If you're looking for a way to attract deer to your property, consider planting vetch. Deer love to eat this legume, and it's a great way to bring them in close for viewing or hunting. Vetch is also a host plant for butterfly larvae, so it's good for your garden too! Plant it in late summer or early fall for the best results.
Why do deer eat vetch?
There are many reasons why deer eat vetch. Vetch is a nutritious and tasty food source for deer, and it is also relatively easy to digest. Deer often eat vetch in the springtime. Vetch is also high in protein, which helps bucks grow strong muscles.
Nutritional benefits of vetch for deer
Vetch is a nutrient-rich forage that can provide many benefits to deer. Vetch is high in protein and minerals, making it an excellent food source for deer. Additionally, vetch contains compounds that can help improve the health of deer herds by reducing parasites and improving digestion.
What type of vetch do deer like to eat?
Deer love to eat a variety of different types of vetch, including common vetch, hairy vetch, and tufted vetch. All three species are native to Europe, but they have been introduced to North America and can be found growing in many states and provinces. Deer will often browse on the leaves and stems of these plants, especially in early spring.
How to feed vetch to deer?
Vetch is a type of forage legume that can be used to feed deer. When vetch is planted in fields, it provides an excellent source of nutrition for deer herds. Vetch can be allowed to grow until it matures and then harvested, or it can be eaten by deer on a pasture.
When feeding vetch to deer, there are several things to consider:
- The stage of growth: Deer prefer vetch that is in the early stages of growth. If the vetch has started to flower, the plants will become less palatable and nutritious for deer.
- Mowing: Mowing down the tops of vetch yields higher quality forage than if left un-mowed; however, mowing too early will reduce yields. The best time to mow is when 50%of the population has reached full bloom. (This allows some seed production while also providing high-quality browse.)
If you are planting vetch in an area where deer already live, they may begin eating it as soon as it germinates and starts growing - so keep an eye on your crop.
When to feed vetch to deer?
Vetch is a hardy plant that is often used as a cover crop or forage crop due to its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. Vetch can also be utilized as deer feed, and it provides many benefits for deer herds.
The best time to plant vetch for deer is in the late summer or early fall. This allows the plants ample time to establish themselves before winter arrives. Once established, vetch will remain green and nutritious through the winter months when other food sources are waning.
Some tips on how much seed you'll need per acre:
- For good grazing coverage, seeding at 20-30 pounds per acre is recommended.
- For light grazing use 15 -20 pounds per acre might suffice.
- More than 30 pounds an acre could create a crop that is too dense.
Is vetch dangerous for deer to eat?
Some species of vetch can be mildly toxic to animals if eaten in large quantities. Some varieties of vetch also contain compounds that can interfere with white blood cells, so animals that eat them may be more prone to certain fungi and bacteria. These issues seem to be genetically passed down from adult animals to offspring. It mostly occurs in cattle. Deer are not known to suffer from this disorder.
How to prevent deer from eating vetch?
The best way to prevent deer from eating vetch is by fencing them out or using repellents. Fencing should be at least 8 feet tall and made of sturdy materials such as wire mesh or metal posts. Repellents can be applied to the foliage of plants and will need to be reapplied regularly.
Can deer digest vetch?
Yes, deer are able to digest vetch due to their four-chambered stomachs. This digestive system allows them to break down complex carbohydrates and proteins found in plants like vetch.
Can baby deer eat vetch?
Yes, baby deer can eat vetch. Baby deer are still developing their digestive system, so they may not be able to digest all of the nutrients in vetch. If you are concerned about your baby deer's health, talk to a veterinarian.
Do deer eat vetch summary
Yes, deer eat vetch. The plant is a favorite food of white-tailed deer and they will consume it whenever they can find it. Vetch is also a good source of nutrition for other wildlife, including rabbits, groundhogs, and birds.