Feeding Farmed White-Tailed Deer

The following factors are important to consider when planning a sound feeding program for white-tailed deer. •Good nutrition is required to maximize conception rates and improve fawning percentages. White-tailed deer that do not go into winter in good condition will not survive the winter.

  • White-tailed deer are browsers or selective grazers who prefer high quality forages particularly new plant growth.
  • Breeding stock requires 2.5% of their body weight on a dry matter basis per day in order to maintain their weight.
  • The quality and quantity of available pasture will determine the level of supplemental feeding while on pasture. Supplemental winter feeding is
  • required. Rotational grazing is used to fully utilize available pasture and to reduce parasite levels.
  • Several feed companies are now producing feed specifically designed to differing deer requirements.
  • Hay, grain, vitamins and minerals must provided during the winter to ensure nutritional requirements are met. Supplemental feeding is also
  • necessary during hot weather when pastures are growing slowly and during late summer in preparation for the rut.
  • Clean, fresh water must be available year round.

White-tailed deer are generally resistant to disease. However farming large numbers of animals on a limited acreage requires ongoing parasite control.