What to Feed Wild Deer

By Ticara Gailliard; Updated April 24, 2017
You can attract deer to your yard by setting up a feed station.

During the winter months, or when food seems particularly scarce, it is always compelling to feed wild animals such as deer so that they don't starve. It is important that you make sure to feed them the right kinds of food. Keep in mind their natural diets if you plan to give deer any kind of food.

Feeding Wild Deer

Deer are foragers, and therefore mainly eat things like berries, conifer crowns, and acorns. In winter, these things may be scarce. If you choose to feed deer, your best option is to purchase commercially blended deer feed from a feed store since it will contain all the nutrients that deer need. However, since one deer tends to lead to many more, you will wind up spending quite a bit trying to feed the deer. Do not feed the deer human food. Their stomachs are not designed to digest human food such as bread, and putting out table scraps attracts other animals to your land.

Negative Effects of Feeding Deer

It is recommended that you do not feed wild deer, even if it seems that they may not have enough to eat. If you feed them, they will become too accustomed to humans, which can lead to them being hit by cars or attacked by dogs when trying to come closer for more food. Another problem that arises is that deer will congregate around the area where the feed is. Because of this, they can easily pass deadly diseases among each other. The best way to help deer during tough winter months is to speak with a wildlife biologist to develop a conservation strategy for the deer on your land. This way, you can help them have food while maintaining your distance and keeping them safe.

About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.