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Author Topic: What do deer eat and don't eat?  (Read 19038 times)
BjornBee
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« on: March 29, 2009, 07:20:05 PM »

I have a garden at the house that is convenient. I usually plant tomatoes, peppers, squash, and strawberries. Of course the deer rip out the strawberries when they can.

I have a fenced area at the farm, where I can expand the garden. So I was thinking of planting those item the deer will not eat here, and move those items on the list that deer do eat to the farm.

From the following, what will deer eat?

Tomatoes
Peppers
Horseradish
Blueberries
Asparagus
Watermelon
Pumpkin
Cucumber
Onion
Rhubarb

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 07:23:26 PM »

i have all that stuff and the dear don't bother any of it.  they eat the shoot off the berries, then eat the berries as they ripen.  they eat the new growth on the fruit trees, then the fruit.  i had one that tried the tomatoes, but didn't like them.  sometimes they chew the kiwi a bit, but not much and they don't harm the corn.

i have more trouble with rabbits.
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 07:58:59 PM »

all peas and beans
collards
okra
peaches
apples
pears
hos ta
Japanese magnolia
azaleas

They do not eat 6 foot tall electric fences. :roll:doak
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 08:08:21 PM »

I'd imagine if food was scarce they'd eat just about anything. I've seen deer down in Venice, Louisiana survive off of weeds.

Kathy, better keep an eye on the corn.


...JP
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 08:18:41 PM »

A better question would be, "What do deer not eat?" They will eat tomato plants; they destroyed my son's patch last year, in town, jumping over a 6 foot wood fence. Doak has the best idea: a tall electric fence.

That said, here is one link. But best to check with your local ag agent, as the answer will be specific both to your geographic area and your locale (city, country, local deer population, proximity of garden to woods, presence of dogs, etc.). Knock on a wooden beehive, but the deer don't bother my gardens much. Still, I am going the solar electric fence route this year, mostly to keep the chickens out.

http://www.deer-departed.com/deer-resistant-vegetables.html

Good luck!


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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 09:30:33 PM »

As my watermelons were about ready to harvest, something busted every one and ate the center. I blamed it on the deer. They will always eat my peas, but do not touch the butter beans.

Steve
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 09:36:47 PM »

They will always eat my peas, but do not touch the butter beans.

That lyric is worthy of a country music song  Undecided
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BjornBee
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 10:23:43 PM »

They will always eat my peas, but do not touch the butter beans.

That lyric is worthy of a country music song  Undecided

Thank you for the website.

I've heard deer will not bother tomatoes, but last year they nibbled anything outside the cages.

As for watermelon or young green pumpkins, I have had problems with groundhogs.
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 07:20:28 AM »

As my watermelons were about ready to harvest, something busted every one and ate the center. I blamed it on the deer. They will always eat my peas, but do not touch the butter beans.

Steve

believe it or not coyotes will do that to watermelons

Keith
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2009, 08:32:29 AM »

Squirrels.
Yes I said squirrels.
There's nothing more surprising than watching a doe chase a squirrel and eat it.  shocked
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2009, 08:47:44 AM »

Squirrels.
Yes I said squirrels.
There's nothing more surprising than watching a doe chase a squirrel and eat it.  shocked

No offense but I would have to see that for myself to believe it and even then, I would think I was most likely hallucinating.


...JP
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 09:26:29 AM »

Deer will eat nestlings. And eggs.

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/news/press/ontape.htm
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 10:23:25 AM »

yes, the squirrels are a pain!  they go around dropping the fruit off the trees.  then the squirrels and deer come around and eat it.

i know the deer will eat all the stuff i plant.  they just don't for some reason.

the other things the deer really like is the apples that drop in september and october.  i'll have herds of them under the trees eating the dropped apples.

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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 01:09:41 PM »

Squirrels.
Yes I said squirrels.
There's nothing more surprising than watching a doe chase a squirrel and eat it.  shocked

What's even more surprising is walking through the woods and stumbling on a clearing where 3 bucks are sitting around a campfire roasting a coyote over a campfire!!  lau

Sorry, I really do believe you I just must...stop...stupid imagination...from running...away..from...me....again....
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Rick
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 02:01:53 PM »

They cleared out my tomatoes last year. Every single one. They took down some of my corn (with help from the coons).
I'm putting up an electric fence this year-6 feet- and we'll see how that does. If they are still getting in there, well, I guess there's always the 410.....


