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Download our Deer & Elk Program (PDF File)

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To attract deer, you need to know what they are eating.  Deer are essentially like cows and their basic diet in the wild consists of plants, twigs, nuts and fruit.  To absorb this type of food a deer has two type of microorganisms in their body.  One type breaks down cellulose (forage, twigs, grasses etc.) and the other type breaks down starch (grains).  The food particles, once broken down by the microorganisms, can be absorbed by deer.

Deer have to consume small quantities of food regularly throughout the day, so that the microorganisms in their bodies are constantly supplied.  If grain is added to a deer's daily diet, it must be done gradually over a period of two to three weeks to allow the microorganisms that break down starch to build up and do their work.

When grain is introduced into a deer's diet, it must be ensured that the deer has access to forage (fibre) to avoid rumen acidification.

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For your recreational feeding needs, serve Purina feed #5635

  • Protein          min.                          12%
  • Fat                   min.                            2%
  • Fibre               max.                         12%
  • Calcium         actual                    0.20%
  • Phosphorus  actual                    0.40%
  • Sodium           actual                    0.55%
  • Vit A                 min.       10,000 I.U./kg
  • Vit D3               min.         3,000 I.U./kg
  • Vit E                  min.              40 I.U./kg
   

Recreational Feeding

Ensure that the diet you are feeding the deer is properly completing their nutritional needs or it could be harmful.  Generally speaking, recreational food should contain a high amount of digestible energy, fibres and a protein content of at least 10%.

What to avoid…

Do not serve feed intended for farm animals, as they are typically low in fibre and/or rich in protein (16%+).  Pure grains like corn are rich in energy and contain vary little fibre.   Lack of fibre can cause inflammation in the rumen, an illness that can be deadly for deer. 

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