Do Deer Eat Turnips? (Do They Like To Eat Them?)

Author: Jacob Smith
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Deer learn what is healthy to consume from their mothers and family groups. Unless they are hungry to death, in which case they will chew on anything, they don’t consume it if they are not taught to. The point is that it frequently takes a year or two for the neighborhood deer herd to accept and use turnips to the point where we may consider them a food source.

So, do deer eat turnips? Turnips are wonderful to put in your food plot because deer adore eating both the leafy tops and the taproots (or the turnip). You can always pick the underground turnips and prepare them yourself if the deer don’t like them for any reason.

It’s not a bad idea to cultivate turnips for eating, but you could be more interested in doing so to draw in deer. Turnips are frequently used as a component of food plot strategies because they can be quite effective at luring deer to a particular region.

Do deer eat Turnips?

Deer adore consuming turnips. They may consume the entire turnip plant, including the tap roots and green tips.

Turnips are a favorite food of deer because of their sweet, sugary flavor, which is primarily present in the leaves of mature turnips. Because older leaves have transformed more starch into sugar, they like them.

Deer can benefit from the nutritional benefits of turnips. Protein and carbs abound in turnips. Turnips are a favorite diet of deer, especially in times of food scarcity.

Although turnips are not the deer’s favorite diet, Deer will choose apples over turnips when given the choice between those two items and others like acorns.

It’s good to know that deer enjoy eating both the turnips themselves and their leafy tops. When you look up information about turnips, you may see references to the taproot.

You should be aware that turnips are excellent to grow in your food plots because they can provide the deer with extra nutrition during the winter. See, turnips don’t normally get their tops eaten by deer until they have some maturity.

The nearby deer have something to eat because the turnip leaves remain throughout the winter. You can now understand why turnips are a crucial component of many food plot methods.

When do deer eat turnips?

The important thing to keep in mind with turnips is that, even though deer will start eating them as soon as they germinate, don’t anticipate peak consumption during the early season. Deer normally don’t attack them particularly hard until mid-October to early November in places with good food sources.

When to plant turnips for deer?

Turnips develop pretty rapidly and mature in between 75 and 90 days. Both northern and southern climates are favorable to their growth. Turnips can be sown in early fall in southern regions or late summer in northern climates.

How to plant turnips for deer?

Do deer eat turnip leaves and turnip tops?

Deer love to eat both the leafy tops and the taproots.

Will deer eat turnips after a freeze?

Even after their leaves have fallen off and well into the winter, turnips and radishes make for great late-season meals. As long as they can dig the tubers out of the frozen ground, deer will eat them.


Yes, deer enjoy eating turnips. Furthermore, unlike crops like corn that might upset a deer’s stomach, turnips can be beneficial to deer. Turnips are delightful to deer and are rich of proteins and carbohydrates that are good for their health.

Do Deer Eat Turnips: Frequently Asked Questions

Will deer dig up turnips?

Long after their leaves have fallen, turnips and radishes are still a great source of wintertime sustenance. If the deer can dig the tubers out of the frozen ground, they will consume them.

What type of turnips Do deer like?

A member of the brassica family, Purple Top Turnips are a favorite food of deer. This nutrient-dense turnip grows with its globe exposed, giving deer easy access to the entire plant in food plots. Deer happily eat the plant and roots because they are rich in protein and are nutritious.

Do deer like turnips or radishes?

The turnip greens will eventually be consumed by the deer, but they prefer the radishes. I’ve noticed this over the years that we’ve been doing this. Radish would be my one and only option.

Why are the deer not eating my turnips?

If you put too much turnip seed, deer won’t consume them. The plants eventually stop growing as a result of squeezing one another out. Growing plants are what deer prefer, whereas stemmy plants are the least preferred. Accurately estimate the size of your plots, and if in doubt, plant seed with a little margin of safety.

How much do deer like turnips?

Turnips are part of the family of plants known as brassicas, along with radishes, cauliflower, rape, and kale. Turnips are a cool-season perennial with a very high protein content and a high degree of deer digestion. Both the leaves and the roots contain between 15 and 20 percent protein.

When should I plant turnips for deer?

Turnip seeds require soil temperatures of at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. They can mature in 50 to 80 days under optimal conditions and grow quite quickly. Plant around late summer in the north or early fall in the south during hunting season.

An expert in deer hunting with 10 years of experience in the field and woods. Certified as a hunter by the State of California. I created Deer Hunting Life as my personal blog to share my experience and tips on deer hunting.