Deer will eat just about any plant material that they come across, and aucuba is no exception. While deer typically prefer more tender plants, they will consume tougher plants like aucuba if necessary. Aucuba isn't palatable to deer unless other forage options are scarce; however, in some areas of the country, it has become an important part of their diet due to over-browsing of preferred species by too many deer (a situation often caused by humans). If you have noticed damage to your aucuba bushes from what appears to be deer browse (i.e., stems that have been chewed on or broken off) and there is no other explanation (such as rabbits), then chances are good that deer are eating your aucubas.
Aucuba is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that is native to Japan. The leaves are glossy and dark green, with small yellow or white spots. The flowers are inconspicuous, but the bright red berries are very noticeable against the foliage. Aucuba can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide, making it an ideal plant for deer habitat improvement projects.
Why do deer eat aucuba?
Deer eat aucuba for a variety of reasons. The plant is high in nutrients and provides the deer with a good source of food. Additionally, the leaves of the plant are tough and durable, which makes them ideal for browse during winter months when other food can't be found.
Nutritional benefits of aucuba for deer
The nutritional benefits of aucuba for deer include:
- A source of essential vitamins and minerals: Aucuba contains high levels of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc.
- Antioxidant properties: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can help protect deer cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage leading to various diseases such as cancer.
- Immune system support: Vitamin C helps boost the deer's immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells which fight infection.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Some research suggests that vitamin C may have anti-inflammatory effects in deer due to its role in reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines
How to feed aucuba to deer?
Deer will browse on the foliage of aucuba plants. If you want to attract deer to your property for hunting or observation purposes, planting a few aucubas may help draw them in.
Here are some tips for feeding aucuba to deer:
- Plant several different varieties of aucuba around your property so that the deer have plenty of options to choose from.
- Prune back any branches that extend over paths or areas where people walk frequently, as this could create safety hazards if the branches were broken off by browsing deer.
- Be sure to keep an eye on the health of your plants; if they start showing signs of stress (e.g., wilting leaves), remove them from the area immediately so as not to burn out all of your vegetation too quickly.
When to feed aucuba to deer?
Aucuba can be fed to deer all year round. Deer love eating the young shoots and leaves of this shrub so it makes an excellent addition to their diet whether you are feeding them in captivity or out in the wild
Is aucuba dangerous for deer to eat?
No, aucuba is not dangerous for deer to eat. Aucuba leaves contain high levels of crude protein (up to 25%), essential amino acids, minerals (including calcium and phosphorus), vitamins (especially carotenes), and fiber. The bark is also rich in tannins, which can help protect against digestive disorders.
How to prevent deer from eating aucuba?
Deer eating aucuba can be frustrating for gardeners who spend time and money planting only to see their efforts destroyed by these four-legged pests. The good news is that there are some things you can do to prevent deer from eating your aucuba bushes.
Here are 4 tips:
- Use fencing: A physical barrier is often the best way to keep deer out of an area. Fencing should be at least 8 feet tall in order to deter even the most determined jumpers. If possible, bury the bottom few inches of fence underground as well so that digging animals can't get underneath it; otherwise, they may try to tunnel under or push through weak spots in the fence material itself (this goes for any type of fencing).
- Deer netting can also work well as long as it's securely fastened down and taut so animals don't become entangled in it and hurt themselves trying to escape.
- Consider using repellents: If fencing is not an option, you may want to try using deer repellents. These products work by emitting a scent or taste that deer find unpleasant, causing them to avoid the area altogether. There are many different types of deer repellents on the market, so be sure to do your research and choose one that is specifically designed to work against deer.
- Hang up strips of aluminum foil: Deer are also deterred by the sound and smell of aluminum foil. Simply hang strips of foil around the perimeter of your garden or in areas where deer are known to frequent. The movement and noise from the wind will help keep deer away, and the smell of the foil will also help to mask the scent of your plants, making them less appealing to these pests.
- Plant deer-resistant species: Another way to prevent deer from eating your aucuba bushes is to plant other shrubs or trees that deer don't typically like to eat.
Can deer eat aucuba?
Deer are able to eat aucuba without any problems. The plant is not poisonous and does not contain any toxins that could harm the deer. Aucuba can be a good source of food for deer during times when other plants are scarce.
Can baby deer eat aucuba?
Baby deer can eat the leaves of the aucuba plant, but they should not consume too much of it. A small amount of aucuba leaf will provide nutrients and health benefits for baby deer, but eating large quantities of the leaf can cause digestive problems.
Do deer eat aucuba summary
Deer are known to eat a variety of plants and flowers, so it's not surprising that they would also munch on aucuba leaves. Aucuba is a shrub that is native to Asia and often used as an ornamental plant in the United States. The plant has large, glossy green leaves with small white or yellow spots. Deer find the taste of aucuba leaves to be sweet and refreshing, making them a tasty treat.