Do Deer Eat Cilantro? (The Answer is Yes but..)

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Deer are herbivorous and will feed on most types of vegetation, but do deer eat cilantro? They primarily spend their life feeding on herbs and other delicious vegetables and will feed on anything when they have to, including eating cilantro. Deer sample out anything when the food sources in the wild run low. However, this should not mean that they don’t have their favorite edibles.

Among other vegetarian wildlife, deer fall in the category of the few that feed on many plants for a short time. They are animals that get addicted to what they feed on; hence, they will continue coming for more until sources are depleted. 

The most exciting part about deer feeding is how it’s greatly affected by the changes in climate. They’ll feed more when the weather is dry to make up for their less water intake. Feeding on plants accounts for a third of the water deer need in their bodies. 

Deer’s Little Love for Cilantro

Little can be said if deer love feeding on cilantro. As known to us, cilantro, else referred to as coriander, is one of those herbal plants we grow as cuisine. Cilantro has the same appearance to parsley, and they usually produce lush growth, which is quite appealing to any herbivore. Cilantro, also known as Chinese Parsley, is considered a staple in both Chinese and Mexican cuisines. 

There exists very little love between deer and cilantro. It is among the few plants known to ward off deer. Although it grows with a beautiful lush appearance, this does very little to make them favorites for deer. Growing cilantro in your kitchen garden may be one step forward in keeping these voracious eaters off your compound for a while.

Deer’s little love for cilantro may be greatly attributed to their taste and how their scent doesn’t go well with what they like. And although cilantro is entirely green with very soft, smooth, and slippery leaves, deer feed on them when there is no other option. 

Like kale, melon, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, deer eat cilantro when they are too hungry or have no other food sources. Deer will never stay in fields full of cilantro if there are other sweet plants in their vicinity. In simple terms, cilantro is among the deer’s least favorite food.

Deer’s Favorite Food Plants

As earlier mentioned, deer feed on anything when times become unbearable. However, there are varieties of plants and herbs that are very much favorable to them; hence deer will incline on eating them first. Although there are no plants that can be genuinely deer-proof, those with offensive aroma usually irritate their sense of smell.

Smell being one of their most vital senses, deer will usually use it as a primary way to sample what to eat and what not to. They love tender and sweet herbs; hence you should not expect to find them in the fields full of fuzzy and bitter plants. 

Deer will therefore be driven to places where they are most likely to see some of their favorite delicacies. That includes our backyards and in our gardens, where we plant those veggies for home consumption. 

Peas and beans are considered as deer favorites. They’ll graze on these plant leaves all day long. This may be because of how sweet the leaves taste and how much they help hydrate the little wild grazers’ bodies. 

Tree fruit and berries are also close favorites for deer. Pears, plums, and apples are also liked by deer due to their sweet taste. Lettuce & leafy greens are also among deer’s favorite, save for the red lettuces, which are less pleasant to deer.

What Do Deer Dislike Eating?

Although they may eat whatever plant that tastes good to them during difficult times, deer reserve a deep dislike for several plants and herbs. Don’t go out for deer hunting in fields that are covered by these plants. Deer will usually avoid root vegetables, which require some digging, and those prickly ones such as cucumbers and squashes that have got hairy leaves.

Deer also avoid plants such as rhubarb, which are very toxic to them. Plants with sharp odors like onions, garlic, and fennel are a turn off for deer. Other garden plants such as tomatoes, pepper, and lemon balm are also unpalatable to deer. However, deer will not resist trying on some of these unpleasant foods when tough times come knocking.

Deer Feeding Habits You Need to Know

Food is essential to deer survival in the woods. Apart from other nutrients that help keep them healthy, food also helps to keep deer hydrated. The different feeding habits for deer can be said to be influenced by the given type of food they want.

For instance, deer are most likely found feeding in small food plots that are well stashed with their favorite food. They tend to settle in such areas and work on getting their meals as most don’t like going to the primary food sources until after darkness sets in.

Deer also have some varying food preferences. Certain bucks have a strong liking to peas over corn. Others will prefer corn or sunflower to peas or beans. However, some deer settle on browsing in the fields until they find it more appealing and tasty. Therefore, it remains difficult for one to narrow down on a particular type of food that deer like.


Deer remain to be fickle animals with ever-changing decisions. Just as their food sources keep on changing, so do their feeding habits and favorite foods. They are hugely driven by food in all their movements and other activities. And whenever they settle on a food source, deer are concentrate food selectors who feed on the nutrient-rich parts of any plant. They only bite off the top of a plant or the tip of a new plant. 

Whether it is cilantro or peas, deer generally do not eat the entire plant. They are also classified in the ruminant class due to their habit of chewing cud and digesting it further before swallowing it again.

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