Deer enjoy eating mayhaw berries and can be found often feeding on them in the wild. The mayhaw is a small tree that grows in swamps and floodplains across much of the southeastern United States. Fruits ripen from late April to early May, hence the name, may-haw, for this fruit tree. Each white or light pink berry contains one large seed surrounded by juicy flesh. The flavor has been described as a cross between apples, cherries, and crabapples.
Why do deer eat mayhaw?
Deer eat mayhaw for a mixture of reasons. The fruit is high in sugar and calories, which can help deer survive the winter months when food maybe hard to find. Mayhaws are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Deer will also eat mayhaws to obtain moisture during periods of drought.
Nutritional benefits of mayhaw for deer
The nutritional benefits of mayhaw for deer include:
- A good source of vitamins A and C
- A good source of fiber
- Contains antioxidants
- May help support a healthy immune system
What type of mayhaw do deer like to eat?
There are three main types of mayhaw trees- the eastern, hybrid, and western. Each type produces a different fruit with varying sweetness levels. The eastern mayhaw tree produces fruits that are tart and acidic while the western variety is sweeter. The hybrid mayhaw tree falls somewhere in between these two extremes. Deer generally prefer the sweetest fruits, so they gravitate towards the hybrid and western varieties of mayhaws.
How to feed mayhaw to deer?
Mayhaw trees are small, deciduous shrubs or trees that produce a tart, red fruit in late spring. The mayhaw is a member of the Crataegus genus and is closely related to the hawthorn tree. Mayhaws can be found throughout the southeastern United States, from Texas to Florida and up into Virginia.
The mayhaw fruit is about the size of a crabapple and has a thin skin. The flesh of the fruit is white or pinkish-red in color and has a tart flavor similar to cranberries. The fruits ripen in April or May, which makes them one of the earliest fruits available each year.
If you have mayhaws growing on your property, you can use them to attract deer for hunting season or just enjoy watching them feed in their natural habitat. Here are some tips for feeding mayhaws to deer:
Place ripe mayhaws on branches around your property at ground level where deer frequent. You can also put out unripe fruits if you think deer will eat them; however, uneaten fruit will probably attract other animals like raccoons too so keep an eyeout.
Scatter whole mayhaws on the ground in open areas where deer congregate.
When to feed mayhaw to deer?
The following is a guide on when to feed mayhaw fruit to deer.
While there is no scientific evidence supporting this claim, there is nothing wrong with giving your local deer herd a little extra nutrition during spring and summer months . Just be sure to follow these four simple rules:
- Only supplement with what you can afford - There's no need to go broke trying to provide every last scrap of food for wildlife; they will find other sources if necessary.
- Never overfeed - It's better to give a little bit of food on a regular basis than to gorge deer with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Overfeeding can lead to digestive problems and even death in some cases.
- Don't attract other animals - If you're not careful, you may end up feeding the entire neighborhood. Try to limit supplemental feeding to deer only by placing food in areas where other animals can't reach it. Be mindful of your surrounding - Make sure you're not putting out food in an area that could attract dangerous wildlife like bears or coyotes.
- The best time to feed mayhaws to deer is during the late spring and early summer months when the fruits are ripening.
Are mayhaw dangerous for deer to eat?
No, mayhaws are not dangerous for deer to eat. Mayhaw berries are high in sugar and calories, which can help deer survive the cold weather. However, too much mayhaw can cause digestive problems for deer, so they should only eat them in moderation.
How to prevent deer from eating mayhaw?
To prevent deer from eating mayhaw, you can take the following steps:
- Remove any fallen fruit from around the tree to reduce the temptation for deer.
- Apply a commercial repellent according to the manufacturer's directions. Repellents work by either making the taste or smell of the plant unpalatable to deer. Some products need to be reapplied after rain or irrigation events.
- Use netting or fencing around trees and shrubs that are especially attractive to deer such as young trees with soft new growth, ripening fruits, and flowers in bloom. The height of fences should be at least 6 feet tall since most deer can jump this high.
Can deer eat mayhaw?
Yes, deer can eat mayhaw fruit. The small, tart berries are a favorite food of many animals, including deer. Some people plant mayhaws specifically for the purpose of attracting wildlife to their property.
Can baby deer eat mayhaw?
Yes, baby deer can eat mayhaw. Mayhaw provide an excellent source of nutrition for baby deer, including proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals. However, it is important to note that mayhaw should only be fed to baby deer in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet. Too much mayhaw can cause digestive issues in baby deer. If you are unsure how much mayhaw to feed your baby deer, please consult a veterinarian or qualified wildlife biologist.
Do deer eat mayhaw summary
Deer are known to eat a variety of different plants and fruits, so it's not surprising that they would also enjoy mayhaws. Mayhaws are sometimes called "wild cranberries." Deer love to eat mayhaws because they're sweet and nutritious. The high sugar content in these berries provides deer with energy, while the vitamins and minerals help them stay healthy.