Do Deer Eat Carrots?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Yes, deer eat carrots. Many people associate deer with pretty woodland scenes and eating vegetation from the ground, but few realize deer actually eat carrots.

Just like humans, deer like carrots for their crunchy texture and fleeting sweetness. Because of their taste and vitamin content, carrots are a favorite food source for many types of deer, especially European Roe Deer and American White-Tailed Deer.

Carrots are a special treat for deer. Deer can eat carrots from top to bottom, including its plant. However, the thickness and width of the top are difficult for deer to chew, so if you are feeding carrots to deer, make sure to cut them into small pieces. 

In this blog post, I will discuss some interesting facts about carrots and what are the health benefits associated with them. How are carrots attractive to deer? And are carrots safe for deer?

So, let’s get started.

Interesting Facts about Carrots

carrot plant

Carrots are a member of the Apiaceae family and are the 6th most used vegetables in the United States. They grow in cool weather, but locally grown carrots are available throughout the year. Carrots are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a good source of vitamins C, E, and K. Their health benefits include supporting immune function, reducing cancer risk, and promoting wound healing and digestion.

Carrot Nutritional Facts 

According to medical news today, below are nutritional facts found in one medium size raw carrot:

Energy (calories) 25      

Carbohydrate (g) 5.8 — including 2.9 g of sugar

Calcium (mg) 20.1

Phosphorus (mg) 21.4

Potassium (mg) 195

Vitamin C (mg) 3.6

Vitamin E (mg) 0.4

Vitamin K (mcg) 8.1

When you are using carrots, prefer using organic ones as they are more nutritionally dense as compared to non-organic carrots.

Are Carrots Safe for Deer

Yes, deer can consume carrots safely without any trouble. Carrots are not a primary source of food for deer, but they will still eat them happily if they find some.

Carrots are not just safe but it is also an inexpensive way to feed deer. Just like many other vegetables, deer are attracted to carrots.

Many biologists have given their opinion that deer can safely consume carrots, but since they are not a permanent part of deer diet, so it’s better to feed carrots to deer in a moderate way with a mix of other things such as pumpkins, grass, tree leaves, etc. 

Favorite foods of deer 

Deer eating preferences are a lot, and their favorite foods list is quite extensive. You’ll benefit from understanding deer dietary habits if you’re a gardener or a hunter. Even though deer eat a wide variety of things, they usually change their eating patterns with the seasons. Knowing what they like to eat at different times of the year can help you regulate or attract them.

Deer’s like to consume fruits and most of the vegetables. They also eat corn, nuts, apples, oranges, pumpkins, hay, green grass, tree leaves, and many small plants. Deer need to eat a lot to survive, and that’s why whenever you will see deer, you will found them eating something. They need to consume around 8% of their body weight from spring to fall. As in winter season food sources becomes scarce, therefore deer eats as much as they can during spring and summer to store fat content in their bodies.

Why are carrots attractive to deer?

First, due to their pleasant smell. As deer have a strong sense of smell, they can smell carrots from large distances. Mostly they are attracted to any green areas, and they will be able to smell anything from a large distance.

Second, carrots are easy to eat. Deer do not face any problem eating and digesting carrots.

Third, carrots have a sweet taste and are juicy as well.

Along with other reasons, the carrot plant is attractive because, just like many other vegetables, it’s green, which attracts deer. They see the top green leaves and plant of carrot that catches their attention.

Is it ok to feed canned carrots to deer?

No, it’s not recommended. Canned and processed foods are not nutrient dense and are processed in accordance with human needs. Deer are more used to eating fresh food, not frozen or processed foods. Their digestive system can react if they are fed canned carrots. So, avoid feeding them canned foods; instead, you can feed them fresh carrots.

Is it easy for deer to digest carrots?

Yes, it’s easy for deer to digest carrots but not in large quantities. When feeding carrots to deer, make sure you feed them moderately. Overfeeding carrots can be bad for deer. For deer, 2-3 carrots aren’t a problem to digest, but not too many. Also, don’t feed carrots to fawns since their digestive systems aren’t used to digest them.

Do deer eat carrot tops?

Deer can eat carrots from top to bottom, including its plant. However, the thickness and width of the carrot’s top are difficult for deer to chew, so if you are feeding carrots to deer, make sure to cut them into small pieces, so it becomes easy for deer to chew and swallow.

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