Knowing what and what not to feed the deer can be quiet a challenge. Goat feed is used is very often to feed deer but is goat feed good for deer?
People frequently prefer to feed deer the least priced and most easily available options, which may include sheep, goat, dairy, or even horse feeds. The issue is that these diets are not designed for deer, do not satisfy their unique needs, and might even be harmful.
Let’s dive deep into goat feed for deer and see it’s benefits and risks of using goat feed.
Is goat feed good for deer?
In addition to having very different dietary requirements, goats and deer live in the wild rather than being fed in pens with minimal activity.
Deer also require varying amounts of potassium and phosphorus in order for their bodies to metabolize the protein and produce tremendous growth. This is typically absent from goat feed.
Deer can only digest 65 to 70 percent of the protein they consume. The Whitetail Institute conducted extensive research on this issue and found that a deer needs a minimum of 16 percent protein to be able to establish a strong skeletal system first, a muscular system second, and antler growth third.
16–18% of goat feed is high in protein.
If you teach them to, they will consume it. Combine with maize, then gradually reduce the amount until you have mostly or all goat feed.
Mother Nature provides deer with a lot of the vitamins and minerals they require. They have been able to live without deer feed for decades.
Simply said, goat feed will increase their protein intake. Expense-wise and in terms of vitamins and minerals, specialized deer meals are more expensive.
Can deer eat goat feed?
If they must, deer may consume goat feed, but it is not healthy for them and may result in intestinal issues.
Since their digestive systems are not made to process goat feed, deer that consume it are prone to have digestive issues.
You must be extremely careful with the quantity you leave out for deer to eat when feeding goat feed to deer. There shouldn’t be any issues if you simply feed deer modest amounts of goat feed.
Will whitetail deer eat goat feed?
Yes, goat chow, pellets, and protein pellets are consumed by Whitetail Deer, and they get great benefit from it. They obtain all of their nourishment from the foraging they conduct in the wild.
These nutrients are directly transferred from the soil to the plants, which are then consumed by the deer.
Optimal growth, disease resistance, and longevity are considered when formulating feeds. All excellent justifications to feed your deer.
Whitetail deer can benefit from the nutritional value in goat feed. It has a far higher nutritional content than plain corn.
I also concur that there are periods of the year when deer cannot get all the nourishment they require from natural browsing. But occasionally during the year, they do. The key is to assist them when they require it, which is typically in the summer and winter.
Can you feed deer goat pellets?
Deer hammer the 20 percent sheep/goat pellets that have been fed in the hill country for the past few years. The only discernible difference between the labels, when comparing them side by side with 20% deer pellets from the same mill, was that the goat pellets had a little greater fat level and nearly half the vitamin A concentration.
Although the goat/sheep pellets had a wider diameter than the deer pellets, the deer nevertheless chewed them up.
Just my opinion, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people who disagree, but if my deer were in a pen and only consumed protein, I might be worried about variations in trace minerals. However, I feed free-range deer, and the pellets are only a small portion of their diet.
Deer require food that is very nutrient- and protein-rich. The main components of sweet feed, such as corn, oats, and molasses, are insufficient in terms of the vitamins and minerals that deer require.
Deer have significant nutritional copper needs in addition to high protein requirements. Because goats and sheep are particularly sensitive to dietary copper, goat and sheep feed contains very little copper. Additionally poor in protein is goat feed.
While this low-protein, low-copper diet is ideal for goats, we are aware that deer do not benefit much from it. The health and growth of deer will be impacted by a copper and protein shortage.