~mary
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doak
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2009, 03:01:28 PM »

Don't forget the coyotes, they love watermelons.
doak
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BjornBee
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2009, 05:12:29 PM »

Also,
Those lovable chipmunks will take a bird anytime they can.  Wink
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2009, 06:46:09 PM »

Peter bunny isn't too bad here but they do learn to jump between the bottom and second wire.
If you are over populated with cotton tails, best put a 3 foot high, about 1 inch mesh, then go from there with electric fence. rolleyes :)doak
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2009, 07:39:04 PM »

The deer that live in my neck of the woods would eat everything you have on your list, and probably also the list.

They devoured 3 entire clemetine trees I had in my patio, they eat cymbidium orchid blooms, violets, pumpkins, they browse dahlias...they just eat it all... Undecided
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2009, 08:56:58 PM »

I'm building all my fences "goat proof", 6 feet tall using 2X4 welded wire.  Keeps out most things except snakes, mice, rats, weasels, and smaller lagomorphs like pikas.  the fence doesn't stop the deer but it does make them reconsider.
As far as keeping them out of the garden, it is supprizing how much of a "scarecrow" a small solar powered motion activated light makes.
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2009, 09:00:33 PM »

Deer will also eat pecans. One year our trees were loaded and I paid someone to shake my trees so I could harvest all the nuts at once rather than waiting for them to fall. We waited a couple of days to harvest and there was nothing but lots and lots of shells under the trees. Not a single nut was left.

Steve
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2009, 09:03:42 PM »

Deer get used to lights and barking dogs, amongst other things.


...JP
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2009, 06:34:34 AM »

You could put a small radio out near the garden and leave it playing talk radio all night on low volume. I've heard that works.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2009, 02:44:20 PM »

Deer get used to lights and barking dogs, amongst other things.


...JP

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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2009, 05:51:02 PM »

I tried the radio thing. Don't work. The deer only changed channels  shocked rolleyes Smiley ;)doak
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2009, 10:32:03 PM »

I tried the radio thing. Don't work. The deer only changed channels  shocked rolleyes Smiley ;)doak

Abd stood there for hours listening to Paul Harvey, Rush Limbaugh, and easy listening. grin
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2009, 10:40:53 PM »

i've used coyote urine(don't ask me how they get it  Wink ) from agway.  They stayed away until it ran out.  Being browsers they periodically check things so they'll get you when you've not paying attention.
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2009, 12:46:35 PM »

Abd stood there for hours listening to Paul Harvey, Rush Limbaugh, and easy listening. grin

Naw...they get really paranoid and walk around looking for aliens.  Ever listened to that overnight stuff? grin

Coyote urine...have you considered sending some boys out there to "mark" the area?  (paid to pee outdoors?  Like a boy's dream come true!!)  Seemed to work for coons in my little corn patch.
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2009, 12:26:31 AM »

Abd stood there for hours listening to Paul Harvey, Rush Limbaugh, and easy listening. grin

Naw...they get really paranoid and walk around looking for aliens.  Ever listened to that overnight stuff? grin

Coyote urine...have you considered sending some boys out there to "mark" the area?  (paid to pee outdoors?  Like a boy's dream come true!!)  Seemed to work for coons in my little corn patch.

Just be sure to pee higher on the tree than the deer or coyote can.  After all higher up the trunk means bigger and meaner.
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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2009, 01:04:57 AM »

Human pee actually attracts deer.


...JP
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« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2009, 06:48:10 PM »

You could put a small radio out near the garden and leave it playing talk radio all night on low volume. I've heard that works.

That will only work for a few days. In fact anything you do other than a high fence will not stop them.  I have done all of what has been suggested and the one thing that will slow them down is a depravation permit. I even tried a propane powered air cannon and they were out the next nite eating away. They even got used to me shooting them, one would drop and the others would just look on and say oh well we are gonna keep eating.  Good luck.
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« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2009, 10:25:47 PM »

a better question would be, "What do deer not eat?" They will eat tomato plants;



They sure will.  I sat in my truck while one browsed on my tomato vines near the end of the the season a couple of summers ago.  There was plenty of food available, she was eating them because she liked it.

