feed Them in Proper Place
Make Sure it’s Legal in Your Area
In most of the states, laws and wildlife commissions remain very strict in feeding wildlife creatures and the rules vary in different states. Some of the states allow people to feed deer on certain dates and prohibit it at other times. So, checking local wildlife guidelines online is recommended.
Find a Place Where Deer Will Come to Eat
Some deer feeding sites are set in public spots by some local organizations to feed deers where they come to eat. Bring some food to feed them there instead of in your backyard. Those organizations will let you know the proper amount of food and the right time to feed deer.
Feed Them in Your Home
Ensure proper food when you’re feeding them in your house. Make sure not to give them too much of the food. Set the feeders as far as possible from your home to keep them far from your home.
Step 4: Improving Natural Habitat
Plant More Trees
What can be a more natural way to feed deer than planting more trees? Nothing. Right? Planting trees can also help you reduce the amount of daily maintenance of your feeding project. You can plant apple, maple, and aspen trees to produce more food for deer.
Get Involved to Local Wildlife Department
If you get involved with your local wildlife agency, you’ll be allowed to help deer as well as other wildlife at your best. Professionals can help you by helping animals for a long time.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to feed deer in a proper manner. Deer are so adorable so be careful if they are not being harmed. Feel free to consult experienced people in your community for better feeding. If you have any queries, let us know in the comment section.