Can Deer Eat Bread?

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If you were wondering whether deer can eat bread, the answer is yes! Bread is among the foods deer rely on during winter beside mineral blocks and salt licks

During winter, deer lovers know it is time to support the animals by offering them food. One of the reasons people feed deer is that during this period, deer find it very difficult to find food since their natural food is made up of woody vegetation. In most cases, bread is accessible and cost-effective, thus being one of the feeds used to feed the animals. 

 But if you decide to feed deer on bread, you must be more careful. When not used in the right manner and quantity, bread may affect the health of the deer.

If you are planning on feeding deer with bread, it is crucial to understand the correct amount of bread required. And if one is not able to give the right quantity, deer can survive during this kind of weather since they prepare during summer by eating more and putting on layers of fat so that when winter comes, they will limit the time they go out to the fields to graze and use the stored fat.

What Amount of Bread Should a Deer Eat?

Feeding deer with the recommended amount of white Bread can’t harm the animals, but if you don’t control the amount and they end up taking anything more than a few slices, this will harm the animal. A large intake of bread has the potential of the animal developing life-threatening lactic acidosis. 

Trouble will build up when the deer is offered an excessive amount of carbohydrate in one feed. It causes rumen overload, which is known to kill deer routinely. Mostly the source of this problem is from fermented carbohydrates, including bread. Therefore, it would be unwise for you not to control the amount that the deer might take.

How to Properly Feed Deer with Bread

The following are essential elements for a proper feeding program. 

  • Establish a trail of a network to deliver food to the deer efficiently.
  • Get a suitable method that will provide food to the deer until the end of winter.
  • Supply the right food to the animals.

Introducing the New Diet (bread) to the Deer

Unlike other animals, which have no problem with various diets, deer depend on a variety of bacterial and microorganisms to break down food in their stomach. Therefore, when you change the deer’s diet, it requires a change of the bacterial and microorganisms for the newly introduced food to be processed. 

You will be required to gradually introduce the new diet to avoid acidosis’s excessive buildup in the rumen. It takes a deer 10-14 days to adjust. A new diet should be introduced in an area where natural food is also available. 

Legalities on Feeding Deer

Feeding deer, whether in the forest or allowing them access to your backyard, can be deadly.  At the same time, it could be unlawful. 

Before you decide to start a deer feeding program, you need to consider several factors. First, is to check whether what you intend to do is legal.  Many states have put in place numerous restrictions on feeding and baiting deer because of the dangers associated with supplemental feeding.  Supplemental feeding can cause a serious threat to game animal’s health resulting in even death. 

In an effort to conserve the wildlife, many states in the US have enacted laws that allow or restrict deer feeding. 

In New Hampshire, for instance, feeding deer from April 15th –September 1st is illegal. But it is legal to bait deer from September 1st with salt. If you want to bait and you don’t own land, you must secure a permit.  You are also required to post a sign over the bait, even if you own the property.  

For Mississippi, it is legal to feed deer with mineral and salt as bait. But the baits must be removed ten days before the start of the season.  More restrictions are applied to feeding deer with the grain, but the bulk mineral is legal all the year and even during the hunting season.

In some states, however, the likes of Michigan, deer baiting and feeding is illegal in most of the counties. 

Is It Legal to Feed Deer in My Backyard?

Depending on the state, it may or may not be legal to feed deer in your backyard. In California, for instance, feeding deer is not allowed, whether on public or private property. It is also not recommendable to feed deer in your backyard as it exposes the population to the wildlife, a reason for human-animal conflict. At the same time, it could be dangerous.

Other states require you to have a permit if you are going to feed deer on your property. 

Baiting Deer Tips in Your Backyard

If you want to attract deer in your backyard, there are certain things that you should keep in mind. First is that deer like hanging out in groups, meaning you should prepare more than deer in your backyard. 

You should also consider your immediate neighborhood. Animals such as dogs could cause your deer baiting plans to be unsuccessful as they can easily scare them away. Make your neighbors aware of your plans too.

Feeding deer during winter is to supplement nutrients. Therefore, you should avoid planting or growth of invasive plants such as goldenrod.  They usually take over a large section and crowd other plants that you have planted, thus reducing the backyard’s nutritional value. 

Summary 

Bread can be used as deer feed though it is important to regulate the amount as it may pose a risk to the deer’s health. 

Feeding deer and baiting is illegal in some of the states, while others require that you have a permit to do so. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your local authorities if you plan on embarking on a deer feeding program. Remember, it may cause more harm than good to feed deer, especially on your property.

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