Lat year I built a 6' electric (over wire mesh) fence too.  End of problem - so far.
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2009, 10:28:11 PM »

As my watermelons were about ready to harvest, something busted every one and ate the center. I blamed it on the deer. They will always eat my peas, but do not touch the butter beans.

Steve

I've had that experience with cantaloupes - but I'm pretty sure it was raccoons.
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2009, 03:22:55 PM »

hey all I do nuisance wildlife work as a profession. Bees is more of a hobby that I truly hope to dedicate more time too. I can however answer any of your nuisance wildlife questions. One of the services we do offer is deer depredation.I am not trying to sell you my services but just want to pass on some info and help out.

Deer honestly will eat most anything and even in the dead of winter will eat things they pass up year round. Just like you and me, sometimes I want a burger other times I want steak and lobster. They love most any thing green we plant, and love our fruits,berries and vegetables as do most wildlife.If you ever looked around a forest even you would choose the best meals available.

Deer are now in great numbers across the United States and have been managed so well since the 30"s that many are finding urban locations the best place to call home. Hunting does not reduce their numbers well enough and for all those animal rights folks the herds just bigger each year and I expect them to be a bigger problem in years to come. The only thing to stop them is disease which usually happens with any wildlife that has too large of populations.

The best way to control deer is fencing, the problem is they can get over or knock down most fences so they need to be high(8'ft or greater) or or have two fences to stop them from getting a running start to get over them say about four feet between the two fences. The best repellant on the market is Bitrix.


If you want to stop snakes,moles,gophers and other burrowing animals from entering it takes a little more work and I recommend burying hardware cloth as a underground fence to stop them from gaining access from below fences.
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« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2009, 04:08:09 PM »

I have a double electric fence, one with 3 strands and one with a single strand spaced about 3 feet apart(it messes up their depth perception).  Each spring I "bait" the fence by putting a bit of peanut butter every 40-50 feet.  A shock trains them pretty quickly.

...Tim
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« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2009, 10:48:51 AM »

What deer do not eat, in my yard that is:

Nandina Domestica
Carex grasses
Rhodedendron
Clivia
Armeria
Society Garlic
Ferns
Corokia
Cistus
Purple Sage
Olea
Pineapple Guava
Pink Jasmine
Brugmansia
Leaves of Cymbidium Orchid
Grevellia
Eucalyptus

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« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2009, 05:20:16 AM »

I find it is all seasonal. In the coldest days of winter when absolutely nothing is left they will eat all kinds of things they leave alone the rest of the year promise.If you care to listen to a few guys who address these problems for a living.

Deer Control Podcast http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-16456/TS-182185.mp3

Here is a podcast we did on Jan 16, 2009 on this topic.



Mike Flick the host,of owner of Anytime Animal Control operates 28 offices, found in eight states, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New York,and in Wisconsin.

Mike offers consumers free tips they can do on their own to prevent deer damage each winter.

Food for deer become quite scarce as they like other animals compete with other species for food to graze on. As seasons change, the preferred food sources of deer change as well. The evergreen shrubs that the deer ignored while they were munching on your leafy garden in the summer months suddenly look pretty appealing in the late fall and winter when most plants have either dropped their leaves or disappeared by going dormant or dying. Deer develop new browsing trails as food sources change with the seasons, and repeatedly follow them through the season until new food sources begin to appear.

The most effective solution is fencing, and it has to be high, eight feet or more. For those of you with severe deer feeding pressure, this is probably your only real choice.There are repellents on the market but many of them are often impractical .
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2009, 08:35:02 PM »

Thank you for all the suggestions and tips.

I have a fence that so far has kept the deer out. Two weeks ago, I was pulling some left over straw off the remaining strawberry plants and uncovered a rabbit nest. I thought how funny that I have a fence, and the rabbit goes inside (where the cats normally are not) and has her litter in the middle of the raised strawberry box...  rolleyes
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2009, 09:43:31 PM »

I have 5 wires, top not 5 ft. high. The first night one wire got broke. No more wires get broke till I turn it off in the fall after all "MY" crop is in storage, they can have what is left. It's bow season by then. You cannot hear a bow fired from a great distance. But the meat is just as good. rolleyes grin :)doak
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