Deer are not pigs.....

Some areas of the US it is legal to bait. In some of these areas people are also feeding corn for a winter energy supplement. Here is some things you need to consider. Deer are ruminants, not monogastrics like us humans or pigs. Deer are designed to consume fiber, not high amounts of starch. In fact, most ruminants need less than 25% of the diet containing starch. Levels higher than that will result in acidosis and a drop in rumen pH.

Just like with the soil, the ideal pH of a deer (ruminant) is 6.5. Just like with soil, when it's out of balance,it might be acidotic and containing levels below 5.5 pH. What happens when you flood a deer's system with high amounts of corn (starch), you rapidly drop their pH. This brings about acidosis and an overall unhealthy situation. You could even cause acute acidosis resulting in death. Note, it takes up to 4 weeks for a ruminant to get use to consumming higher amounts of starch, when they are not use to it in their diet.

So, with an ideal level of below 25% starch in a deer's diet, this means if a 125 pound deer consumes more than 1 pound of corn per day you will exceed their dietary limit on starch. Every 1 pound of corn contains approximately 75% starch.

Here is the math.

pounds of corn fed 1 x .75 =.75 lbs starch

An 125 pound deer will eat about 3.1 pounds of ration dry matter

.75/3.1 = .241 (24.1% starch)

So, what should you do? If you insist on feeding corn, the best thing to do would be to mix 1 part corn with 3 parts senior horse feed or a sweet multi feed or Grandpa Ray's Added Edge (due to be released soon)

Look for more detailed information in next month's Grandpa Ray Outdoors newsletter.

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