What To Feed Deer In Backyard? (4 Season Food Details)

We should always be careful while feeding wild animals because we may cause illness to them by feeding them the wrong thing. 

You can feed wild deer juicy fruits, vegetables, beetroot, carrots, and spinach, among many other things. But it largely depends on the seasons, like how deer should be fed different things in summer compared to winter. 

What To Feed Deer In Backyard: Complete Guide
What To Feed Deer In Backyard: Detailed Tutorial

You should also know about the legality of feeding deer in your state, and researchers have found that feeding wild animals may not be such a good idea. I have explored everything about feeding deer in the backyard in this article; read on!  

Is it Illegal to Feed Deer in Your Yard?

Deer are the most appealing creatures of North America. If you have the idea of feeding deer in your backyard, there are some aspects you have to keep in mind.

Is it Illegal to Feed Deer in Your Yard: Correct Answer

Several State Governments of the United States of America have provided several laws prohibiting the feeding of deer in the backyard. But unless and until a deer is harmed while feeding or any adverse effect of food can be seen, feeding a deer in the backyard is quite a common phenomenon in the country.

Should You Feed Deer in Your Backyard?

Feeding a deer during extreme weather conditions can always be a good deed, but it may not be that simple! Researchers have proven that feeding a deer can have long-term problems.

Should You Feed Deer in Your Backyard: What You Should Know

A deer loses their fear of humans once they get habituated to being fed by humans, which can often lead to aggressive attacks. This is one of the reasons why deer should be left alone to search for their food in the wilderness except when calamities knock at the door.

What To Feed Deer In Backyard?

To point out first, before feeding wild deer, it is important to keep in mind that the process of feeding the deer should be slow and tender. Deer, by nature, are shy animals and don’t tend to be tamed very easily.

Leaving a small quantity of food at first may accelerate the process. The amount of food can be increased with time. This will help the deer to accept the process with time. A slow step will help them to get accustomed to the sudden change in diet.

What is the best food to feed the wild deer In Different Seasons

What do you feed wild deer in the summer?

Summer no doubt comes with juicy mangoes and fresh lemonades, but very hot temperature and water necessity are what follows. During summer, feeding them juicy fruits and vegetables is significant to ensure they stay hydrated and well nourished.

During these months, you should allow them to roam and search for their favored grasses, shrubs and bushes in your garden. These will ensure no serious health problems occur due to overfeeding, and they do not become overly dependent on you for food.

Do not feed them corn during these months as it can lead to unignorable health issues.

What to feed Deer during spring?

Spring is the season of vegetation. Starting with the cultivation of fresh leafy green veggies, bunches of bushes and shrubs to colorful fruits, you can get all that in your garden at once during this season.

To look at the overall diet of a deer, they need food that is high in fiber and low in protein. If fiber is unavailable immediately, go for high-quality grass or browse to supplement the deficiency. Fiber-rich vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, spinach etc., that are easily available can also be a good start for the season.

What to feed deer In Backyard in winter?

Winters in America are harsh and sharp. When you have the idea of feeding deer in winter, there are some aspects that you should keep in mind. 

Foods like corn, nuts and fruits should be on your list as they are the source of plenty of major nutrients. Food like this will provide their body energy and help them warm during the cold months.

To add up, you need to also think about the location of the deer feeder on your lawn that will be easily accessible to these animals. Keeping in mind their shy nature, try to keep the feeder away from your residence and the cold winds and exposure to frostbite.

Make an effort to check the feeder regularly to ensure that nothing harmful is on the plate. Keeping a check on their diet will also give you an idea of the food they consume.

Supporting the local deer during these months is truly important, and keeping in mind these key points, you can easily pass through the process.

What to feed deer in the fall?

The change in weather and duration of the day also calls for certain preparations. This preparation for winter is not limited only to humans but also animals. Deer prepare themselves during this time of the year by consuming food to construct their fat reserves and keep their body warm.

The appropriate food for deer during falls depends upon the type of food available in your area. Corn here can be a great option as it is rich in carbohydrates and cheaper than any other food.

What to feed deer in the fall

Moderation in their food is essential to maintain a proper diet, which can be done by supplying grasses and shrubs. But if you live in an area with a scarcity of plants, you can also opt for hay.

You May Also Find Useful: Do deer eat oranges | Do Deer Eat Walnuts | Do deer eat potato plants

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Thinking of feeding deer on your property? Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions!

Will deer eat vegetable scraps?

Vegetable Scraps which include celery, lettuce trimmings, old fruits, cabbage, cauliflower leaves and other waste are deer killers. Although they are part of the plants, they are high in water content and low in essential nutrients like protein and carbohydrates.

You have seen that people who tend to lose weight tend to depend on salads only. Deer are no exception here. Food without nutrients doesn’t add anything to their diet. Waste fruits like apples and pears can be given to them, but only that much is not enough. You should balance them with grass or other supplementary as well.

Can deer eat bread?

Baking bread in your oven anytime is not a big deal. And to give you some good news, deer love to eat bread.
Giving them bread during the winter is a good idea as it keeps them warm and is a good source of carbohydrates. But it is not necessary to feed them bread in large quantities. Bread can be a good option while food is scarce during winter, but natural food such as vegetables is best.

What fruit do deer eat?

To name some fruits, deer will love to eat apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries, and plums.
Seasonal fruits like blackberries and persimmons can also be on your list.

Can deer eat bird seed?

A deer shouldn’t eat bird seeds. It harms the diet of these wild animals. Bird seeds are high in fat and calories and have almost zero nutrients, typically leading to obesity amongst them.

In addition, feeding deer bird seed may cost you a lot. Them being unbothered will lead them to eat anything and everything. But keeping in mind the difference in the quantity of consumption between a deer and a bird it is always best to avoid such food.

Can I feed deer lettuce?

Yes, lettuce counts among some of the most preferred foods by the deer. Lettuce having high water content is a good palatable for the deer during summer.

Are salt licks good for deer?

Deer such as whitetails need a source of sodium during summer and spring. Therefore, salt licks can be specifically good for the deer. These licks are rich in nutrients and minerals like phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium.

What is an inexpensive way to feed deer?

Cutting expenses is something that does not leave our minds. Be it your grocery budget bill. And if you have the task of feeding wild animals in your mind, cost-effective nutrition is the go-to word.
You can give the deer a mix of dry fruits such as walnuts, oats, and other wild nuts.

Buy these items in bulk along with corn to keep up with a proper and healthy meal for them. Hay is the other inexpensive fodder you can count on.
On the other hand, beans are cheap, great food, and reasonable for the deer during winters, which helps them to be warm and energetic.


You should try out some of these steps when looking for ways to sustain your deer population. By planting the right food needed and providing a safe shelter for them to retain, you can create an abode that will attract these beautiful creatures into your backyard.

You should make it your final goal to improve the environment for deer to live in rather than just feeding them some vegetable scraps in the feeder. By improving the vegetation, you will make it easier for deer to find the nutrition they require for their surroundings. I hope I have been able to clear your confusion about what to feed deer in backyard, if you still have any confusion, please let me know in the comment box.

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