What is the cheapest thing to feed deer? – If we were going strictly by weight, then the cheapest way to feed deer would obviously be to stick them with sharpened sticks. There are three main types of broadleaf plants that serve as good fodder for deer: conifers, grasses and deciduous forests. Conifers include pines, spruces and cedars. Deciduous forests consist mostly of leafless tree trunks called saplings. Grasslands usually feature plenty of native bunchgrasses. All of these plants produce nutritious foliage year round. Let’s review each group individually.
Grassland areas often occur naturally along riversides and near lakes. Although the landscape varies greatly from place to place, typical grasslands generally consist of open plains bordered by woodlands, hills and streams. Within these landscapes, several distinct ecosystems exist based on soil composition and moisture availability.
One common ecosystem includes warm temperate grasslands, characterized by meadows with relatively rich soil that support a variety of wildlife. The next zone consists of cool temperate grasslands, which are dominated by grasses and scrub brush rather than forest. Finally, deserts present another unique ecosystem consisting of sand dunes, desert grasses and occasional stands of Joshua Trees.
Related: How to Attract Deer
When looking for specific grasses to feed deer, try focusing on those that thrive under drought conditions. Grasses growing in moist environments should be avoided, since they lack the ability to withstand dry weather. To determine the perfect amount of rainfall required to maintain a lush green lawn, consult a local agricultural extension agent.
After deciding which region to target, choose the ideal diet according to season. During winter and early spring, switchgrass offers a great deal of nourishment due to its nutrient-rich sap. Summertime produces ample sunflowers, fall gives rise to succulent sorghum stalks, and autumn brings forth sweet potatoes. You’d be surprised at how quickly deer can chow down on these leafy treats.
Try supplementing their meals with alfalfa hay, which bears flowers late in the summer. Before harvesting the hay, cut back the flower heads to encourage new growth. Keep in mind that although deer benefit tremendously from consuming greens, they shouldn’t rely solely on them. Like other vegetarians, they require a balanced diet to stay healthy.
The Highest Quality Protein For Deer
While munching away on greenery, deer occasionally encounter patches of berries, fruit and blossoms. Berries are especially appealing to them because they taste delicious and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, huckleberry, elderberry and cranberries are all excellent choices.
Fruits such as apples, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, figs, papaya, mango, kiwi and melons are also popular favorites. Don’t forget to check out exotic fruits like mangostein, lychee, guava and passionfruit too! Just remember that deer prefer fresh fruits over dried ones.
Blossoming flowers are also highly attractive to deer, offering a sweet treat at the end of the day. Wild rose hips, black currants, red clover blossom, yellow dock root, white mullein tops and swamp mistletoe berries are all examples of edible nectar offered by Mother Nature herself.
What Is The Best Source Of Protein For Deer?
One of the key components of a complete meal is protein. There are two major categories of protein available to consumers today: vegetable and animal. Animal products are obtained directly from animals, whereas plant-based proteins are extracted from seeds, nuts and grains. Most experts agree that deer are carnivorous animals whose preferred menu consists largely of flesh taken from other vertebrates. Based on this observation alone, it becomes apparent that they require meat as a regular component of their diet.
Because they’re unable to produce their own fat reserves, lean meats are considered the best choice. Meat contains approximately 22 percent protein, while organically produced pork supplies 18 percent, chicken 14 percent and beef 12 percent. Fish, eggs and milk offer 9 percent, while soybeans provide 4 percent. Other legumes such as peas, lentils and beans add 3 percent apiece. Vegetable proteins range from 1 percent for quinoa to 0.2 percent for wheat gluten.
Inexpensive Way To Feed Deer In Winter
So what’s an inexpensive way to feed deer in winter? – Walnuts, dried fruit, and oats all make excellent deer food. To increase the protein intake of your deer, buy these items in bulk and mix them with corn. Beans are a good source of protein for deer, and they can help them recover from the heat and cold of the winter.
What To Feed Deer Instead Of Corn?
Acidosis can be prevented by incorporating a wide variety of food sources into your deer feed mix. Instead of feeding corn to your deer during the winter months, consider feeding them high-fiber deer feed pellets or other high-fiber deer food.
Food sources for fall include hard masts (such as acorns and beech nuts) and soft ones (such as apples and persimmons). Also good fall food sources are crops such as corn and soy (as well as brassicas like cabbage and broccoli).