Whether you’re a gardener or a hunter, it’s important for you to understand what deer eat so you can use that to your benefit. Deer have a broad diet and what they eat changes by season. If you’re asking do deer eat carrots? or is my snowman safe we’ll share the answer in this article.
What Deer Prefer to Eat
A hungry deer will feed on almost anything, especially when the food source in their natural habitat is scarce.
During winter, deer search for dependable and steady food supplies outside their homes. Most types of deer also feed heavily in spring and summer to prepare for the rutting season.
Deer are voracious eaters. Using this trait to your advantage can be beneficial, or it can make deer a major pest.
You may want to protect your vegetable garden or flower beds from deer destruction and limit frequent deer incursions. If hunting is your hobby, however, understanding a deer’s diet will help you lure deer to your hunting blind.
As herbivores, deer like to eat grass, leaves, twigs, and young shoots. They also love to eat various fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits and vegetables are appealing to them or suitable for their diet.
So, Do Deer Eat Carrots?
Yes. Carrots are a wonderful treat for deer. It is a top food choice for these animals. They can eat carrot tops, as well as the leaves and roots, so feel free to feed the entire carrot to your local deer herd.
Carrots are root vegetables that grow best in cold weather (in early spring or late fall).
They don’t take long to mature, and they can grow in gardens and flower beds. Carrots even grow well in areas where there is little shade. Carrots can come in different colors, including orange, purple, and red.
Why Deer Love Carrots
Deer are attracted to carrots for many reasons:
- Their colors are appealing to a deer’s eye.
- Unlike other crops, carrots don’t have a coarse, spiny, or hairy texture that deer can’t eat.
- The entire carrot plant is edible.
- Carrots are easy to pluck or dig from the ground.
- They don’t have a strong scent.
- Their texture is easy to bite, chew, and digest.
- Carrots are super tasty and packed with vitamins and nutrients.
To keep deer away from specific areas in your yard, you may try planting carrots in a location where you don’t mind deer. The carrot bed will attract deer, so you won’t find them nibbling at your flowers, shrubs, or homegrown fruit and vegetable garden.
What Other Crops Do Deer Eat?
In addition to carrots, we’ve listed a few fruits, vegetables, and flowers that deer love to eat.
Deer, and specifically the White Tailed Deer, love bananas because of the sweet taste.
Bananas can provide deer with plenty of vitamins and fiber. Deer may even eat the banana peel. They are also attracted to rotten bananas and may enter your property if they catch its odor.
White Tailed Deer also love to eat tomatoes, so much that they can be a tomato grower’s worst nightmare.
If deer find your tomato crop, they can eat and destroy it with no trouble. Deer can easily pluck tomatoes off the vine due to their height and may even trample on the surrounding forage.
Even if a fence protects your tomatoes, deer can (and will) jump over it to get to your tomatoes.
Just like bananas, deer also enjoy eating berries for their sweetness.
Deer can eat many different types of berries as their candy diet, including strawberries, blackberries, snowberries, and raspberries.
Each of these fruits are easy to pick and they are all a rich source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron and potassium.
Apples are a sweet treat for deer, and they also give a hefty nutritional boost in the late fall and winter, right when deer need it most.
Deer typically eat apples during winter because they cannot digest them properly. Since apples grow in trees, it is hard for deer to reach them. They have to wait for the apples to fall on the ground before eating them.
Oranges, like apples, also grow on trees and are out of deer’s reach until they drop to the ground.
While not a typical part of a deer’s diet, oranges are a good source of water and vitamins. They are also easier to digest than apples.
Deer love eating cabbage as much as they love eating other vegetables. They can be a huge problem if you have been growing cabbage in your garden because deer are messy eaters.
Deer will not just eat the cabbage, but they can also leave small pieces around or destroy the surrounding crops.
Other vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts, are also attractive to deer.
Pansies, together with their relative, violas, are edible flowers that deer love to eat. Other flowering plants that deer can eat are roses, tulips, juniper, and holly. Deer will also eat leaves on many different plants in your landscape, so if deer are a problem in your area, opt for deer-resistant plants.
Knowing which foods attract deer can be advantageous, whether you want to feed deer, hunt them, or keep them off your property.
However, before you put out any type of food for deer, it is also a good idea to study your local laws as feeding or hunting deer is prohibited in some states in America and in certain locations around the world.