Deer eat kale for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that it is an excellent source of nutrition. Kale is high in fiber, vitamins A and C, and minerals such as calcium and iron. It also contains chlorophyll, which gives it its characteristic green color. Deer are attracted to the nutritional value of kale, and will often seek it out.
In addition to being a nutritious food source, deer also enjoy the taste of kale. Many people describe the flavor as slightly sweet or nutty. Some types of kale can be quite bitter, but this varies depending on the variety and growing conditions. Overall, deer seem to prefer sweeter varieties of kale over those that are more bitter tasting.
Kale is relatively easy for deer to digest compared to other greens like spinach or cabbage. This means that they can get all of the nutrients from eating smaller amounts than if they ate something else less easily digested like hay. For these reasons, among others, you'll often see deer munching contentedly on a big patch of fresh-looking kale.
Nutritional benefits of kale for deer
Kale is a highly nutritious leafy green vegetable that provides numerous health benefits. It is high in vitamins A, C, and K as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients. Kale also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and selenium. Deer like kale because it is sweet and tender with a slightly nutty flavor. Here are some of the many nutritional benefits that kale provides for deer:
Vitamin A: One cup of cooked kale contains over 2 times the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A which helps support vision health, immune function, and cell growth.
Vitamin C: Kale is also rich in vitamin C providing 134% of the RDI in just one cup. This powerful antioxidant plays a role in supporting immune function, collagen production, wound healing, and iron absorption.
Phytonutrients & Antioxidants: In addition to vitamins and minerals; kale contains phytonutrients (carotenoids and flavonoids) which offer additional health benefits. These nutrients act as antioxidants, scavenging harmful free radicals, protecting cells from damage, and reducing inflammation.
What type of kale do deer like to eat?
There are many types of kale that deer like to eat, including curly kale, Russian red kale, and Tuscan black kale. Each type of kale has a different flavor profile that appeals to different taste buds. Curly kale is the most popular type of kale among deer, as it is both sweet and savory. Russian red kales have a more robust flavor that some deer find too strong. Lastly, Tuscan black kales have a slightly bitter taste that can be off-putting to some deer.
The best way to feed kale to deer
The best way to feed kale to deer is by chopping it into small pieces and mixing it with other foods such as apples or carrots. You can also add some honey or molasses to make the food more attractive to them.
When do deer eat kale?
Deer are very selective eaters and their diet changes with the seasons. In the spring, they consume a lot of new growth including leaves, shoots, and tender plants. As summer progresses, they switch to eating mostly fruits and nuts as well as some grasses. Come fall, deer go back to consuming more woody browse like twigs and buds since these items are high in carbohydrates which help them build up fat reserves for winter survival. And yes, occasionally deer will nibble on kale (or other Brassica spp.) but this is not a preferred food item.
Is kale dangerous for deer to eat?
No, kale is not dangerous for deer to eat. Kale is actually a very nutritious food for them and provides many health benefits. The only thing to be aware of is that kale does contain high levels of oxalic acid which can bind with calcium and other minerals, making them less available for absorption. This is not a concern if the deer are eating a well-balanced diet, but if they are eating a lot of kale it could lead to deficiencies.
How to prevent deer from eating kale?
Deer are creatures of habit and will return to the same spot to feed night after night. If they find an easy food source, such as a garden full of kale, they will keep coming back for more. The best way to prevent deer from eating your kale is by taking proactive measures to deter them from entering your yard in the first place.
Here are some tips on how to prevent deer from eating kale:
- Install a fence around your property: Deer can jump high, so it's important that the fence is at least 8 feet tall. You can also install electric fencing, which will give the deer a mild shock if they try to cross it.
- Use netting or cages: Covering individual plants with netting or putting them in cages will protect them from being eaten by curious deer.
- Plant deterrents: There are certain plants that deter deer away because of their taste or smell including marigolds, lavender, and garlic chives. Planting these around your kale should help keep the deer at bay.
Can deer digest kale?
Deer are able to digest kale, as their digestive system is designed to break down plant-based material. However, that doesn't mean that they necessarily enjoy eating it or that it provides them with all the nutrients they need. Deer are browsers, which means they prefer to eat a variety of different plants rather than just one type. Kale may be part of their diet in the wild, but it's likely not their favorite food.
Can baby deer eat kale?
Yes, baby deer can eat kale. Kale is a type of cabbage that is high in nutrients and low in calories. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as manganese and copper. Baby deer will benefit from the many health benefits kale has to offer.
Do deer eat kale summary
Deer eating kale is a common occurrence in many parts of the world. While some people may view this as a nuisance, there are actually several benefits to deer consuming this leafy green vegetable. For one, kale is an excellent source of nutrients for deer, providing them with essential vitamins and minerals that can help them stay healthy. Additionally, since kale grows relatively quickly and densely, it can provide deer with a quick meal when other food sources are scarce.