What Do Deer Eat? A Little More Than You Can Imagine

The deer is a very elegant grazing and browsing animal of the Cervidae family, with antlers which appear branchy and bony. They are wild animals known to grace the wilderness with their outstanding beauty. A deer is a humble creature which if anything, would have been a domestic pride. However, when you mess with them, they would not hesitate to attack with their antlers. Antlers are a characteristic of the male species, but a few of the females have it to. Beneath, I will go deeper and answer the question "what do deer eat?" as we shall find out like us, that they too have preferences.


Deer are Primarily Browsers

Deer form a group of animals referred to as browsers. These are herbivores that feed exclusively on leaves, tender shoots, high-growing fruits, any woody plants and some more. A browser and a grazer may bring about a contrast; grazers, however, are those that feed on lower vegetation.

Deer form a group of animals

This lower vegetation are those which are directly on the ground and do not need an animal reaching too high; grazers do not go the extra mile of striving for what is higher. A deer has a small stomach which is unspecialized; by this I mean it has a stomach that is not as much complicated compared to that of humans.

Their simple stomach is the reason why they eat easily digestible foods. Using their highly sensitive tongues as well as years of conditioning, they can select the easily digestible ones from those that are not. Vegetation such as young leaves, fresh grasses, soft twigs and fungi are among them.

They snack too

Deer also feed on barks and twigs unlike making a quick call for pizza delivery; their taste buds are satisfied by the woody plants. When this food is ingested, the browser normally has a way of chewing where they move their mouth from left to right turning the content in their mouth to soften it.

Just like we humans love snacks, barks and twigs may be considered deer snack as they often resort to them when they are not too famished but rather as a way of looking for an alternative and sweeter taste.

They will Scavenge when it Comes to It

They may become scavengers and decide to eat on other material, depending on their availability since they are not limited to any types of food. If you happen to live among these wild animals, it is always a constant conflict when you have any planted vegetation.

they are not limited to any types of food

Those hustles between a farmer and a gardener reveal that a deer also eats leafy vegetation, thus always finds a way to get to the garden. They equally eat carrots and vegetables; well I must admit a deer knows how to eat its vegetables, probably very healthy.

Industrial Deer Feed

Deer feed, which may be sold at various outlets mainly consists of a bunch of seeds or tiny nuggets. Naturally, these feeds would be ideal for domesticated or tamed deer as opposed to the wild ones.

Just as a human being would rather have Chinese food ordered from a renowned restaurant instead of vegetable soup made in their kitchen, a deer is a very choosy animal. Other than the shoots, twigs, and barks in their disposal, they also have preferences and favorites.

They are Picky Eaters

They prefer woods and shrubs which when they exhaust and have nothing at all; they will turn to other options. These foods can sustain them all through the year and maintain their nutritional needs thus keeping them healthy in all seasons. Examples of woody plants include; grapes, honeysuckle, rose, black gum, greenbrier and sassafras plants.

They are Adaptive Eaters

If all their favorites are exhausted, they will resort to wild grasses. This happens when the worst comes to the worst. When they eat these greens, they also use some selection and just eat their shoots which are tender.

Forbs are a type of perennial plant that dies during the winter season because of the extreme cold conditions then reappear in spring. They are inclusive of flowering plants such as sunflowers, bellflowers, lettuce, sledges and mushrooms.

Nuts are rich in protein which they provide the deer with, however, they proof tough to obtain. This is why they eat forbs, leaves, tree barks, and woods. The nuts range all the way from Hickory nuts, red acorns to white acorns. They totally love nuts!

During summer, they enjoy fruits such as coralberry, grapes, and blackberries, which are exclusive to this season. These fruits are among their very favorite foods; maybe it is because of their added flavor. Clearly a deer has a sense of taste thus its preferences.


A deer is a herbivorous browser, and they feed on high plants. They are very choosy and would often prefer other foods to others, for instance, a deer would rather eat nuts and summer fruits rather than barks and wild grasses. They are also able to select the best types of food for their nutritional value. However, they are intelligent enough to know when they will not get their preference and during these times, they will eat what is at their disposal

A deer has a simple stomach formation that may not perform tough digestion processes; they, therefore, take in plants and foods that are easy to digest. A deer’s diet consists mainly of vegetation. Its preferences are often out of reach and to survive, they eat what they get.


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David S. Boone

Thank you for visiting my blog . I like outdoor activities such as hunting , fishing , and other outdoor sports . I’m happy to share my knowledge with everyone.

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