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Do Deer Eat Oats? (Read This First!)

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Many people enjoy deers in their backyard, while some don’t want their presence as deers can damage gardens. But in the winter, the struggles of deers can encourage you to feed them something. But what to feed them? Can they eat oats? 

Keep reading to learn more about feeding oats to the deers.

Do deer eat oats?

Oats are highly nutritious food for the deers. It is one of their favorite foods when it comes to taste. Moreover, oats have a good amount of protein, fiber and carbohydrates that they can digest quickly and help them survive. However, overfeeding oats can negatively affect the deers.

Deers eat oats, and it’s one of their favorite foods. Deers have a complicated digestive system, and many foods can be pretty harmful to the deers, but it’s safe to feed them oats.

First, let’s talk a bit about the background of feeding deers and then we will discuss feeding them oats. The question is, why do you want to feed them oats? Do you like feeding them, or do you want to help them?

When nature is covered with snow, it’s a tough time for the deers in the winter. But it’s also true that deers are surviving the winter for ages. 

If you notice that the local deers are in terrible shape and the temperature drop is longer than the previous years, you can feed them to help them survive. But what happens when you feed them?

More deers will survive the winter, giving birth to healthy, stronger babies. The number of deers will increase. That means you may have to feed more deers in the following winter. Will you feed the extended community of deers in the next few years?

So, what should you do? If you think the deers are in real danger, you can feed them. Hopefully, the winter will be less harsh.

What to feed the deers? Oats are an excellent choice for the deers. Deers’ digestive system inhabits specific groups of microorganisms, essential for their good health and digestion. Foods that are bad for those gut microbes are bad for the deers.

Luckily oats do not harm the microbial community and are unlikely to interrupt digestive health. A sudden diet change will not affect them negatively if you feed them oats in cold winter.

Oats are high in fiber, similar to their regular diet. Moreover, oats can provide about 25% of protein, which will help recover the body weight they lose in the winter. 

Deers in the colder regions become less active in the winter season. They lose up to 20% of body weight in the winter. Suppose nature stays covered with the snow for a longer time than usual. That may cause the end of some of the deers’ life. 

In those situations, you may feed them to help. But make sure the deers do not get dependent on the people. 

Sometimes you may feel deers are mourning, but most of the time, they are not. They have a coat and fat layer that helps them survive the winter. Remember, not interrupting nature is another way to help nature. Check out if you can feed deers with these types of oats.

Rolled oats:

Rolled oats are easily digestible and suitable for the deers after the formulated deer feed.

Whole oats:

Deers can also eat whole oats without any problems. Whole oats are full of fibers, proteins and carbohydrates.

Quaker oats:

Deer feeds are the best for the deers. If that’s not available, quaker oats are also feedable.

Northern sea oats:

Northern sea oats are deer-resistant and not suitable for the deers.

Feed oats:

Deers can easily eat and digest feed oats. But make sure not to free-feed them.

Quick oats:

Deers can also eat quick oats without any issue.

Dry oats:

Dry oats can also be a great choice to feed the deers.

Horse oats:

Horse oats are suitable for the deers but don’t feed horse feed to the deers as they have a different diet.

River oats:

Deers can eat river oats, and it’s highly nutritious for them.

Green oats:

Like dry oats, green oats are also feedable to the deers.

Do deer eat oats in the winter?

Deer eat oats in all-season if available, including the winter. They like oats for their flavor and good taste. Deers should not eat a lot of oats at once as that will be harder to digest for the deers.

Keep in mind that deers are starving for food in the winter. But it’s a natural process, and they all have to go through it. If you feed them oats, they will be very excited to eat their oats.

There are some things you must ensure while feeding oats to the deers. Make sure you are not overfeeding the deers. However, you need a lot of oats to overfeed the deers. Just make sure the deers are getting the food equally.

If you can not ensure that all the deers are eating, they will become aggressive to each other. Also, make sure you are not causing any issues to the neighbors and the traffic system of your locality. 

When you attract deers in your backyard, the deers can damage the neighbor’s gardens. Moreover, when the deers get out of their natural environment, they have less chance to flee from predator strikes. 

Do deer eat oat seeds?

Deers eat oat seeds and eat oat seeds from the plant in the wild. But when it comes to feeding the deers, it’s best to provide them with rolled oats as they are easier for them to eat, and the deers get the full flavor of the oats.

Sometimes oat seeds have too much fiber, which is hard for them to digest. Cows and horses can also eat and digest the oats, but the rolled oats are more suitable.

If you are planting oat seeds in your garden, you should cover the oat seed from the birds so they can not eat the seeds. You also protect the newly germinated oat seeds, which are the deers’ favorite.

Do whitetail deer eat oats?

Whitetail deers eat oats, and they can easily digest them. Whitetail deers are commonly found in all the states of America. If you want to enjoy them in your backyard, you can feed them oats. But make sure they are not becoming dependent on you for food.

Feed them oats like a treat, but they become lazy if they don’t feed them too much. Overfeeding the deers can also cause many diseases.

3 reasons why deer eat oats

Here are some reasons deers eat oats.

Oats are similar to their natural diet:

Oat has a similar type of fiber as their natural diet, but oats are pretty high in energy and protein, so they should not eat a lot of it at once.

It’s tasty:

Oats have a nice texture and flavor they like. Most of the deer feed has some amount of oats in them.

High in energy:

Oats are high in protein and energy, so oats are preferred to feed the deers after the formulated deer feed.

How to stop deer from eating oats?

When you have planted oats in your backyard, it’s a different situation. When you have to save your oat plants, you can follow these steps. There are many techniques to prevent deers, but we will discuss the easy and cheapest ones.

Start from day one:

Take the deer-preventing steps before planting the oats. The deers love eating newly grown oat plants. 

Collect the things you need:

Deer fear any signs of predators and avoid any place with those signs. So, we will take advantage of that and keep the deers away from our oats plants. 

You will need to collect hair clippings from a barbershop and dried blood and bones from a local meat processing company.

Spread them around the garden:

Spread the bones, hair clippings and dried blood around your oat garden, and that’s enough to make the place hunted for the deers. Deers will avoid entering your garden once they notice those predators’ signs around your garden.

What kind of oats do deer eat?

Deers can eat most oats, while rolled oats are the best for them. Here is a list of oat types they can eat.

  • Buck Forage Oats
  • Quick oats
  • Dry oats
  • Whole oats
  • Quaker oats
  • Feed oats
  • Horse oats
  • River oats
  • Green oats
  • Rolled oats

Final Thoughts

Deers eat oats, and they will eat oats with great enjoyment. But you must think twice before feeding them oats or any food. Feeding wild animals is quite controversial. If you want to feed deers, you should do it for your enjoyment and feed them as a treat, not like a regular meal.

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