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« Chumley III | Main | Good on Jersey »

Don't feed the deer

We see signs for "deer corn" advertised by farms in our area and we've always wondered about it. We're not allowed to feed the deer in our neighborhood but some people do anyway, and there's a small part of me that feels bad about all the displaced deer (due to new development). Also, i've wondered if paying them tribute might dissuade them from eating our bushes. However, upon looking it up, it seems pretty clear that you should not feed the deer.

During winter, deer lose 20 percent or more of their body weight by burning fat reserves. They are well adapted to survive the many stresses that winter presents.

Crum understands that people mean well, but, "I see too many deer on my necropsy table with bellies full of corn."...

The problem is that deer digestion is a finely tuned physiological process. Just the right combination of microorganisms, enzymes, and pH enable deer to digest a normal winter diet of woody vegetation. When offered a sudden supply of corn, a deer's digestive system doesn't have time to adjust to a high carbohydrate diet. The result can be acute acidosis followed by death within 72 hours.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 12:51 PM | Science