What Can You Feed Wild Deer

Choosing the Right Deer Feed, Deer Feed

Wild deer are a common sight in many parts of the world, and you may have even seen some in your own back yard. These beautiful creatures can actually be fed by humans if done so responsibly.

Did you know that up to 95 percent of a wild deer’s diet is composed of plants? Feeding wild deer involves understanding what types of food they need, and how best to provide it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the various types of foods that can be safely given to wild deer as well as the best ways to feed them.

Key Takeaways

– Feeding wild deer should be done in moderation to avoid negative impacts.
– The type of food provided should be nutritious for the deer.
– Feeding should not make the deer dependent on human assistance.
– Natural food sources should remain available for the deer’s survival.

Grasses and Plants


You can feed wild deer a variety of grasses and plants, like clover, dandelion greens, and even fruit! Native species such as fescue, orchardgrass, timothy, and bromegrass are all excellent sources of nutrition for the animals. These types of grasses contain high levels of protein, which is essential for healthy antler growth.

In addition to these native species, clover and alfalfa are also suitable options; both have higher concentrations of calcium than other grasses, which helps maintain good bone health in deer.

Fruits and vegetables form an important part of a deer’s diet too. Apples, pears, carrots, cabbage, and corn are all favorites amongst wild deer populations. Fruits provide vitamins that help keep the immune system strong, while vegetables have a wide range of nutrients that contribute to overall health. Additionally, providing these foods in natural habitats allows the animals to stay close to their home environment where they feel safe from predators.

In terms of nutritional value for wild deer populations, it is clear that grasses and plants play an important role in keeping them healthy. Not only do they provide necessary proteins but also vital minerals such as calcium, which helps with bone health. Fruits and vegetables should also be provided as they offer additional nutrients needed for optimal well-being.

With this combination of food sources available in their natural habitats, it is possible to sustain healthy wild deer populations long into the future. Moving on to discuss fruits and vegetables…

Fruits and Vegetables


You may be surprised to learn that deer can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
From apples and pears to lettuce and cabbage, these tasty treats provide valuable nutrition for wild deer.
Not only do they offer vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, but they can also help supplement the fiber-rich grasses that typically make up the bulk of their diet.

Types of fruits and vegetables

Certain types of fruits and vegetables can be fed to wild deer, such as apples, carrots, and corn. Other examples include:

– Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries

– Leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach

– Root vegetables like turnips and potatoes

It’s important to note that wild deer have evolved foraging habits that influence their behavior when it comes to finding food. Thus, understanding the nutritional value of these fruits and vegetables is essential in providing them with a balanced diet.

To gain a better insight into this topic, it’s important to explore the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables next.

Nutritional value of fruits and vegetables

Exploring the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables can help provide a balanced diet for wildlife, creating an image of health and vitality. Deer have adapted their digestive systems to process these plant-based foods that include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Fruits are the most accessible food source for deer since they’re easy to find in nature. While apples provide a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, carrots offer essential carotenoids that help maintain healthy vision.

Vegetables also offer various nutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These essential elements aid in maintaining strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system.

By including fruits and vegetables in their natural diet, wild deer receive all the necessary nutrition required for optimal health. Transitioning into nuts and seeds now provides another method to supplement their nutritional needs with proteins and fatty acids like omega-3s.

Nuts and Seeds


Wild deer can’t resist the crunchy texture of nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious for wild deer and provide them with a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. In terms of nutrition, acorns are one of the best sources for wild deer because they contain high levels of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus and tannic acid. Additionally, hay is an important source of fiber for wild deer while corn is very rich in carbohydrates.
Nutrient Acorns Hay Corn
:—: :—: :—: :—:
Protein (g) 12-19% 4-7%
Fat (g) 10-18% 2-4%
Calcium (g/kg) 1.5 – 4.2 0.05 – 0.33
Phosphorus (g/kg) 1 – 5 0.1 – 0.6

Nuts and seeds are also a great source of energy for wild deer as they contain a lot of calories which helps them build muscle strength during winter months when food sources become scarce or less available due to harsh weather conditions such as snowfall or heavy rainfalls that make it difficult to access their natural habitats where vegetation is more abundant . To ensure that their dietary needs are met in times like these it’s important to supplement their diet with nuts and seeds so that they can maintain an optimal level of health even during the most challenging times in nature’s cycle year round .

