Do Deer Eat Apples?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Deer are picky eaters, and surely, they’ll eat the apples whenever they find some. Even though apples aren’t their primary food source, they will still be a good treat to have. Often, you’ll see these curious creatures standing on their hind legs to reach apples. Deer also don’t mind overripe apples that have been dropped on the forest floor since they’re easier to chew. Wild deer love apples as they are sweet and also provide them with good nutrients. 

Many people also feed deer in winter, but is it a good idea? Are apples good for deer? Let’s dig deep and answer these interesting questions and much more.

Can you Feed Apples to Deer?

Apples are a healthy snack for deer. Their sweet taste is appealing to them, and they will eat as many to fill their stomach. However, deer will mostly eat apples at the end of winter because this is the time when they’re suffering due to a shortage of food. Their main source of food is grass and short plants, which will get covered in snow in winter, so they won’t be able to eat them. Apples can be a good option to feed deer in the late winter when their bodies can digest them better. 

Generally, apples are safe to use in deer feeders as well, but since apples are not one of their primary sources of food, their digestive system and stomach is not used to digest them in the same way as other foods. The deer digestive system needs time to get used to new eating adaptations, and it could take even four weeks to be able to digest apples in bulk. Deer are animals, and when they are hungry, they will eat as much as they can even if something is not good for their health. Eating a lot of apples at one time will cause acidic problems in their stomach. So, it’s better to introduce apples gradually to deer. In this way, they would be able to digest them better and will stay healthy.

Nutritional Facts About Apples

Apples are a prime source of vitamins, minerals, and energy. Apples are one of the favorite fruits found in almost every country. They have been part of our diets and culture for a long time. Originally from Central Asia, they spread all over the world, becoming one of the most popular fruits. In addition to being delicious and refreshing, apples are also packed with minerals and antioxidants. Since apples are low in calories and high in fiber, they can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet. Apples come in different sizes and colors and can be used in countless recipes like pies, juices, and smoothies if you want some variety.

Apples are a classic snack that’s packed with health benefits. It’s low in calories and fat, but it’s still got a lot of fiber and vitamins. According to Healthline, in just one medium-sized raw apple of 100 g, you’ll get 86% water, 0.3 grams of protein, 13.8 grams of carbs, 10.4 grams of sugar, and 2.4 grams of fiber. 

Using Apples As a Way to Attract Deer

For hunters, apples can be a good way to attract deer. Deer have a strong sense of smell 700 times more acute than humans. They can even smell far from 400 meters away. Deer are not only attracted by the sweet, crunchy treats, but apples also last longer than traditional baits. In addition to deer, succulent apples can also attract other animals like foxes and raccoons as well. 

Apples are appealing because they take longer to eat, so you can keep a deer distracted and busy for a while. When you’re trying to attract deer using apples, be aware that you might have some other wildlife guests too. You can attract wild deer by planting an apple tree in your garden. With new furry friends comes responsibility; feeding wildlife can become expensive over time, so make sure there’s a balanced diet for them.

Apple As Food Source For Deer

Wild deer will wander for food and find apples at certain times of the year, but apples shouldn’t be considered a regular part of their diet, nor do they provide most of the nutrients they need to survive. 

In winter, apples are used as bait or a treat by those trying to keep deer populations healthy. For their nutritional needs, deer can eat a variety of foods. This includes apples and other fruits and vegetables, which are packed with nutrients. It doesn’t matter if they’re fresh or rotten; deer will eat them. With their high water content, low protein, and high fiber, these types of nourishment are safe for deer if consumed moderately. 

Despite that, woody browse remains their favorite food since it’s easier to digest. Keep in mind that their feeding habits change depending on the season; they eat more apples in late winter or early spring.

What Kind of Apples do Deer Like?

Deer are always looking for juicy snacks! Because of their sweet taste, apple trees attract deer, but some varieties get more attention than others. In my experience, Red Delicious trees seem to draw them in more than Granny Smiths or other sour apples. When you plant an apple tree in your yard, don’t be surprised if the deer come knocking!

Some best apples for deer feeding are Dolgo apples, Red apples, Fuji apples, sweet tango apples, and Liberty apples.

What’s the Best Way to Put Apples Out for Deer?

Apples are an attractive snack for wild deer and can be easy to set up in the right conditions. Make sure the apples are in a clear area where deer can get to them. You need to find a place where the deer can get to the apples but are relatively protected from predators. Deer are more likely to feel at ease if they’re near natural vegetation or foliage, so pick an area with lots of shade. You can spread leaf mulch or grass around the apple patch once you’ve found a good spot since this provides cover for deer and other animals that might come to eat your apples. It’s best to use a high-protein feed, if possible, for the deer’s nutrition.

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