Planning for fall deer nutrition

Aug 16, 2021

Late summer and fall are the perfect times to evaluate feedstuff inventories to ensure whitetail deer have the nutrients they need. With breeding season upcoming, nutrient requirements for deer begin to increase, making it paramount that nourishment is available to sustain body reserves through colder weather. Without it, expect a loss of body condition, lower conception rate, increased morbidity and mortality, and diminished antler expression.
It’s estimated that mature whitetail deer will consume approximately 6 percent of bodyweight during the fall season. Browse, forbs, and forages are the indispensable components of the diet for deer and make up the largest quantity of their intake. However, many of these ingredients are in shorter supply after summer and may be of lesser quality, which may necessitate supplemental nutrition. Check local regulations for feeding deer as counties within the state can have different laws.
Protein is widely regarded as the most important nutrient for deer. Protein requirement
increases during fall and is vital for growth, muscle deposition, reproduction, milk production, and antler expression. While protein is probably the most expensive nutrient, it is relatively easy to supplement.
Energy is also needed in great quantity during the fall months. Whitetail deer require
both carbohydrate and fat to complete energy needs. Carbohydrates are classified as structural (fibrous material) and non-structural (starches and sugars) and are considered the major energy source.
Fat — another important energy source for deer — is required in smaller amounts than carbohydrates. Mineral supplementation is also important in the case of calcium, phosphorus, and to a somewhat lesser degree, magnesium.
When supplementing wildlife, it is best to offer balanced nutrients as opposed to providing individual ingredients. Animals, of course, lack the cognitive abilities to choose feeds to meet a specific, individual nutrient requirement. While all animals consume to meet an energy need, they’re unable to purposely satisfy other explicit requirements, and proper balance is critical to prevent over-indulgence.
Your local Co-op provides supplement options to aid wildlife when normal feedstuffs lack enough sustainable nutrient. Again, check local wildlife regulations regarding supplementation, and contact your local Co-op Feed and Animal Health Specialist for assistance.

Read More News

Jan 24,2022
Over the last decade, the approach to deworming animals in animal agriculture has shifted from a time interval schedule to a strategic approach.   For many years, animals were dewormed every three months, every six months, etc.
Jan 13,2022
Animal health often declines in the winter months. This often leads to an increase in the usage of antibiotics in our animals.   There are a few important things to remember when deciding how to use antibiotics.
Jan 10,2022
For the most part, specific nutritional requirements of deer (cervids} are not well defined. It is known, however, that benefit is seen by increasing wild deer nutrition, particularly after the first frost, for improvement of body stores for winter & increased survival (Note that attempting to maintain body condition will take precedent over antler growth during energy partitioning).

Related News