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I find that I always have a number of pumpkins left that I have no use of, as soon as Halloween ends. This year it came to mind that I might feed some deer with them, but would deer even eat pumpkins or not? This got me on a spiral search all over the internet for an answer. I found conflicting results so I thought why not just leave a pumpkin to a deer and see where that takes me. Below you will see what I found out.
So, do deer eat pumpkins?
Not only do deer eat pumpkins, but they actually love them as part of their meals. Deer will enjoy the pumpkin guts a lot more than they would the shells so it’d be a lot better if you’d break open any pumpkin you want to feed to a deer. Deer will not only eat a ripe pumpkin, but they will like the pumpkin plants as well. They enjoy eating the fruit all throughout fall and they really like to eat the leaves of the pumpkin plants in the summer.
The day I decided to dump a smashed pumpkin close to where the deer wander was also the day when one came and ate it completely. I watched it live and it was just beautiful. I continued throwing pumpkins for a couple of days and I kept watching deer come and enjoy the free meals.
When trying to feed pumpkins to deer you’ll notice that they don’t eat the full thing at once. They start with the insides and then they pause and leave the rest behind. It will take a little while for them to get hungry again and come for what’s left, especially when they can’t find other vegetation to eat.
Feeding Deer With Pumpkins
A lot of people will have a lot of pumpkins to throw out right after Halloween. You will notice that most people don’t care what happens to them as soon as the holiday passes. Trash cans will be full of rotting pumpkins. You can be different and know what types of animals will enjoy eating pumpkins and just feed those animals. You’ll be surprised to know that not only deer eat pumpkins but also ducks and chickens.
You can give deer ripe pumpkins, especially if you live in an area with a lot of pumpkins and a lot of deer. They are basically deer’s favorite fruits.
The best way to feed deer with pumpkins is to smash the fruits so they can eat them easier. If you feed them whole pumpkins, they will try to crush them with their hooves, which isn’t always an easy job, especially considering that there are some pumpkins with really hard shells.
You will then have to find a place where to dump the pumpkins. The best place would be a garden or forest that is a little more isolated, where deer pass by often enough to spot the new meal. It would be best if you would find a place very close to the forest so that you know for sure that deer visit periodically.
If you find the perfect spot, it won’t take more than two-three nights for deer to come and eat the treats.
Are Pumpkins Healthy?
Yes, pumpkins are healthy not only for humans but for deer as well. They will provide a good percent of nutritional value to deer due to their content rick in potassium vitamin C and Fiber.
Pumpkin guts will actually come with a boost in all those nutrients and will help make the deer’s bones stronger and healthier. The pumpkin seeds are also a treat for deer that eat them along with the guts to gain some natural fats. Deer, like most wild animals, won’t miss the opportunity to eat fat-rich meals to prepare their bodies for winter.
Pumpkin seeds provide just enough fat for deer if eaten in decent amounts. They aren’t just full of fat but feature a lot of nutrients, which makes them a very healthy alternative for deer. This means that you shouldn’t have any issue feeding deer with pumpkin seeds if this was your plan.
Will Pumpkins Attract Deer?
Yes, deer are in love with pumpkin taste, so much so that they will devour the pumpkin plants as well. They like these fruits so much that people with pumpkin gardens have to chase deer away so that they don’t destroy their plants.
They really like the taste of fresh pumpkin leaves and they can sniff the smell from a long distance. This is why in the summer people guard their pumpkin fields so that deer don’t ruin them.
I’ve talked so nicely about pumpkins that you’d think they are deer’s favorite food but they aren’t. Among other foods that they enjoy as much or even more than pumpkin are sweet potatoes, rye, evergreen plants, grass, beans, acorns, corn, and so on.
This means that when you see deer eating pumpkins, you have to understand that they couldn’t find something else either due to the season or due to food actually being scarce.