Therefore providing wild deer with a steady supply of nuts and seeds will help them stay healthy throughout their life span both physically and nutritionally speaking . Next we’ll explore how insects play an important role in completing the nutritional needs of wild deer .



Insects are not something that most of us think of when it comes to food for deer, but they can play a very important role in the diet of wild deer. Insects provide an excellent source of protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, insects are abundant in most habitats where deer frequent, making them available as a food source year-round.

Insect species vary greatly depending on the region in which they inhabit and can range from beetles to ants to crickets. Although some insects may be eaten directly by the deer, others must first be processed into pellets or other forms before being consumed. Deer have even been known to gather around decaying logs and other areas where insects can be found in large numbers.

Deer rely heavily on seasonal changes and weather patterns to determine when insect populations will peak throughout the year. However, because these invertebrates live underground or under leaves and bark during winter months, the availability of insect prey is often limited during this time of year. As such, other types of food sources become more important for supplementing their diet at this time.

With this knowledge in mind, then let’s move onto discussing what are some of the best ways to feed wild deer.

Best Ways to Feed Wild Deer


If you’re looking for ways to supplement the diet of wild deer, you’ll want to know the best methods. Wild deer can benefit from supplemental feeding, which includes providing them with additional food sources such as:

– Fruits & Vegetables: Apples, carrots, and other sweet fruits or vegetables can provide much-needed nutrition for wild deer. They also enjoy nuts and berries in season.

– Grains & Seeds: Deer love grains like oats, corn, wheat, barley, and rye. You can also provide a variety of seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seed to give them additional protein.

– Salt Licks: Providing minerals that are essential for good health is an important part of supplemental feeding for wild deer. Salt licks with trace minerals will help keep their bodies functioning optimally year-round.

Supplemental feeding is not only beneficial in terms of nutrition, but it can also help keep deer away from your garden or other areas that may be off-limits to them. By providing supplemental food sources on a regular basis, you can create a safe environment that encourages wildlife viewing without damaging property or endangering humans or animals.

When choosing how to feed wild deer, it’s important to consider the type of food source being provided and how often it should be offered so that the animals don’t become dependent on human assistance for survival over time. It’s recommended to limit feedings to just one or two times per week so that natural food sources remain available while still giving hungry animals something nutritious when needed most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to feed wild deer?

You may be tempted to feed wild deer, but it’s important to remember the feeding etiquette. Deer behavior can be unpredictable when they are not used to human contact, so it is best to leave them alone.

How often should wild deer be fed?

For example, attracting deer to an area with regular food sources can be beneficial. Depending on the behavior of the deer and what they are attracted to, it is best to feed wild deer about every other day. This helps maintain a healthy relationship between humans and wildlife.

Is corn a suitable food for wild deer?

Yes, corn can be a suitable food for wild deer, depending on the area and feeding regulations. Deer habitats vary widely, so it’s important to know what’s best for the deer in your area before providing any food.

Can wild deer be fed store-bought products?

You can supplement wild deer’s diet with store-bought products, but it is important to remember that natural sources are the best. Juxtaposing these two elements can create a balanced and healthy diet for wild deer. Be sure to research different products before making any decisions.

Are there any potential health risks associated with feeding wild deer?

Yes, there can be potential health risks associated with feeding wild deer. Foraging habits and deer nutrition must both be considered when providing food, as too much of certain nutrients can lead to malnourishment or even death. Feeding wild deer is not recommended without proper research and knowledge.


You may be wondering if there’s any truth to the theory that wild deer can be fed certain foods. The answer is yes! Wild deer can eat a variety of things, including grasses and plants, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and even insects.

Knowing what to feed wild deer is important so you don’t end up harming them. Researching what’s safe and nutritious will help ensure they receive the best nutrition possible. With the right knowledge, you can make sure your local wildlife stays healthy and happy!

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