Deer are one of the most majestic and graceful animals on the planet. If you spot them in the wild, they are most probably looking for something to eat. Deer are herbivores and aren’t too picky when it comes to plants.
They mostly eat twigs, grass, nuts, corn, alfalfa, fungi, and fruit. These graceful animals do not have a consistent diet all year long. They mostly eat what is most accessible. During winter, deer can even eat barks, buds, and shoots. However, their favorite snacks, which include delicious fruits, are not easily accessible. Continue reading to find out if deer love apples.
Many people want to find out whether deer love apples for different reasons. Maybe you want to attract a deer for a photoshoot, or you want to plant an orchard for your deer. Just like human beings, deer love sweet things.
They love to snack on fruits such as blackberries, persimmons, blueberries, and most importantly, apples! Occasionally, they also sneak into yards for veggies, flowers, and ornamental trees. The snack that tops this list is the apple, which deer love.
They can eat the fruit, leaves, foliage, fresh plants, and even the peels. One animal can consume dozens of fruits that fall off the trees in an instant. As much as an apple is sweet and provides energy, it is not a sufficient source of food for a deer on its own.
Apples should be used as a supplement diet for a deer. Instead of throwing apple remains and peels in the rubbish, you can feed them to wildlife. Not only do deer love eating fallen apples but also apple trees.
If you plan on planting an orchard, it is crucial to know how to protect them from deer. They will feast on the fruit, foliage, new young plants, and the tree. They can also smash all your harvest with their antlers.
What Kind Of Apples Do Deer Eat?
As stated earlier, apples are a deer’s favorite snack. Many people have performed simple tests to prove this fact. Even after placing different types of fruits in different baskets, they always go for the apples. They like the sweet taste that apples provide. Further studies need to be conducted on their sense of taste, but they prefer sweet over salty in a real sense.
Deer do not mostly care about the type of apple. They can eat all types of apples. Different varieties of apples grow across Europe and America. You will find that these apples are different in colors, for example, red and green apples.
Many farmers use the fence fruit gardening trend; hence deer are forced to rely on wild apples. People who live near deer know that throwing apple peels in the trash will attract deer. No matter the color of the apple, they will want to feed on the peels.
If you have an orchard, deer can pluck both unripe and ripe apples from the trees. Even the branches are high enough; they still manage to reach the fruits by standing on hind legs. After a bite or two, they will have devoured the whole fruit and gone to the next.
If you are planning to give a snack to deer, bring along any apple. One or two fruits can fill their hunger pangs. However, if you are feeling generous, you can carry a dozen fruits, and they will still manage to eat. If you are planning to have a photoshoot, arrange a pile of apples in your backyard. The deer always falls for this trap. Deer do not even leave a rotten apple behind.
Do Apples Attract Deer?
If you want to view deer in your backyard or have a deer photoshoot, use apples. For ages, deer have been trapped by the use of apples. They cannot resist the sweet-smelling aroma of delicious apples. You can lay a pile of apples in your backyard or plant apple or crab apple trees in your backyard.
If you do not have the space to plant any trees in your yard, you can form a feeding spot. Take a bucket or trough and put a serving of grain, little pieces of cut apples, and mix them.
But why are deer easily attracted to apples? First, they are very easy to digest. Also, some apples catch a deer’s attention because of their color. Apples are easy to bite into, and you do not need to cut them into small portions. Additionally, they are packed with loads of vitamins.
Are Apples Healthy For Deer?
Whether fresh or rotten, deer cannot resist apples. However, apples are not an adequate diet for deer on their own. They need various other foods such as woody browse, tree bark, pumpkins, sunflower seeds, lichens, and even old dead leaves.
Veggies and fruits are very healthy for deer. They have high water content and low protein levels, which is especially great for deer during the winter season. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals.
The deer’s stomach has a gazillion living microorganisms that assist their digestive system to function. However, these microorganisms are used to digesting woody brow and not apples.
Deer eat apples mostly during winter because they are easily accessible. You will find that a deer can lose 20% to 30% of its weight during the winter, which is a way to survive winter.
During winter, a deer needs a diet rich in fat, protein, and carbohydrate. So, they need more than apples because they provide temporary energy. The nutritional value of apples includes 52% calories, 0.2g fat, 14g carbs, 2.4g dietary fiber, and 0.3g protein. They also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Cobalamin, and Potassium.
How To Feed Apples To Deer?
Feeding and eating naturally are two different concepts. Eating happens naturally, and feeding is artificial. If a deer is consuming apples naturally, they will stand on their hind legs or stand on their front legs against the tree and pick apples to eat.
As for feeding, you can buy some apples and offer deer as a treat. One crucial thing to keep in mind is that this should be used as a supplement diet, not a full diet. Make sure they do not surpass the prescribed diet.
If you want to interact more with a deer, you can cut an apple with an apple slicer and a knife. Cut several apples into small slices. If this attracts deer to your backyard, cut more slices and place them into a bowl. As said before, be careful not to overfeed because they have a sensitive digestive system. You can include other varieties of foods such as grapes, cherries, carrots, pears, and snap peas.
During summer, you can include soybeans, corn, and acorns in their diet. In the winter season, you can include cereal grains such as triticale, oats, and wheat. This provides a range of nutrients for the deer. Some foods are harmful to deer, such as kitchen scrap, corn, potatoes, lettuce trimmings, hay, or animal proteins. They can cause a deer to starve during winter because they are indigestible.
It would be best if you did not get used to feeding wild animals as much as it gives you wild pleasure. We recommend doing this only once in a while. A deer might become dependent on easy food sources, which do more harm than good. It is much better if these marvelous animals feed themselves.
How To Protect Apple Trees From Trees?
Deer love eating apple trees, young plants, fruits, and foliage. They can destroy your harvest with the antlers. These animals love to feed on young trees with a low stature and tender dwarf shoots. The most convenient way of protecting your trees is fencing. If you live in a deer prone zone where the population is not likely to reduce anytime soon, it would be best to deer-proof.
Put up a fence around your apple tree.
The University of California studies show that an 8-foot fence is the minimum height option for a fence. If the tree is on a downslope, you will need a 10-to-11 foot. You should firmly create a fence with high-tensile wire or woven mesh and anchor the wire to the ground. To create a strong that will not be blown away by the wind, ensure you fill any holes with rocks or any other material. Another effective option is using an electric fence.
Put a metal or plastic mesh trunk guard around the bottom of the tree.
While paying attention to the tree’s bark’s safety, wrap a metal mesh or plastic around the tree. Use a metal wire to secure the guard, then press it 1 inch into the surrounding mulch or ground. This trunk guard protects the trees from male deer that scratch the velvet from their anklets.
Hang a string of scented soap around each tree branch.
This repels deer from the sweet apple aroma. Ensure that you always monitor the soap bars and replace the disintegrated ones.]
Use deer-resistant plants around the apple tree.
You can use aloe, monkshood, yarrow, or rosemary to deter deer from the apple trees.
Extra reading here – 17 DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEER