Have you ever been curious about this one? How much does a deer really eat? I mean it seems to be all that deer do. They eat, they sleep and they walk in between doing those two things. Then for a month or so, they get a little freaky. But for the most part it’s just a lot of eating!
Well it turns out deer need to eat on average about 1 1/2 tons of food a year. Thats about 3,000 lbs annually! To put that into context, humans eat on average only about 1,500 lbs a year. (For your random facts of the day, of that 1,500 per year, the average person eats 50 lbs of cake or cookies, 5 lbs of potato chips and 2 lbs of pop corn!)
In the most recent issue of Deer & Deer Hunting, Charles Alsheimer wrote a really interesting article about the whitetails eating habits and needs throughout the year. In his piece he featured an enlightening side bit, where he provided insight into what 1 1/2 tons of food actually could look like and I just had to share it with you.
Per Charles Alsheimer and Deer & Deer Hunting, “a deer would have to eat the prescribed amount of these foods to consume 1 1/2 tons of that item:
Black Locust: 75 million seeds
Soybeans: 9 million beans
Field Corn: 3.9 million kernels
Red Oak Mast: 300,000 acorns
Morels: 228,000 mushrooms
Orchard Fruit: 12,000 apples
Blackberries: 2,400 quarts
Pumpkins: 600 small ones
Alfalfa: 40 square bales”
Any way you look at it, thats a lot of food that a deer needs every year. So remember, if you want your resident deer herd to be as healthy as possible and for your bucks to reach their full potential, make sure they have tons of great food. Literally!