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Thread: WHATS THE BEST FOOD TO supplement the deer in a park

  1. #1

    WHATS THE BEST FOOD TO supplement the deer in a park

    Hi i am taking on a deer park ,which is about 55 acres .A part from improving the grass which i plan to do in two half's, one side year one then the other year two,but in the mean time till the grass has improved would like to supplement there feed. I can get beans, apples and sugar beet .I dont wont to feed pellet.Is there anyone else on here that manages a deer park that supplement there feed and if so when and what .Would be very interested ,and great full of any help ,or ideas

    cheers simon

  2. #2
    Limited knowledge and experience so prepared to be told im talking rubbish but...

    if you start feeding supplementary food, it needs to be a regular supply, not just a few tonnes every few months. Once you start (when the grass stops growing) you should continue until you see good signs of natural food growing in the spring. Feed such as sugarbeat is good, they certainly like it. We did debate over unwashed vs. washed. The argument being that unwashed may offer some minerals that they werent getting from the park, the opposing argument is tooth wear. We also fed them apples too, which they also liked. The deer also had mineral licks in the park, i understand that they only use them if they arent getting a well rounded balance of minerals from the park they graze.

    Also, regarding improving your grass land, it is a good idea to rotate other ruminants such as cattle through the land..

  3. #3
    what you got will do nicely

  4. #4
    When I was helping out at the local deer park we always fed unwashed sugar beet they seemed to do well on it

  5. #5
    Deerslayer
    i've got quite a bit of info on what to feed when and how as a result of some research I was doing. You're welcome to have copies of what I can photocopy or I can email what I have electronically.
    From what I've read you need to be carefull about what you feed suplimentry as the deer will be reliant on it and not able to integrate it into their diet like wild deer can as they move about from one food source to another.
    i've PM'd you my contact details.
    Win Mod 70

  6. #6
    Thanks every one that has replied, much appreciated.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    No absolute rule and will depend on your ground and funds and numbers your trying to keep.
    If there's plenty of dead grass sward going into the winter and you are not overstocked you could try molasses blocks to supply sugars to enable the deer to metabolise the dead grasses better, it keeps them using the ground better rather than standing around waiting to be fed. This is ok until you have to feed hay or beets or similar, through the worst of the winter.
    If the ground is like a billiard table you may be better to discount the contribution from the grass and supply a total ration rather than a supplementary ration. If practical splitting the ground into thirds would allow you to take a cut of hay/silage if shut off in the spring with the added benifit of providing a fresh bite going into the autumn which could delay having to strt feeding a bit.
    If you are able to make hay or silage, great, if not a ration made up of what is readily available will do but once you start you have to continue until the grass returns . We tend to start nov and go through to may feeding hay, treacle licks, turnips and nuts. I would not discount using deer nut even with the cost, you can guage exactly what you are putting into them in terms of metabolic energy. It may turn out cost effective given time ect in feeding enough beet ,tatties ect of dubious quality to achieve the same or less metabolic equivalent.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pitiliedon View Post
    I would not discount using deer nut even with the cost, you can guage exactly what you are putting into them in terms of metabolic energy. It may turn out cost effective given time ect in feeding enough beet ,tatties ect of dubious quality to achieve the same or less metabolic equivalent.

    You can also get deer nuts with a wormer in them which gives them a better chance going into winter, you can send away poo samples to a lab (westgate rings a bell?) and see whether you have an issue with them. We didn't in the park where I work but feed deer nuts daily during really wet or cold weather and they get silage all winter

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