Feeding Deer in the Winter


Greetings nature enthusiasts,

During the winter months, especially during times of extreme weather, customers ask us about feeding wild deer. Since there is a bit of controversy swirling around out there, I'd like to share our take on the matter.

Deer are browsers by nature, meaning they like to nibble their way through life.Their digestive system depends on a variety of forage ingredients to remain healthy. When we set up a bulk feeding station consisting of high caloric single grain, we discourage them from following their instinctive natural foraging habits.That can do more harm than good.

Let's rethink this. What about feeding small amounts of a blend of grains scattered in several different locations, say once a day or every other day? Finders, keepers, right? We get to enjoy watching; the deer get to scavenge the treasure. With insufficient amounts available, deer will need to seek other sources of nutrition in the wild. Happy deer- happy gut!

Most importantly, this allows nature to take its course without much human intervention. Yes, it does boil down survival of the fittest. That's how it should be. That's how populations remain healthy. So let's be caring and careful, and tread lightly.

That's it for now.

Judy Ratta-Harrington

WildlifeKate Ratta