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Feeding Whitetails

Old 02-21-2014, 07:10 PM
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Spike
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Default Feeding Whitetails

I run my feeders all year long, my corn supply comes from the farmer who farms a part of our land. I usually run 50% corn and 50% Sportsman's Choice protein pellets in my feeders. The 50 lb bag of pellets is rather expensive and I was wondering if anyone has ever fed whitetails sweet feed, it is alot cheaper than the Sportsman's Choice feed. My question is if sweet feed for cattle or horses is ok to be in a deer's diet?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:31 PM
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Spike
 
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I did some research on the sweet feed. It seems its healthy/good for them but best to do a mixture of 50% sweet feed and 50% corn in feeders.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:24 AM
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Spike
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OK, thanks.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:36 PM
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I just feed them corn I buy at tractor supply they eat about 50 # a week sometimes they even leave me antlers I only feed them during the harshest times and this year has been very harsh
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ShedHound53
I just feed them corn I buy at tractor supply they eat about 50 # a week sometimes they even leave me antlers I only feed them during the harshest times and this year has been very harsh
Just a little friendly advice... Corn is not healthy for deer in harsh times... In winter they are used to digesting browse. An all corn diet can be a death sentence for a whitetail. I know a guy who recently thought he was helping the deer on his farm and put out a huge pile of corn and a week later went out to find 9 of his bucks dead next to the corn... I hear about a few cases every winter... If you must feed, do it all season instead of all of the sudden in the winter.

Here is a message I found on my site from a biologist:

A drastic, sudden increase or over-consumption of carbohydrates, which are much more easily digested than fiber, can cause a number of issues with deer and other ruminants, including acidosis, diarrhea, and potentially death. The bacteria that digests carbohydrates multiply and produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH of the blood to a dangerous, acidic level. Grains, which are generally what people use to feed deer, are rich in carbohydrates, which is why over-feeding grains is serious concern for ruminants. Those of you out there that own cattle know this can be an issue for livestock as well, now that a lot of producers feed corn to their cattle.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:40 PM
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I sure wish people would read up on this stuff before they go out and do feeding of any sort. As mentioned above, the wrong feed and/or amount can be a death sentence and they'll die with a full belly even though you think you're helping. You either need to know exactly what you're doing or do nothing and let nature take it's course.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:07 PM
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Here in VT it is illegal to feed deer. They enacted that law to try and keep CWD from showing up in our state. The nose to nose contact over bait piles can spread several deer diseases one of which is CWD to the wild herd. Like Bukmastr and TG just said feeding deer high protein foods in the winter can kill them with full bellies. Deer change in their requirements over the winter months and feeding them food designed for summer can cause them to die with indigestible food in their stomachs. If you truly want to help deer in winter months especially during winter in the northern states cut some branches off cedar or other trees that have browse and leave them on the ground. Deer in the winter here in Vt will eat cedar bows like crazy. Find a downed cedar tree in the woods and the area will be covered with tracks.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:11 PM
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Sweet feed not a good idea. It will tend to sour when damp, and mold can set in rather easily. This can result in sickening if not out right killing the deer. Feeding 100% shell corn is not a good idea either.

A bit of on-line research at any of the web sites of universities that have a wild life management curriculum, such as Kansas State, will have sound game nutrition advice.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:55 AM
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If you want to help the deer out up north, cut down some poplar near some deer trails for next year's firewood (or firewood for a friend). Place all the tops near the trails - this is what they will be eating at this time of year so it will not mess them up. And it is legal.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:51 AM
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As a couple have said here, if you live up north the best is to cut cedar and popple for them if you have an area with either of those that need thinning out. If they really need food they will come in to those cuttings almost before you can get away from them as they come down.
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