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Thread: supplementary feeding of deer

  1. #1

    supplementary feeding of deer

    Asked this on another forum however i was wondering if anyone on here may be able to offer some advice as well.

    I was thinking of setting up some sort of supplementary deer feeding station in one of the rides on my forestry block.

    1. This will let me see what deer are about when the snow sets in and they are hungry and
    2. It will help my culling

    Has or does anyone have any experience of this and if so how do you do it?

    I was thinking of getting a wooden fence post with a salt lick attached with a feeder close by containing sugar beet and barley.

  2. #2
    David i have tried the salt lick approach and while the deer did go to it i don't really think it was cost effective. If i were you i would get a good bush saw /chainsaw and start to coppice's a lot of hedges pull down Evy and bake back holly bushes .You can also get a lot of willow cuttings and get them planted . Also what i do is get bricks and wood pegs stretch out bramble and lay bricks on the stems this will promote new roots and new growth .There is so much in the woods already i would use that before i would use mineral licks. They would be used if the ground was pour and didn't have much nutrients in it.

  3. #3

    Supplementry feeding of deer

    Hi David

    Like your idea and please can you follow up with the results if you go ahead and do it, as no doubt a lot of people will be interested in the results on body weights or antler size.

    The only concern is that supplementary feeding should be introduced slowly over a few weeks to allow the rumen time to adjust its microbial content. If this is not done then the amount of energy and protein provided will be limited as the microbial population in the rumen will not be able to digest and break down the feed and so could cause stomach issues in the short term until the gut adjusts.
    Personally I would try (if the walk is not to far from a road) Alph Alpha hay (lucerane hay) if you can get it or a good quality pea straw. Barley and sugar beet may be to rich for wild deer (but I could be wrong as they keep surprising me with what they do).

    If you wish to help deer on your lease over the harder periods of the winter then start feeding early winter etc. On a local shoot were my brother stalks they have an issue with the roe raiding pheasant feeders and the feeding lines once the feeders have been topped up or the birds have been feed.

    This has done wonders for some of the bucks with a marked increase in body weight and trophy size being a notable side effect due to higher protein levels going into their diet during the winter months.

    If you are on wet poor ground then Bog Mortal plants are a good source of feed in winter so getting some of these bushes established on key rides or open spaces is another good source of feed that costs little only time and effort.
    As 6.5 x 55 has pointed out coppice and brambles are another good cheap source of feed to improve feeding areas.

    Good luck and keep us informed how you get on.


  4. #4
    You can get Alfa F from any horse feed supplier. It is not expensive and comes in huge sacks. Deer love it!

  5. #5
    I was planning just putting one out to start with and to see how this went. The salt licks i was going to use were the small ones that cost about 2.99 each. They are about 6" by 4" and you can buy a bit to slot them into that costs another 3.00 it can then be nailed to a post. Something like this:

  6. #6

    supplementary feed

    Dave you dont say what type of deer your feeding ??
    You can feed all sorts to Red, Sika . Fallow on the other hand are like Roe very fussy on what you put down .
    We use to feed Red stags in the winter hay or silage both went down a treat keeping the stags in half decent condition through the winter .
    Ive even seen them holding back the cattle by feeding out of the ring feeders with good silage .
    Strange to see the cattle in a group waiting for them to move out the way so they can feed .

  7. #7
    Apologies it's roe deer.

    Thinking about it, i may put a bit of dowel in the bottom with a screw through the top to stop it slipping, instead of the spring as it will be cheaper.

  8. #8
    I have used 10kg salt blocks in Cumbria for Roe and have seen no obvious useage. I have certainly never seen an animal at them.

    I would be very interested in your experiences because it might be something I have done wrong.

  9. #9
    Just a thought.....

    Do your deer come in to the pheasant feeders already? If not, it might not be a good idea to tempt them. On a local shoot deer are a right pain knocking over feeders.

  10. #10
    i can only presume you are talking fallow
    i know howa is talking Roe
    Munties on our place cause lots of problems with the spirals on the pheasant feeders, as reds and sika are not an issuse
    then i can only add my advice and findings
    for roe and munties i use beans, and feed in area that i can ambush
    Fallow are fed adlib , and never shot at the feed site only on the exit of

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