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Your trees have come into fruit, or they’re already hanging from stalks in bunches of yellow happiness. However, besides the leaves coming under herbivore attack, it’s okay to worry about your entire potassium and fiber-rich crop of plantain; both green and ripe. It’s said that no fruit is sweeter, so can deer eat bananas?
Deer are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat bananas even though they’re not naturally found in their diet. If the fruit becomes available, they’ll eat it because it’s sweet but not for any particular nutritional advantage. Since the ruminant lacks upper incisors, a ripe banana is an especially soft treat that’s easy to consume.
If you have bananas in your yard, they’ll easily attract deer. This article lets you learn how to prevent deer from snacking on your plantains; ensuring that you’ll harvest a deserving fruit for your gardening efforts.
Will Deer Jump Over Hoops to Get At Your Bananas?
Have you managed to propagate some bananas in your temperate area by burlap-wrapping roots through the cold weather? Or do you want to get rid of that slowly rotting bunch that’s seen fresher days; and are wondering if you can help fatten up your season’s venison harvest? Well, anything is possible if you put your mind to it, but remember that you’re dealing with unpredictable wildlife.
Banana plants grow in North and South America, Africa, China, and India, where various deer species also habituate. Deer bred in captivity are used to being fed bananas once in a while in small portions as a treat. However, their wild kin rarely comes across the ripe fruit. It’s not unheard of for curiosity to drive them to discover its sweet taste in your garden.
Rich in potassium, fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins, bananas are a good addition to existing deer fare. The peel also comes highly favored. However, much of that nutrition can be sourced elsewhere; such as from grass, lichens, mushrooms, forbes, or herbaceous broad-leafed plants, wild fruit, and berries.
Are There Species of Bananas That Are Resistant To Deer?
Deer are wild herbivores, scientific species Cervidae, and they consist of several subspecies in the US. The most common types of this ungulate around North America are whitetail, mule, and fallow deer. These creatures are popular for their grace, beauty, and venison, but they’ll end up in your garden when there’s a food deficit in their natural habitat.
While they’ll eat almost anything palatable they can find when hungry, the diet of deer includes shrubs, grass, leaves, nuts, fungi, and fruit. Feeding habits vary with the season, and although bananas aren’t part of their usual fare, they consider them a treat. The ungulates won’t come actively looking for your crop unless there’s stress or starvation in the herd, but any rotting fruit will act as a scent beacon.
You certainly don’t want deer hoofs trampling all over your garden, ruining banana trees, or engorging themselves on ripe fruit. The varmint also has a nasty habit of rubbing antlers against stalks and eating leaves of young trees.
There are no species of bananas that wouldn’t appeal to deer, and therefore you’ll need to find ways for your crop to co-exist with the ravenous critters. You can propagate the tall variety of this fruit that towers about 16 feet, which is way high for the animal to jump. However, all plantain trees are soft and pliable, easily damaged by sharp-antlered bucks.
Should You Feed Wild Deer, So They Stay Away From Your Banana Fruits?
Deer often come into populated areas out of pressure within their seasonal habitats. The ungulate will venture into villages, towns, and cities, searching for feed alternatives, resulting in conflict with gardeners. Bananas are one crop that requires extra input to grow, especially in areas where cold weather kills the plants.
Feeding wild deer is encouraged and discouraged in equal measure, but experts do advise against it. An unnaturally high-density results and attracts predators in places where the game animal is used to being fed. Such an area could soon be crawling with mountain lions, bears, coyotes, and wolves, putting the humans at risk.
It’s true that feeding deer interferes with their natural metabolic cycles and even starvation during winter as it’s helpful for them. If you feed wildlife regularly, they risk losing their affinity for depending on the environment while becoming less afraid of humans.
Considering the factors I’ve mentioned will help you decide whether it’s sound advice to feed this varmint so they don’t develop an appetite for your precious bananas. Ensure that the food you’ll offer your ruminant visitors is healthy for them, and avoid people coming close to the wild animals. Keep pets like dogs from the area you expect deer to visit, probably at night.
What Food Should You Give Deer, So They Don’t Damage Your Bananas?
It could also be that deer in your area are already familiar with bananas and other foods from humans. To keep them from destroying your well-tended trees and fruit, strike a balance where you offer some other feed that the animal prefers. Okay, maybe an occasional banana will also be great, and which they’d love.
Knowing what you can and shouldn’t feed deer will be crucial as some foods can be hazardous to their wellbeing. Like I said earlier, these pests will approach anything you put forward with curiosity for discovery, nibbling even feed that may poison them.
You should never feed deer foods that include corn, acidic fruit, and vegetables. Human food containing artificial products and anything with sweeteners or has yeast, such as cakes, cookies, bread, or candy, is harmful to deer.
Even though their ruminant digestive system is robust enough to handle corn, the fermentation process by which food is digested results in harmful by-products. The animal will bloat on the high carb and starch content while risking acidosis when consumed in large quantities. Onions, garlic, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and tomatoes also give deer hard to digest.
You can feed deer outside your garden of bananas with foods that consist of;
Extremely suitable to deer’s digestive systems, oats, while expensive, is the best food you can offer in exchange for the wellness of your bananas.
Legumes and Vegetables
While costly, deer can digest legumes quite easily, and it’s a food they like. Include beans, soybeans, purple peas, and hulled black-eyed peas in the animal feed. The critter is fond of carrots, pumpkins, and potatoes. Have these in small portions, especially if the herd isn’t familiar with them.
Commercially Available Deer Feed Mixes
You can purchase deer food that’s made up of oats, deer corn, soybeans, molasses, plus additional vitamins and minerals. For safety, read the package to ensure the feed mix is meant for the type of deer you’re dealing with near your bananas.
Fruits, Berries, and Nuts
If you can spare or afford these, deer won’t look twice at your bananas. Apples, plums, cherries, watermelon, grapes, and pears drive these critter nuts, another of its favorite foods. This wildlife has an affinity for berries, including blackberries, strawberries, mulberries, winter berries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Besides deer-proofing your garden, you can let loose a pack of predatory canines to guard your banana plants against these wild beasts. Otherwise, you can compromise by feeding deer favorable and more available foods, so they leave your bananas alone. That’s especially useful when the ungulate herd isn’t that large or if your plantain crop covers extended acreage.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.