Home Forums Hunting Deer Hunting Feeding Corn?

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  • AvatarSet The hhook
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    For years I have feed the deer in my back yard its hard to find unshelled corn but there is always some on craigslist, I came across this article where they say you shouldn’t feed them corn so now I feel like a fool, the deer in my yard are city deer does anyone think that matters and should I stop feeding them I will say they love pumpkin’s but get harder to find as winter comes along, here is part of that article.

    (The problem is that deer digestion is a finely tuned physiological process. Just the right combination of microorganisms, enzymes, and pH enable deer to digest a normal winter diet of woody vegetation. When offered a sudden supply of corn, a deer’s digestive system doesn’t have time to adjust to a high carbohydrate diet. The result can be acute acidosis followed by death within 72 hours.)
    Thanks

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    You don’t need to provide their whole diet, that is bad for multiple reasons. Predators, disease, lack of fear of humans, would be a few. Just put out enough for a snack and let them be on their way.

    Avatardrawetsm
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    I wouldn’t be concerned of that in Iowa.

    Avatarslayer247
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    I agree with keeping it as a snack. I live in Wisconsin and always have fed corn to deer. I never have seen it hurt any deer and have had the same deer come into my yard for years. I have also fed hay in harder winters and have never seen that hurt them either, although some articles you read will contradict that also.

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Six years ago I had a Doe with a bad front leg, she can actually put no weight on it. I thought of putting her down. She not only has a tough time getting around, she stands no chance with the lead Doe in their group.

    That was six years ago and she has twins most years.

    AvatarSet The hhook
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    Thanks for the suggestions, when I said I live in the city I don’t mean that they are getting close to me in fact if they see me they run which I like. I have about 4 acres behind me with a creek and I throw the corn down time to time but now I will keep track of how much I throw. I just looked out and they didn’t touch the corn but the pumpkins are gone.

    Avatarbaxterm12
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    As another guy stated, I wouldn’t because of disease. With cwd and other diseases, a pile of corn only increases the chances of spreading it. I realize it happens in fields with spilled grain all over, but the less opportunity we put out there the better.

    AvatarSet The hhook
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    I’m only throwing ear on the corn?

    Avatarwalleye warrior
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    I am no veterinarian,nor am I a scientist,I am just an old farm kid who had the privilege to grow up on a farm,and I still live in the country,that said,we use to put up corn on the ear in cribs that squirrels and deer could get to readily,like dad used to say,you plant three seeds,one for the critters,one that wont grow,and one for you,this is how farming use to be.

    I understand a deer’s digestive system is adaptable to eat woody things along with dead grasses,hay stored outside, young trees that are still tender in the winter,and what ever is left over from harvest even if they have to paw through the snow to get to it.
    I helped plant eighty thousand Christmas tree’s over the course of four years,and deer love those things,I think they ate at least a third of those.

    my point is even if their digestive system is adapted to this,I dont quite understand how switching to treating them to corn can harm them,sure,a straight diet of it might not be good for them,but,by natures design,I believe they will eat a diet that is diversified by what their body tells them to eat.

    my mom had us put corn out right next to a maple tree in the yard close to her house so she could watch the deer up close,we went through an average of ten bushels a week and never once seen a deer die from eating it,in fact,they flourished!!

    I dont trust most ‘findings’ as they can be misleading at the least,remember how salt once was bad for us?? then a new finding said it was beneficial,and eggs,cant forget those either,the list could go on,but I will trust what I see in nature,go ahead,feed the deer.

    before I forget,yes,too much corn is bad for horses,they can founder on it as well as cattle,but thats when they are mismanaged at a humans hands over a lengthy amount of time,and there isnt another choice for them to eat, deer will move on and find other things as fences cant hold them in a fixed area.

    edit to add: as far as disease goes in a herd of deer,if they are healthy there isnt much chance for it to get a foot hold,only when an animals or humans for that matter, immune system is weak will it then spread,you may in fact may be keeping them healthy by feeding them,especially in a rough winter year.

    AvatarHEUY
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    With cattle it is better if you can get cracked corn. Occasionally with them a whole kernel of corn can get thru undigested. I have stopped at elevators in the past and just picked up the grain samples which are a mix of corn & soybeans and spread those out. Often for no charge or I would stop and drop off the occasional donuts!

    Deer can do well with oats and wheat also which might be some better for them. If you are really serious you can feed them calf creep feed which is designed for calves switching over to grain roughage mix and is very easy to digest etc (I personally would NOT spend that kind of money). Have a friend who has a PVC pipe deer feeder – haven’t seen it but a person could make one fairly easy and quick.

    Only time I would feed deer are later when the go by my house into town to browse on town trees. You don’t need to supply their whole diet – just enough to help them out in tough weather. When it got better my deer would quit coming to eat me grain and go back to browsing. My pheasants did the same thing. Only really ate ear corn when the weather was tough.

    Just my 2 cents and that might be too much!!

    Avatarjetblack3
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    Feeding deer corn doesn’t harm them at all unless you are hunting them over the corn then the possibility of lead poisoning exists. They are wild animals, they’ll eat what they want and move on to browse on various other things throughout the day. If feeding deer corn actually harmed them there would be no deer in the Midwest. I’ve never seen anyone tell a deer in their cornfield they have had enough and to move on much less seen a deer understand that.

    Now if you raise pen deer and restrict their diet to only what you choose to feed them then “yes” it CAN be harmful. This is how CWD was introduced to begin with. Wild deer just like wild women do what they want when they want – no confinement…

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