Deer are a kind of ruminant mammals that have long been raised by human beings for their meat, skins (known as buckskin), especially in New Zealand, Ireland, Great Britain and Germany. If you are a landowner where deer are plentiful, then you might be looking into making feed pellets for them. There are a few reasons why you'd want to give supplemental feed to the deer around your property; to help them grow and reproduce for hunting season or because you just love deer. Deer are ruminating animals meaning that they eat plants that are on the ground.
Sometimes due to drought or floods, the food available to the deer naturally isn't enough to keep them healthy and thriving. That is why many landowners offer the deer feed pellets for extra nutrition. Feed pellets can be store bought, and they can also be homemade.
Why make feed pellets for your deer?
Making your own feed pellets can be better than store-bought feed because you know what grows in your land. Deer like eating things they know the taste of. If something they try isn't to their liking, they could take a long time to get used to it. The best way to feed deer is to use ingredients they are already eating in your land and add the protein and other nourishment they might need.
Only using corn, which seems to be a deer favorite, can harm their digestive system. Look into different ingredients that deer like to eat for more variety. Adding minerals into the feed can help with the development of healthy antlers and more robust fawns. Some deer like whole cotton seeds or ven pinto beans. The idea is help them with nutrition, not overfeed them.
What will feed pellets bring your deer?
Deer have different development processes according to the seasons. In the fall and winter, they will need extra fat in the feed to help them get through the cold hard months of winter. Rice bran is a good source of fat for deer. That said, deer do not need to eat much in winter. Their nature is to use the stored fat in their body.
In late winter and early spring, the deer don't usually eat grains so corn is not a good idea at this time. If you are just starting to provide feed pellets in your land, its best to wait for spring when the natural vegetation will help with digestion. At the end of spring and through the summer they will need more protein as it's the time of year for fawn development and antler growth.
How to make feed pellets for your deer?
Making feed pellets is not too complicated. All you need are the dry ingredients and something sticky to pull it all together into pellets. First of all, figure out how much you want to give the deer and how often you want to fill the feeders. Most ingredients can be bought in the cattle feed store.
Use a crusher to break down the dry ingredients like corn, oats, soybeans, cotton seeds or pinto beans. Then, in a mixer, add some molasses to mix it all together. Alternatively, use a feed pellet mill for press the mixture into granules . After the feed is prepared, use a pellet cooler to extract extra moisture. This will help to keep the pellets fresh for longer. Also, if you are afraid that the feed pellets would go mouldy, you can also have a pellets packaging machine to pack the pellets in bags.
When putting the pellets out, make sure you use a feeder that won’t harm their antlers and will not be completely out of place in nature. There are some deer feeders available that stand in one place and let go of feed a bit at a time. They are specially built to not harm antlers but might need a drier type of pellet for easy flowing out of the feeder.