Feeders are a fantastic method to draw deer to your property and provide them with a healthy diet. These pointers will give practical knowledge to ensure your deer feeding program is successful, whether you’re an experienced feeder or just getting started.
Tips for Setting Up Your Deer Feeder
- Put up a rotary feeder to release 1-2 lbs of grain every five hours, or scatter it manually with gloves on or a scoop to reduce the smell of people. This quantity will draw them to where you wish to feed them. A minimum of one to two feeding should occur during the night. You should do this daily until dear can be in a position to provide for itself.
- Install a free-choice feeder with corn once deer regularly visit the area daily in search of corn. Throw corn on the ground near the feeder by hand. Stop hand-tossing corn when you notice deer regularly eating from the free-choice feeder.
- When the deer have been consuming corn from the feeder for at least one week, switch the self-combination feeders to 1/2 pellets and 1/3 grain for an additional week so it can become used to eating pellets. Before replenishing the mix, ensure that the pellets are cleaned.
- Change to a mixture of half pellets and half corn for one week once the deer have finished cleaning up the pellets. Continue mixing corn into the pellets while progressively lowering the amount of corn if the deer continue to separate the corn from the pellets.
- Put 25 to 50 pounds of only grains in the free-choice feeder once the deer reliably clears up the combination and leaves no pellets behind. No matter how big the feeder is, never fill it with pellets the first time; always allow space for a little corn to be added in case the deer retreat a bit and cease eating pellets.
- Keep the feeders tidy. Deer are susceptible to scents, and moist or damaged feed may inhibit fresh feed from flowing. Discard old, wet, or ruined feed before refilling. Deer will keep returning if there is fresh forage.
Tips for Maintaining Your Feeder
Bird Feeder Maintenance
Keeping bird feeders clean is crucial to prevent disease spread among birds and extend the lifespan of the feeder. For the healthiest seed, it’s recommended to restock your feeder daily or every other day to prevent the seed from becoming damp and growing mold or bacteria.
To avoid standing water on the feeder platform, replacing wet seeds and ensuring that drainage holes are clear are essential. Failure to do so can result in birds getting infections and spreading them, potentially leading to death.
During the winter, when crowding at feeders is expected, the risk of disease transmission increases, so it’s important to space out multiple feeders to prevent sick birds from infecting healthy ones.
Deer Feeder Maintenance
To ensure that the feed provided to deer is of high quality, it’s essential to maintain the deer feeder. The moisture from deer saliva and humidity can cause the feed to become stuck to the spout of the feeder, so it’s recommended to check for this each time you visit the feeder.
If you notice any hardened feed on the spout, use a firm tool like a flathead screwdriver to wipe it away. Additionally, if your feeder has a solar panel, it’s essential to clean it regularly, as pollen and other particles can prevent it from receiving a full charge from the sun.
Timers & Solar Chargers
It’s essential to keep your digital timers for your feeders always switched on to ensure quality feedings for your wildlife.
Since you won’t need to worry about replacing your battery as frequently or making sure it’s constantly fully charged, solar chargers save time and effort. Additionally, using solar chargers can increase the life of your battery.
Setting up and maintaining a feeder requires careful planning and regular upkeep to ensure the safety and well-being of the deer. Following the tips outlined above, such as gradually introducing new feed and keeping the feeder clean, can help attract deer to the location and provide them with a healthy diet.