Are Sunflower Seeds Good for Deer?

Sunflower seeds can supplement a deer's winter diet.
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Sunflowers can be a healthy addition to deer feed, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you put out for wild deer to eat. Sunflower seeds provide many of the same nutrients as acorns and other nuts that deer eat in the wild.

Types of Sunflower Seeds

There are two types of sunflower seeds that deer prefer: black oil and striped. Black oil sunflower seeds feature a thinner shell and larger nutmeat than the striped variety. Deer will often invade bird feeders that contain sunflower seeds to get to the tasty snacks.


Sunflower seeds contain oil and fat that help keep the deer warm in the winter months. Sunflower seeds are also high in fiber. Other nutrients found in sunflower seeds include zinc, thiamin, choline, biotin and vitamin E.

Deer Feed Fortifier

Buy sunflower seeds to mix in with other deer food, such as cracked corn or manufactured deer pellets. Other common options to fortify deer feed are soybean meal and alfalfa.

Feeding Wild Deer

Check with your local wildlife division about any regulations on feeding wild deer, because artificial food sources can lead to increased disease, reduced migration patterns and aggressive behavior in deer.

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