Do Deer Eat Apples? Curious Deer Food Facts Revealed For Kids! | Kidadl


Do Deer Eat Apples? Curious Deer Food Facts Revealed For Kids!

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It is no secret that deer love apples, and simply holding out one of these bright red or green fruits around them can attract deer to you in an instant!

However, a lesser-known secret is that feeding deer too many apples can actually be really bad for them. Although they love and enjoy this sweet treat, deer are not able to digest apples properly during the winter season!

In the wild, deer follow a herbivorous diet and often eat anything edible that they see. They are not very picky and can sustain themselves on shrubs, leaves, twigs, grains, and other foliage. However, their diet varies largely depending on the season, and wild deer naturally change their taste to accommodate their nutritional needs. Many plants die out during the colder seasons, making it difficult for deer to forage, so people tend to help deer by feeding them what they think they like, apples. However, rather than helping them, feeding deer too many apples can end up harming them.

Do deer eat apples whole?

Yes, deer can eat apples whole! Deer are not picky eaters and will eat anything edible they find. This includes twigs, leaves, weeds, cereals, and grains.

Due to this, they are able to eat apples whole including the parts that humans do not enjoy eating, like the core and the stalk. As for apple seeds, as long as deer do not chew them or eat them in large quantities, they pose no harm to them.

Most food for deer is in a raw or unprocessed state, as anything artificially made or processed can mess with their digestive systems. If you want to feed deer, consider giving them raw, whole foods like cereals, grains, lichens, and fruits and vegetables, which their bodies can digest.

Why do deer like apples?

Deer have very sensitive digestive systems and feeding them the wrong thing can mess up their tummies. Apples are one of the fruits that they can find and eat naturally in the wild, which is why it is safe to feed them these juicy fruits! However, they should only be fed apples in moderation.

Deer are very fond of sweet, fleshy fruits, and apples fit the bill perfectly! If you want to attract deer, then just hold up an apple. The bright red or green color and sweet smell will certainly grab their attention. Unlike some other fruits, like tough pumpkins or prickly cucumbers, apples are completely edible and can be eaten by deer in a single bite due to their small size. If you are feeding deer, consider giving them apples as a sweet treat!

However, like with every other food, sustaining deer on a diet of apples alone is not feasible at all. Apples certainly do have a lot of nutrients but are quite low in fiber and protein which are very important nutrients for deer. If you are feeding deer this delicious fruit, make sure that it is part of a healthy, balanced diet so that they can reap its full benefits.

However, it is advisable not to feed them apples during winter. In nature, apples usually grow during the cold months of November and December, but deer do not usually eat them during this period as their dietary requirements do not demand what apples have to offer. Apples are very rich in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are very useful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, apples have a very high water content and are very low in protein. Deer require protein during the cold winter months to keep warm. During the winter season, deer should be fed a mix of different grasses, fruit, vegetables, grains, and deer pellets so that they can sustain themselves properly with adequate nutrients.

Ripe red apples on a tree.

Will deer eat apples off the ground?

Yes, deer will most definitely eat apples off the ground! These grazing animals, though herbivores, will eat almost anything and everything which is edible. This includes foliage, leaves, twigs, tree branches, grasses, weeds, flowers, and any fallen fruits and vegetables!

It is widely known that this animal loves eating apples, and will gladly accept them as treats from people. Asides from fresh apples, deer will even gobble down slightly rotten or fermenting fruit, as they simply enjoy the taste of apples so much. They have even been observed eating growing apple trees, munching on the leaves and branches.

Whitetail deer are not very good at climbing trees and cannot really reach apples hanging from the upper branches of trees. They may snatch up fruit from low-hanging branches, but other than that the only way they can eat apples in the wild is if the apples fall onto the ground. They are not limited to a single type of apple either, and will almost every type of this juicy fruit, including small, sour crab apples as well! In fact, the smell of apple trees is known to attract deer, which is why you may see many of them hanging around apple groves or orchards. They will even eat store brought apples.

What should you not feed deer?

The types of food that deer eat tend to vary with the changing seasons, to which they naturally adapt. They are foragers in nature, and will usually look for food above-ground, finding edible shoots, twigs, fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Due to this habit, they usually do not eat roots and tubers like potatoes and yams, which they cannot digest properly. They will only eat these items if there is a lack of food, like in snowy areas during winter. In fact, many deer species have adapted to sustaining themselves on minimal, lower quality foods during the winter, and you may notice that they lose between 20-30% of their body weight during this period, which is just how they have evolved to help them survive food scarcity.

People do tend to help out this animal in such situations when they are unable to naturally forage for food. However, there is a misconception that since apples easily attract deer, they must only eat apples. As a result, deer fed by humans often lack many necessary nutrients which come from different types of food besides apples. Deer can become malnourished or die as a result. Frequently being fed by humans also takes away a deer's natural foraging instincts, as it becomes dependent on us for food which may not even have the proper nutritional value required by this animal. It is recommended to occasionally feed deer apples as a treat and not let them get too dependent on being fed by human beings.

It is highly recommended to feed these animals nuts and oats instead of apples as they contain protein and fat, which are very useful for their bodies in the long run. You must be very careful when feeding deer and other wildlife species during the winter, as feeding them things they cannot digest may result in them becoming full initially, but ultimately dying of starvation because of not being able to take in any nutrients from the food given to them. As the stomachs of wild animals are used to eating food from the wild like weeds, grains, lichens, mushrooms, and seeds, it is not advised to feed them anything that is artificially produced or grown by humans. This includes potatoes, corn, kitchen scraps, hay, salad, or anything with dairy or other animal fats in. The nutritional value of these foods often does not agree with a deer's already delicate digestive system.

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

<p>Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.</p>

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