Do Deer Eat Sunflower Seeds

Do Deer Eat Sunflower Seeds

Nowadays, many people are looking forward to feeding wild animals and helping them to maintain a healthy life to bring themselves closer to nature. However, feeding certain animals without having enough knowledge about it can also cause damage to their health or may cause fatality. One of the animals people love to care about, and feed is a deer. That is why there are a few things that you must know before you feed a deer so that you prevent yourself from causing them any harm. 

What is Sunflower Seed?

This might not be the first time that you hear about Sunflower seed, and it is one of the most commonly found seeds available in the market. This is technically the fruit of a sunflower plant which has the scientific name Helianthus Annuus. It is not very uncommon and difficult to collect them as they can be harvested from the flowers’ large heads. The head of the sunflower is about 12 inches in diameter, which is large enough to harvest the seed by hand.

It might surprise you that a single sunflower head might contain about 2,000 seeds which is a lot in quantity. Sunflowers can be found in 2 different types of crops. The two main types of sunflower crop include the one that is grown for harvesting seed out of it, and the other crop is the one which is used for extracting out oil. This crop is also majorly farmed as compared to the seed. 

The sunflower seeds that are available in the market are the ones that we usually eat. However, these sunflower seeds come encased in black and white striped shells that are inedible, and humans cannot consume that shell. These shells are also known as hulls of sunflower seeds. As compared to the seed that we eat, the ones that are used for oil extraction have black hulls or are black and solid shells. 

Do Deer Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are very much liked by the year, and they readily eat them. However, you do not have to be tempted to give them a very large quantity of sunflower seeds as it can harm the health of deer and can be fatal as well. It is believed that the shells of the sunflower seeds that are also known as hulls, are very toxic and lethal for deer if they get ingested in high quantities.

The lethal result of sunflower seed for deer is because of its chemical nature. There is a compound that is present in the shell of these seeds that has the potential to kill microbes that are present in the paunch of dear. Once microbes inside the pond of deer die, it also causes the death of the deer as well.

What is the Season of Deer Feeding?

The most common season that people choose for feeding wild deer is winter. This winter feeding assists wild deer in achieving good nutrition and surviving better. However, the survival might depend on the type of Nutrition they are taking up and the quality of supplemental feed that is used to feed them. If you are one of those people who are planning to feed wild deer this winter, then you must start early in the winter season.

Not only this but survival also depends on how the deer are fed and where their food is given to them. It seems very obvious, but you must also keep in your mind that during winters, deer needs to keep itself warm that is why it also needs a lot of calories and proteins for better body functioning and healthy life. 

What can be the Food Pattern?

It would be better if you introduce different types of their food to them gradually. Wild deer are very reluctant to change and might not respond very welcoming to abrupt changes. That is why you must never change the food abruptly and make sure that you stick to the food you have introduced earlier.

Even if you want to change the food you have introduced, then you must make gradual steps. However, it is still better that you stick to the same food until the spring season. Most of these deer are very selective when it comes to their food. They have certain criteria for picking up their diet, and that is, it must be the most nutrient-packed plant parts that are also easily digestible. 

Moreover, you must also keep in mind that white-tailed deer cannot efficiently digest grass hay which is most commonly fed to cows and other animals. In the case of forcing a deer to eat grass hay, the result would be the death of the dear as they cannot digest it. Hence you must avoid feeding white-tailed deer with grass hay because of its Lethal effects.

Maintain a healthy diet and a properly functioning body

To maintain a healthy diet and a properly functioning body, white-tailed deer also have some amount of those fiber that is indigestible. This will help them to maintain digestion properly. Just like every other animal, deer also need all the essential supplies like vitamins, minerals, and a sufficient quantity of water so that we can maintain a healthy life with better potential for survival. 

When you start to feed your deer with supplemental food, you must make sure that it meets all the requirements regarding the daily nutritional needs of a deer. Some people opt for vegetable cravings that are discarded by any supermarket for feeding their deer. One thing that you must remember is such types of things like celery cabbage, old fruit lettuce trimmings, or any other kind of food waste can be a deer killer if they have to rely on it solely.

Once you try to empathize with deer, then you will realize that just like how humans lose weight by eating salad and veggies, deer also do. Since all the vegetables and their trimmings are majorly high in water content and low in protein or carbs, you must let them be at the supermarket dumpster and not try to feed them to your deer. Feeding fruits as Apple waste and potatoes skin and waste can be healthy and beneficial for deer.

Standalone best diet you can provide to your deer.

However, keep the fact in your mind that this is not the standalone best diet you can provide to your deer. Despite bundles of calories in apple waste, they are not suitable as the only food for deer. That is why to make your deer thrive; you must provide them with high-quality natural forages. 

When considering the most important winter supplements for your deer, you may tick oats, cracked corn, and barley. However, veggies can not be the most suitable fit. Moreover, fewer and single diets of grain can be incomplete for deer. All of the above-listed things have sufficient amounts of Carbohydrates and the majority of proteins; however, they lack some of the important minerals and fiber that are required for better growth.

Nutritional Value of Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are very famous for packing up most of the nutrients in a very tiny size of the seed. There are a lot of nutrients with about 163 calories in 30 grams of sunflower seed. The total fat that is present in a one-ounce sunflower seed is 14 grams, and saturated fat is 1.5. Apart from this, it also has 5.5 grams of protein with 6.5 grams of carbohydrates. 

It has quite of Balanced quantity of protein and carbohydrates present inside its seed. It also has sufficient quantities of most of the essential metals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and Selenium. Moreover, it also has a very high amount of Vitamin E along with 11% Vitamin B6 and 10% niacin as well. Along with all of these metals and vitamins, sunflower seeds can also be a very good source of plant compounds that include flavonoids and phenolic acids that are antioxidants.

Summing Up:

Most of the deer love to munch on sunflower seeds, and they readily get attracted to eating them. However, sunflower seeds are not the most suitable diet for a deer if it has to be given consistently and can be lethal or harmful to deer’s health.