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Old Jan 20th 2016, 08:28 AM   #1
 
  Jan 2013
  WI
I have 4 does (hopefully pregnant) and one buck right now. All 5 deer are 1.5yr olds right now and I haven't added any minerals to feed yet and thinking of at least putting a mineral block in the pen to see what they do with it. Have talked to a number of farms now with half adding mineral and half feel they get what they need from their feed and looking for more input before I decide what I should do. Will mineral add a great deal of growth to antler development or is most of what's on the market going to go in one end and out the other end?

Right now their feed is a mix of corn, oats, sunflower seeds, soybeans, pellet and molasses. They seem to really like it and look very healthy on it. They always have 2nd crop alfalfa that they really like. Also they get a regular supply of cedar, maple and a few other types of hard woods for brows during the winter.
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 08:30 AM   #2
 
  Jan 2013
  WI
Here's a couple pics of my buck Jerome at 1.5yr.
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Need thought on adding mineral to feed-image.jpg   Need thought on adding mineral to feed-image.jpg  
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 10:54 AM   #3
 
  May 2014
  WI
i have spent a lot of time discussing this with our nutritionalist as of late. The bigger question is how does your feed break down as far as % in protein, fat etc.. Minerals have less to do with antler growth than protein. During growth antlers are made of 80% protein. When an antler goes hard horn it is made up of equal parts of protein and minerals. With that being said, after 2 years of fawning and having free choice mineral all year we have had healthier fawns than we did the first year without free choice mineral. And of course let's not forget GENETICS!
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Old Jan 20th 2016, 03:30 PM   #4
 
  Nov 2013
  Mission MN
So many studies on this ..I think the Kerr studies out of Texas are some of the best. They go back to the early 1980s. It is amazing how little effect high protein feeds have on young deer. We feed a natural supplement that happens to be 39% protein but its primary purpose is serving as a probiotic. We have actually reduced our protein in our mule deer feeds from 18% to 8% and increased our fat content. After 2 years we have a much better herd , bigger fawns , and still produce great antlers. Our whitetail are still on 18% feeds.
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Old Jan 21st 2016, 10:03 PM   #5
 Bell's Avatar
 
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
I would not add any mineral supplement to your feed. Put it out separate. They will use a mineral lick when the need it.
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Old Jan 22nd 2016, 05:20 AM   #6
 Wicked Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Clinton, PA

Cervid: Whitetail Deer


I have a trophy rock in my feed trough all year round and it is hardly even touched. If they needed it I am sure they would work it over, because I put them out for wild deer and they crush them.
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Old Feb 4th 2016, 03:29 PM   #7
 
  Jan 2013
  WI
Thanks guys for the input. I will put minerals out for them if they want it it is there. Will be checking into the break down of our feed this week.
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