Deer eat elderberry for the same reason that people do: because it tastes good! The berries are high in sugar and have a tart, tangy flavor that makes them irresistible to many animals. In addition to deer, bears, rabbits, squirrels, and birds all enjoy feasting on elderberries.
The nutritional value of elderberries makes them an important part of the diet for many animals. The berries are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and other nutrients. For deer, who spend most of their time eating plants instead of meat, these nutrients are essential for maintaining health and vitality.
While some animals eat elderberries year-round, they are most commonly found in late summer or early fall when the fruits ripen on the bushes. At this time of year deer will often travel long distances to find areas where elderberry is plentiful so they can stock up before winter arrives.
Why do deer eat elderberry?
Deer love to eat elderberry for a variety of reasons. The fruit has a good amount of sugar and calories, which makes it an excellent source of energy for deer. Elderberry also contains a substance which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that eating elderberry can help reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with joint diseases such as arthritis. Additionally, the antioxidants present in elderberries can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Nutritional benefits of elderberry for deer
Elderberry is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. The different species are native to temperate regions of both hemispheres, with most found in the Northern Hemisphere. Elderberries are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and flavonoids such as anthocyanins. They have been traditionally used for their medicinal properties.
The nutritional benefits of elderberry for deer include:
- Elderberries are high in Vitamin C which helps support a healthy immune system
- Manganese present in elderberries aids in bone development and wound healing
- Potassium supports cardiovascular health by helping to regulate blood pressure
- Flavonoids like anthocyanins act as antioxidants and can help protect cells from damage
What type of elderberry do deer like to eat?
There are many different types of elderberry plants, and deer will eat just about any of them. The most popular variety among deer is the American Elderberry. These shrubs typically grow to be about 6-8 feet tall and produce clusters of small white flowers in the springtime followed by dark purple berries in the summer and fall. Other varieties include European Elderberry, which grows up to 10 feet tall, and Purpleleaf Elderberry, which has reddish-purple leaves and pinkish-white flowers. No matter what type of elderberry plant you have, chances are good that deer will find it irresistible.
How to feed elderberry to deer?
There are a few things to consider when feeding elderberry to deer. The first is the size of the plant. Elderberry plants can range in size from 6 inches to 10 feet tall. If you have a large number of deer, you will need a larger elderberry plant. The second thing to consider is the time of year. Deer tend to eat more during the fall and winter months when food is scarce. You may want to wait until these months to feed your deer elderberries so they get the most benefit from them.
When to feed elderberry to deer?
There are many factors to consider when deciding when to feed elderberry to deer. Some of these include the age of the deer, the time of year, and the availability of other food sources.
Age: Young deer generally benefit from supplemental feeding more than older ones. This is because they have not yet developed fully efficient digestive systems and can struggle to extract all the nutrients they need from their food. Therefore, it is generally recommended that elderberry be fed to fawns. For adult deer, there is no definitive answer on whether or not they will benefit from eating elderberry; it depends on individual circumstances such as health status and available food sources. If you do decide to feed adults elderberry, start with small amounts and gradually increase over time if needed.
Time of Year: The best time to feed deer elderberries in most parts of North America is during late summer through early fall (August-September). This corresponds with peak ripeness for this fruit - meaning higher sugar content and lower tannin levels which can make them unpalatable - as well as a period when natural browse plants tend to be scarce due to lack of rainfalls earlier in summer months. However, if your area has experienced a prolonged drought then mid-summer may also be an ideal time since berries would mature sooner under those conditions. Conversely, a very wet spring could lead to later berry maturity so always check local conditions and adjust accordingly.
Availability of Other Food Sources: One reason why you might choose to feed deer elderberry is because other food sources aren't available. This could be due to drought, overgrazing, or simply a lack of natural browse plants in your area. If there are plenty of other food sources available, then supplemental feeding may not be necessary.
Are elderberry dangerous for deer to eat?
There is some evidence that elderberry plants may be toxic to deer. In one study, deer that ate large quantities of elderberries showed signs of poisoning, including lethargy and weakness. However, it's not clear if this toxicity is due to the plant itself or to a chemical in the soil where the plants grow.
Elderberries are also known to contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can cause kidney damage in animals who consume too much of it.
How to prevent deer from eating elderberry?
Elderberry is a shrub that can grow up to 10 feet tall. The leaves are opposite, and the flowers are white or pinkish in clusters. Elderberries are found throughout North America. The fruit is black and has a sweet taste.
Deer love to eat elderberry, but there are some things you can do to prevent them from eating your plants:
- Use fencing: erecting a fence around your elderberry bush can be an effective way to keep deer away.
- Use deer repellents: there are many commercial deer repellents available, or you can make your own using ingredients like egg powerless and garlic.
- Plant elderberry in areas that are inaccessible to deer: if you have a large property, try planting elderberry in an area that is difficult for deer to reach. This could be at the edge of a forest or on a hillside.
Do deer eat elderberry summary
Yes, deer will eat the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit of elderberry plants. The fruits are especially attractive to them. In some cases, deer may completely strip an elderberry bush of its foliage. If you have a serious deer problem in your area, you may need to take steps to protect your elderberry plants.